The Heavy Burden of Pregnancy

obese and pregnant

Dear Mr. Dad: Last week you talked about some pregnancy myths and you mentioned that expectant mothers should be more worried about putting on too little weight than too much. That makes sense, but isn’t there a limit to how much weight a woman should put on? Before she got pregnant, my wife worked out and we tried to eat a healthy diet. But over the past couple of months, she’s completely let herself go, putting on about 30 pounds—and we’re only halfway through the pregnancy. I’ve tried to gently tell her that she should watch her diet a bit more, but she insists that she’s “eating for two.” How can I get through to her?

A: A woman whose pre-pregnancy weight was in the “normal” range, needs to eat about 300 more calories per day than she did before. That translates into 25-35 pounds, which is the range recommended by most OBs. (Women who were underweight before pregnancy should put on a little more, those who were overweight should put on less.)

Since your wife will get weighed at every OB visit, her doctor will probably be chatting with her about her weight pretty soon. And given that it’s rarely safe for a man to talk to a woman about her weight, that’s a good thing. Still, at the pace she’s bulking up, she’s putting herself and, more importantly, her baby at risk. Unfortunately, she’ll need more encouragement to start cutting calories than her OB alone can provide, which puts you directly in the line of fire.
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Snoring kids have more behavior problems

Does your child snore, breathe through her mouth, or seem to step breathing for a few seconds at a time? If so, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re going to be seeing some behavioral or emotional problems (like ADD, ADHD, and anxiety) pretty soon.

In the largest study of its kind, doctors tracked 13,000 kids from infancy through age seven. 45 percent of the kids had no breathing problems. The other 55 percent did, including 8 percent who were in the “worst case” group (meaning their breathing issues peaked between ages 2 and 3 and then persisted.

Of the kids who had some kind of breathing problems, about 8 percent developed behavioral problems. But for the ones who did have some breathing issues, 13.5 percent had behavior problems. The “worst case” kids had a whopping 72 percent chance of developing behavioral and/or emotional symptoms by age seven.

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics. An article about the study is here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/06/us-snoring-tied-kids-idUSTRE8251KG20120306