Research published in the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine

Here is more evidence that exercise and a healthy diet during pregnancy are beneficial to both mum and baby.

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In summary: Low or moderate exercise and healthy eating habits markedly decrease the likelihood of excessive gestational weight gain, according to research published in the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. This study, in the August edition of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®, demonstrates that a prenatal Nutrition and Exercise Lifestyle Intervention Program, called the NELIP, was successful in preventing excessive gestational weight gain and reducing postpartum weight retention in women who were of normal weight prior to pregnancy.

A quote from the study:

“Women benefit greatly from being active throughout their pregnancies and physical activity is strongly recommended by professional organizations. However, most pregnant women remain inactive and this may be contributing to excessive gestational weight gain, which is associated with an increased risk for future obesity in both the mother and offspring,” said lead author Stephanie-May Ruchat, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Western Ontario. “Myths about nutrition in pregnancy can also be misleading. For example, mothers-to-be should be warned that ‘eating for two’ does not mean they need to eat twice as much but that they should eat twice as healthy. An increase of only 200 to 500 kilocalories per day in the second and third trimester is recommended, depending on the body mass index of the women prior to pregnancy (the heavier the woman is, the fewer extra calories per day she will need during pregnancy).”

Evidence is growing all the time. I hope this ever growing bank of positive research can start to give women across the world confidence and motivation to stay fit and healthy and not gain too much excess weight during pregnancy.

 

Eating for two during pregnancy: the latest research

Should you diet if you’re pregnant? – 27 May 2012 in the Guardian by Luisa Dillner

This is an interesting article from the Guardian. It talks about a new piece of research in the BMJ that shows that those who watched their weight were 3.84kg lighter and had fewer complications (such as premature birth and pre-eclampsia) than those who didn’t.

This certainly doesn’t mean women should diet and cut calories during pregnancy, but it does mean that there is no need to consume lots more extra calories, particularly during early pregnancy.

Previous studies have also shown that women who are already overweight or who become obese in pregnancy, risk complications not just at birth (including a higher rate of caesarean section, blood loss and infections afterwards) but as their children become adults.

A study looking at the link between mothers’ weight gain and the weight of their children found that decades later their children were more likely to be obese if their mothers had been so during pregnancy.

Yet more evidence that staying fit and healthy during pregnancy is beneficial for mum and baby.