How Many are You Eating For?

Creative Commons License photo credit: DioBurto

You know by now that “eating for two” isn’t the same as eating twice as much food as you otherwise would eat. Your baby needs you to bring in about 300 extra calories a day, and to get the right types of nutrition. Being pregnant isn’t an excuse to overeat.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that pregnancy doesn’t make you want to overeat at times. In most cases, this doesn’t result in an amount of weight gain beyond what’s normal and healthy during pregnancy. For some women, however, it does.

Unfortunately, that weight gain can be a problem down the road. It can cause a number of immediate health concerns, and it can put you at a risk of being obese for the rest of yoru life.

Gaining too much pregnancy weight

One recent study demonstrated that gaining a significant amount of weight when you’re pregnant can contribute to a number of health problems, including:

  • Higher risk of developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy
  • Higher risk of developing diabetes after pregnancy
  • Higher risk of preeclampsia
  • Higher risk that your baby will become diabetic
  • Higher risk that your baby will be obese
  • Higher risk of complications during delivery
  • Higher risk of infection
  • Higher likelihood that you will need a cesarean section

These are all problems that you can face in the immediate future, and that can affect you and your baby for a long time to come.

Lifetime weight gain

On top of those specific health risks, if you gain more than a moderate amount of weight during pregnancy you’re going to be less likely to take that weight off. More than two thirds of women in this study who gained at least 50 pounds during pregnancy were still in the “obese” category as much as 10 years after their baby was born.

The next time you sit down to eat for two, remember: you need to make smart food choices, give your baby the right nutrition, and minimize all of those health risks of an unhealthy level of weight gain.

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