While being pregnant does not give a mother free reign to devour everything in the pantry it does not warrant a strict regime that sees the consumption of only celery and carrot sticks in lieu of real food
(PRWEB) August 22, 2012
Pregnant women used to gush, “Oh I can’t wait to splurge on chocolate ice-cream, pickles and jam-filled donuts. I’m eating for two after all!”
These days you’re more likely to hear the words, “How many calories does that lettuce leaf have?”
Jessica Simpson recently gave birth to a baby girl, having gained almost 20 kilos during her pregnancy, but it seems the focus is on how quickly she’s going to shed those kilos. Homegrown starlet, Jessica Marais barely sported a bump during her pregnancy and after the birth of her daughter Victoria Beckham stepped out a few days later showcasing an unearthly svelte figure. The pressure to appear slim post-baby has many women striving for almost non-existent ‘baby bumps’ and a surfboard stomach within weeks of popping.
Bodytrim recently conducted a survey of over 800 women in both Australia and New Zealand. A whopping 55% of women revealed their first reaction to seeing a ‘skinny’ pregnant woman was envy. 50% of those surveyed harboured a fear of having to lose their baby weight, 88% attributing this to the impact celebrity post-pregnancy bodies have on their own body image.
Dr Natalie Green (B Sc Psy M.Rhb.Cns.D.Psy Clin), a clinical psychologist and rehabilitation counsellor specialising in weight loss and weight management comments:
“There is undoubtedly increasing pressure placed on women through celebrities and the media as we strive to model the people we aspire to be. However with this pressure often comes very selfish and unhealthy eating patterns and behaviour. Endeavouring to maintain a super skinny body throughout and post pregnancy is not realistic and not conducive to adequate nourishment and development of a baby, and not in line with self-care or caring for your baby.
Carrying a baby is a privilege and one that a pregnant prospective mother must take seriously if they are to be the best mother they can be to their child. Whilst being fearful of gaining excessive weight is also quite realistic, it can definitely be taken too far by limiting your food intake, and developing the mindset of counting calories to ensure you gain no (or minimum) weight. The pressure a woman places on herself to limit weight gain can also be a contributing factor to post natal depression and therefore impact on the mother’s relationship and attachment to their baby. This can have longer term and potentially lifelong effects.
The word ‘diet’ itself signals the feeling of ‘deprivation’ and does not tend to have positive associations attached to it. Of course being mindful of what you are eating and ensuring the food you fuel your body (and your developing foetus) with is essential.
Clear messages are given around not smoking, taking drugs and drinking during pregnancy due to the significant ramifications on the baby and the impact on its growth and development and this is no different in regards to food. If you significantly deprive yourself of food, you are also depriving your baby of the food and nourishment it needs to develop and ultimately engaging in neglect or, in more extreme cases, abuse.
It is important in pregnancy to realise that you are eating for two, with the key not necessarily being eating twice as much, but rather making sound nutritional choices. Having the mindset that you are taking responsibility not just for yourself, but for your developing baby will ensure that you are giving your baby the best start in life that you possibly can.”
Bodytrim’s head nutritionist, Daisy Wood (B Food Sc Hum Nut), says the risk of not gaining enough weight during pregnancy is detrimental not only to your baby’s health but that of the mother’s.
“Essentially you’re starving your baby. You’re depriving it of those crucial nutrients necessary for growth, immunity and development. Not only that, a mother is also denying herself these nutrients. While being pregnant does not give a mother free reign to devour everything in the pantry it does not warrant a strict regime that sees the consumption of only celery and carrot sticks in lieu of real food.”
Daisy’s top tips for pregnant women:
- Weight gain during pregnancy should mostly be from the baby, placenta, increased blood volume and breast volume. They key to healthy weight gain for both mother and baby during pregnancy is eating a wide variety of fresh, wholesome foods including meat, poultry, seafood, wholegrains, dairy, fruits and vegetables and minimising packaged or processed food. Eat this way and your body will bounce back post pregnancy much easier, but more importantly, your baby will be given all the nutrients it needs to develop.
- As a guide, principles from the Bodytrim maintenance phase are good to follow while pregnant as they focus on nutrient dense, whole foods as opposed to energy dense foods lacking in vitamins and minerals. Pregnant women would be advised to add additional fruit and dairy serves as well, but of course every pregnant woman should consult their doctor for tailored advice specific to their needs.
- It’s not ok to eat everything in sight – highly processed, calorie-dense foods are just as taboo when you’re pregnant. Highly processed foods are stripped of any essential nutrients and goodness. But we all get cravings and that’s what your Bodytrim free day is for or simply going back to the sensible age old adage of ‘everything in moderation’
For further information on the Bodytrim system contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.bodytrim.com.au
Survey of 830 women conducted by Bodytrim in August 2012.