Sunday, July 06, 2008

CNN story

I was just watching CNN- I watch it pretty much all day long since there is nothing else on- and they had a brief story on how more and more babies are being born early and with low birth weights. They showed a woman with twins who were born at around 28 weeks and one did not survive. I didn't think it was that fair to show twins, when twins are a special case since so many things can go wrong. But they didn't say this was specific to twins. They did say that Maryland has one of the highest rates and is one of the richest states. They then went on to say that more prenatal care is needed. Well, they somewhat contradicted themselves. In states that have a "wealthier" population, prenatal care is better. So, while I'm sure that is part of the problem, I don't think it explains all the high numbers.

What I do think is also contributing to this is that women are not putting on enough weight. We are shown pictures of celebrities who look like they have not gained ANY weight at all. Any celebrity who did gain a decent amount of weight we either don't see ot they talk about how much weight they've put on. I've seen tons of pictures of Angelina Jolie who was pregnant with twins, and she was so skinny. They know for twins that the amount of weight the mom puts on does correlate to birth weight. I'm sure that can translate to singletons as well. I've also seen reports on message boards about doctors who pretty much make the girl feel awful for gaining weight.There were a couple cases where the girls were perhaps a little overweight, but not much, and the doctors only wanted them gaining a certain amount, like 10 or 15 pounds. Then when they went over they were chastised. That is not ok. I am a believer that if you eat healthy, and enough calories, your body will put on the weight it NEEDS. If you need to gain 50, 60 lbs, so be it. As long as the baby is healthy. Now, if you are eating a bunch of junk and putting on a lot of weight, that's not ok. The baby does need nutrients. But I just think we are becoming too conditioned as a society to be super thin, and it is harming everyone.


Donna said...

I agree with you. My doctor for my first pregnancy did not even count the first 20 pounds I gained because he said I started out too thin. I gained a total of 68 pound for one baby and had a healthy child and this doctor encouraged me to eat whatever amount I wanted as long as it was healthy food and I remained active. The weight came off fairly easily after.

With my second child I start only 5 pounds heavier than I started with my first pregnancy. I had a different doctor who made me cry at each appt. I tried to switch doctors but we were short doctors in the area and I could not do that. He absolutely yelled at me at times. I told him that I would lose it after and he kept telling me how disappointed my husband would be when I ended up "fat and unattractive". At that moment I knew he was not worried about the baby's health. I had a healthy baby and lost all but 15 pounds (which put me at 131 pounds at 6 weeks post partum at 5'8"). When I went for my 6 week check he said, "Well, I have to eat my words since you have lost it". Right then I asked for all my charts and told him I was moving to the new female physician in town. He was clearly angry but I insisted. When I went to my first check with her a month later she told me to put on 5 pounds!! I told her the saga of the pregnancy and she was furious. She said that doctors like this affect the health of mothers and babies.

Good for you for posting this so that maybe even one young woman will care more about her baby than about her size 2 jeans.

Natalie said...

I totally agree with you! I get so angry when I see girls feeling aweful about gaining weight beause their doctors are telling them not to. They KNOW it's unhealthy (for the baby) to restrict weight gain during pregnancy.... doctors used to set strict limits for how much weight a woman could gain. They (the medical community at large) learned that is NOT helpful in any form.

I'm just so shocked by Donna's story.... I would have smacked him I think if he'd said that to me!! What an asshole!

Karen said...

Actually, there was a major study done recently that showed that Maryland had one of the lowest rates of proper prenatal care in the country, despite being one of the wealthiest states. So the connection was valid.

I'm not saying there aren't other factors as well, I'm only pointing out that the Maryland statements were valid. My husband works in a Baltimore hospital and brought home one of the studies when it first came out.