The Department of Health (DH) asked the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to produce public health guidance on dietary and physical activity interventions for weight management before, during and after pregnancy.

The guidance does not cover:

  • women who are underweight (that is, those who have a body mass index [BMI] less than 18.5 kg/m²)

  • clinical management of women who are obese during pregnancy

  • those who have been diagnosed with, or who are receiving treatment for, an existing condition such as type 1 or type 2 diabetes

  • food safety advice.

The guidance is for NHS and other commissioners, managers and professionals who have a direct or indirect role in, and responsibility for, women who are pregnant or who are planning a pregnancy and mothers who have had a baby in the last 2 years. This includes those working in local authorities, education and the wider public, private, voluntary and community sectors.

It is particularly aimed at: GPs, obstetricians, midwives, health visitors, dietitians, community pharmacists and all those working in antenatal and postnatal services and children's centres. It may also be of interest to women before, during and after pregnancy and their partners and families, and other members of the public.

The guidance complements but does not replace NICE guidance on: obesity, maternal and child nutrition, antenatal care, postnatal care, physical activity, behaviour change, antenatal and postnatal mental health and diabetes in pregnancy.

The Public Health Interventions Advisory Committee (PHIAC) developed these recommendations on the basis of a review of the evidence, economic modelling, expert advice, stakeholder comments and fieldwork.

Members of PHIAC are listed in appendix A. The methods used to develop the guidance are summarised in appendix B.

Supporting documents used to prepare this document are listed in appendix E. Full details of the evidence collated, including fieldwork data and activities and stakeholder comments, along with a list of the stakeholders involved and NICE's supporting process and methods manuals are also available are also available.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)