Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew has welcomed updated advice about healthy weight gain during pregnancy.
“Guidance for Healthy Weight Gain in Pregnancy” has been developed for health practitioners caring for pregnant women.
“Healthy eating and activity during pregnancy supports optimal fetal growth and development,” says Mrs Goodhew.
“Like many other developed countries, obesity is an increasing issue in New Zealand. Putting on some weight during pregnancy is normal but too much extra weight can lead to health issues for the mother and baby.”
Around one third of women with normal weight and nearly two thirds of obese women gain more than the recommended amount in pregnancy. It can be confusing for individual women to know how much weight they should gain and how quickly.
The guide recommends that health practitioners discuss with women how much weight they should gain during pregnancy, how to monitor it, and advice on eating and activity to support this.
Mrs Goodhew says the latest guidance complements other work the Government is doing to improve women’s health in pregnancy and the postnatal period and promote good nutrition for their infants and toddlers.
“Talking about weight can be a sensitive topic. But, regardless of how much a woman weighs going in to her pregnancy, she can still make diet and lifestyle changes that can improve her baby’s, and her own health,” says Mrs Goodhew.
The guide will be distributed to health practitioners across the country. Further advice for pregnant women can be found on the Ministry of Health website www.health.govt.nz
Media contact: Rebecca Tane 021 243 3141