How much is too much – latest research on weight gain in pregnancy
Many mothers now enter pregnancy at an unhealthy weight. Once pregnant, many gain too much weight, increasing risks for mothers and babies and long term risks for women and their children.
At Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, a large scale interventional study led by Professor Helena Teede and Dr Rebecca Goldstein, included a large scale systematic review and reanalysis of data on more than 1.3 million women from US, Europe and Asia. This was published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) on June 6th 2017.
The study reinforces that midwives and their doctors should encourage women to follow the Institute of Medicine Guideline recommendations for weight gain in pregnancy.
These guidelines are based on the mother’s Body Mass Index (BMI) - a comparison of weight and height) at the beginning of pregnancy. Women have different weight gain needs depending on their BMI which can be calculated simply from your height and weight:
Our team at MCHRI have also shown that lifestyle programs in pregnancy that support women in eating well and staying active, can enable women to achieve healthy pregnancy weight and optimise outcomes for themselves and their babies.
Australian dietary guidelines provide advice about the amount of and kids of food women should eat.
In 2015, Professor Teede led the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Case for Evidence-Based Action in obesity prevention, calling for lifestyle intervention in preconception and pregnancy as vital.
MCHRI, in partnership with Monash Health maternity services, are working towards these goals.
For further information about this research, please email Dr Rebecca Goldstein.