For many women, pregnancy is a time of excitement, nervousness, and anticipation, with many challenges and changes experienced during the transition to motherhood.
Perhaps one of the most well-known changes during pregnancy is weight gain, which is both expected and required as part of a healthy pregnancy while your baby grows. However, gaining above the current pregnancy weight gain recommendations has been associated with less positive health outcomes for both mum and baby. This may include such outcomes as a greater risk of miscarriage and caesarian-section delivery; and a heightened risk of lifetime obesity for both mum and baby.
While diet and exercise are often recommended as a means of preventing excessive weight gain, these approaches often result in only limited success. However, emerging research has suggested that the way we think about and react to food at the cognitive level may be an important factor in managing weight gain and maintaining a healthy weight.
This may be particularly relevant to expectant mums-to-be, as up to 81% of women report greater levels of forgetfulness during their pregnancy. The phenomenon, often called “baby brain”, may play an important role in food choices and weight gain during the gestational period.
Given the significant health implications for both mum and baby, our team aims to better understand how pregnancy and the so-called “Baby Brain” phenomenon may potentially affect how expectant mums think about and react to food, and how this might relate to healthy weight gain during pregnancy.
For more information on what participation involves, click here.