Raise Vegan August 2018 - Page 45

T here is a fear and stigma associated with preg- nancy that prevents many women from having a child altogether. What could possibly hold that power? The answer is weight gain. A seemingly insurmountable amount of pressure is placed on women and their bodies in today’s society. The global de- sire to please our body-sham- ing culture is at an all-time high. While many women are able to ignore the scrutinizing opinions of others and just take care of themselves, many women cave under the pres- sure. This results in restrictive eating, excessive exercise, and (conversely) stress-eating; all of which are detrimental to conceiving and maintaining a healthy pregnancy. It is imperative for a pregnant woman to be evaluated by her healthcare provider, assuring that all necessary milestones are being met. In previous years, 25-35 pounds was the safety recommendation for pregnant women to gain across the board. With better guide- lines, medical professionals are taking women’s pre-preg- nancy weight into consider- ation for a more customized approach. Hayley Rodemsky @babyrodemsky The Institute of Medicine, cou- pled with the Women’s Health Organization, have recently released updated guidelines for weight gain, based upon the childbearing woman’s Body Mass Index (BMI). By fol- lowing the outline created by the IOM, women can prevent life-threatening pregnancy complications such as gesta- tional diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean delivery. For instance, a woman with a normal BMI prior to preg- nancy is still safe to gain 25-35 pounds. A woman with a BMI of less than 18.5 pre-pregnan- cy is recommended to gain 28-40 pounds. A BMI of 25-29 is considered overweight, and women in this category should only gain 15-25 pounds. For obese women, 11-20 pounds is the goal. Keep in mind that these are guidelines, and not rules. Women may lose weight due to factors such as extreme cases of morning sickness, or simply because of their individual make-up, while others can gain double the recommended amount without repercussions (some women, for instance, retain more water and thus gain more weight than others during pregnan- cy). It can be helpful to keep in mind that most of the weight gained belongs to the baby, amniotic fluids, placenta, increased blood volume, and other changes to the body that will naturally return back to normal after birth. Pregnancy is meant to be enjoyed! Try not to worry too much about the number on your scale. Try to focus on eating healthy, nourishing foods, drinking enough fluids, and maintaining a regular (if moderated) exercise routine in order to help your baby grow properly. RAISEVEGAN.COM Raise Vegan 45