Friday, March 27th, 2009 - Parent Wellbeing
“By watching the scales you only see part of the picture. By tuning into your body’s needs for food, exercise and rest, you see the whole picture.”
- Jodie Benveniste, author of Full Belly: Comfort and inspiration for pregnancy and birth

New US research shows that 42% of pregnant women are either trying to lose weight or maintain weight when the recommendations are to gain up to 18 kilos (or 40 pounds) during pregnancy.

The study reported in the Maternal & Child Health Journal found that pregnant women in the US were more likely to use exercise rather than diet to either lose or maintain weight.

“Weight gain is a common concern amongst pregnant women,” says parenting expert and director of Parent Wellbeing Jodie Benveniste.

“Gaining 10 or even 15 kilos, although within the safe weight range, can be disconcerting for women particularly when you discover your newborn baby is only responsible for three or four of those kilos,” Benveniste says in the lead-up to the release of her second book Full Belly: Comfort and inspiration for pregnancy and birth (out this month).

In Australia, recommendations are to gain anything from 7kg to 18kg during pregnancy depending on your beginning BMI. Weight loss is not recommended.

“I don’t think we know in Australia how many pregnant women are attempting to lose weight. But even for obese women guidelines recommend limiting weight gain to 6-7kg not weight loss. It is important to monitor weight in pregnancy and avoid excessive gain but weight loss during this time may be potentially harmful for both the fetus in utero and have lifelong consequences,” says Dr Manny Noakes, senior research scientist at CSIRO Human Nutrition, and co-author of The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet.

Pregnancy is an opportunity to overcome body dissatisfaction and body image concerns according to Benveniste.

“With pregnancy you learn a new respect for your body. Your body can create a baby, grow a baby and birth a baby. That’s amazing! Instead of worrying about weight gain, pregnant women should listen to their bodies so they eat healthy food when they’re hungry, exercise when they need energy, and rest when they are tired,” says Benveniste.

Ms Benveniste’s first book, Little Bundle: Comfort and inspiration for new parents, her website www.parentwellbeing.com and corporate Work Family Flow workshops aim to give parents confidence and support with balanced and helpful information about the challenges of parenthood. Full Belly and Little Bundle (RRP $16.95) are available through good book shops and online at www.parentwellbeing.com.

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Jodie Benveniste, founder and director of Parent Wellbeing, has a background in psychology, academic research and human resource consulting. She is the pioneer of a unique approach to work family issues, Work Family Flow, the author of five books, and the mother of two young children.
Jodie Benveniste
P: 08 8278 4342
M: 0412 088 804
W: www.parentwellbeing.com

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New US research shows that 42% of pregnant women are either trying to lose weight or maintain weight when the recommendations are to gain up to 18 kilos (or 40 pounds) during pregnancy.

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