In a recent study undertaken by the Monash University Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, it was revealed that 75% of women don’t have a healthy weight gain during pregnancy. The study is considered as the most comprehensive and largest one – done on about 1.3 million pregnant women.
It was led by Monash University Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences’ Professor Helena Teede along with Dr Rebecca Goldstein. They reviewed more than 5,300 cases across Europe, Asia and the US.
Unhealthy weight during pregnancy can cause a lot of complications for the mother and the baby. Moreover, it can cause complications during delivery. The study was published in the “Journal of American Medical Association” and stated the high rate of unhealthy weight gain during pregnancy.
“We know what to do and now need to implement the available evidence into action to help women and the next generation be healthier,” Professor Teede said.
The study also found that women who gain too much weight during pregnancy can have certain health risks after pregnancy and their children are more likely to be obese.
Women who gain less than the recommended amount of weight gain during pregnancy are more at risk of premature, and underweight babies.
Professor Helena Teede who was a part of the study, said the current study “represents the largest contemporary international snapshot of women’s weight coming into pregnancy and their weight gain during pregnancy, how this is impacting their and their baby’s health and the healthcare system.” She added, “This latest study means – more than ever – that weight needs to be monitored in pregnancy and women provided with support to improve lifestyle. Health professionals need to be encouraged and trained in having “healthy conversations” introducing relatively simple effective lifestyle interventions to support women before, during, and after pregnancy.”
Based on the new evidences, Professor Teede emphasises the need for urgent strategies for healthy weight in mothers both before and during pregnancy. She recommends that women gain between 12.5-18kg for underweight women, 11.5-16kg for healthy weight women, 7-11 kg for overweight women and 5-9kg for obese women during pregnancy.
Important findings from the study:
- 23% women gained less than healthy weight gain
- More than 50% gained more than the required healthy weight gain
- 8% women were at risk of having an underweight baby
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