The weight-loss/dieting/ I'm too fat epidemic among pregnant women



  1. I learned quite a bit about nutrition, since I am deeply interested in medical field. What I see these days is truly scaring me.
    Because I am pregnant myself, I visit some pregnancy on-line boards and one of them is weight gain board. I have my own concerns, since I've gained 30 lb in 5 months, so I watch my calories now because of strong possibility of gestational diabetes, not just vanity.

    I saw SO many posts on that board from women, who are 4,5,6 months along with weight gain of only 6 - 12 lb complaining that they are afraid to be FAT, that they watch their diet, etc.
    It is different with people who can't gain or those who are obese, etc. , but these girls are obviously in normal range, just withholding proper nutrition from their growing children.
    I realize that amercian culture "encourages" girls and women to be extremely thin through media, etc., but I had no idea it was that bad and I didn't know that many unborn babies are under such threat, on top of everything else threatening their well being.

    Do you see many patients at work who are not gaining weight on purpose or did i just stumble on a particular bulleting board with too many laidies who have eating disorders?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   L&D.RN
    No, just the opposite. I'm wondering if the docs aren't talking nutrition at all. I just had a lady this week with a 90+lb weight gain...that's awful, and lots of ladies with at least a 50lb weight gain. Maybe that's just here, but that's scarey too.
  4. by   fergus51
    I tend to see the younger moms (early 20s) obsess about weight gain and getting fat. I find it extremely disturbing and I think it reflects on maturity level and ability to parent. I mean, think about it, if you are more concerned about preventing a normal weight gain than ensuring your developping baby grows well, are you really ready to be a parent?
  5. by   moonshadeau
    I have to agree that there is a strong emphasis on how much weight you gain. I am 27 weeks and have gained a total of 18 pounds, 6 of which I gained between week 19 and 23. My doctor told me that I was two pounds overweight, but that he was going to overlook it for now. I am hardly even showing in comparison to my other coworkers that are much earlier in their pregnancy. So, suffice to say I was appalled when he said this to me. I do enjoy the occasional Ben and Jerry's but I am not stuck in the trough bin 24 hours a day.
  6. by   Anagray
    That's terrible, moonshadeau! How can he say that? This OB is a nut, just like mine were. I gained 95 lb with my son and noone seemed concerned until my BS was 197 ( i was oblivious to nutrition).
    I'm sure u look wonderful and doing just fine
  7. by   researchrabbit
    Back in the 50s, when I was born, my mom (who was an L&D nurse in the 50s & 60s, later moving on to public health) tells me that pregnant women were encouraged not to gain ANY weight (my mom gained no more than 5 pounds with each of us). Not only that, she (and many other moms) smoked.

    All 4 of her kids were in the 7-8 pound range, all normal babies. We all grew just fine and are all above average intelligence. I'm the only "fluffy" one; my sibs are all skinny as rails.
  8. by   kimmicoobug
    Up until I was seven months pregnant with my son, I gained only 3 lbs. I am not a heavy individual, but just average in build. I watched what I ate, but ate well. My doctor was not concerned and said everything looked great. I ended up gaining 36 lbs total in my pregnancy, with 20 of it between week 38 and 41.3 weeks.

    With my daughter, I chowed like a horse and put on 46 lbs. Both of my kiddos were nearly nine pounds each.

    I do think there is concern for pregnant moms not eating enough. I have discussed this on this board in the past about my concern with my SIL. She gained about 8 lbs in her pregnancy to avoid getting fat. She had me telling her about spilling ketones and her OB and dangers to the fetus, but didn't care. She also wanted a smaller baby (thinking it wouldn't hurt as bad) (insert rolleyes here). I also know of a few other moms with the same kind of mentality.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Yanno, I curse ALL OB's who tell patients their weight is inappropriate unless it is a DANGEROUS AMOUNT! (I remember when pg with my son, I had gained NOTHING for 20 weeks and then gained 6 pounds---a total of 28 lb altogether and kept hearing how I was gaining "too fast") UGH!

    I discussed this issue somewhat in the breastfeeding thread when talking about patient *education*. Typical OB's don't' spend but 5-10 minutes with patients and NOT TOO TERRIBLY MUCH OF THAT TIME IS SPENT ON EDUCATION--- which is a shame, considering how knowledge is power. CONVERSELY, I find patients who have seen midwives/NP's (early in pregnancy) have a MUCH healthier concept of their pregnancies, deliveries and body images, weight included. If we are to help abate the obsession with weight gain and what is appropriate, we must EDUCATE patients from DAY ONE of prenatal care. WE MUST discuss appropriate NUTRITION and place much less emphasis on NUMBERS. Each person is an individual; she will gain accordingly and if she chooses HEALTHFUL foods and follows good nutritional guidelines, her weight gain will be APPROPRIATE to her body type/pregnancy. A constant or sudden trend of TRULY rapid weight gain is another story, obviously, and must be investigated.

    I think ALL pregnant women, especially those seeing busy obstetricians, would benefit from a dietician's/nutritionist's consult, whether "healthy" or not. Midwives/NP's typically include dietary subjects in their prenatal teaching. Simply, We MUST encourage dietary education and diary-keeping in order to see where changes may be needed to ensure optimal nutrition and help moms make appropriate and desireable choices. This would go FAR in ensuring healthy weight/nutritional status in pregnancy.

    But I agree, young women already hear enough about weight and see enough in the media that encourages the ultra-thin body type as the ideal. It is not gonna happen overnight; women will continue to obsess about weight, rather than spend time thinking about HEALTH for some time to come. Pregnant women are no different. No surprise here to me. Very sad.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Apr 8, '03

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