My pregnancies were never quite normal. My first and second born were both early and weighed slightly more than 10-pounds 13-ounces, causing quite a bit of weight gain. My third pregnancy was a twin pregnancy and despite the fact that my twins were born six weeks early, they both weighed well over 6-pounds.

Dieting during pregnancy never crossed my mind, but for some women the concept of gaining 25 or 30 pounds during pregnancy is overwhelming, so they attempt to lose weight while pregnant even though they know the choice isn’t healthy. Researchers are now reporting that weight loss during pregnancy is not only dangerous during the pregnancy, but it may lead to a life fighting obesity for your baby. 

In the report published in the FASEB Journal, mothers who gave birth to twins and those who dieted during the pregnancy gave birth to infants at increased risk of obesity and diabetes. While having twins is not something a mother can control, dieting is at the discretion of the pregnant woman. This study is extremely important because it shows that choices made by pregnant women can have a long-term effect on the fetus. Researchers are also claiming that dieting may cause changes in genetic structure to the DNA – thus the long-term negative effect. 

Proper weight gain during pregnancy will vary based on weight at the start of the pregnancy and how many fetuses are growing in utero. Your obstetrician will watch your weight gain closely and tell you if you are gaining too much or too little weight. It is best to listen to the advice of your obstetrician in terms of weight gain and choose healthy, nutritional meals as opposed to diet meals and low calorie/ low-fat alternatives to whole foods. 

Source: Ghazala Begum, Adam Stevens, Emma Bolton Smith, Kristin Connor, John R. G. Challis, Frank Bloomfield, and Anne White. FASEB Journal. 2 April, 2012. 

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