In search of balance: promoting healthy gestational weight gain

Astrid Cornelia Maria Joseph Merkx

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal prepared

996 Downloads (Pure)


This dissertation describes the issue of weight gain during pregnancy. According to the guidelines, women should gain no more than 12 kilos during pregnancy, depending on their BMI. Healthy weight gain is advantageous for the long-term weight of both the mother and the child and reduces the risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery. However, effective interventions only exist for obese women in the form of a supervised diet.
Based on weight gain descriptions by 455 healthy pregnant women, pre-pregnancy BMI does not influence whether or not the woman is able to stay within the weight gain guidelines. A decrease in exercise was the only influential factor associated with too much weight gain. More than half of the women exercised less and experienced pregnancy-related symptoms and complaints.
Merkx wants to draw attention to the importance of healthy weight gain during pregnancy, irrespective of BMI, and to the positive effects of exercise during pregnancy and the role of the midwife in the overall health of the woman and child.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • de Vries, Raymond, Supervisor
  • Ausems, Marlein, Co-Supervisor
  • Nieuwenhuijze, Marianne J., Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date19 May 2017
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • pregnancy
  • weight gain
  • prevention
  • midwife

Cite this