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Pregnancy: are you gaining the right amount of weight?

Pregnancy: are you gaining the right amount of weight?

Friday 1st December 2017

A recent study has found that not gaining a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy puts mothers and babies at an increased probability of various health risks.

Research concluded that 75% of women do not gain a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy. The study, led by Monsah University researchers in Melbourne, Australia, discovered that women who gain too much weight during pregnancy are at a higher risk of having a large baby and undergoing a caesarean birth, whereas those women who do not gain enough weight have an 8% risk of having an underweight child and an 8% risk of premature birth.

The results revealed that 23% of women did not reach the recommended weight gain during pregnancy, whereas 47% of women gained too much weight. The study emphasized the recommended guidelines for healthy weight gain during pregnancy, which are 12.5kg to 18kg for underweight women, 11.5kg to 16kg for healthy weight women, 7kg to 11kg for overweight women, and 5kg to 9kg for obese women.

Professor Helena Teede led the research team, and emphasised the importance of women and health professionals closely monitoring weight gain during pregnancy; "Women need to be aware of what their individual recommended healthy pregnancy weight gain is and note that the old stories of confinement or resting throughout pregnancy and eating for two are not healthy for mothers or their babies."

Moving forward, Teede spoke about the importance of having healthy conversations with health professionals regarding the issue. "For health services and policy makers' recognition that effective simple health lifestyle interventions are available and now need to be incorporated into routine care to optimise reach and availability for all women."