How can I help improve levels of physical activity in pregnancy?

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Training for all staff is availiable on Raising the Issue of Physical Activity

This e-module will help you to gain knowledge, develop an understanding, motivation and confidence to raise the issue of physical activity and understand the health enhancing benefits of being physically active.

Service managers and commissioners

Service managers and commissioners can ensure that:

  • staff are educated and trained in physical activity and weight management and aware of current guidelines on physical activity (external link).  Guidance on understanding current guidelines (external link)
  • services such as weight management and exercise on referral are accessible and relevant to pregnant women from vulnerable and disadvantaged groups and consistent with public sector policy commitments
  • public health campaigns highlight the importance of physical activity and healthy weight
  • staff are aware of relevant local opportunities and facilities - see Active Scotland site (external link)
  • relevant information resources are available

Midwives, GPs, Practice Nurses

These disciplines are often a first point of contact for pregnant women and should be familiar with current guidance on effective interventions.  Guidance on understanding current guidelines (external link)

At the earliest opportunity:

  • discuss eating habits and activity levels
  • highlight the benefits of keeping active during pregnancy
  • offer advice on how to safely engage in physical activity during pregnancy
  • highlight local opportunities and facilities - see the see Active Scotland site (external link)
  • provide copies of Get Active your way everyday (external link)

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Voluntary sector workers and managers

Voluntary sector organisations can help by:


Employers can help by:

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Interventions to improve physical activity levels in pregnancy

Services should be accessible to all pregnant women and their partners and respond to individual needs.

This approach is not stigmatising and allows for early intervention before issues become critical.

Detailed guidance for professionals in Scotland (external link):
Scottish Briefing on NICE public health guidance 27: Dietary interventions and physical activity interventions for weight management before, during and after pregnancy

Information resources (external links)

Early Years Information Pathway
Physical Activity and Health Alliance website

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Further reading (external links)

Start active, stay active: a report on physical activity from the four home countries' Chief Medical Officers
Scottish Health Survey 2012
Obesity Route Map 

The SACN Energy Requirements report  

British Heart Foundation  

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