Overweight and obesity are major global public health issues that contribute to disease burden by increasing the risk of chronic disease and their associated complications. Over half the adult female Australian population are classified as being overweight or obese. Women of reproductive age have one of the highest rates of weight gain in Australia.
Approximately 50 per cent of Australian females who become pregnant are purported to be overweight or obese and 50% of pregnant women have a weight gain during their pregnancy in excess of the recommended limits.
There are a number of well documented adverse outcomes associated with excessive weight gain and overweight and obesity during pregnancy. One of these adverse outcomes is an increased risk of stillbirth. At Westmead Hospital, two-thirds of pregnant women were born overseas and some of the culturally and linguistically diverse popultions groups (CALD), such as the South Asians, have a much highter risk of stillbirth. Our dietetic clinic at Westmead Hospital promotes best practice in the provision of health care for CALD communities and aims to enhance the quality of services and minimise health risks for the diverse populations of Western Sydney. For healthy eating information in a range of languages, please click on the following link: Healthy Eating — MHCS
Women who are able to keep their gestational weight gain to within the recommended limits, show significantly reduced rates of foetal and maternal complications.
During the antenatal period is an ideal time to take the opportunity to make changes that will optimise the outcome for mothers and their babies.
We, at Westmead Hospital Women’s and Newborn Health care about your pregnancy, and having a healthy outcome for your baby. We know that early intervention and regular contact with a dietitian is important.
For information on and balanced diet during pregnancy, please click on the link below:
Article by Caron Blumenthal,
Senior Clinical Dietitian and Scientist
Women’s and Newborn Health, Westmead Hospital