Private maternity services could be a good option for mothers-to-be who want to improve their knowledge of nutrition and healthy living.

A recent review paper published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology stated that health professionals should use the fact that pregnant women are more aware of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy to educate them about weight management issues.

However, Jacqui Clinton, health campaigns manager for research charity Tommy's, noted that there is "very little advice" available during pregnancy for women who want to improve their knowledge of weight management while carrying a child.

She added: "Health professionals rarely intervene due to several reasons; there are very limited referral options and they are unsure of how to initiate the conversation and have concerns related to safety and resources."

Ms Clinton added that pregnant women should make sure that they get plenty of folic acid, calcium and vitamin D during their gestation period.

"But equally," she noted, "there are some foods best avoided in pregnancy, including all types of pate, liver, mould-ripened cheese and raw eggs." 

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