The National Maternity Hospital launches science-backed, healthy-eating app, ‘Hollestic’ for pregnancy and beyond

By nmhadmin, Monday, 1st February 2021 | 0 comments

Spring is in the air today as The National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street launches its healthy-eating app Hollestic, designed to help women achieve optimum nutrition through the access of up to 100 healthy, easy-to-use recipes for meals and snacks, which are all scientifically backed. This is the first app of its kind in Ireland, which is available to download for free on the App store and Google Playstore.

Download the app at - App Store: click here Google Play: click here 

Researchers at the UCD Perinatal Research Centre combined forces with dietitians at The National Maternity Hospital to translate the scientific evidence for good nutrition in pregnancy into an easy-to-use, free and accessible App. 

Prof Fionnuala McAuliffe, Director of the UCD Perinatal Research Centre and consultant obstetrician at The National Maternity Hospital said, “The Hollestic app is a lovely, real example of how clinical research has translated into a valuable resource for all our pregnant women. Certainly in the current climate, apps like this have an even more important role to play as assess to dietitians and antenatal classes continue to be restricted by COVID19”.

The app was originally trialled in an internationally recognised, randomised control study of over 500 pregnant women at The National Maternity Hospital with the aim of improving nutrition and pregnancy outcomes. Following this study, the app was upgraded with beautiful imagery, top tips for pregnancy and a baby size tracker.

Dr Eileen O’Brien, senior dietitian at The National Maternity Hospital said “With the ever-increasing amount of pregnancy and nutritional advice available and the added challenges posed by COVID19, choosing three healthy meals and 2-3 snacks can be overwhelming, especially for new mums. The app is a direct result of collaborative work designed to equip women with easy and nourishing recipes, which are enjoyable to cook and have been approved by mums, dietitians, obstetricians, and midwives. Hollestic aims to act as a guide, support and motivator for women and their families, helping to ensure dietary needs are met during pregnancy and giving baby the best nutritional start in life.” 

During the month of October 2020, two in three women attending Holles Street said that they go online to find information about nutrition in pregnancy. There is strong evidence to suggest that what a woman consumes in pregnancy has life-long effects on her child. An ideal diet for pregnancy includes a balance of wholegrain carbohydrates, a variety of fruit and vegetables, lean protein sources (including red meat for iron and oily fish for omega 3), at least three sources of calcium-rich foods and limited confectionary. Two supplements are necessary to include daily, as our diet does not provide enough; 400µg folic acid and 10µg (400IU) vitamin D.

Speaking about the launch of Hollestic, Mary Brosnan, Director of Nursing and Midwifery at The NMH said, “We are delighted to launch the app at the hospital today.  The Hollestic App is the newest addition to The NMH suite of online educational resources developed for women during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The app looks and works differently than existing pregnancy apps, taking users through their pregnancy journey with a pregnancy tracker and tips specific to trimesters, while also boosting a vast number of beautifully photographed, nutritionally dense recipes, which are backed by science.”  

The Hollestic App can be downloaded on the App Store or Google Play Store. More information is available at