Dieting between pregnancies bad for baby

Filed under: Your Pregnancy, Nutrition: Health

Being pregnant means gaining weight - that is just the way it works. I know that when I was pregnant, I took the opportunity to indulge in whatever I craved. I gave birth twenty-five years ago and still remember the food I ate during my pregnancy. My diet consisted of a lot of fresh oranges, McDonald's filet o' fish sandwiches, Frosted Flakes cereal and corned beef hash. With the exception of the oranges, my diet was not all that healthy, but I enjoyed every bite.

I gained about thirty pounds when I was pregnant, but because I was so very young, it came off with very little effort on my part. But for fully-grown, adult women, it usually doesn't work that way. After the baby is born, you find yourself overweight and begin dieting. If you are lucky, the weight comes off eventually. But then you get pregnant again and the cycle starts all over.

According to researchers, this gaining and losing of weight can actually be harmful to your unborn child. They say that dieting between pregnancies can result in an increased risk of premature birth, stillbirth and high blood pressure. Basically, losing too much weight can prevent the body from providing an adequate supply of the nutrients needed during your next pregnancy.

They aren't suggesting you remain overweight until you have completed your family. Rather, they give some very common sense advice - try to maintain your healthy weight before, during and after pregnancy. That is easier said than done, no doubt.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.