12th March 2018

Promoting a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy

The maternity and dietetics teams at the Trust have been promoting a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy to help reduce the incidence of gestational diabetes which has tripled locally in the last five years.

Gestational Diabetes is associated with large babies and an increased risk of health complications for both new-borns and mothers.

Team at Eastbourne DGH

Team at Eastbourne DGH

Team at Conquest Hospital

Team at Conquest Hospital

Mr Dexter Pascall, Consultant Obstetrician said: “We wanted to promote the message of a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy. The incidence of gestational diabetes has tripled locally in the last five years. We want to help prevent gestational diabetes and the risk it can have on long term illnesses for the unborn baby in the future. Good nutrition and lifestyle during pregnancy really does matter and has a positive effect on both mother and baby.”

Members of the maternity team were present at a display of posters and leaflets as well as being on hand to offer advice about portion sizes, the glycaemic index, breastfeeding, morning sickness and exercise.

Tips to achieve a healthy pregnancy:

• Manage your portion sizes
• Choose high fibre wholegrains
• Include lean protein with meals
• Reduce saturated fats
• Aim for at least 5 portions fruit and vegetables spread throughout the day
• Stay hydrated
• Have a daily pregnancy specific multivitamin
• Minimise foods and drinks high in fat, sugar and/or salt
• Moderate levels of exercise on a daily basis during pregnancy
• Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke it may harm your unborn baby

It is a myth – “eating for two” when pregnant. Avoid excess weight gain, as this increases risk of Gestational Diabetes.