The New Times (Kigali)

5 July 2012

Rwanda: Eating for Two While Pregnant

Photo: Gavalliance
Tanzanian health workers talking to local communities (file photo).

One of the beautiful things about pregnancy is the fact that you can gain lots of weight under the justification of eating for two, without feeling guilty about it.

In reality, you could be eating for two during pregnancy but what's more important is not eating a huge amount of food but eating healthy for you and your baby's sake.Since the unborn baby's depends on the mother to get all the vital nutrients it needs to grow up, its therefore more important to focus on the quality of food you're eating and not the quantity.

According to Agatha Mutamba, a midwife at Rwanda Military Hospital, pregnant women shouldn't use this as an excuse to eat a lot of food. Eating a lot isn't really so important especially if you are eating the wrong food, she says. "Pregnant women should be more focused on eating healthy foods that are vital for them and the growing baby. Fresh fruits and vegetables are very good for pregnant women and the unborn babies. They should eat healthy and cut out all the unhealthy food stuffs," she said.

Mrs.Mutamba advised that in order for them to suppress their urge to eat, they should have plenty of fruits so as to kill the desire to consume a lot of unhealthy food.

She advised that during pregnancy, women shouldn't be thinking of losing or gaining weight but should instead focus on eating and living healthy in order to have a wonderful pregnancy and healthy baby.

Women should eat more nutrients and less calories instead of eating for two because it will only make them gain excessive weight.

According to experts, excessive weight gain during pregnancy is linked to a number of severe health complications. Weight management during pregnancy is therefore safe and reduces complications for expecting mothers. If the mothers stick to a healthy diet with fewer calories, then they reduce the risk of high blood pressure, premature births and diabetes.

Researchers say that obese women are more likely to have an induced or longer delivery or Caesarean section. Their babies also face risks such a congenital abnormalities, still births and obesity as well.

Well, eating for two during pregnancy has been described as a myth by different medics and experts therefore what is more important for you and the baby is to eat healthy all through and exercise.

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Tanzanian health workers talking to local communities (file photo).

The risks associated with being overweight during pregnancy are well documented and researchers are now turning their attention to how this impacts on child survival. Read more »