You have planned your pregnancy in every way possible in a perfect universe. It included getting a perfect weight down in advance. But, this isn’t practical for many women.
Although an exciting time, pregnancy can turn into a weight problem for already overweight women. It is because weight gain associated with raising a baby is inevitable.
Fortunately, much research indicates that losing some weight during pregnancy might be possible— and even beneficial — for certain women who are extremely overweight or obese (having a BMI of more than 30).
In comparison, losing weight is not necessary for pregnant women who were at a good weight before pregnancy.
If you think you can gain from weight loss during pregnancy, discuss with your doctor how to do so safely without hurting your infant.
Develop a gradual weight loss plan during pregnancy.
Even before they are born, there are several ways your future baby relies on you. Your body feeds and carries them for 40 weeks or so, helping them grow and develop.
During pregnancy gaining extra weight will cause complications as these mechanisms will get in the way.
Being obese while pregnant may lead to:
- Premature birth
- Cesarean delivery
- Heart defects in the baby
- Gestational diabetes in mother (and type 2 diabetes later in life)
- Preeclampsia: a severe form of high blood pressure that can also affect other organs like the kidneys
- Sleep apnea
- Blood clots(especially in your legs)
- Infections in mother
1. Be aware of your weight gain:
During pregnancy being overweight can also shift the emphasis to just losing weight.
The truth is, though, that you’ll always gain weight, so it’s important to know how much of it is safe. After all, inside of you, a human being rising!
Follow these recommendations for gaining pregnancy weight from the National Center for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders based on your weight before you are pregnant:
- Obese (BMI of 30 or more): gain 11 to 20 pounds
- BMI between 25 and 29.9: 15 to 25 pounds
- Normal weight (18.5 to 24.9 BMI): can gain between 25 and 35 pounds
2. Reduce calories:
The first approach to lose excess weight is to reduce calorie intake every day.
The most popular source of weight gain is to eat more calories than you burn off.
The loss of one pound requires 3,500 calories. It is equal to roughly 500 calories a day over a week.
You should keep a log before cutting all these calories in your diet to find out how many calories you consume.
You should discuss meal plans with a dietitian. Therefore, you can check for food labels from shops and restaurants to get a sense of how many calories it contains.
Be mindful that no less than 1.700 calories should be consumed every day by pregnant women.
This is the least that you and your baby earn daily adequate energy and nutrients.
Consider raising your calories slowly, if you usually eat much more calories. You can, for instance:
- eat smaller portions
- cut out condiments
- swap unhealthy fats (like butter) for a plant-based vision (try olive oil)
- trade baked goods for fruit
- fill up on vegetables instead of traditional carbs
- cut out soda, and opt for water instead
- avoid large amounts of junk food, like chips or candy
Make sure you get all the nutrients you and your baby need with a daily prenatal vitamin.
Folate is particularly important because it contributes to reducing the risk of birth defects.
3. Do 30 minutes of exercise every day:
The fear of hurting their babies, Some women are afraid to exercise. But that certainly isn’t real.
Although certain workouts may potentially be dangerous, such as situps, overall exercise is highly beneficial.
This will help you control your weight, reduce birth defects, and even relieve some of your pregnancy’s aches and pains.
The new guideline is no different from non-pregnant women: 30 minutes a day of operation.
When that is too much to get you going, consider breaking the 30 minutes into shorter blocks of time all day long.
Some of the best exercises for pregnant women are:
- Prenatal Yoga
On the flip side, you should avoid any activities that:
- rely on balance, such as bike riding or skiing
- are performed in the heat
- cause pain
- make you dizzy
- are done on your back (after 12 weeks of pregnancy)
Address weight concerns early:
Although you’ll gain weight from your pregnancy naturally, the bulk of this weight gain happens in the second and third trimesters.
In the last two months of pregnancy, the baby is also growing rapidly.
You can’t monitor your baby’s weight gain and supportive factors like the placenta, so it’s best to tackle any weight problems early in pregnancy.
Research published in the journal Obesity reported some improvement in weight control among pregnant women.
Researchers found that women who sought counseling during pregnancy between weeks 7 and 21 were less likely to gain extra weight during the third trimester.
The same group of women surveyed even took advantage of weekly group support meetings.