A pregnant woman helps an older child cut vegetables in the kitchen.  When, what and how first foods are introduced is important.

Pregnancy a powerful time 

Pre-conception, pregnancy and the early years are key periods in which healthy lifestyle choices can positively influence a mother and child's life-long health.

Good nutrition and physical activity can help to reduce the risk of both the mother and child developing diseases later in life such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Some cancers.

The great news is that healthy eating and activity choices can be simple, affordable, and achievable for all cultures and family situations.

It's becoming more and more important for maternity and child health professionals to include discussions about healthy lifestyles in their work with mothers, infants, families and whanau.


Find out more about what this means for you

pregnant woman

Pregnant mothers who sleep on
their backs face a greater risk of stillbirth

New research has found that women who go to sleep on their back in the last three months of pregnancy are almost four times more likely to experience a stillbirth.

The New Zealand research found that going to sleep supine – lying on your back - is associated with a 3.7-fold increase in overall risk of late stillbirth (after 28 weeks of pregnancy), independent of other common stillbirth risk factors.

This confirms the findings from an earlier University of Auckland study, which was the first study internationally to identify maternal sleep position in late pregnancy as a risk factor for stillbirth.

In addition, the current study found that the risk of a stillbirth associated with going to sleep on your back was higher in term pregnancies, after 37 weeks, compared to pregnancies between 28 and 36 weeks.

Researchers say the findings are of particular importance as the risk of stillbirth associated with going to sleep on your back may be preventable with appropriate public health messaging for women in late pregnancy.


Read more about this University of Auckland research here.

Healthy Start Workforce Project Registration Heading

The Healthy Start Workforce Project offers free-of-charge workforce development programmes.


Our education programme explores the role of good nutrition and physical activity during conception, pregnancy and infancy in reducing health risks later in life. 


Our Healthy Conversation Skills workshop enhances your skills to support clients to make lasting behaviour changes, especially in the area of nutrition and physical activity. 

Find out more:  



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