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.
It’s entirely possible that I simply don’t understand women. Actually, it’s more than just possible—it’s almost certain. But can someone explain why some women feel the need to entrap men into relationships. One time-honored approach is for the woman to convince the guy that she’s pregnant. The hope is that he’ll be a stand-up guy […]
[amazon asin=1594204756&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Emily Oster, author of Expecting Better.
Topic: Why the conventional pregnancy wisdom is wrong–and what you really need to know.
Issues: Why it’s fine to have an occasional glass of wine; don’t worry about sushi–but wear gloves when you’re gardening; worry about gaining too little weight, not too much; why pregnancy nausea is a good sign; having a doula can decrease the chance of needing a C-section.
[amazon asin=0399535268&template=thumbleft&chan=default]David Swanson, author of Help–My Kid Is Driving Me Crazy.
Topic: How kids manipulate their parents.
Issues: Why kids manipulate; Learning to recognize 17 distinct types of manipulate and what you need to do to disarm them.
[amazon asin=0814474462&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Diana Peters Meyer, author of Overcoming School Anxiety.
Topic: Getting kids ready for school.
Issues: How to help your child deal with separation, tests, homework, bullies, math phobia, and other worries; telling the difference between normal start-of-school jitters and anxiety that warrants a call to the specialists.