Let’s face it; Australia seems to have a serious case of the munchies. And it’s affecting our health. Over-eating naughty foods leads to health hangovers at anytime. However, if you’ve got a bun in the oven (or are thinking about getting pregnant) overeating is bad for both you and your bub. Healthy eating and avoiding sugary temptations before or during pregnancy won’t just help you get back into a bikini after giving birth, it will also help your baby get the best nutritional start in life.
Doughnuts or don’tnuts
When you think about all the nasty health effects of hammering the doughnuts, it certainly makes them seem less appetising. Even before you get pregnant, having a very high BMI can lead to a laundry list of bad health. Carrying those extra kilos makes you more likely to experience chronic health conditions, including diabetes, heart problems, hypertension and deep vein thrombosis.
This doesn’t mean a lady can’t enjoy a treat once in a while, but moderation is the golden rule for ensuring you don’t blow your body mass index (BMI). It’s especially important in pregnancy, a time when a woman’s body grows anyway and excessive weight gain might be harder to detect.
Another ‘pleasant’ side effect of the baby-growing business is the cravings.
Cravings can be hard to control. But even if you really want ice cream on pizza or pickles with chocolate, you still have a choice about how much you give in to it. You just shouldn’t be eating chocolate mousse for an entire army!
You may have heard that pregnant women should ‘eat for two’ and decided not to worry about controlling your cravings. Think again, because while women do need to eat extra healthy food for their baby in the second and third trimester of pregnancy, they definitely don’t need twice as much!
For pregnant women, the list of health problems associated with being overweight is even longer. The risk of developing gestational diabetes or having a miscarriage is greater if your BMI is > 25 kg/m2. Chubby mummies are also more likely to be given a c-section instead of having a natural delivery and develop complications such as preeclampsia, reduced supply of breastmilk and postpartum depression.
Giving birth is hard enough and raising a family comes with its own challenges, so you can make life a little easier by making some healthy eating choices before and during pregnancy. It may be hard at the time, but you’ll save yourself a lot of grief later.
If you’re still having trouble controlling cravings, perhaps knowing that overeating can also cause health problems for your baby (yes, even before it’s born), will be just the incentive you need to say ‘no’.
Who loves ya, baby?
Harming your own health is one thing – but when you over-indulge at the pregnancy buffet, your baby is at increased risk of many health conditions, in childhood and when they are older. Babies born to overweight mums are more likely to have breathing difficulties when they ‘pop out’. When they get older, they are more likely to develop chronic health issues like diabetes or heart problems.
Eating too much during pregnancy can also program your baby’s appetite and metabolism later in life. If the baby learns to metabolise high-fat, high-sugar foods in the womb, it’s more likely to want to chow these foods when it’s born (and develop diabetes and other nutritional conditions as a result). But the opposite’s also true – so why not program your baby to love brown bread and broccoli now and save all those fights at the dinner table in years to come?
With this in mind, it becomes much easier to work up the will power to switch the burgers for the wraps during the baby-making business. It’s not just your bikini figure you’re protecting – it’s the heart and mind of what will be your bundle of joy.
|For more information, see Over-Nutrition Before and During Pregnancy.|