.Is a pregnancy diet a good idea?
You have probably heard about the risks related to a plus-size pregnancy…
They include complications in delivery and health risks to the baby.
However, what can make it even worse is going on a fad diet just before, during or right after the pregnancy.
There are already numerous risks related to dieting, even without pregnancy!
For this reason it can only get worse with a baby bump.
A Pregnancy Diet Before Pregnancy
During pregnancy, your body is naturally designed to put on a layer of fat for your energy needs at delivery and breastfeeding. Therefore, if you begin dieting just before pregnancy, the mechanisms in your body see the reduced nutritional intake as a sign of starvation. Hence your body goes into panic mode and begins storing up fat at a faster pace than normal. In the end, you gain more weight during pregnancy than you should.
The last thing you want to do is turn your plus-size pregnancy into a plus-plus-size pregnancy. Therefore avoid dieting just before pregnancy, otherwise the resulting excess weight gain during pregnancy can lead to an extra-big baby, with the related delivery complications, as well as increased chances of gestational diabetes. The best way to avoid such complications is to simply maintain a normal healthy diet combined with exercise.
A Pregnancy Diet During Pregnancy?
The natural weight gain during pregnancy can push some women to start dieting. Doing this could be even worse than dieting before pregnancy. Even if such a diet is focused only on cutting down on intake of calories, your body will be depleted of vital minerals and vitamins, especially B vitamins. Remember that you should take enough nutrients for yourself and your baby without comparing yourself with other moms-to-be. At such a time, there are many changes happening within your body (the most important being that tiny human being growing inside you) and they all require enough supply of nutrients. If you don’t need the calories, most probably the little guy does.
What would happen if you cut down on calories while pregnant? The first and most significant thing is your baby would be malnourished, thus increasing his/her chances of being born underweight. Even if born with normal weight, lack of proper nutrients during pregnancy may lead to health issues in your new-born baby.
A Pregnancy Diet After Pregnancy?
So, after delivery, you assume that you can now get rid of the extra pounds you gained during pregnancy by dieting, right? Wrong! You must avoid this for a number of weeks to several months. Such a time is crucial for getting enough nourishment to sustain breastfeeding. Moreover, there are many physically demanding tasks in taking care of your new bundle of joy, you would hardly cope if running low on ‘fuel”.
Fortunately, there’s some good news for many plus-size women, particularly those on the higher scale: within several weeks following delivery, those extra pounds simply disappear. You can easily lose more than 20 pounds! That’s a big relief for those who dread getting any bigger than they already are. Such dramatic weight loss occurs because of an increased metabolism in pregnancy. This increased metabolism gradually normalizes after pregnancy, which gives enough time to burn excess fat in the short period after delivery. However, you should remember that you are now past pregnancy, hence your eating should change accordingly – if not, you can easily regain the lost weight.
Obviously, there are women who don’t lose weight naturally after pregnancy. For such women, it can take a period of 9-12 months to lose the weight gained during pregnancy. This should not demoralize you, since it took 9 months to gain that weight anyway.
Getting into Shape
Do you know what is the best way to handle your weight issue just before, during and right after pregnancy? It is simple: you just have to accept yourself as you are. Do not judge yourself by what the scales say about you, rather treat your body with love and care and it will love you back. Consider how you would love your baby just as he/she will be. So start by loving yourself just as you are. Treat yourself to a good healthy nutrition and do the exercises that you can – the surest way to a good, healthy weight. A positive perception of yourself will also spur production of feel-good hormones in your body, which also contribute to weight-loss.