Expecting women are strongly encouraged not to strive to attain what is known as a belly-only pregnancy.
Definition of Belly-Only Pregnancy
Belly-only pregnancy is a growing mindset that an expecting woman can and should only gain weight in her abdominal region during the gestation period. Few people, especially young, active women yearn to accumulate an excessive amount of weight. For such subjects, packing on the pounds, even during pregnancy, is an unpleasant thought.
While there is nothing wrong with exercising, dieting and trying to prevent unwanted weight gain, certain expecting women take this belief too far and might actually progress to the point where their health and that of their unborn children could be threatened.
Overcoming This Mindset
Nutritionists, fitness experts, pregnancy specialists and, most importantly, physicians opine that the belly-only pregnancy mindset is one that women need to rid their minds of. Rather, they are encouraged to come to grips with the fact that some weight gain during pregnancy is inevitable and, above all, necessary, and their focus should shift to ensuring that they progress through this joyous period in as painless and healthy a manner as possible.
Remaining Fit During Pregnancy
It is not impossible for soon-to-be mothers to remain fit, prevent injuries, protect their unborn babies and potentially prevent weight gain after they give birth. However, such aims must be strived for through healthy practices:
Avoid Exercises That Place Added Pressure on Abdomen
Any activities that place undue pressure on the abdomen or cause these muscles to narrow can precipitate injuries and should be avoided.
Do Not Sit Up
Many women who have been pregnant before caution expecting women to roll out of bed instead of sitting up. Rolling to the side prevents a pregnant woman from overstretching her abdominal muscles.
Never Lift Heavy Objects
Expecting women should never lift heavy objects. In truth, many healthcare professionals opine that pregnant women should not lift anything, period. That said, if this action is unavoidable or absolutely necessary, women are strongly advised to pull their belly buttons towards their spines and exhaling during the lifting process. This action tightens the abdominal muscles.
Do Not Strain During Bowel Movements
Constipation is a common occurrence during pregnancy. Though this manifestation is uncomfortable, expecting women should never strain or try to force the process. Straining forces you to hold your breath, which can place undue pressure on the abdominal muscles and potentially induce injuries.
Consume a Nutritious Diet
In reality, pregnant women must gain a specific amount of weight. Failure to maintain proper weight during pregnancy could place the unborn child at risk of developing serious health problems like infant mortality, cerebral palsy, various birth defects and potential sight and hearing disabilities. Therefore, pregnant women are strongly urged to consume nutritious but calorie-laden foods designed to help them gain the necessary weight.
Work in Tandem With a Team of Healthcare Professionals
Expecting women are encouraged to work with a team of healthcare professionals, such as their obstetrician, fitness trainers and nutritionists, to formulate a dietary and exercise plan geared towards staying properly nourished, keeping optimal body contour and maintaining a healthy weight.