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Fast Facts - Nutrition and Weight Gain in Pregnancy
Obstetrics 

How much weight should I gain in pregnancy?

This depends largely on your weight at the beginning of pregnancy but as a general guide based on BMI the “target” weight gains (for a singleton pregnancy, no diabetes) are as follows

  • Underweight (BMI <18.5) – 12.5-18kg
  • Normal (BMI 18.5-24.9) – 11.5-16kg
  • Overweight (BMI 25-29.9) – 7-11.5kg
  • Obese (BMI >30) – 5-9kg)

Overall caloric intake only needs to increase by 10-25% as your pregnancy progresses (you’re never really eating for two!).

What makes up the weight gain in pregnancy?

  • 40% of weight gain is baby and placenta
  • 60% of weight gain is due to changes in the mother’s body (extra blood volume, fluid etc)

What impact can dietary intake and weight have on pregnancy?

  • More calories in generally equates to higher weight gain (unless balanced by increased exercise)
  • Higher maternal weight is associated with a higher risk of
    • Gestational diabetes
    • Pre-eclampsia
    • Babies who are large for gestational age or macrosomic
    • Childhood obesity
  • Poor nutrition and inadequate energy intake is associated with
    • Low birth weight babies
    • Increased risk of adult metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes in low birth weight babies

What about pregnancy supplements and vitamins?

There is good evidence for supplementing the following

  • Folic acid to protect against neural tube defects (e.g. spina bifida)
    • 0.5 mg daily for 3 months pre-pregnancy and for the first 3 months of pregnancy in the general population
    • 5 mg daily for 3 months pre-pregnancy and for the first 3 months of pregnancy for women at higher risk (personal or family history)
  • Iodine which is necessary for the developing brain and nervous system
  • Calcium for women with calcium poor diets or who are at high risk for developing pre-eclampsia

There is currently limited evidence to support supplementation with

  • Vitamins A, B6, B12, E, or D
  • Iron in iron replete women

What sort of a diet should I adopt when pregnant?

A generally healthy and well balanced diet is recommended which includes

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • High quality carbohydrates
  • Protein from lean meats, fish, beans
  • Small amounts of sugar, red meat and processed foods

Where can I get more information?

You can always talk to your doctor about general recommendations. In some cases, specific dietary advice may be necessary from a qualified dietitian.

A good broad overview can be found at

http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/health/services/women/services/other-services/upload/CWH-3051517-Pregnancy-Plate-FLY-WEB.pdf

 

Ref: Lowensohn, R et al. Current Concepts of Maternal Nutrition. Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey. 2016;71 (7):413-426

Pregnancy Checklist
Pregnancy Checklist

Congratulations on your pregnancy! If you would like some help thinking through some of the things you need to organise, I've put together a checklist to make sure the important things aren't missed.

Consulting Rooms
Consulting Rooms

Greenslopes Obstetrics & Gynaecology is closely aligned with the Greenslopes Private Hospital which opened Brisbane’s newest maternity facility in February 2013.

Pregnancy Pearls
Pregnancy Pearls

There are many questions and common issues that arise during pregnancy. Here are some short and helpful articles on many common pregnancy issues.

To speak directly with a team member please call 07 3188 5000
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