Weight gain leads to pregnancy complications

Put down that bag of chips and step away from those cookies! Being pregnant means having constant food cravings that we can't control. Some women need sweets (I sent my husband on plenty of ice cream and donut runs). Others hunger for spicy (I ate Mexican and Indian food all the time!) or tart (I suddenly wanted salt and vinegar potato chips after never eating them before in my life).

But no matter what your craving(s), all pregnant women like to feed into the old saying, "I'm eating for two". But the truth is, if you're a healthy weight you are only supposed to have an extra 300 calories a day while pregnant (or the equivalent of a turkey sandwich). While I fully believe hormones are the little devils on our shoulders who make us gorge ourselves on goodies, most of us use the excuse of being pregnant to indulge in every last culinary whim (guilty as charged!). Jennifer Love Hewitt is no different. She recently confessed that being knocked up has amplified her already large sweet tooth. So instead of savoring one delicious cupcake, she chows down on three at a time!

I'm sure that sounds like total bliss to you right about now! Not to steal the cherry off of your sundae, but new research out of the University of Alberta reveals that excessive weight gain during the first half of pregnancy means bigger, fatter, longer babies with more body fat. The simple translation: Ouch! Those babies are going to be a lot harder to get out, and can lead to lengthier labors and more medical interventions, like c-sections.

No one wants the food police knocking down their door, and this is not intended to make you feel guilty about any past or future snacking indiscretions (we're all human!), but it is food for thought. What would you rather have: a mound of delicious homemade chocolate-chip cookies or a quicker, easier birth with less pain and less complications? For me the answer is a piece of cake (not literally!).

TELL US: Are you trying to curb your cravings? What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Image of woman eating cupcakes courtesy of Shutterstock.