Did you know that one in four women in the U.S. are obese when they get pregnant? A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that 23.4 percent of moms-to-be in the country have a BMI of at least 30 when conception occurs.
Doctors and other scientist-y people are quick to warn us about the health risks associated with an obese pregnancy. Mom’s more likely to develop gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, or need a C-section, and baby’s risk for premature delivery or even stillbirth goes up.
As scary as some of those words are, it’s almost like we gloss over them, because surely those horrible things couldn’t happen to us, right?
So I’m here to tell you the real reason why it’s better to get in shape before you get yourself knocked up -- your emotional health.
I did the fat pregnancy, and I did the fit pregnancy. I actually weighed the same the day I delivered my second daughter as I did the day I got pregnant with my first. Oh yeah, then I gained another 50 pounds on top of that. Basically, I was a house.
My ankles were so swollen the last two months of my pregnancy with my first daughter that I couldn't wear anything but flip-flops. My back ached, maternity shirts fit like baby tees, and I just generally felt like crap about myself. My confidence was worn thin, and the pregnancy hormones weren’t exactly helping the situation.
Fast-forward a few years and about 75 pounds lost, and I got pregnant with my second. This time I counted calories and only added a few hundred a day for my growing baby girl instead of grilled cheese and fries for breakfast every day.
I ended up gaining just over 30 pounds with her, and even though I swear my hiney spread like melted butter on hot toast, people swore I didn’t even look pregnant from behind. It could’ve been crap, but it fell sweetly on my ears and gave me an ego-boost confidence that money can’t buy.
My body felt better, but my mental health felt better too. Let’s face it -- most girls like to feel pretty. It’s why the makeup industry booms even during a recession. It makes us feel good to feel attractive and desirable, and those are some pretty great feelings to experience when you’ve sacrificed your body to grow a human.
Call it vanity or call it honesty (both?), but I definitely enjoyed my skinny pregnancy a lot more than I did my obese one.
Do you think weight during pregnancy can affect your mental health?
Image via il-young ko/Flickr