There have been numerous articles coming out over the past few weeks bashing Tracy Anderson’s comment about pregnancy. The personal trainer to the stars stated in an interview that, “a lot of women use pregnancy as an excuse to let their bodies go, and that’s the worst thing.” She continued, “I’ve seen so many women who come to me right after with disaster bodies that have gone through hell, or they come to me years later and say, ‘Oh, my body is like this because I had three kids’”
I am not sure why she got so slammed for saying these statements. I definitely agree that there is a better way of saying, “let their bodies go.” However, we are living in a period of time when the obesity rate is high and more and more women are struggling with their weight before, during, and after pregnancy.
Pregnancy weight gain is controversial, but being at a healthy weight prior to giving birth is beneficial for both women and their babies. Research has shown that there is a reduction in risks during both pregnancy and delivery when women stay within a healthy pregnancy weight gain range. The Institute of Medicine has established pregnancy weight gain guidelines that are based on a woman’s BMI before pregnancy. The guidelines are shown below:
|Prepregnancy BMI||BMI||Total Weight Gain (lbs)||
Rates of Weight Gain 2nd & 3rd Trimester (lbs/wk)
|Obese (includes all classes)||≥30.0||11-20||0.5|
These weight ranges can be met when consuming healthy balanced meals. It is important to consume the nutrients for two, NOT the calories for two. This is a big misconception and could lead to a higher weight gain than recommended. During the first trimester, a pregnant woman is not burning anymore calories than she normally would. However, in the 2nd and 3rd trimester an extra 340 calories and 452 calories, respectively, are required in addition to her daily estimated energy requirements. These calories are meant to be used in a way that increases intake of key nutrients like: iron, calcium, and folate. To learn more about these nutrients check out the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics article Eating Right During Pregnancy.
Staying within the healthy weight ranges, exercise, consuming balanced healthy meals, and breastfeeding can all help women get back to their pre-pregnancy weight quicker.
Want to read more? Here are some additional articles about Tracy Anderson’s comments:
- Abrams B, Altman SL, Pickett KE. Pregnancy weight gain: still controversial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 May;71(5 Suppl):1233S-41S.
- American Dietetic Association. Position of the American Dietetic Association: nutrition and lifestyle for a healthy pregnancy outcome. J Am Diet Assoc. 2002 Oct;102(10):1479-90.
- Food and Nutrition Board and Board on Children, Youth, and Families. Weight gain during pregnancy: reexaming the guidelines. 2009.