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Eat for two during pregnancy? A rebutted myth
Many pregnant women are unsure of exactly how much to eat. It is very important that families, and especially women, are educated about healthy eating during pregnancy. This can potentially protect the health of pregnant women and their unborn babies. Researchers found that about 69 percent of pregnant women are unsure of exactly how much to eat during pregnancy.
National Charity Partnership (Diabetes UK, British Heart Foundation, and Tesco) scientists found in a survey that over two-thirds of pregnant women (69 percent) in the UK don't know exactly how many extra calories they get during pregnancy should take, the press release organization.
Pregnant women are often encouraged to eat larger meals
Of the female subjects, 63 percent reported influencing other people who wanted to motivate them to eat larger meals. 14 percent of pregnant women surveyed even stated that they are constantly exposed to this pressure.
Healthy eating during pregnancy is important
National Charity Partnership works with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG) to help those affected eat healthy during pregnancy. For example, the myth that women have to eat for two during pregnancy should be dispelled. A healthy diet during pregnancy is important to prevent unwanted weight gain, the authors explain.
What are the benefits of healthy eating for mother and child?
The myth that pregnant women should eat for two if possible has been around for years, but this advice is not helpful, explains Alex Davis from National Charity Partnership. Rather, the consumption of healthy food during and after pregnancy is very important. Such a diet also reduces the risk of pregnancy and birth complications. In addition, health problems such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are avoided, the scientists explain.
How many calories should women consume during pregnancy?
"We encourage all women to think about how to eat healthier," says Davis. The new information is also said to make it easier for pregnant women to adopt a healthy diet. For example, NICE's official guide advises that energy needs should not be changed during the first six months of pregnancy. In addition, women should only eat around 200 additional calories a day in the last trimester of pregnancy. This corresponds to two pieces of whole grain toast with olive oil or a small handful of nuts, seeds and dried fruit, the experts say. However, many women do not know these rules.
Women often eat too much during pregnancy
According to the survey, more than one in three pregnant women believes that she needs to eat 300 or more extra calories a day. About six in ten women (61 percent) think that they have to consume the additional calories in the first or second trimester, the doctors say. One in four pregnant women (26 percent) use pregnancy as an excuse to eat unhealthy snacks and meals, the experts add.
Effects of increased food intake during pregnancy
Consuming too much food during pregnancy leads to increased weight gain. This, in turn, can be harmful to both mother and baby, the researchers say. Women who are overweight during pregnancy are at increased risk of miscarriage and develop symptoms such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and preeclampsia. Such women also need a caesarean section more often and are more likely to give birth prematurely, bleed after delivery or even develop life-threatening clots, the experts add. In addition, overweight women have larger babies who, in turn, tend to become obese and can therefore develop significant health problems. (as)