Pregnancy nutrition is a balancing act.

It includes optimising your nutritional intake and limiting at-risk foods, while considering pregnancy side-effects. Other priorities are managing weight gain within recommended ranges, plus balancing appetite and activity levels.

Pregnancy and Nutrition

Simplify your pregnancy journey by tailoring nutrition advice to your preferences and lifestyle.

Pregnancy weight gain –

Why just setting a number is the wrong conversation

Focusing on a number, a one-size-fits-all, a simple target out of context, is not helpful and potentially even harmful.

Pregnancy weight gain advice has changed considerably over the years as evidence has emerged about its links to the health of both a mother and her baby and as the age, background and health of childbearing women has changed.

So, why do we focus on healthy weight gain in pregnancy? Well, studies tell us that weight gain outside of the guidelines is linked with negative health consequences for both a mother and her baby. Pregnant women who gain weight in accordance with guidelines have the lowest risk of pregnancy and birth-related complications.

The amount of weight to gain in pregnancy differs based on a woman’s pre-pregnancy body mass index or BMI.

But weight is more than just a number … having a focus on the numbers on a scale (or in a table!) can be unhelpful. It doesn’t tell us the quality of what a mum is eating and nourishing her growing baby with, it doesn’t tell us how full or hungry she is, and it doesn’t tell us how active she is.

An obsessive focus on weight out of context can be stressful and cause anxiety – so that’s why we believe that monitoring weight is just one part of the puzzle with healthy pregnancy weight gain. As dietitians we also want to support women to  make healthy food choices, eat to appetite, and be physically active, and check that baby is growing appropriately on scans.  We also believe that we have a duty of care to support women in achieving these healthy lifestyle goals – a core focus of the work of Lifestyle Maternity dietitians.

Did you know …

Quick facts about nutrition and pregnancy

Too often in pregnancy women hear the messages of ‘what to limit or avoid’. This restrictive approach can cause worry, be exhausting and send a very negative nutrition message at this time. It can also result in a less than nourishing diet.

While safe food choices are very important for pregnancy health, the key nutrition messages for pregnancy are to take a supplement that contains sufficient folic acid and iodine, aim for 2 & 5 (2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of veg a day), and swap sugary drinks (soft drink, juice) for water. Simple messages with strong health links for both mum and bub.

Unsure if you need a

Individual consultation or self-paced, online course?

We offer individual consultations and self-paced online courses as we know you all have different learning styles and budgets. Attending an individual session OR online course with a Lifestyle Maternity dietitian will allow you to assess your diet against recommended guidelines and identify changes that can be tailored to your lifestyle and dietary preferences.

In our self-paced online course you will be encouraged and guided to assess your own health habits against pregnancy recommendations, participate in activities around setting health goals for optimal nutrition and learn how to adapt your routines with confidence to achieve these goals to make them stick.

An individual consult involves a more thorough assessment of your dietary and lifestyle patterns with a personalised action plan being developed in collaboration with the dietitian.

Both formats give you access to the Lifestyle Maternity members Pregnancy members’ area resources. Here you will be able to download our Nutrition Essentials for Pregnancy handout, our Nutrition Extras for Pregnancy handout, worksheets that guide your setting of lifestyle goals, as well as nutrition, physical activity and pregnancy weight gain trackers.

Have you been diagnosed with

Gestational Diabetes?

We would love you to learn to manage your blood glucose levels while still meeting your pregnancy nutrition needs through participating in our innovative gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) model of care.

Once you book your GDM package with Lifestyle Maternity you will be sent:

  1. a one-page sheet that summarises your NEED-TO-KNOW dietary modifications. This will help you get your head around and changes you may need to make,
  2. an introductory video to support your first week after diagnosis. It’s a GDM explainer plus more in depth dietary information,
  3. a diary to start keeping a WEEK LONG food and blood glucose record. This will allow your Lifestyle Maternity dietitian to review your progress BEFORE your SECOND appointment with us.

Your individual consult will involve a thorough assessment of your dietary and lifestyle patterns with a personalised action plan being developed in collaboration with the dietitian. This will involve tailoring best practice nutrition guidelines to your personal circumstances and preferences to optimise your health once bub arrives.

The cost of the GDM package (your individual assessment and plan PLUS being sent the starter information sheet, PLUS video link and food and blood glucose diary paperwork, PLUS the review and assessment of this diary by an expert maternity dietitian) is $185. Current Lifestyle Maternity clients will received reduced rates for this appointment ($140).

Each subsequent “review” appointment costs $105. This includes out-of-appointment review of your BGLs and diary prior to each appointment. At your third appointment (your second ‘review’) you will receive a PeNut + Lifestyle Maternity GDM Cookbook (RRP $49). This will help give you extra meal time inspo and includes 30 dietitian-designed, low GI recipes (10 breakfasts, 10 lunch/dinners, and 10 snacks).

As international (and our) research has shown, better outcomes (better blood glucose levels, reduced medication requirements, improved dietary quality and physical activity levels) result from women attending one assessment appointment and at least 2 review appointments with a specialist GDM dietitian.

A postnatal assessment and plan is also recommended. This is due to the increased risk of type 2 (permanent) diabetes in women who experience GDM in their pregnancy. Read more about GDM here.

Post pregnancy?

Find out why postpartum nutrition is so important

Nourish yourself while caring for your new baby with our practical lifestyle solutions and support.