I know you’re out there. I’ve seen you proudly bearing your bump.
You are growing a precious passenger and you’ve been indulged, no doubt, during the holidays.
Those other women strategized their carb consumption and turned reluctantly away from the pumpkin cheesecake while you were seated comfortably and provided a plate with the admonition to: "Eat, already. You must eat. You’re pregnant!"
It’s time to acknowledge that although you may be eating for two, your baby is not craving chocolate, or ice cream, or Little Debbie® Snack cakes.
I know this is hard to hear, but I’m not going to pull any punches. I have pledged to myself that in the interest of you and your growing child, I will no longer refer to you as "fluffy," "plump," or "chubby."
Let’s talk about the "O" words…overweight and obesity. Obesity in pregnancy has significant consequences for you and your baby. It increases your risk of numerous complications in pregnancy such as gestational diabetes, hypertension, preeclampsia and cesarean delivery. Your inability to lose weight after pregnancy may also be compromised.
This is tough love.
I love watching your transformation as you embrace your pregnancy. Yet, I have been silent for too long as I measure your belly and comment casually on the weight you gain from one appointment to the next.
Don’t think I haven’t noticed. I am now prepared to have open and honest discussions before you get pregnant, during your pregnancy, and through your postpartum period.
I will ask you to work on your diet diary. I will implore you to be as honest as possible. If you had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, please tell me if you used ½ cup of peanut butter and ½ cup of jelly.
I won’t judge you. I promise. I will gently and firmly counsel you to re-think your dietary indiscretions.
If you tell me that this year you are going to really apply yourself to the practice of making babies, I will encourage you to start taking your prenatal vitamins now, to get fit now, and to prepare for the physically demanding task of being pregnant as soon as possible.
I will create a non-judgmental environment in order to encourage you away from cream cheese and biscuits (or my personal favorite, pancakes and maple syrup). I will do my best to make fresh carrots and radishes sound heavenly as a substitute for the crispy potato chips you might have a craving for.
We will talk candidly about your role in providing the best nutrients for your baby and I will give you great websites to visit, such as healthfinder.gov, and choosemyplate.gov.
In this renewed spirit of openness you will find that it’s OK to set a weight gain goal for your pregnancy. We’ll talk about body mass index
(BMI) as a means of determining your goals. For example, if you are overweight (BMI of 25-29.9) your weight gain goal will be from 15 to 25 pounds. If you are obese (BMI of 30 or greater) your weight gain goal is between 11 and 20 pounds.
You can do this. I'm here to help.
Little Debbie® is a registered trade mark of McKee Foods.