Is it Safe to Diet while Pregnant?

Diets, healthy eating habits and nutritional guidelines are hot debate topics. When to eat? How much to eat? What to eat? These are just a few of the questions that garner a wide variety of answers from the health experts. With obesity at an all time high in the US many women are now wondering if it is safe to diet while pregnant. Facts to Consider Approximately 20% of all expectant moms will face obesity issues during their pregnancy. Many of these women are already overweight when they become pregnant and almost 50% of expectant mothers will gain far too much weight during their pregnancy. Obesity for pregnant women is a condition that has been linked to gestational diabetes. Some obstetricians stress that pregnant women who are overweight are more prone to develop problems such as cardiac dysrhythmias, pre-eclampsia and gestational hypertension. Diet and Pregnancy Why would someone diet when they are pregnant? Vanity is one reason. Some pregnant women believe that dieting will help control bloating and water retention. Healthy weight gain is a normal part of being pregnant and should be embraced by the patient and physician. An overweight woman may want to monitor their weight a little more closely during the pregnancy but crash diets are not advised under any circumstances. Zealous Dieting when Pregnant can Lead to Health Problems Doctors caution that persistent dieting during a pregnancy has a number of inherent risks. Dieting women face problems such as premature delivery, dehydration and the chance of delivering a baby with a low birth weight. Expectant mothers who eliminate too many calories while pregnant could ultimately damage their own health as well as the health of the fetus. Eat Healthy Foods Researchers have shown that healthy diets are important for pregnant women. A well-balanced diet is critical for optimum physical health of both the mother and baby. Instead of following a crash diet a pregnant woman should enjoy a sensible diet each day. In order to limit unnecessary weight gain a pregnant woman should eat more whole grains, nuts, fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Eliminating refined foods and sugary snacks will also help women control their weight gain during the pregnancy. Stay Active Exercise is another key factor that should be combined with any sensible eating program. The exercise routine does not have to involve strenuous workouts, and should first be approved by an obstetrician. Most pregnant women can generally tolerate activities such as resistance training and walking. Even activities such as tennis, golf, swimming, cycling and mild aerobics can be enjoyed by women during the early stages of pregnancy. Summary It should be noted that women who control their weight during pregnancy will be far less likely to develop potentially devastating health conditions such as eclampsia, pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes. There are also fewer reports of early labor and gestational hypertension in women who eat sensibly and exercise on a regular basis.