Pregnancy diet linked to preterm delivery & above average birth weight
5th March 2014
Knowing that weight gain is inevitable during pregnancy (well you are growing another human!), it’s easy to slip into bad eating habits. The occasional treats often become daily ritual and it’s harder than ever to muster the energy to exercise! Now you all know I’m a great believer in balance and a little bit of what you fancy certainly does you good. However, it’s important to stick with a nutritious balanced diet at this crucial time for your baby and you. This week, two new pieces of research have added further support to the benefits of a balanced diet during pregnancy.
The first study in Australia looked at overweight and obese women and prescribed them a balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins and fats along with a reduction in refined carbohydrates, saturated fats and an increase in fruits, vegetables and fibre. This reduced the incidence of babies weighing over 4000g (8lb 13oz) known as macrosomia or larger than average weight. This is important as babies weighing above 4000g are thought to be at increased risk of childhood obesity – although further research is currently underway in this area.
In another study from Norway a ‘prudent diet’ which comprised of vegetables, fruit, water, fibre rich bread, whole grain cereals, and other wholesome foods was associated with a lower risk of premature birth. Interestingly it was the addition and increase of these foods to the diet, rather than the complete exclusion of ‘junk’ foods which gave the benefit. This means any improvements you can make to your diet by adding in foods from the ‘prudent’ list may have a positive effect, even if you aren’t able to remove the less desirable bits!
All of this is well and good but do we really understand what ‘healthy eating’ is? The research gives us a general idea but with all the marketing surrounding food and the constant information overload from the media, I often find people need more practical guidance and advice. And it’s hard to remember what we should be eating especially when there are other things on our mind (Red or black pram, Moses basket or crib, will 20 muslins be enough etc.!!). So keep an eye on the I Love Greens blog, Facebook and Twitter for more ideas about adopting a healthy diet. Or give us a call for more a dietary analysis and further advice!
I Love Greens
 This figure is often disputed and sometimes set at 4500g (9lb 15oz)