The Myths About Pregnancy Weight – What’s True And What’s Not!

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Everywhere
 you look online there are strange and outlandish “facts” about pregnancy and some of these can sound totally bizarre. Think we’re joking? Nuh-uh. Food bans are only the start! Pregnant women are told to avoid flying, dying their hair, cleaning the litter box, hot tubs and even more. We found one website that claims that pregnant women shouldn’t go anywhere near polished furniture. Another website says that pregnant women must not, under any circumstances, pet their cat. Yeeesh, you may be asking – do people really believe this?

Well, yes sometimes they do! Often, it can be quite tricky to discern the truth from the sea of information floating around on the interweb, especially around the topic of pregnancy exercise! Yes, that’s right, pregnancy exercise. It’s a hot topic at the moment and one that many baby mamas are becoming interested in. We wanted to know more about this issue so we got in touch with an expert – the creator of pregnancy.exercise.co.nz Lorraine Scapens!

After talking to Lorraine, our little minds were blown away. What we had thought about pregnancy and weight gain couldn’t have been further from the truth and we had to share our newfound knowledge with you ASAP.

the myths

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eat whatevs

A lot of women (myself included) seem to think that because you’re “eating for two,” there is no limitation to how much you can eat.

Lorraine:  “It’s certainly not okay to gain significants amounts of weight during pregnancy. Unhealthy weight gain can lead to a myriad of problems there is an increased risk of high blood pressure and gestational diabetes not to mention health issues both short and long term for your baby.

“Babies born to mothers who are obese are at a higher risk of birth defects including heart issues and neural tube defects.

“The heavier a mother the more likely also that her baby will be larger at birth this increases the chances of medical intervention and c-section deliveries.

“A new study also suggests that babies who are born via C-section have a higher chance themselves of becoming obese.”

gaining extra weight

Another popular myth is that it’s normal to gain weight while pregnant and that this weight gain is important for the development of the baby.

Lorraine: “Extra pregnancy weight gain is not healthy and is certainly not beneficial for babies development!

“Baby’s born to mums who are fit and healthy are much better prepared to cope with the demands of pregnancy and birth.

“Mums who are fit and healthy can expect to gain anything from 9-20kg this necessary weight gain accommodates a healthy baby and pregnancy. The standard reccomended guidelines is that pregnancy weight gain should be 9-14kg but this doesn’t take in to account an individuals respone to pregnancy, muscle mass, current fitness and body shape.

“Due to the current guidlines, if a women puts on more than 14kg it may increase anxiety and pregnancy depression.

“Based on my experience training thousands of fit, healthy mums the average weight gain is around 13-18kg.”

losing weight

And vice versa. Women often share the thought that while gaining weight is good, losing weight is bad for the baby’s well-being and development.

Lorraine: “If you are overweight and want to lose weight during pregnancy it is possible. I would suggest you follow a plan from a registered dietician and ensure you are monitored frequently during your pregnancy.”

cravings

That tub of ice-cream? King size bar of Cadbury? Cravings are definitely real and many think that it’s okay to give in to them.

Lorraine: “There are many unusual explanations for the food women crave during pregnancy.

“I actually craved red wine when pregnant with #3 but certainly didn’t satisfy this craving with alcohol.

“If you are craving foods particularly sugar it is best to look at what you are eating as you may be missing vital nutrients such as fat and protein.

“Again this would also be a good time to speak to a professional.”

breastfeeding

Another common myth claims that women should steer away from exercising whilst breastfeeding their baby.

Lorraine: “Mums should absolutely be exercising when they’re breastfeeding. Post partum exercise is a big topic and the right exercise can help mums to recover optimally after birth and pregnancy.

“Exercising post birth has many benefits one of those is it can help to reduce post partum depression. Mums just have to ensure that they follow suitable postnatal programs such as our Birth2FitMum program.

“Exercise also does not effect the tase of the breastmilk which was once thought due to lactic acid being released when a mother exercises.”

losing it all

Some believe that it’s not necessary to lose the extra weight that was gained during their first pregnancy if they’re planning on having more kids and aim to lose it all once they’ve stopped.

Lorraine: “This is crazy. Why make it harder on yourself when pregnancy is tough enough on your body and it feels much harder when you are overweight and unfit.

“It’s best to aim to recover optimally after each pregnancy before the next, however this is sometimes impossible.

“Mums should try to improve their postnatal fitness and strength so that the second pregnancy has the same benefits as the first!

“Second pregnancies are often harder as mums can’t rest when they want to and are constantly picking up babies or older children.

“We have many mums who follow our online pregnancy program Fit2BirthMum during the second pregnancy only to wish they had been as fit and healthy during their first.

“Give you and your children the best chance to live fit and healthy lives and move more during your pregnancy and beyond.”

not necessary

Lastly, the myth that exercising while pregnant isn’t really important nor does it make a difference to the pregnancy.

Lorraine: “Unless there are serious medical complications all women should be active during pregnancy. Mums should be active 5-6 days a week and for 20-40 minutes.

“Exercise has many benefits for both mum and baby and there are many different types of exercise that are suitable you don’t have to be a ‘gym bunny’. Such exercises include walking, yoga, paddleboarding, home workouts and even dancing!

“In addition, regular physical activity during pregnancy improves or maintains physical fitness, helps with weight management, reduces the risk of gestational diabetes in obese women, and enhances psychologic well-being.”

 

benefits

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According to Lorraine, there are a tonne of valid reasons to support why exercise is important for pregnant women, as well as several significant benefits that can occur as a result. For example, women who exercise have a 17% less chance of requiring a C-section than those who don’t. If you do need medical intervention, you will recover faster. Exercise also reduces the risk of both pre and post-partum depression. Not only this, but correct exercise will reduce back and hip pain. Additionally, exercise prepares both mum and the baby to help cope with the demands of labourbirth and beyond.

safety

pregnant women in yoga class

There is a lingering belief commonly held by many people that exercising while pregnant will lead to undesirable outcomes. In the past, there have been several theories that claimed that exercising during pregnancy could increase the likelihood of preterm birth and pregnancy loss. However, these theories have dramaticallyevolved since then. After a series of clinical trials that involved a large and varied sample of pregnant women carrying out aerobic exercises, the results showed this not to be the case. Currently, women are recommended to exercise for around 20 to 30 minutes per day and Lorraine agrees. But Lorraine notes that safety is keywhen exercising whilst pregnant. It’s important that you recognise that your body won’t be able to do the same things as it could pre-pregnancy and it’ll cause your bod some serious harm if you don’t make the right adjustments.

lorraine

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Originally from England, Lorraine decided to move to little ole’ New Zealand after falling in love with the outdoorsy and active Kiwi lifestyle and culture that we’re often known for. Lorraine went on to study biomechanics and corrective exercise, specialising in pre and post pregnancy exercise and overall wellness. Despite her studies, Lorraine didn’t let this prevent her from starting her own family and she now has three young daughters all under the age of six. The combination of Lorraine’s 20+ years of experience in the fitness biz, endless qualifications and her own personal journey to motherhood have equipped Lorraine with the necessary skills and knowledge to help provide pregnant women around the world with safe information and exercise programmes.

programmes

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Lorraine offers a range of different programmes that suit both pregnant mums and those who have given birth.

Her programmes include: Fit2BirthMumBirth2FitMum – Post Pregnancy, Turn Your Baby and SuperFitMum – an advanced postnatal exercise programme. Lorraine’s programmes have been carefully designed to help women achieve a pain-free pregnancy, get fit for birth as well as correct their abdominal muscle separation safely after the birth of their babies. Not only are these programmes affordable but they’re convenient as heck – they can be done in the comfort of your own home. Want to see them for yourself? Flick over to pregnancyexercise.co.nz and prepare to be amazed.

Lorraine’s refreshing approach to women’s health, well-being and pregnancy exercise is a breath of fresh air and one that I’m sure most mums will wholly appreciate. Don’t miss out on this revolutionary practice!