Hello faithful readers! After a brief hiatus for the holidays (I hope yours were filled with family, friends, health and happiness) I am back and will strive to write weekly. Don’t forget – I can only answer your questions if you send them to me.
A very good friend of mine is pregnant. She’s an awesome person and is going to make a beautiful mother. She has always been very into health and exercising. Maybe even a little too much so. She works out far more calories than she actually takes in a day. This has always worried me, but now that she has another life inside her I am more worried than ever. I try and talk to her about it and she just tells me that she eats more than she use to and she feels like all she does is eat. I have never seen her eat more than a few wheat crackers… The other day I walked in on her lying down on the floor dizzy and unable to get up. She had to be literally picked up from the floor and driven home. She is 20 weeks pregnant and has not gained an oz.
Is there anything I can do?
A concerned friend and co-worker
You are obviously very observant to have noticed this about your friend. My first question that comes to mind is, is she seeing a doctor? If so, we can assume the doctor is tracking her weight and warning her against the risks of having a low birth weight baby. Of course the mothers health doesn’t always mean that the baby will be born with a low birth weight, but the chances are greater for this and an early birth. Babies have a way of taking what they need from their mothers regardless of how well the mother feeds herself. Still, current advice is to gain between 25-30 pounds during a pregnancy and experts suggest that most women only need to consume an extra 300 calories per day to stay health and have a baby born at a healthy weight. You can’t be with your friend 100% of the time, maybe she is eating more when you are not around to witness it. This increase in calories is a far cry from the traditional “eating for two” advice that was once popular.
Not providing your body with the nutrients it needs to support both you and the baby can leave a mother with low calcium and other nutrients which will impact her later in life. Why do we all think we are invincible when young? We will never know, but the fact remains that how we treat our bodies when young has an impact on us as we age.
Your friend may also be dizzy because of low blood pressure or other issues. My advice is to ask her if she is seeing a doctor and receiving prenatal care. If she is don’t worry, if not, encourage her to do so. Depending on how well you know her, you might also talk with her husband or other support people and voice your concern. Perhaps they can calm your fears or after hearing your concerns also encourage her to adopt a healthy diet while pregnant.
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