Posted on 14th May 2012 @ 12:30
I was delighted to read that Jessica Simpson has finally had a healthy baby girl whom she named Maxwell Drew Johnson. A strange name for a girl but hey that’s Hollywood for ya! After months of being criticised for her pregnancy weight gain, it was no surprise to read that the baby weighed in at a whopping 9lbs, 13oz.
Although we should all have more important things to discuss; most women can’t help having an interest in anything to do with weight. The average woman is getting bigger (now a size 18 in the UK, from a 14 twenty years ago), while our celebrity role models are getting smaller. Even Kate Winslet who probably is more ‘normal sized’ than most, got criticised for her weight in Titanic when she was a size 10-12. Interestingly, she is much thinner now as the usual size today for a leading lady is a size 6-8.
The one person who didn’t seem to be bothered about the pregnancy weight gain was Jessica Simpson herself. She seemed to take it all in her stride, making jokes and even posing nude in her eighth month on the cover of Elle magazine. For many women, it was probably refreshing to see a ‘star’ having a pretty normal pregnancy.
However, from a medical perspective, there is valid concern about a woman gaining too much weight in pregnancy. This is more to do with the total weight of the mother though, than the actual amount of weight gain itself. Being obese (BMI over 30) pre-pregnancy increases the risk of complications such as miscarriage, pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes. Overweight women are more apt to give birth to heavier babies, who can be harder to deliver. They also tend to be less mobile, which can result in a need for more pain-relieving drugs during labour. These can be difficult to administer in obese women, resulting in a greater need for general anaesthesia with its associated risks.
There are no official guidelines for weight gain in pregnancy in the UK, just general advice that gain should be somewhere between 10kg and 12.5kg (22lb to 28lb) (DH 2009). This is quite a narrow band considering full term baby itself can quite normally weigh between 5 and 10lbs. A good rule of thumb is that the more you weighed pre pregnancy, the less you need to gain. There is no need to ‘eat for two’, the baby only needs an extra 200 calories per day in the last three months. However, it is dangerous to diet whilst pregnant as you might not get all the nutrients you and your baby need. So, the emphasis should be on healthy eating and ditching the junk.
No-one knows how much weight she gained during her pregnancy or whether it was even “too much”. What is certain though is that because she did not conform to the celebrity norm of seeming to put on no weight – she was vilified for it.
However, Ms Simpson is rumoured to already be in talks with Weightwatchers, so I suspect that she’ll be laughing all the way to the bank!