Healthy Lifestyles launch free service to support pregnant women and their families

Healthy Lifestyles Gloucestershire, in partnership with Gloucestershire Better Births programme has launched a free specialist service to provide healthy lifestyles support for pregnant women and their families.

The new service will support pregnant women to make positive lifestyle choices before the birth of their baby and up to two years after (1001 day support).

The service is a joined-up initiative funded by Gloucestershire County Council and delivered by the Healthy Lifestyles Service Team. Two brand new roles have been appointed, a healthy lifestyles specialist midwife and a dedicated specialist health coach. The specialist midwife is a ground-breaking post which is part funded by Gloucestershire’s Better Births Programme.

The team will support pregnant women to stop smoking, eat healthily, manage their weight and be more active during pregnancy. The support will continue after the birth providing the new mum and her family with health and wellbeing support during this critical period.

The team will work in partnership with wider services and organisations across the health system including maternity teams, health visitors and GPs to ensure that the support offered and approach to health and wellbeing is joined up.

Since Healthy Lifestyles Gloucestershire launched in January 2017, the service has helped over 220 pregnant women to stop smoking.

Tracy Marshall, Outcome Manager (Public Health) at Gloucestershire County Council said: “Supporting women during their pregnancy is so important in order to give their baby the best start in life. This initiative aims to make a difference for pregnant women and their families and will do that by working in partnership with the Better Births Programme to provide healthy lifestyles support for the women and families that need it most.”

Sue Maxwell, Matron for inpatient/outpatient Public Health said: “Working together to provide maternity care so that every woman has a safe and supported environment for herself and her baby is so important, and this joined-up service aims to do this”.

Tim Harman, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities at Gloucestershire County Council said: “We want to give every child the best possible start in life and helping pregnant women and new mothers to make healthy lifestyle choices will make a real difference to their own and their family’s long term health. This initiative is a great example of what can be achieved by working together with our partners.”

For more information or to contact Healthy Lifestyles Gloucestershire, call free on 0800 122 3788 or visit the website at www.hlsglos.org.

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