Dieting During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy Isn't The Time to Diet

It seems that for many females, dieting is an important part of their lives. In fact, many women diet more than fifty percent of the time, always trying to reach or maintain the "ideal" weight. However, there is a time when dieting to lose weight is never a good idea. For women who are pregnant and breastfeeding, weight loss should never be priority number 1.

Why Not?

Pregnant mothers have increased nutritional needs. It’s true that you don’t have to eat twice as much as normal, like many people assume, but you certainly need to eat more than you would if you were dieting. Your developing baby will receive what is needed to grow first, but if your diet is lacking in key nutrients, you will be the first to suffer (and the baby may suffer as well).

Don’t try dieting when you’re pregnant or nursing. A pregnant mother needs about an additional 300 calories a day during pregnancy. Making sure those calories come from nutrient-packed foods is essential. Empty calories are simply not going to cut it. Quality foods that make the most of every calorie are needed.

Nursing mothers also need an additional 300 to 500 calories per day mainly because breastfeeding does cause a mother to burn more calories than usual. Well-known weight loss programs such as Weight Watchers won’t even accept pregnant or nursing mothers because pregnancy and lactation are not times in a woman’s life when she should be worried about dieting.

Pregnancy and Eating Disorders

If you think you have an issue with anorexia or bulimia and you’re pregnant, than it is important that you seek help immediately. Discuss your concerns with your physician so you can be referred to the appropriate healthcare professionals who can assist you with overcoming your problems. Dieting and pregnancy don’t go together at all, so allow yourself the freedom necessary for a healthy pregnancy and if you do suffer from an eating disorder, tackle it head on so your baby won't suffer as well.

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