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

pregnant woman

Taking probiotics may help to prevent post-natal depression

Researchers have found evidence that a probiotic given in pregnancy can help prevent or treat symptoms of postnatal depression and anxiety.


The Probiotics in Pregnancy Study aimed to evaluate the effect of a probiotic (specifically Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001) given in pregnancy and postpartum on symptoms of maternal depression and anxiety in the postpartum period.  
 

Postnatal depression affects 10-15 per cent of women, although many are not recognised or treated.

 

The research found that mothers in the probiotic treatment group reported significantly lower depression scores and anxiety scores than those in the placebo group.

 

Professor Ed Mitchell says, “There is mounting evidence from animal studies that the microbiome-gut-brain axis - the biochemical signalling that takes place between the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system - may be important for mental health.”

 

Read the full story 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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