Midwives should end their ties to the controversial Slimming World over concerns about mothers’ mental health, parenting experts say.
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has a 10-year ‘partnership’ with a diet company. This company provides branded weight loss guides and leaflets that midwives distribute to pregnant women.
But critics are now calling for the deal to be terminated, calling it “unethical,” “wrong,” and lacking scientific evidence.
They claimed to be focused on “slimming down”. Eating disorders and body image anxietynot only do they not recognize the importance of Proper nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeedingg.
Professor Amy Brown, an infant health and early parenthood expert at Swansea University, said:
“But the message should be about nutrition, strength and well-being, not “thin”.Because the word means that a woman’s body must be displayed in a particular way“
She questioned whether there was any scientific evidence to suggest that the Slimming World approach should be recommended for pregnant women as a method of weight management or weight loss.
And she highlighted studies that have found that so-called “body-shaming” in overweight people can affect mental health and ultimately lead to weight gain.
Not recommended for weight loss during pregnancy
Slimming World set up a large stand at the entrance to the RCM annual conference in Newport, Wales this week, handing out cardboard BMI (Body Mass Index) calculators designed to be distributed to pregnant women. .
The device told women in the high BMI group that they were at “high risk” and “greatest risk” for developing weight-related medical problems and complications during pregnancy.
the proof is overweight during pregnancy It is associated with a higher risk of health problems such as high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. preeclampsia.
But the NHS watchdog, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, has warned pregnant women not to diet, and the guidelines read:
When RCM asked members to share their thoughts on “how Slimming World can continue to help women manage their weight during and after pregnancy,” the RCM received a ferocious response on social media.
Exercise and nutrition expert and director of Mummy Yoga, Dr. Rehana Jawadwala, commented on the post: changing body.
“Pregnancy and motherhood are times when we embrace healthy eating habits and create opportunities for physical activity that further enhances mental health. Not suitable for vocabulary.
“On that point alone, Slimming World has a lot of answers, so [it is] A terrible partnership. “
A trainee midwife said: Women should be supported by dieticians and dietitians when they need to, not companies making money by encouraging restrictive diets… When it comes to eating, people feel guilty and ashamed and feel guilty about themselves. I hate my body and believe my only purpose in life is to lose weight. “
Another midwife said: Nothing would refer a patient to Slimming World than teaching them how to eat healthy and on a calorie-controlled diet. “
One breastfeeding counselor added: SUPPORT THE WOMEN – Don’t tell the narrative that postpartum female body shaming is acceptable more loudly than ever. “
“Put more emphasis on lifestyle habits than weight loss”
Slimming World said in a leaflet for medical professionals that members wishing to join the group while pregnant would need midwifery support.
“Members’ pregnancy support focuses on a healthy lifestyle rather than weight loss, with the primary goal of preventing excessive weight gain.
“Slimming World does not advise members on weight changes during pregnancy, nor does it recommend weight loss during this time. I will support you.
“We also support members in achieving weight change recommendations made by their medical team, especially to prevent excessive weight gain.”
“We are honored to partner with Slimming World”
An RCM spokesperson said: It has been found that a high BMI during pregnancy can cause problems for both mother and baby. risk of premature birth Both can have lifelong effects.
“Managing healthy weight during pregnancy and encouraging healthier eating is something our members support every day, which is why we are delighted to partner with Slimming World. members have access to guidance and advice to help pregnant women make informed decisions about food choices, which can help support healthy weight management. ”
Carolyn Pallister, Dietitian, Nutrition, Research and Health Policy Manager at Slimming World, said: In response to requests from women and midwives for this support, we developed our approach in partnership with the Royal College of Midwives over 20 years ago.
“We do not advise weight changes during pregnancy or recommend weight loss, but rather support our members to eat a balanced, healthy diet and stay physically active. All members who wish to remain part of the Slimming World Group should seek the assistance of a midwife.We are helping thousands of pregnant women to manage their weight properly and reduce the risk of weight-related complications. I have been very supportive.”