Why is there so much controversy when it appears a celebrity hasn't gained much weight during pregnancy?
Well people think that the baby is too small and the celebrity is doing something wrong, either not eating enough or exercising too much. People always have opinion on pregnant mothers size. If you have been pregnant you know when you see your friends or walk on street people either tell you look big or small.
The truth is that it’s not the size of the belly that is important it is the size of the baby. Taller individuals tend to hide the pregnancy much better and show much later that they are pregnant. A sonogram should be done to determine the fetus size and see what percentile its falling normally a weight between 25 percentile to 50% is desired, however for classification between 10 to 90Th percentile is considered within normal range, below 10th% is considered small for gestational age or in utero growth restriction or IUGR in abbreviation. We constantly work on our pregnant patients to keep the babes size between 25 to 50%, this will assure easier childbirth as the bigger the baby the harder the delivery. Obviously there are genetic factors in having bigger babies however monitoring weight gain and dieting properly helps a lot to achieve this goal.
What types of workouts are appropriate during pregnancy?
Walking, jogging, spinning, swimming, pregnant Yoga etc. The rule is not to do it to exhaustion and not to increase body temperature beyond 38 c or 100 f. No abdominal exercises and no heavy lifting that puts pressure on the abdomen. After 20 weeks patients should not lay flat on their back.
Does a mother's fitness level affect appropriate weight gain levels?
Well as long as the fetus is in normal range mothers weight gain does not matter. Normally if one starts with ideal weight the recommended weight gain is 10 lbs until 28 weeks and 15-20 lbs until delivery. If one is overweight then should gain less accordingly.
If the fetus is small due to maternal poor nutrition or clear over activity. As we said usually if the fetus falls below 10Th percentile we asked the patient to rest and refrain from working and see if that helps to flow more blood to the baby however it usually has to do with placental issue that even resting does not help that much.