Good eating habits not only promotes overall general health but it gives you adequate stores of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals to support your pregnancy and your growing baby.
It is also vital for normal organ development and function, growth and maintenance, energy and immunity.
Acceptable weight gain during pregnancy depends on your weight and your body mass index (BMI) before you fell pregnant.
A normal BMI is considered somewhere between 18.5 and 25. The table below provides guidance on weight gain in pregnancy based on pre-pregnancy BMI.
|Pregnancy BMI (kg/m2)||Recommended weight gain (kg)|
|18.5 to 24.9||11.5-16.0|
|25 to 29.9||6.8-11.3|
|30.0 to ≥40||5.0-9.0|
Source: US Institute of Medicine (IOM) 2009
Women, who do not gain enough weight during pregnancy, have a risk of preterm birth. Women who are overweight or gain too much weight during pregnancy have a higher risk of complications including high blood pressure and gestational diabetes.
If you’re unsure or concerned about your weight or BMI, speak to your doctor, midwife or obstetrician. Consultation with a dietician or nutritionist may also be beneficial.
Most women are fertile two weeks before their period starts. However, breastfeeding can delay the return of periods, making it hard for women to know with any confidence when their ‘fertile window’ may be. This is why some women conceive again before their periods have come back.
An epidural is an anaesthetic procedure, where a local anaesthetic is injected into the epidural space near the spinal cord. An epidural anaesthetic numbs the nerves so pain cannot be felt in certain areas of the body.
An epidural during labour helps to block pain signals from contractions. If birth intervention is needed, e.g., caesarean or forceps, an epidural is a common form of anaesthetic.