Expectant-mums to be weighed during every antenatal visit in Australia

Doctors in Australia are being encouraged to carry out routine weigh-ins at antenatal visits in a bid to monitor expectant mums’ weight.

The hospitals will also offer diet and exercise advice to pregnant women.

Experts believe these new guidelines will help tackle weight issues and obesity in pregnant women.

“The recommendation for health professionals to provide advice to pregnant women about weight, diet and physical activity, and the opportunity to be weighed, will help women to make changes leading to better health outcomes for themselves and their babies,” the guidelines state.

People aren't impressed with the new guidelines due to fears mums may be ‘fat-shamed’ during the weigh-in.

Experts believe the guideline will help tackle obesity in pregnant women: “This provides an opportunity for clinicians to provide advice to a specific group about a modifiable risk factor that may improve health outcomes for themselves and their baby at a time when women are particularly interested and motivated to make positive changes.”

“While we know that vitamin D deficiency exists, we don’t have good evidence that treating it makes any difference to pregnancy outcomes and makes any difference to baby outcomes, so it’s really not an effective screening tool,” she continued.

Women will be given the option to be weighed during every visit, but they do have the option to say no.

The updated guidelines have also removed vitamin D testing.

Lead author Caroline Homer explained: “Routine testing of all pregnant women for vitamin D status and subsequent vitamin D supplementation is not supported by evidence and should cease as the benefits and harms of vitamin D supplementation remain unclear.”

What do you think of the new guidelines? Should other countries follow in Asutralia's footsteps or is there a need for weigh-ins at antenatal visits.