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Curb Your Appetite: New Rules For Expectant Moms

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Besides the obvious, the joy of becoming a parent, pregnancy has other fringe benefits, such as the “excuse” to go off your regular diet. Again while no one is suggesting that you overindulge and pick up poor eating habits, a nibble of a much-craved scoop of ice cream or cookie could be just what the doctor and baby ordered. In fact, giving in to our cravings, even pre or post pregnancy (in moderation) is recommended highly over deprivation.

Still, gaining even the recommended amount of pregnancy weight has now been linked to raising your child’s risk of obesity and being overweight (by age three) by four times, especially in comparison to ladies to gained less than the suggest amount.

So, what that means for expectant moms is the obvious. They should NOT gain any more weight than what is advised by doctors and the standards. But, it also goes a step further, suggesting that women should try to gain less weight than previously suggest and remain at the low end of the recommended range. However, some add that women should also try not to gain less weight than suggested at the lower end of the expectancy spectrum.

According to experts the recommended weight gain varies among women depending on pre-pregnancy weight and a combination of her height and weight, commonly referred to as the BMI or body-mass index.

Here in the United Stated, the average, healthy, expectant mother is encouraged to gain between 25 and 35 pounds over the course of her nine-months “with child”. In Canada however, these same women are advised to gain only between 25 and 30 pounds over the same time frame. Still, those with a higher BMI are encouraged to gain less weight while those with a lower BMI can frequently have a little more leeway.

Also, according to recent research, despite the general guidelines, most ladies were inclined to gain more weight than recommended, with only about one-third staying within guidelines, and about 14 percent falling below the average.

And, while experts don’t necessarily know how mom gaining extra weight affects a child’s propensity toward being overweight by age 3, the correlation, they say is definitely there. In fact, women with diabetes also tend to give birth to bigger babies who also have a tendency toward being overweight later in life, which experts note suggests that some factor in the womb has a direct affect on the child’s future.

Interestingly enough, the study also revealed that poor health habits between mother and child had little if any effect on the outcome. Plus, the research revealed that many of these moms were also not devoid of proper care, with most having a good education and health benefits.

Experts add that the results (of the test) also show the effects of “excess” weight gain on mom, such as not being able to drop the extra weight and putting herself at risk of obesity. Plus, gaining too much weight may result in a larger baby, which may in turn result in difficulty in delivery or the need for a Caesarean section.

On the other hand, gaining too little weight puts the child at risk of having low-birthweight, placing it at different risks. So, the key, say experts is balance, adding also that current guidelines may need to be revised. For now staying at the low end of the weight gain spectrum or somewhere in the middle is likely your best bet.


Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > Curb Your Appetite: New Rules For Expectant Moms

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