Canadian recommendations exist for energy intake (EI), physical activity (PA) and gestational weight gain (GWG) to help pregnant women avoid excessive GWG and attain "fit pregnancies". Our objectives were: 1) to measure daily EI, PA and GWG to observe whether pregnant women were meeting recommendations, 2) to explore the impact of health care provider advice on PA and GWG, and 3) to determine behaviours associated with recommended weekly GWG.
Women (n = 81) were recruited from prenatal classes. Current weight and self-reported pre-pregnancy weight were documented. Current PA levels and provider advice for PA and GWG were surveyed using questionnaires. Dietary recalls and pedometer steps were recorded for three and seven days respectively.
The majority of our women were classified as having average pre-pregnancy body mass indices (BMI) of 23.3 +/- 4 kg/m2, average EI of 2237 kcal/d and energy expenditure (EE) of 2328 kcal/d, but with weekly rates of GWG in excess of current recommendations despite having received advice about GWG (74%) and PA (73%). Most were classified as sedentary ( 8.5 MET-hr/wk.
Health care providers need to provide appropriate PA and GWG guidelines to pregnant women. Development of pregnancy step and MET-hr/wk recommendations are warranted in order to promote greater PA during pregnancy.