The new standards, which were published yesterday, build on current guidelines which covers improving nutritional care for women, prenatal and postnatal (up to a year after birth).
In response to the new standards from NICE, the Royal College of Midwives welcomes the move.
“We welcome this standard which provides the base for midwives and other health professionals to work from and to give the best possible advice and care to parents.
“Midwives have a key role in advising and supporting women to eat more healthily. During pregnancy is an ideal opportunity to promote healthy eating and a healthier lifestyle. We also need to ensure that women who require it are signposted to appropriate weight management services and social support,” Professional Advisor at the RCM, Janet Fyle said.
However, the RCM has also commented saying that health and nutrition should also be taught in schools.
“There is also a real need for a much wider view on this. It signals the need for a much stronger focus on better nutrition education in schools, health promotion for women and improved pre-conceptual care. It also requires significant investment in tackling social exclusion and deprivation in the UK.
“Ultimately the recommendations in this standard can only be implemented and put into practice if there are people on the ground to do it. We know that England is still 2600 full-time midwives short of the numbers needed. We are also increasingly hearing the loss of specialist midwives, particularly in areas such as breastfeeding support,” Janet Fyle added.
More information about the new maternal and child nutrition standards can be found here.
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