Celebrities love showing off their baby bumps, don’t they? With these kinds of photos all over the internet, it can be tempting if you’re pregnant to compare your bump with theirs — is it bigger, smaller or a different shape?
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While it might be fun to compare your changing body with other expecting mothers, it’s important to know that what you look like on the outside absolutely cannot determine — in any way — the state of the growing fetus on the inside.
It’s better to rely on the diagnostic tests that health care providers use during specific times of your pregnancy to determine your growing baby’s state of health.
Focus on healthy eating
The most important thing for any expectant mother to remember is that good information and sound habits are more important to the health of your child than the size or shape of your baby bump.
For example, over- or under-eating during your pregnancy can have adverse effects on the baby and make you more susceptible to serious medical conditions such as hypertension, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
First-time moms often make the mistake of thinking that they need to eat a lot more to accommodate their growing baby. But they really only need about 300 extra calories per day for a single pregnancy.
The National Institutes of Health recommend that women who begin pregnancy at a healthy weight or normal body mass index (BMI) should gain between 25 pounds to 35 pounds during the term.
However, you shouldn’t diet during pregnancy. Instead, focus on eating nutrient-dense foods and keeping hydrated by drinking lots of water.
Exercise activity is recommended during pregnancy as long your health care provider has not limited you to bed rest. Be sure to incorporate low-impact exercises such as brisk walking, swimming and/or prenatal yoga into your daily regimen for best overall health for yourself and growing baby.
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Where the best advice is
The best medical advice you can get about being pregnant is from your health care provider. So listen to what your body tells you, be sure to keep your medical appointments and follow your health care provider’s instructions closely. You can tune out much of what you hear from other sources.
While it’s fun to talk with other mothers about their experiences, it’s also a good idea not to put too much stock in comparing yourself to anyone else. Each of us are unique individuals, and so your pregnancy is going to be uniquely yours.
You can do some research on your own if you’d like, but your health care provider is the No. 1 person from whom you should get pertinent medical information.