Expert advice: Will putting on too much weight during pregnancy affect my baby?
Could it affect my baby if I put on more weight than recommended during pregnancy, and what's the best way of avoiding piling on the pounds when I'm eating for two?
A recent large-scale US study highlights the potential complications for mother and baby if a woman gains more or less weight in pregnancy than is recommended. Risks include having large or small babies, preterm birth and caesarean delivery.
These findings have relevance in the UK as one in five pregnant women are obese and they illustrate the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle through a well-balanced diet and exercise before, during and after pregnancy to reduce associated complications.
Having a normal body weight will help increase the chances of conceiving naturally and reduces the risk of pregnancy and birth complications for mother and baby.
It's a myth that women need to eat for two during pregnancy - energy needs don't change until the last three months of pregnancy, when women need an extra 200 calories a day.
To maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy, women should try to base their meals on starchy foods, watch their portion sizes, eat a low-fat diet and fibre-rich foods, and take part in 30 minutes of physical activity each day.
Consultant obstetrician Dr Daghni Rajasingam, a spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
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