Pregnancy Weight and Body Perception: What's the Connection?
Apparently, body perception plays an important role in pregnancy weight gain. I was painfully aware of how overweight I was pre-pregnancy—but things didn't turn out as I expected.
When I got pregnant, I found it interesting how people would encourage me to eat more.
“You’re eating for two!” they’d say. Or, “Baby’s hungry, have another cookie/piece of cake/whatever.”
I looked forward to the idea of guiltless indulging for the sake of the baby. Would I have midnight cravings for cake or pie? How about another scoop of ice cream? I fantasized about not having anxiety over food or my weight. I mean, I was pregnant! I should eat whatever I want when I want!
But those were just that—food fantasies.
I was painfully aware of how overweight I was pre-pregnancy and became concerned with gaining too much weight. Most of all, I wanted to look pregnant, not fat. The food fantasies were officially dashed when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I knew I should be eating healthier snacks and meals—that just sealed the deal (and perhaps made it easier for me to do so).
Apparently body perception plays an important role in pregnancy weight gain. In a new study by University of Adelaide researchers, they found that “more than 70% of pregnant women who are overweight or obese underestimate their weight. Those who underestimate their weight are more likely to experience a higher rate of weight gain during pregnancy.”
One of the researchers, Professor Deborah Turnbull of the School of Psychology, pointed to “a disconnect” between a woman’s perception and the reality of her weight. In other words, if you’re in denial about your weight, it’s going to affect your pregnancy, too.
I was very conscious about my weight and it did not become an issue. In fact, it was the first time in my life that I lost weight without really trying. I gained no more than 10 pounds total with each of my pregnancies, which was really all baby when you think about it. My OB never emphasized my weight as an issue. That made it easier for me to focus on how I was eating rather than stressing about how much I was eating (or not eating)–and that’s what made the difference.
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN