Monday, July 21, 2014

Eating for Two?

Since women have been pregnant since the dawn of time, there has been the connotation that eating for two is the right thing to do and is one of the healthiest actions a new mother can take while being pregnant.  However in recent years, the eating for two bubble has been popped.  Eating for two means eat enough for new mom and new baby that is growing inside.  It does not mean eating for two human beings however. 

 The Conversation recently reported about the suggested weight gains for women who are pregnant.  The suggests weight changes depending on how overweight or underweight the mother was before becoming pregnant. 

“The amount of weight you should gain during pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI). If you’re a healthy weight, with a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9, you should gain 11.3 to 15.9 kilograms. If you’re underweight, with a BMI of less than 18.5, you’ll need to gain a couple more: 12.7 to 18.1kg.

If you’re overweight, with a BMI of 25 to 29.9, you should gain a little less: 6.8 to 11.3kg. For obese women with a BMI of 30 or above, the recommended weight gain is between five and nine kilograms.

If this weight gain sounds excessive, keep in mind that the baby at term makes up only about one-third of this weight. The rest may be made up of other tissues and fluids, including an extra 2kg of blood, 1.5kg of breast tissue, 0.5kg placenta and 1kg amniotic fluid. All of this weight is quickly lost after birth.”

Even though some women strive to eat healthy during pregnancy, most women welcome the cravings and succumb to chocolate cake and pickles.

There is currently a study in Victoria Australia that is looking at the excess weight gain of women during pregnancy.  The study is part of Deakin University in Victoria.
The study is looking at the extra weight that women gain and the psychology behind it.  Emily Kothe, a psychology lecturer at Deakin is behind the study.  It is looking specifically at first world mothers who struggle to maintain a healthy diet despite being highly motivated to do so. Women across Australia are being asked to be part of the study.

"Data from our previous studies clearly shows that it is not a lack of motivation to eat well that causes around half of pregnant women to put on excess weight," said Deakin psychology lecturer Emily Kothe. "Mothers want to eat well for their, and their baby's health.  But something is stopping them from being able to translate their motivation for healthy eating into action."

"We know that we only achieve about 47 per cent of all the things we intend to do, partly due to lapses in self-control that make it hard to act on our intentions even when we're motivated," Dr Kothe said. "So we all have a self-control limit which is more likely to be reached when we're stressed or tired or have been paying a lot of attention to controlling our behaviour. It is possible that with all of the extra things that women have to deal with while pregnant, they simply reach the limit of their self-control when it comes to what they eat."

If you want to learn more about the Deakin Study here is their Facebook Page:

What does “eating for two” mean for you? 

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