Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Eating for Two?

... You hear it when you're pregnant! It's fun when you're looking to splurge. It leads to fueling delicious cravings, but it's all a myth.

Sadly, don't tell that to my trice-pregnant self. I swear every one of my pregnancies was an "eating for two one-woman campaign". Even before having my first child my husband would yap about how he'd single-handedly fatten me up. So wrong! 

There's no such thing as eating for two.

Pregnant women are eating for themselves and a growing fetus. In fact, a woman should actually only eat 300-600 extra calories (per day) than her usual pre-pregnancy consumption, if that consumption is adequate for one's height and weight. That comes down to adding something like one PB&J sandwich, NOT a rack of ribs with a side of ice cream cake. Sure, there's variance to consider for all women, so check with your doctor early on in pregnancy to discuss just how much more you should healthfully eat.

And here's why...

Your post baby bod will thank you! Too many moms-to-be get sucked into an over-eating phase of pregnancy to think about the havoc it wreaks. Stretch marks and saggy skin may in fact come with the pregnancy territory, but excessive eating can exacerbate the outcome. So when you're tempted to overeat imagine the toll your body will take both externally and internally. My midwife warned me plenty that I was overeating. She showed me the excess fat just under my belly button that had nothing to do with a growing baby! She tried to help, but I didn't listen and no amount of crunches can fix that now!

Your baby will thank you! Not only will a healthy balanced eating pattern fuel baby, but it will fuel a soon to be exhausted new-mom! The newborn phase needs all the help it can get. Rev up your body with good foods and habits that will lead to added energy not lathargy post-delivery.

Your doctor will thank you! Eating too much does have its complications for mom and baby. Gestational diabetes (GD) is a common byproduct of overeating while pregnant. This is an ailment where babies develop diabetes in their mothers' wombs. Keep your eating habits healthy to actually reduce possible birth complications such as GD. In my case, I ate so much my children were all 9+ lbs. This wasn't ideal. It also wasn't safe. In the end, I was lucky, but my children could have been very easily born via c-section all because they were simply too large to delivery. I also had to test three separate times for GD during each of my pregnancies. That wasn't fun. Who wants blood drawn every hour for three hours on an empty stomach, well, empty if you don't count the disgusting sugary drink you must consume three times as part of this medical exam? Yuck!

Did you over-eat while pregnant, too? Or know a mom who does? 
Were you more of the balanced, healthy eater? Share your input in the comments section!

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