Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Now pregnant women are responsible for the obesity epidemic too?

This article bugs me. I have no research to refute it with, nor have I read the studies to see how well they were done. But I have an instinctual aversion to it. It feels to me like the easy way out – when you can’t find the cause of a problem, try blaming pregnant women.

Some questions I have:
1. Why is family baby weight history not mentioned? I was over 8 pounds at birth and I imagine my husband was too. I’d guess my father was too. So even if my mom gained less weight than I did, large babies run in our family because we are big people. My 8 pound 10 ounce baby was just what I expected, regardless of my weight gain.

2. My doctor in Bolivia predicted at 10 weeks, based on the growth to that point, that I’d have a four kilo baby. He was right. At that time, I don’t think I’d gained any weight at all. I ended up gaining about 60 pounds. But the baby was still 4 kilos.

3. I’m an outlier on the tall side when it comes to height for women. My husband is on the tall side of men. So it’s natural that we would expect to have a larger than average offspring. I don’t expect I would gain the same amount of weight as a smaller person expecting a smaller offspring.

4. I know several women who gained 50-60 pounds, who delivered healthy, large babies, who eat well and exercise, and whose children have grown into healthy and not overweight toddlers and young boys/girls. These women have lost the excess weight post-baby. What is the point of making women like this stress out when they are already suffering and worrying enough during the travails of pregnancy?

5. Is there a correlation between women who gain an excess amount of weight during pregnancy and women who make poor nutritional choices for their children? Perhaps it’s the latter part that is the greater concern.

I may be a little defensive on this subject, given my 60 pound weight gain last time around. But I started out about 10 pounds under my normal weight and I eventually lost 50 of those 60. Since I started out underweight, I pretty much returned to normal. So far I’ve gained 18 pounds this time around, with 16 weeks to go. I suppose if I really watched what I was eating, perhaps I could stay within the 25-35 pound weight gain. But I tend to put on the weight in the latter half of the pregnancy, so I expect I’ll go beyond that. And I don’t really feel like stressing out about it when I eat a lot of healthy food (in addition to some sweets), exercise, and am in the process of creating and nourishing a healthy baby.

Thanks to his 8 pounds and 10 ounces, River survived my milk taking a week to come in and the pound he lost didn’t affect him much. Yes, he was a chunk around a year of age, but he lost the fat when he started moving and is now a slender toddler. He eats vegetables and sushi, fruits, yogurt and whole grains. I let him have occasional sweets, but very little in the way of processed foods and refined grains.

Childhood obesity is an issue that concerns me and I take active steps to ensure my child is well nourished and gets exercise. But I’m not going to take the blame for what I eat during pregnancy. Give me a break.

What do you think?

No comments: