Women who are not obese are not encouraged to go on a pregnancy diet, as a lack of nutrition may have a a negative impact on baby. Research has found that children of women who had the lowest calories intake had thicker arteries, regardless of their mother's weight, health, whether she smoked or exercised during pregnancy. Birth defects have also been linked to pregnancy diets. dieting during pregnancy increases the risk of neutral tube defects, in which the spinal cord and brain don't fully develop.
In the past, obese women were often advised to either lose weight during pregnancy or to maintain their pregnancy weight, even though they tend not to gain as much weight during pregnancy as smaller women. however, obese pregnant women are more likely to experience complications during pregnancy such as, hypertension, gestational diabetes and more likely to require a C-section. while some doctors encourage weight lose, most feel this could be dangerous. Undernourished babies are more likely to be born prematurely. Pregnancy diets also increase risk of infant mortality.
Most doctors agree that lifestyle or fad diets e.g the Atkins, Zone or South Beach Diet should not be followed while pregnant.
Eating a well-balanced meal is key to staying healthy during pregnancy and ensuring your baby develops properly. Vitamins such as a prenatal multivitamin, plus a daily mineral supplement are encouraged. Folic acid supplements are also important.
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