There is something about pregnancy magazines that draws me, even when I don’t happen to be expecting. On the bike or elliptical (when not in the middle of a riveting novel) I find myself flipping through baby, parenting, pregnancy, and cooking magazines. It’s only when I am actually pregnant, however, that I start paying attention to the statistics that are thrown around. Here, for your entertainment, is a smattering of stats from a single issue of Fit Pregnancy.
If you exercise 3-5 times per week you have a 26% reduction of going into labor before term.
End up with Gestational Diabetes and you are 7 times more likely to get type II Diabetes later in life.
A combination of poverty and Gestational Diabetes increases your child’s likelihood of having ADHD.
A minimum of 4 months breastfeeding lowers a baby’s risk for MS later in life.
If you eat extra fiber you may gain 3.25 fewer pounds than women who choose white bread (high fiber eaters gained 27 pounds to the other group’s 30). What if you prefer to gain less than either, is what I want to know.
80% of new moms hold onto some pregnancy pounds.
Moms who breastfed retained 0.9 fewer pounds per 3 months over moms who didn’t.
Depressed mothers have babies that are shorter than average.
Mothers who eat lots of chips tend to have babies that exhibit the same symptoms of babies whose mom’s smoked during pregnancy.
And that’s just the beginning!
Not listed in the magazine was the percentage of first time mothers who go crazy after reading that many pregnancy statistics.
Also featured are expensive maternity outfits (I have yet to discover why designers think that pregnant women want to show off swollen, chubby, varicose vein lined legs while hugely pregnant. I don’t!), a lineup of maternity jeans (the ones that look most like your pre-pregnancy jeans will run you $167), and a belly band you can strap around your expanding waistline to play music to your baby (Or, um… you could just sing?)
First time moms beware. I tend to laugh at most of the stuff in there, but I feel like pregnant women get such a crazy mix of messages. Don’t gain too much weight! You will end up fat, with diabetes, a C section, and a huge baby – and the weight will never come off! But don’t gain too little either or your baby will be born to early and you will be a bad mom for starving your child! Drink some caffeine but not too much! Exercise daily, but only moderately and for 30 minutes. Don’t drink alcohol unless you are pregnant and live in Europe!
It is a hazardous thing to be pregnant in this information age unless you are willing to do a good deal of laughing and strategic disregarding of information.