09 July 2014

Keeping weight gain on track when you’re pregnant

“When you’re pregnant, you need to eat for two!” You’ve probably heard this old wives tale more times than you can count. Most likely, this was common advice in years gone by encouraging women to relax and eat freely when they were pregnant.

Unfortunately by ‘eating for two’ many pregnant women in NZ are gaining unhealthy amounts of weight, putting their baby and themselves at risk of health complications.

The Ministry of Health in NZ has released guidelines for healthy weight gain during pregnancy –helping both baby and mum to stay well from conception to delivery.

Too much weight gain in pregnancy can lead to large babies and complications including caesarean delivery, diabetes and high blood pressure. Not only does excess weight lead to short term complications- but research is uncovering a link showing babies born to overweight mothers are more likely to have obesity in childhood and early adult life.

The recommended amount of weight gain depends on a woman’s pre-pregnancy weight in relation to height: thinner women are encouraged to gain more weight, whereas heavier women are encouraged to gain less.

If you are in a healthy weight range pre-pregnancy, a normal weight gain during pregnancy is between 11.5-16 kg.

The most sensible approach to keeping weight gain on track is to eat a balanced diet through your pregnancy, and to keep exercising at a comfortable level.  You may be surprised you don’t need lots of extra food- check here for just how much you need!

Once you’ve welcomed your little newbie to the world, aim to lose your extra pregnancy weight slowly and steadily. Quick weight loss isn’t healthy and could zap your energy levels leaving you feeling exhausted. Check out our sensible eating plan for new mums.

And if you’re stuck for meal ideas here’s a week’s worth to get you started!

For more advice on healthy eating during pregnancy call our health professionals on the Careline 0800 55 66 66.

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