Research shows that there are many risks associated with having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above during pregnancy; which includes risks to the pregnant woman, her unborn baby and an increased risk of interventions in labour. Health Intelligence demonstrates a rise in the number of women presenting at their booking appointment who are overweight, obese or morbidly obese.
Baby Steps is a multiagency, midwife led, fun, interactive 8 week programme. The sessions provide women with the knowledge and skills to improve their Health and Wellbeing. Baby Steps is not a weight loss programme however it actively supports women to take small steps towards a healthier pregnancy.
Research shows that having a BMI of >30 carries risks to both mother and baby and cost implications for the NHS. For the mother this includes: developing diabetes, larger or smaller babies, premature births, high blood pressure, caesarean section, long term heart disease, uncomfortable pregnancies and complications in labour. For the baby risks include; low blood sugars at birth, obesity in later life and an increased risk of asthma and diabetes.
The Baby Steps Programme
Baby Steps is a fun interactive 8 week programme. During the 8 week programme, appropriate activities for pregnancy are discussed and women are supported to remain active throughout. For 4 weeks of the programme we participate in gentle activity as a group to make exercise fun and sustainable for the women. This includes gentle walks, led by trained walk leaders. Places of interest are incorporated, for example the leisure centre, the library, breastfeeding support groups. Following the walks the women receive information regarding healthy eating, including sessions about the Eatwell Guide, sugar, fat and label reading. We provide light refreshments and women are able to ask questions and get support from each other.
The other 4 weeks of the programme provides practical cooking sessions delivered by a Confidence to Cook trainer. The women choose recipes from the Confidence to Cook resource pack. These cooking sessions are relaxed and sociable. The food prepared is sampled by the group following each session and any left over food is taken home by the women to allow their families to enjoy. All cooked recipes are provided for the women to encourage them to cook at home with their families.
ISIA, CYPIC, MINF
ISIA Plus – Improvement Science in Action Plus. Baby Steps has been developed with support of the ISIA programme. We have used the Model for Improvement (Plan, Do, Study, Act cycles) to ensure robust testing and data collection throughout.
CYPIC – Children and Young Peoples Improvement Collaborative. Baby Steps aims to improve the health of women and children and is supported by the CYPIC.
MINF – Maternal Infant Nutrition Framework. Baby Steps is funded by MINF.
Baby Steps has been tried and tested in the Moray area with the view to upscale to other areas.