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Diets During Pregnancy

Volume 638: debated on Thursday 29 March 2018

6. If the Government will take steps to adopt a cross-departmental approach to improving women’s diets during pregnancy. (904683)

The Government are very keen to work collaboratively to help everyone to improve their diet, including women during pregnancy. Dietary guidance for women before, during and after pregnancy is available on NHS Choices and Start4Life, and via health professionals.

Even with my large number of children and grandchildren, I am sure that the hon. Lady knows more about this than I do, but it is essential that pregnant women have a healthy and sensible diet. The approach on the ground is not joined up. Local authorities’ health education budgets have been under-resourced, and there is no join-up between health education and the other players.

The hon. Gentleman is, of course, a father and a grandfather to many, so he knows an enormous amount about this. He is absolutely right that co-ordination across the piece is absolutely vital. It is also vital that we help to protect the less advantaged to make sure that everyone is able to have the healthy diet that they need during their pregnancies. That is why we have the Healthy Start programme, which helps hundreds of thousands of pregnant women, families and children under four who live in low-income households to sustain a healthy diet.