UCL Health


Making every contact count to reduce maternal weight

This project will focus on improving health of women and babies to improve the health of the unborn child as well as the mother’s future health.

22 June 2021


Pregnancy provides a window of opportunity to prevent childhood obesity by lifestyle interventions to reduce the risk of delivery of overweight infants. There is very recently published high quality evidence that dietary interventions in pregnant women lead to changed dietary behaviours, and an associated reduction in gestational weight gain, without any evidence of harm. 


This project focuses on improving the health of women and babies by developing practical and widely disseminable information along with a practical toolkit to facilitate midwives in delivering this information at women’s booking appointment at maternity services.

This is especially important during pregnancy as healthy eating during this crucial time directly improves the health of the unborn child as well as the mother’s future health.


  • We will develop an infographic covering evidence-based recommendations on healthy eating during pregnancy. 
  • This project will also generate a practical language toolbox for all midwives to use to engage women in making changes as described in the infographic, by actively incorporating feedback from midwives and pregnant women during the infographic development process. 
  • This project is undertaken in partnership with researchers at University College London, King’s College London, the University of Newcastle, and a design team at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford. 


  • Development of evidence-based ‘Healthy eating in pregnancy’ infographic (ongoing – May 2018) 
  • Acceptability and feasibility testing with midwives and pregnant women (ongoing – January 2020) 


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The NIHR Policy Research Unit in Healthy Weight is part of the NIHR and hosted by UCL.