A pregnant woman

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

mother meeting baby for the first time

New guidelines to prevent
interventions in childbirth

The World Health Organization has issued new recommendations to establish global care standards for healthy pregnant women and reduce unnecessary medical interventions.

The move comes in response to an increase in interventions over the past 20 years, such as oxytocin infusion to speed up labour or caesarean sections for otherwise normal births.

The WHO Assistant Director-General for Family, Women, Children and Adolescents Dr Princess Nothemba Simelela says there’s no need for interventions if labour is progressing normally.

“We want women to give birth in a safe environment with skilled birth attendants in well-equipped facilities.

“However, the increasing medicalization of normal childbirth processes are undermining a woman’s own capability to give birth and negatively impacting her birth experience.”

“If labour is progressing normally, and the woman and her baby are in good condition, they do not need to receive additional interventions to accelerate labour,” she says.


Read more about the guidelines here.


Healthy Start Workforce Project Registration Heading

The Healthy Start Workforce Project offers free workforce development programmes.


Our online education programme explores the science which shows how good nutrition and physical activity during early life can reduce health risks in adulthood.  


Our Healthy Conversation Skills workshop provides tools to enable health practitioners to better support clients to make lasting behaviour changes, especially in the area of nutrition and physical activity. 

Our programmes qualify for professional development hours midwives, nurses, GPs and exercise professionals.

Register for our programmes
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