Medical experts have dispelled the myth that a woman needs to eat for two when she is pregnant.
According to them, while the baby’s nutrition depends on the mother’s diet, this doesn’t mean the mother needs to eat double the quantity during pregnancy, Punch Newspaper reports.
They say that eating too much during pregnancy has negative consequences and can put women at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.
Speaking with PUNCH HealthWise, a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr. Joseph Akinde, said though the baby will take whatever is needed from the mother, a pregnant woman does not need to eat extra food.
“Just eat your normal diet; you don’t need to eat extra when you are pregnant” Dr. Akinde said.
Continuing, he said, “Pregnancy comes with all forms of symptoms — some women have cravings for a particular type of food, so it’s different strokes for different folks and the same situation does not apply to everybody in all situations.
“You may have one woman who is unduly hungry and eat voraciously and, on the other hand, you have thosewho don’t eat so much food.”
Akinde noted that too much weight gain can mean problems for the pregnant mother as well as the baby, and such people are more likely to have a cesarean section at delivery.
“If she overeats, the baby will come out too big, she may get too big and the baby may be too big and she might have some difficulty pushing out the baby,” Akinde added.
Also, a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr. Gregory Ohihoin, said the general statement that pregnancy means eating for two, though superfluous and sweeping, is, however, worth paying attention to.
“For some women, they go to the extreme of eating for two and maybe for four and consume all sorts of things, with a keen sense of unbridled appetite, eating without control. The result is that they become overweight, probably obese and their babies become too big.”
“This group of women is at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus and they are at higher risk of having difficult labour,” Ohihoin said.
He also said that women who exhibit very poor appetite while pregnant are at risk of having poor weight gain and extremely small babies, with a higher risk of complications.