Tag: healthy

Maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy – with Maternal Lighten Up

Maternal Lighten UpOne in five pregnant women in Birmingham is overweight and so run a higher risk of complications during pregnancy. So the Maternal Lighten Up service is here to help women maintain a healthy weight in the months leading up to birth.

Unlike the general Lighten Up service, Maternal Lighten Up isn’t about weight loss – as Liz Barber, the Maternal Lighten Up Administrator, explains: “It’s probably a bit weird to be told ‘you’re overweight, but you can’t lose it’ – but, during your pregnancy, it’s all about helping you limit your weight gain. The services we refer our clients to can help them to do that in a healthy way.”

The city-wide service gets the majority of its referrals – women who are up to 28 weeks pregnant with a BMI of over 30 – from midwives. Clients are given the choice of three services to take up:

  • Maternal Health Trainers give one to one advice and a tailored programme of healthy eating and exercise to help maintain healthy weight gain during pregnancy
  • Birthfit is a programme of gentle exercise tailored to each stage of pregnancy and to individual needs, including specific advice about preparing for the birth
  • Slimming World offers classes for general weight loss, but pregnant women can join the classes to learn general healthy eating and exercise tips

Liz says, “going by the latest figures, nearly half the clients choose to go with the Maternal Health Trainer service. But whichever path they take, we will offer regular calls to see how they’re getting on and to offer extra support should they need it. Sometimes, if there are other issues besides their weight, this can mean putting them in touch with other services, such as our Pregnancy Outreach Workers”.

And after the other services finish, the support from Gateway continues. “Even after the birth, we encourage mums to carry on their healthy regime, and lose weight, by joining our general Lighten Up service”.

Kerry’s story

Kerry started with the Maternal Lighten Up programme in December 2012, at 13 weeks pregnant, after being referred by her Midwife for support with her weight management.  Pregnancy was nothing new, as this was her third baby, but in previous pregnancies she had put on a lot of weight and this time round she wanted to be better prepared.

After a discussion with Liz about the options available, Kerry opted for Birthfit, a weekly antenatal exercise class run by a former midwife, that would help keep her active during her pregnancy.

When Kerry began the course with Birthfit in January she was nearly 17st and, after attending every week, her weight gain remained stable. At 35 weeks she had gained just under a stone.

In April, Kerry said “I wish this service had been around in my previous pregnancies, where I put on two or three stone”. She says that the support from Maternal Lighten Up was “brilliant”, and that the tailored exercises she practiced through Birthfit helped her back problems more than physiotherapy sessions had done.

Kerry, who had her baby in June, also said that, being a third time mum, she really didn’t expect to learn anything new, but “I was amazed to be learning new things every week. I thought the programme was brilliant and would recommend the service to any mums to be”.

Rachel’s story

After Rachel was referred to Maternal Lighten Up, she chose to work with a Maternal Health Trainer, Richard McKenzie, who helped her to come up with her own healthy eating and exercise plan. She saw the benefits straight away, and made this statement just two weeks after her initial appointment: “I’m finding it motivating keeping the behaviour diary and monitoring my food and activity. I feel that my diet and exercise level has been good over the last two weeks and in balance.”

Richard has helped Rachel to stick to her healthy eating plan and regular sessions of yoga, and now she’s on track to give birth without having put on too much extra weight. In this video, taken just last week, she tells us, “I’m feeling really positive!”

Losing 5 stone? That’ll be the Health Trainers

Health Trainer Paul Clarke’s client, Jenny*, was referred into the Health Trainer Service as she wanted to lose a bit of weight and also was very keen on learning more about healthy eating.

Sitting down and discussing her lifestyle, Jenny was easily able to identify the reasons behind her problems in losing weight. She also explained that she had managed to quit smoking with the help of Call to Quit, and identified that the constant support and weekly monitoring really assisted in her achievement her goal of quitting. Jenny said that she was able to give up smoking because of all the support she had.

Jenny and Paul decided that weekly monitoring would really help with weight loss.  Paul explained to Jenny about the Lighten Up programme which would help her to receive the support she required with losing weight.

Paul encouraged her to attend a trial session at Weight Watchers to make sure she enjoyed the programme. Paul and Jenny were both happy with the programme and indeed Jenny had lost 4lbs in the first session!

Following on from this, Jenny had lost a further 9lbs, taking her weight loss  to 13lbs. Although she was happy that she was losing weight and had almost lost a stone to this point, and had set herself a target of losing a total of 55lbs – with the support of Paul and Lighten Up

Over the next 10 weeks Jenny lost   40lbs  – Which was AMAZING!! Her BMI had also decreased in this time from 31 to 24

Although the progress Jenny made was excellent, she was still determined to lose the final 6lbs to reach her target weightloss of 60lbs. Within 3 weeks of her final appointment she contacted Paul to confirm the good news that she had lost the final 6lbs she had hoped for.

In total, Jenny lost 68lbs, or an equivalent of 4 stone and 12 pounds and has vowed to keep strict on her lifestyle choices and is enjoying the time being able to be more active with her daughter.

A great example of working together, well done, Jenny Paul and the Lighten Up team.

*names changed to protect identity

Getting Healthy and Losing Weight for the New Year

In November 2011, Susie* was referred to the Health Trainer Service through her GP surgery.

 

Like many, Susie was keen to lose weight, but with the festive season looming around the corner, she thought it would be a challenge to commit to any goals. Traditionally Christmas & the New Year would bring more sugary indulgences and larger portion sizes, not to mention the excess of wine.

 

Susie was allocated Keiran McKenzie as her Health Trainer. During the initial assessment on the 13th December, Susie told Keiran how she had previously struggled to lose weight and how her weight had increased over the last 2 years. She had tried cutting out chocolate, and even tried cutting out snacks after 8pm; all to no avail.

 

Keiran was able to listen to her problems and offer alternative advice on healthy ways to lose weight and improve her life. Susie embraced the advice given, and after setting herself some realistic goals, she was ready and determined to face Christmas.

 

Having enjoyed her Christmas season, whilst keeping to her goals, Susie returned in the New Year, unsure of what the outcome would be. To her delight, she had lost 3.2lbs, and is now even more eager to stick to her goals. This goes to show how healthy eating can in fact be just as enjoyable, whilst helping you lose a few pounds if executed correctly.

 

Well done to Susie and Keiran!!

 

* name changed to protect identity