Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Diet & exercise during pregnancy has benefits:

A healthy diet and mild exercise during pregnancy is beneficial for mother and baby.
By Motherpedia
Date: October 22 2014
Tags: pregnancy,
Editor Rating:
pregnant-woman-walking

It might not be obvious on the scales, but healthy eating and increased physical activity from walking during pregnancy is directly associated with a range of improved outcomes at birth, according to researchers from the University of Adelaide.

"While it might have been expected that healthier eating and increased physical activity during pregnancy would be associated with differences in weight gain, our findings highlight that weight gain in pregnancy is not an ideal measure of pregnancy health," says study leader Professor Jodie Dodd, from the University of Adelaide's Robinson Research Institute and the Women's and Children's Hospital.

"Importantly, however, these changes in diet and physical activity were directly associated with significant improvements in outcomes for babies.

"Women who received dietary and lifestyle advice increased the number of servings they consumed per day of fruits and vegetables, while reducing the percentage of energy in their diet derived from saturated fats.

"Women were also successful in increasing their physical activity, with about 15-20 minutes of brisk walking on most days of the week," Professor Dodd says.

Study leaders have previously reported a significant reduction in the number of babies born over 4kg to women who received the diet and lifestyle advice during pregnancy.

The researchers now also report a range of other benefits for these babies, including a reduced chance of moderate to severe respiratory distress syndrome and reduced length of stay in hospital.

"Approximately 50% of women are overweight or obese during pregnancy. Until this study was conducted, there had been little evidence about the overall benefits of dietary and lifestyle interventions on this group of women," says study co-author Dr Rosalie Grivell.

"Our hope is that by following some simple, practical and achievable lifestyle advice, pregnant women can improve their health and the outcomes for their babies. We would, of course, recommend that these lifestyle changes be adopted as much as possible before women become pregnant," Dr Grivell says.

The study is the biggest of its kind in the world - offering healthy eating and exercise advice to pregnant women who are overweight or obese - and is published in the journal BMC Medicine.

Share This Tweet This Email To Friend
Related Articles
pregnancyweights
Investigating lifting & pregnancy.
Read more
pregnant_and_exercising
Exercising during pregnancy has many physical and emotional benefits so…
Read more
pregnant_woman_exercising
Pregnant and want to exercise? Try the pool, walking and…
Read more
pregnant-mum-outdoors
Pregnancy doesn't mean having to put up with aches and…
Read more
Nit-wits-cover

The Reason Why Nits Are Not Hard to Ditch
Australia's head lice expert reveals how to manage nits easily and 10 things you never knew about them

The-wiggles-wiggle-around-australia-giveaway-cover

Win 1-of-10 The Wiggles: Wiggle Around Australia DVD Giveaway
Are you ready to wiggle your way around Australia?

Designer-dishware-hero

Designer Dishware
5 Tips For Revitalising Your Kitchen

Unspoilt shoalhaven cover

New Adventures Await with Shoalhaven 100 Beach Challenge
Join the challenge!

Globber my too fix up cover

We Try: Globber My TOO Fix Up
A scooter that grows with your child

Throw a winning cricket pitch

3 Steps to a Winning Backyard Cricket Pitch
Ex-Adelaide Oval legend curator Les Burdett shares his tips for getting your backyard cricket pitch test match ready this summer

A bike that follows your kids life cycle - motherpedia - cover

A Bike That Follows Your Kids Life Cycle
Check out the Bunzi 2-in-1 gradual balance bike!

Img 1414 x1

Weekend Recipe: Barbecue Bananas
Surprise your guests at a summer BBQ with this no fuss-dessert that’s bursting with goodness from Australian Bananas.

Easter-holiday-cover

How to Plan a…
Five tips to making the most of the upcoming break

Easter-egg-hunt-for-dogs-cover

Join Australia’s largest ever…
Sydney-siders, no matter how many legs you have - you’re up for a treat over the weekend.

Perth openair cinemas

Ben & Jerry’s Openair…
What's showing?

Moonlight-cinema

A Mega March of…
Moonlight March program announced!