There's a new edict in the land of pregnant women. It is a very strong suggestion that women, who are significantly overweight or obese when they become pregnant, gain little if any weight during their pregnancy. With 1/5 of pregnant women in the US obese at the time of conception, doctors are pressed to find the best recommendations that ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
A new four year study called The Healthy Moms Study aims to curtail significant weight gain in pregnancy if the woman already carries too much weight. Doctors hope to keep these seriously overweight pregnant women within a weight gain of only 3% of their current weight. Typically a woman who smokes or drinks can easily get motivated to drop that habit during the nine months of pregnancy. A woman who is overweight usually justifies additional weight gain during pregnancy - a dangerous habit for mommy and baby. This new trial will offer obese, pregnant women twice/week meetings with a dietician, a support group, and a target goal of 2000 calories/day. This is being called an experimental approach to pregnancy since weight gain as always been an acceptable hallmark of a healthy pregnancy. The upside of controlling weight gain in these women is the anticipation that the pregnancy will have fewer complications, including lowered risk of gestational diabetes and hypertension; the downside is the possibility that no weight gain means mommy will burn her own fat and create an acidic or ketone driven environment for the baby. More ketones in the maternal blood stream might be associated with more difficulties for the growing fetus.
One other plus is that the diet changes and habit changes these moms adopt during pregnancy could carry over into their lives after pregnancy, especially in the family kitchen. That could mean healthier meals for the family, more exercise, a healthier home life. And when you factor in the temptations and stresses that the holiday season offers, that could spell serious weight gain for an already obese pregnant woman. This is a time of year when you need to decide that the baby is the gift of the season - not the many foods and treats that are typically high in fat, sugar and salt. If you are already carrying too many pounds, or you've gained too many pregnancy pounds, then consider adopting a few small habit changes to keep holiday overeating at bay:
- Hold a glass of sparkling water in one hand and your clutch in another to avoid eating all the hor douvres being passed
- Have a food budget in mind when you go to the buffet which includes salad, a protein and a small serving of a side dish
- Nix creamy drinks, sauces and desserts
- Have fruit and one small sliver of a cake or pie for dessert
- Get up and move around during the meal
The healthy habits you choose will support a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby!!
Published On: December 17, 2009