Coco Austin & Her 13 Pound Pregnancy: Was it Healthy?

The star, married to rapper Ice T, reportedly only gained 13 pounds when she was pregnant with her daughter Chanel—but is that a healthy amount?

Coco Austin & Her 13 Pound Pregnancy: Was it Healthy? Ovidiu Hrubaru/Shutterstock

We all know Coco Austin looked phenomenal just days after giving birth—and that doesn't seem quite as surprising in light of news about her total pregnancy weight gain. According to E! Online, the blonde bombshell gained just 13 pounds during her pregnancy.

It sounds like a dream come true, but let's consider one thing: Medical recommendations state that women with BMIs that fall in the "normal" range should gain about 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy—and Coco's total weight gain equates to only about half of the lower end of that range. So was her pregnancy safe?

According to one medical expert, Coco's weight gain might not be an issue. "When you ask physicians what is recommended during pregnancy, it goes based on body weight. We are a calorie-rich but calorie-poor-driven country right now, though. Obviously I go through the numbers [with patients] but at the same time, I'm not so focused on the weight gain anymore," says Sean Daneshmand, M.D., an OBGYN at San Diego Perinatal Center and founder of Miracle Babies.

Dr. Daneshmand told Fit Pregnancy that overall health during pregnancy can't just be measured on a scale. "If someone gains about 13 pounds but the quality of what they're ingesting is excellent, I'm happy. I don't tell a patient 'you absolutely need to gain 25 pounds.'"

So why have a recommended amount in the first place? "We know data from World War II [found] that back then patients were consuming very [few] calories—500 to 600 calories—and many of these children were growth-restricted because there weren't enough calories coming to them," Dr. Daneshmand explains. "Back then these women were living on very few calories but it wasn't like it is now. If you look at society right now, 40 to 50 percent of our reproductive-aged women are overweight or obese—we are definitely not deficient in calories. If a women is gaining 25 to 35 pounds but she's eating garbage, that's not the best way. The calories have to be excellent calories. The nutrition has to be excellent."

Here's one tip for expectant mothers: "As long as the quality of what you eat is good and as long as you're not trying to lose weight while pregnant, then we're going to have a very healthy child without growth restriction," Dr. Daneshmand says, citing the child's growth restriction as the biggest complication that can arise when a woman doesn't gain enough through her pregnancy. "I've never had a patient who comes in who is eating very healthy but has a growth-restricted child because of low calories. I just don't see it."

So think twice before you judge Coco Austin for her barely-there pregnancy weight gain. She may very well have been completely healthy throughout those nine months—and while it's probably not a good idea to aim to only gain 13 pounds during your own pregnancy, what you're putting in your body might matter more than the number on the scale. "As long as someone is eating healthy, she's going to gain weight. It's unlikely that a woman will not gain weight. If a woman is not gaining more than 10 pounds it's a red flag—but we live in a very different time now," Dr. Daneshmand says.

1 week post baby ..the left was me at 36 weeks ( I had Chanel at 37 weeks) I was basically in shape before I got pregnant but during pregnancy I stopped my workout regimen at 4 months preggers and pretty much became a fruitarian after that lol..No not really, I ate other foods of course but craved fruit. I lost 10 pounds before I even started to gain baby weight probably because 1- I stopped drinking alcohol. 2 - I stopped weight lifting and lost a lot of muscle and 3- I ate really healthy and took my vitamins everyday.(I'm gonna post my whole routine soon on my baby blog www.thecocoblog.com) I gained 13 pounds my whole pregnancy and now I way almost back to norm at 137 pounds. All this is strange to me too, how my body took so well with pregnancy because I was mentally prepared to blow up like a whale and I was totally cool with it I really could have cared less how my body looked it didn't matter to me..I couldn't wait to get a bump and rock it! ..I would've gone through anything to make a healthy baby ..I had the heavens really watching over me and know everyday how blessed I am.. I believe anybody could too go through a wonderful experience and thats why I made a baby blog so people could know the steps I took..I hope to bring inspiration

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