Friday, July 14, 2006

Don't Get Pregnant While Dieting

Further to the previous post discussing the importance of a healthy weight when trying to conceive, it is equally important to STOP dieting once you are actively trying to get pregnant. You cannot wait until after you find out you are pregnant to stop the diet, because by then, the diet has had a negative impact on the developing embryo which is approximately 2 weeks old by the time you take a pregnancy test.

Dieting Women Who Get Pregnant Put Their Babies at Risk, Says Expert
If you’re hoping to get pregnant but are trying to lose some weight, make sure you finish your diet before you start trying to conceive, recommends a New Zealand fetal development expert. The reason, dieting can cause harm to a developing fetus. “How the baby is looked after from the moment of conception, when it’s just one egg, to birth [and] in the neonatal period can affect its destiny for the rest of its life,” says Professor Peter Gluckman, director of the Liggins Institute at Auckland University. Gluckman believes that dieting, even if it is stopped once a woman learns of her pregnancy, increases the likelihood a woman will have a smaller baby, which could lead to health problems, such as obesity, later on. In particular, dieting sends specific nutritional signals to your body. During early pregnancy, these signals lead to certain “genetic switches” being turned on or off, which will affect a child for the rest of his life. Gluckman suggested that women follow a balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight in order to have the best pregnancy outcomes.

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