There’s a new disordered eating epidemic out there called “pregorexia”! Yes, it is what you think and it’s scary. Pregnant women are sacrificing their unborn baby’s health, as well as their own health, to keep their weight in check during pregnancy. With images of supermodels carrying little bumps on svelte bodies and magically shedding any extra pounds practically in the delivery room, pregnant women are becoming obsessed with how much they gain. The number on the scale has become prominent for pregnant women, which could lead to low-birth weight babies and harm expectant mothers. Nutrients are leached from mother for baby (for example, calcium is leached from the mother’s bones if the baby needs more). This is why extra nutrients and calories are essential during pregnancy.
As far as the guidelines, the average weight woman should gain between 25 – 35 lbs; underweight women between 28 – 40 lbs and 45 + lbs for multiple gestations.
If there’s any message I can give to pregnant women, now is not the time to restrict calories. It may seem enticing to keep the extra pounds at bay, but as a mother of two, I can attest that the weight comes off –especially during the toddler years!
Check out the recent CBS News article at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/08/11/earlyshow/health/main4337521.shtml.
By not eating enough calories — they are risking giving birth to