From the moment your pregnancy test shows positive to the moment you welcome your baby in your arms your body undergoes tremendous constant changes. Every ounce of food that you eat while you are expecting plays a crucial role in the development of the fetus in your womb. From oily fried, chats, to ice cream at midnight, pregnant ladies have some pretty crazy food cravings during pregnancy and it is a common experience every pregnant lady has especially for unhealthy foods. It is hard not to give in to those cravings during your pregnancy. The extreme hormonal roller coaster ride that an expectant women experiences during this period is to be blamed for this. This intense hormonal changes plays a major role in altering your senses of taste and smell when you are expecting.
So even though potato chips were never your favorite, never be surprised about yourself if you find yourself drooling before a pack of Chips, or waking up at mid-night for a bunch of fries. Though there are plenty of excuses in support of these odd cravings but junk foods are always labeled as harmful. Moreover researchers have found that those would be mothers who have higher inclination towards eating junk food are more likely to have children with mental health problem. Consumption of junk food is also harmful for the women who are planning a baby in the near future. However, while some of the cravings are fine, craving for junk food can be hazardous to both mother and the developing baby. But before we go into the how’s and why of it let us understand what is junk food.
What is Junk Food?
Junk food what we normally understand is burgers, pizzas and pastas. However, the right definition of junk food is a food that doesn’t give anything to our body and is considered ‘trash’ by our body. So in reality if the food you eat has all the below mentioned things then the food you are eating is junk food.
- High Salt Quotient: Junk food is quite high in salt quotient as it has lots of mayonnaise and other sauces used to make it delicious and tempting. Not to forget the processed cheese that is again high in salt. Too much salt is not good during pregnancy as it can lead to water retention in the body resulting in swelling in the feet and hands. In addition, it can also lead to hypertension (high blood pressure) in pregnancy.
- Absence of Fibre: During pregnancy it is quite essential to have loads of fibre so that you are not constipated and junk food does not have any fibre that can result in uncomfortable bowel moments during pregnancy. Putting pressure on your bowel movement may rupture the fetal bag.
- Sugar and Fat: Junk food is not only high in salt content, it is also high in sugar and fat content as well. For instance the French fries are loaded with oil and salt, the pizza and pasta sauces do have some amount of sugar in them, and then donuts – a classic example of a junk food loaded with both salt and sugar and loads of fat. Again too much sugar can lead to gestational diabetes during pregnancy and may also interfere with the healthy development of the baby. It is also believed that expecting mommies with gestational diabetes give birth to overweight baby
Harmful Effects of Junk Foods during Pregnancy
Junk foods though are great as an appetizer but it is as harmful as eating trash. It affects a normal person very easily so you can imagine how harmful the effect will be to a pregnant lady. This even creates a harsh effect on the baby inside the womb too. When an expecting mommy eats all those sugar and salt-rich foods which are undoubtedly less nutritive value, it is absorbed by the placenta as well. Thus, interfering with the healthy development and resulting in an obese baby or a baby with health disorders including mental health disorders as well.
It is undoubtedly bad to eat junk food in general and especially during pregnancy because if you are eating junk food regularly, you are putting your and your baby’s health at risk. You will gain unwanted and unhealthy weight that can pose problems during delivery, as the weight gain during pregnancy can’t be lost during the pregnancy. Following are the harmful effects of eating junk food during pregnancy.
- Unhealthy and Unwanted Weight Gain: The most obvious effect of eating junk foods is weight gain. Junk foods can make a person overweight and obese easily. It has a significantly higher risk of serious complications in women body during pregnancy. The consequences can be high blood pressure or Hypertension, pregnancy induced hypertension, various birth defects. Hence, to minimize the risks, obese mothers should maintain the weight gain limit. Doctors often recommend couples to plan the pregnancy after having a fit and healthy body. Especially to the mothers. It becomes too much difficulty to carry an extra weight during the last few month if someone is obese. There are many cases of miscarriage happens at the last stage of pregnancy because of the obese period.
- Fetal Development: You may not know that a lack of protein during pregnancy interferes with the proper kidney development in the fetus. If you are having a protein deficient diet then the kidney of the offspring remain underdeveloped. So, this process causes a massive development of high blood pressure and renal disease as the babies while reaching to adulthood. Doctors say that the adult hypertension and coronary heart disease may happen by intrauterine exposure to poor nutrition.
- Increases the risk of premature delivery: Eating too much of junk food that has no fibre can put unnecessary pressure on bowel movement which may lead to rupture of your water bag thus terminating the pregnancy.
- Constipation: Constipation is another hazard that can lead to a termination of your pregnancy, as it put unnecessary pressure on your bowel movement
- Behaviour disorder: If you are too much into eating junk and oily foods during pregnancy, there are chances you may behave weirdly. Doctors say that childhood obesity is inter connected with the increased risk of depression, attention deficit disorder and obviously poor learning. Many types of research say that pregnant women who eat doughnuts, chips, oily foods, candies too much, have a risk of defective child birth. Basically, the baby brain and mother’s brain to react in a different manner.