Healthy eating, controlled weight gain and regular physical activity during pregnancy can keep you and your baby healthy. It is normal to gain weight during pregnancy as your baby grows and your body changes to support your baby’s development. However, gaining too much weight can increase your risk of developing gestational diabetes and your baby’s risk of becoming overweight. If you develop gestational diabetes your health professional will refer you to the Diabetes Endocrinology Ambulatory Care Centre (DEACC). Telephone 98456224.
How much weight you gain depends on what your weight/BMI was before you became pregnant.
- Aim to eat a wide variety of different foods every day to ensure you are getting the right balance of nutrients. Pregnancy and healthy weight - Healthy Weight Guide; Food Standards Australia and New Zealand.
- Eat regular small meals and snacks and watch portion size. See the Healthy Eating Pyramid here.
- Choose water as your main drink avoiding sugary drinks like soft drink, cordial, sports drinks and juices
- Choose high fibre foods like wholemeal or multigrain bread, wholegrain cereals with oats or bran, and wholegrain crackers
- Choose healthy snacks like a piece of fruit, a small tub of low fat yoghurt, 4 wholegrain crackers with low fat cheese, 1-2 cups no added salt or butter popcorn, vegetable sticks with salsa or hummus or ¼ cup nuts
- Limit added fats by using only small amounts of margarine, butter and oil, choose lean meats and trim visible fat or skin, limit deep fried foods, processed snack foods and takeaway
- There is no need to ‘eat for two’ during pregnancy. You don’t need to eat any extra food for the first 6 months of your pregnancy
- You may only need an extra 200 kilocalories or 840kilojoules per day extra in the last 12 weeks.
For examples of how much food 200kcalories is, see below
|3 medium apples
||¼ C raw nuts
||2 small bananas
||3 slices bread
|2 small chapattis
||2 slices low fat cheese
||A small chicken breast
|¾ cup cooked rice
||1 C cooked pasta
|1.5 kg celery
If you are hungry, fill up on vegetables
- fibre in vegetables fills us up and has few calories
- limit starchy vegetables such as potato, sweet potato, taro, peas and corn
- bread and cereal are good sources of fibre but remember to watch portion size
- fibre can help improve blood sugar levels, if you have diabetes
- fibre help keep your bowels regular
- gradually increase your fibre intake
- drink 8 glasses of water fluid each day.
| Bamboo shoots
|| Snake beans
|| Snow Peas
| Bok choy
|| Spring onion
| Brussel sprouts
| Beans (green)
|| Green beans
| Button squash
|| Mung Beans
This includes foods that are high in fat and sugar.
|Spreading fats (e.g.butter)
|| Salad dressings
|| Ice cream
Make sure your diet is varied and includes adequate amounts of fruit, vegetables, whole grain cereals, dairy and meat or meat substitutes. You can find out more about your diet and nutrients here.
What should I do if I am gaining weight too quickly?
Contact your midwife at Westmead Women’s Health clinic who will make a referral for you to see a dietitian.
What should I do if I am not gaining enough weight?
You may have morning sickness for the first trimester and may lose some weight. Contact your midwife to discuss these issues.