Last Thursday, I had the privilege of speaking on behalf of Eating Recovery San Antonio on nutrition for pregnant mothers and mothers with eating disorders. There were about 30 medical and therapeutic professionals who attended and turned out to be a fantastic event.
I wanted to share the cliff notes from my talk so that you or others you know might benefit from my research. Check out the condensed version and feel free to comment if you have any questions.
- Weight Trends – The latest weight trends since 2011 show that more women are overweight or obese at the time of conception.
- Correlation of Mother’s Weight & Health Postpartum– There is a correlation between overweight and obese mothers to gestational diabetes, postpartum weight retention, cesarean rather than vaginal births and childhood obesity.
- Nutrient Needs – Pregnant mothers are in need of increased amounts of folic acid, iron, calcium, vitamin D, Omega-3 and water. Women trying to get pregnant should begin making changes, as often women do not know they are pregnant until a few weeks into her pregnancy.
- Timing of Weight Gain – Timing of weight gain varies for mothers, but tends to occur more gradual in the early part of the pregnancy and increases as the pregnancy goes on. Every woman is different though and individualized recommendations should considered when medical professionals are making suggestions.
- Exercise – For women who are healthy and have a normal pregnancy, exercise (cardio and strength training) is recommended. Always ask your physician! There are signs/symptoms that would require a woman to stop exercising and should be addressed with her physician.
- Infertility – Infertility can affect both men and women. Causes could be related to health, dietary/lifestyle habits or medical diagnosis of diseases, hormonal imbalances, eating disorders or sexually transmitted infections. Altering nutrition can help improve fertility for both genders.
- Mothers with a History or Active Eating Disorders – Mothers with a history of or active eating disorder can negatively impact the mother as well as the growth and development of the baby. Often women with irregular menstrual cycles assume they cannot get pregnant and as a result end up with an unplanned pregnancy. Eating disorder behaviors may be increased during or after pregnancy and can even change. Seek help and reach out if you are currently struggling.
When or how would going to see a Registered Dietitian (RD) during pregnancy help?
- A physician may recommend a mother with a high or low BMI to see an RD to reduce high risk pregnancy.
- Gain knowledge of what nutrients and how much is recommended for a healthy pregnancy.
- Learn how to change your daily intake to improve signs, symptoms and overall health of the mother and baby.
- If a couple is struggling with fertility an RD can assist with dietary and lifestyle.
- Severe morning sickness may cause lack of appetite or even weight loss. An RD can help make personalized suggestions to reduce morning sickness.
- Diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes can be scary. An RD can help a mother learn how to manage blood glucose.
- Learning about food safety recommendations.
- Manage medical diagnoses along with pregnancy by learning more about how diet and lifestyle can impact both.
- Women with an active or history of an eating disorder often benefit from having a health care team of a physician, therapist and RD.
If you have any questions or feel this blog would benefit others please pass it along. I would be more than happy to chat further about any of the information above. As always, I appreciate your likes and follows!