Optimal maternal nutrition and Gestational Weight Gain (GWG) are key to tackling dual burden malnutrition and non-communicable disease; advising women of both is a key midwifery role. Brazilian midwives receive comprehensive nutrition training designed and delivered by a nutritionist, empowering them to communicate and translate key nutrition messages to pregnant women. They monitor GWG throughout pregnancy, intervening when GWG is insufficient or excessive. The UK has more midwives, (26,778 in England, compared to 433 in Brazil), but they report a lack of knowledge, skills and confidence regarding maternal nutrition. GWG is not routinely monitored and there are no UK guidelines regarding optimal GWG. UK midwifery training can learn from the Brazilian approach, enabling midwives to improve support for pregnant women regarding optimal nutrition and GWG, via more in-depth advice. Involving nutritionists in the design and delivery of UK midwifery curricula would enhance knowledge, while increasing the profile of maternal nutrition.
|British Journal of Midwifery
|Published - 11 Oct 2022