(NEW YORK) — When it comes to Jessica Simpson’s pregnancy weight, it seems everyone has an opinion.
Simpson, who is eight months pregnant with her first child, has been called “huge,” “a house,” and “an absolute porker,” the latter coming from a Florida OB/GYN.
“I hate how judgmental people are about pregnant women,” said Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. “You have to have a thick skin and recognize that people don’t have the right to criticize you. No one’s closer to this pregnancy than you are.”
Doctors say putting on 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy is healthiest. And while it’s unclear how much weight Simpson has gained, critics have accused her of “letting go” and being a bad role model for pregnant women.
“No one should ever look like Jessica Simpson,” Dr. Tara Solomon, a OB/GYN in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. told Slate. “She’s an absolute porker… I cannot believe how heavy she is.”
Simpson has taken flack over her figure before. The Fashion Star mentor’s weight has been tabloid fodder for years. But pregnancy weight is a touchy topic. Gaining too much or too little can harm both mom and baby.
“Early pregnancy weight gain is associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy,” said Greenfield. “Weight gain also tends to make bigger babies, which means a tighter fit through the birth canal.”
Gaining too little weight, on the other hand, can affect the baby’s growth, “and that’s really not a healthy situation,” said Greenfield. “Surprisingly, gaining too little weight actually increases the chance of the child being obese later in life.”
Gaining a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy doesn’t have to be hard, Greenfield said. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein is a smart way to stay within the recommended range.
“If we all had fantastic, healthy diets to begin with, we wouldn’t need to do anything differently during pregnancy. The only difference is you need 300 extra calories a day,” she said. “That’s an apple and a yogurt. You’re certainly not eating for two adults.”
Greenfield said moms-to-be should practice moderation and listen to their appetites.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio