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Celebs 'pile pressure on new mums'

Six out of 10 new mothers feel under pressure from celebrities to lose their pregnancy weight quickly, a survey found.

Some feel down when they look at images of celebrities who "bounce back" into shape, and many wish they could turn to their midwives for help with managing their weight.

The survey of more than 6,000 mothers for Netmums and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), found 61% thought their midwife did not have enough time to discuss weight and nutritional concerns at their first antenatal appointment.

Most (84%) thought the care they received from midwives on the topic was "neutral", "poor" or "very poor", and 73% would like to see midwife-led classes on the NHS focusing on healthy eating and weight.

Of those surveyed, 64% thought it was the role of midwives to provide encouragement and support on nutrition and losing weight.

While pregnant, women said their image of themselves ranged from "disgusting", "elephant-like" and "fat ugly big, embarrassing" to occasional thoughts of "happy and proud".

Almost half admitted to being worried about their weight during pregnancy, with concerns over how much they should gain and shedding the pounds afterwards.

Some 41% said they were overweight when they got pregnant, or weighed more than they would have liked. Many were confused about what was considered overweight in pregnancy and whether they would have their chances of giving birth naturally cut dramatically.

In July, a report from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) said obesity levels among pregnant women have reached epidemic levels. Around one in five pregnant women are obese, and more are overweight.

Obese pregnant women are at greater risk of pregnancy complications and are more likely to experience miscarriage, difficult deliveries, premature birth and to require a Caesarean.

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