A lightened pregnancy, no thanks!

A lightened pregnancy, no thanks!

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The injunction to take the least weight possible during pregnancy, and to find his wasp size soon after, is becoming stronger ... However, for your future baby or for you after, a restrictive diet is not without risk.

  • "I am 4 months pregnant and have already gained 6 kg, yet I am very careful about what I eat ... how not to get fat in the coming weeks?" Testimonies of this type abound on the Web. For their part, women's magazines make us dream in front of these people who find their line in two-strokes after delivery, before / after pictures to support.
  • The injunction to take the least weight possible during her pregnancy, and to find her wasp size soon after, is becoming stronger. "I feel a lot of stress from pregnant women in relation to their weight gain, they would all prefer to take 10 kg rather than 15! Some - they are few, but it happens - put themselves squarely in food restriction," says Anne-Laure Libretto, midwife in Nantes. In the United States, these women are called "mommyrexics" (contraction of the words "moms" and "anorexics").

Weight: moms under pressure

  • The messages of health professionals - and especially gynecologists-obstetricians (mostly men!) - often put pressure. "I think that the discourse of gynecologists-obstetricians encouraging women to limit their weight gain has increased in recent years.The idea nowadays is that the less weight is taken during pregnancy, the better it is. is ", continues Gérard Apfeldorfer.
  • Admittedly, these messages have a very specific purpose: to prevent gestational diabetes and the risk of hypertension. But for many women, it's discouraging. "The expectant moms arrive in my office saying" Oh la la! My gynecologist told me to be very careful because I had already taken too many pounds ... "Result, some pregnant women do not eat their hunger, it does not give a fulfilling pregnancy," said Anne-Laure Libretto.

Baby side: a small weight and deficiencies

  • "A woman on a diet during her pregnancy will tend to drastically limit fat, but the fetus needs essential fatty acids for good growth in general and good development of its nervous tissue in particular. a calcium deficiency will be harmful for the baby, because it is essential for the construction of its skeleton, "says Dr. Norbert Winer, gynecologist-obstetrician in Nantes and specialist in at-risk pregnancies. As a result, a woman in permanent restriction will give birth to a baby of small size and weight. In the longer term, studies have revealed that babies marked by this "nutritional imprint" have a greater risk of developing diabetes, overweight or vascular problems in adulthood. On the other hand, having a baby of "normal" weight (the average is around 3.3 kg) is definitely better for his immediate and future health.

Mom side: serious anemia

  • For the woman, a restrictive diet can cause deficiencies of iron, calcium and fatty acids. And for "some young moms exhausted in the postpartum, it can go up to anemia," confirms Anne-Laure Libretto. Postpartum anemia affects about two out of five births. While the main cause of anemia is haemorrhage at delivery, the fact remains that a restrictive diet increases the risk.
  • In short, to avoid all these problems, one tip: listen to your food sensations. "The development of the woman's sense of smell during pregnancy has a physiological function: it often allows her to go to the foods she needs: a desire for red meat can hide a need for iron, a craving for cheese , a need for calcium, "says Gérard Apfeldorfer. So, indulge yourself, within reason, of course!

Sophie Cousin, with the collaboration of Dr. Norbert Winer, gynecologist-obstetrician at Nantes University Hospital, Gérard Apfeldorfer, psychotherapist specialized in eating disorders, and Anne-Laure Libretto, a liberal midwife in Nantes.

Quick, take a look at our Food and Pregnancy file