Friday, December 31, 2010

#2 Count without counting (And don't lose count)

As if the mental and emotional gymnastics of early pregnancy aren't enough on their own, new moms might find themselves tempted to do a simple, easy Google search to find out how to adjust their diet during pregnancy. How hard can it be, right?

Resist! Resist.

Googling before you are a parent is something you might do to research a new camera, a new car, how to clean some sort of bizarre stain on an unexpected surface (red wine on wet paint?). After becoming a parent, Googling becomes a minefield.

For example, if you were doing a quick search on how to eat while you are pregnant, you might come across this article, from Women's Health Care Topics.

Aside from some helpful tips like "The key is making healthy and nourishing selections" (Gee, thanks!), the article also offers two pieces of advice: "you should add roughly 300 extra calories to your diet each day during the second and third trimesters." and "Most women focus too much on calories when eating during pregnancy. Pregnancy is not the time to count calories."


I should be sure to add 300 extra calories (not more and not less), but I should somehow do this without counting them?

Unfortunately, this kind of self-contradictory advice is everywhere when you research pregnancy topics. Pregnancy eating may be the biggest minefield that you will enter before the baby is born. You are supposed to meet (but not exceed) a very particular profile of nutrients, keep a particular calorie count, gain a very specific amount of weight over the course of nine months, and be sure not to become overweight,  because then you will put your baby at risk, but make sure you gain enough, or else you will put your baby at risk. But don't count calories, and for heaven's sake don't worry about it too much, or else (you guessed it) you will put your baby at risk.

The take-home message for this exercise is this: when it comes to pregnancy eating, carefully monitor your Google usage along with your portion size.


  1. This is where I am right now! If I exercise, people caution me not to do to much, if I don't, people tell me I should. I just don't think we should be so anal about every little thing we do when we're pregnant. I get sick of feeling like I've failed every day :P

  2. Exactly! I think that body size/weight etc. while pregnant should be more "approximate" rather than an exact science. Who has time to obsess? Not that obsessing really makes a difference, anyway -- I always gain weight so much more easily when I'm pregnant. And by the third trimester, I am just obeying my hunger anyway, and just trying not to eat a bunch of junk. It's all you can really do when your body is being taken over. I think that the body just works differently then anyhow ;D I hope you guys had a great Christmas and New Year's! :)