Official health guidelines published recently indicate that expectant moms who follow traditional advice to ‘eat for two’ during pregnancy face an increased risk of complications in subsequent pregnancies.
The Guardian reports that the view that mothers-to-be should ‘eat for two’ is a myth, and that such advice is likely to make pregnant women gain excess weight that they might find difficult to shift. Gaining even one or two pounds can put you at risk of health complications in subsequent pregnancies, and moms are advised to lose all their baby weight before getting pregnant again.
“A woman’s energy needs only increase in the last three months of pregnancy, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) says, and then only by around 200 calories a day – less than an average chocolate bar.”
Dammit. That’ll be why I kissed goodbye to my size 10 skinny jeans when I said hello to my baby boy back in January 2005, then. It seems so cruel to tell me this now, two babies and roughly two stone later. And I don’t know about you but my extra calorie consumption during pregnancy had little to do with the idea that I was supposed to eat for two, and everything to do with the fact that fatigue and nausea only seemed to let up when I gorged myself on carbs. Mind you, five years later that sounds like a lame excuse for the extra inches that are still hanging around.
“But Nice also warns against trying to lose weight too quickly, and says media stories about celebrity claims of ‘unrealistic and rapid weight loss’ after pregnancy were unhelpful. ‘This may create additional pressure on women to lose weight inappropriately at an already stressful time,’ its guidance says. Pregnant women should also be told that moderate physical activity, like cycling to work, will not harm them or their unborn children.”
So we shouldn’t gain weight or eat for two, but we shouldn’t lose weight too quickly either. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. What do you think of the guidelines? Did you eat for two and struggle to lose the baby weight? Does anyone really feel pressure to lose weight after giving birth because of all those post-pregnant skinny celebs? Am I completely alone in seeing those pics as legitimate reason to console myself with another custard cream? Joking aside, how do you really feel about your post-pregnant pounds?