Put down those Krispy Kreme donuts! Apparently, being pregnant is no longer an excuse to indulge in all our favourite foods. And we can no longer say we’re eating for two! Why, oh why are they taking away every bit of enjoyment we pregnant women have!
A ground breaking new Australian study has found that ‘eating for two’ is no longer a legitimate reason to over eat and the case and has called for dietary guidelines to be reviewed.
The University of NSW suggests that metabolic changes in pregnant women allow them to conserve more energy and extract more calories from food so they can lay down the fat stores needed for a healthy pregnancy without eating more.
Changes in gut bacteria in pregnant women and resistance to insulin and leptin — a hormone associated with the feeling of being full — also allow them to extract more energy from food.
Women who do eat a lot more during pregnancy may put on too much weight, putting them at risk of pregnancy complications including gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia.
The mother could become obese and her baby could be at risk of premature death from heart disease, it says.
More than 50 per cent of pregnant women gain more weight than that the recommended 11-16 kilograms, particularly those who are already overweight or obese, says UNSW researcher Professor O’Sullivan.
“These findings suggest the need for reassessment of nutritional advice given to pregnant women, as current advice to increase energy intake may be increasing the risk of excessive gestational weight gain,” he said.
The study followed 26 women throughout their pregnancy and monitored their diet and weight gain.
Sixteen normal weight, five overweight and five obese women took part and were studied at three time points: 12-14 weeks, 24-26 weeks and 34-36 weeks of gestation.
The women provided a diary of what they ate over a three-day period in the first, second and third trimester of their pregnancy.
Fat stores are necessary during pregnancy, however the notion of having to eat extra in order keep up energy supply for the baby is in fact false. A woman’s body changes during pregnancy is able to draw more energy from the same amount of food she’s eating, in order to provide nutrition for her growing baby.
Pregnancy-related changes in gut microbiota could potentially allow pregnant women to absorb more calories from their diet for fat storage without changing the caloric or macronutrient intake.
Did you eat for two during your pregnancy? What was your constant craving?
Photos courtesy of Google Images
Check out these “parenting quotes for real life” – I bet you’re nodding your head – especially the one about chocolate!