SERVICES: Women in Peterborough are being offered the chance to avoid excessive weight gain during pregnancy and to lose weight after giving birth.

A one-year pilot project, run by Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Foundation Trust, enables midwives to offer vouchers for 12 weeks’ free membership of Slimming World to women who are overweight. 

Head of midwifery Penny Brett said: “Out of the 4,680 births we handled last year 700, or 15 per cent, were to women with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 and half of those had a BMI over 35.”

The scheme emphasises a healthy diet during pregnancy to avoid excess weight gain, rather than dieting.