Making pregnancy news today is the study that suggests almost a quarter of women are not gaining a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy, while more than half are gaining too much weight.
Researchers from Monash University conducted the study, reviewing data from more than 5,300 studies.
They warned that expectant mothers who gained too little weight were at an increased risk of premature birth and delivering smaller babies.
Professor Helena Teede said the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, detailed the high rate of excessive weight gain in mothers at the start of pregnancy.
"Women need not eat more in the first trimester, a bit more in the second trimester and just a little more again in the third," she said, as reported by the ABC.
Professor Teede said the increase in weight was somewhat due to the fact that women were becoming pregnant later in life, also highlighting the fact that younger women were putting on weight at a faster rate than the generations before us.
On the flip side, those who gained too much weight were put at risk of requiring a cesarean birth and having children who were overweight and obese.
Believed to be the world's largest study of pregnant women in developed countries, the international research found at the beginning of their pregnancy:
- 38 per cent of women were overweight or obese
- 7 per cent were underweight
- 55 per cent were at "normal weight"
It also found that, during their pregnancy:
- 23 per cent made "less than healthy" weight gains
- Almost half made "more than healthy" weight gains
Finally, she said the weight of the mother was a key determination of the health of the mother and baby, and the long-term health of both.
"This latest study means that weight needs to be monitored in pregnancy and health professionals need to be trained to provide support," she said.