Reducing Low Birth Weights

The purpose of this project is to reduce low birth-weight rates within the cluster by addressing key health issues impacting on expectant mothers. It also aims to complement the lifestyle advice that is given to expectant mothers by their midwife or health professional by providing social and practical support and the opportunity to try new skills and activities. This will be achieved through coordinated intervention that will stress that:

  • It is essential that a pregnant mother's diet is nutrient rich, and without an excess of fattening foods — starches and sugars.
  • A healthy lifestyle during pregnancy is important for the health of both the mother and baby
  • The baby gets the nutrition and oxygen it needs to grow and develop and is protected from the damaging effects of stress hormones, alcohol and tobacco.
  • Pregnancy is a good time to establish healthy lifestyle habits that the family can continue as the child grows up.
  • Teenage pregnancy, smoking and maternal lifestyle are important factors in low birth weights.

The project will focus on providing social support, general information on healthy lifestyles, developing new skills and activities with additional support programmes. These will focus on topics such as; practical cookery classes and demonstrations with ideal food menus to follow, physical activity options available locally (advice is that pregnant women should not undertake new strenuous exercise but that gentle activity – walking, swimming etc. is beneficial).

Service providers will also educate expectant mothers to increase their awareness around the harm that smoking can cause to themselves and their babies. Mothers will receive information on a healthy diet and how to budget for this, which will be shown to cost the same if not less than their normal grocery shopping.

The ‘Preparing for Baby’ course which runs on an 8 week cycle and delivered by a qualified midwife, through the Merthyr Flying Start Team.  Important topics covered are healthy pregnancy, feeding, sleeping, role of health visitor, baby first aid, labour and breathing and relaxation.  This course is held every Wednesday 10am – 12pm at Treharris Flying Start Centre.

Expectant mothers will develop skills in health and nutrition which they can use in their everyday lives, which can be passed onto their own families, which in turn can give children a flying start in life.

Stay Connected Follow us on social networks.

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo!