BENGALURU: In many Asian cultures including India, there is a tendency to overfeed pregnant and lactating women. The justification for this is that the expectant mother needs to eat for two. However, all that this ends up doing is make the pregnant woman put on a lot of weight, and most of it as fat (there is some fluid retention which gets eliminated soon after delivery). This fat obstinately stays behind long after the delivery is done, observe health experts.
Dr Jayashree Murthy, consultant, obstetrician and gynecologist,
Motherhood Hospital says that the pregnancy diet should include a combination of moderate carbohydrates, high protein and plenty of fruits and vegetables. There should be a low intake of fat/fried foods and sweets. This will provide healthy calories for both the mother and the baby and prevent the former from gaining huge amounts of fat-weight.
“Fat gained during pregnancy is difficult to get rid of as it is not possible to go on a stringent diet post delivery as the mother is breast feeding and cannot indulge in strict calorie restrictions. Also, taking care of a newborn leaves little time or inclination to be able to attend a gym or follow a regulated exercise regime," says Dr Murthy.
Dr Shanthala, obstetrician and gynecologist, Shree Clinic and Infertility Centre, agrees with her and busts another myth about back aches post delivery. Many perceive that this happens due to anaesthesia and Caesarian section, but actually these aches are due to a poor diet and wrong posture.
Health experts suggest doing yoga, walking and stretching exercises along with ab crunches.