"Eating For Two" Has Consequences For Mom And Baby

For further information about nutrition in pregnancy, contact Melissa Maimann at Essential Birth Consulting. Article

There is more medical evidence that pregnant women should steer clear of advice to "eat for two."

Alison Stuebe, M.D. ... reviewed data for more than 1,300 women and found that those who consumed extra calories ... were more likely to gain more than is recommended during pregnancy that's 35 pounds or more for a woman with a normal body mass index, or BMI.

Stuebe found that eating an extra 500 calories a day increased the odds of gaining too much by 10 percent. "That's the number of calories in a muffin or a bagel with cream cheese at Dunkin Donuts," Stuebe says. "It doesn't take much for the calories to add up."

Gaining too much weight is linked with complications at birth, such as pre-eclampsia or requiring a C-section, as well as higher odds that both mom and child will be obese later in life.

... Several eating habits reduced moms' risk of gaining too much. Women with vegetarian diets in early pregnancy were half as likely to gain an unhealthy amount of weight, and those who exercised vigorously for a half hour a day reduced their risk by 20 percent. The researchers also found that consuming more monounsaturated fat, found in olive oil and nuts, was linked with a lower risk of excessive weight gain.

... It might be obvious that a healthy diet and exercise reduce the odds of gaining too much weight during pregnancy, but more and more women are doing just that. Part of the problem is that providers don't counsel moms on weight gain, Stuebe says. Other studies have shown that moms who get advice from their doctor or midwife are more likely to gain in a healthy range.

... Eating fried foods "was a huge predictor of excessive weight gain," ...

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448