Overweight & Planning Your Pregnancy? What Can You Do About It?

Healthy pregnancy and a baby is every mommy-to-be’s dream. Accomplishing and experiencing the most rewarding motherhood is largely based on your healthy habits.  As pregnancy demands a lot from you physically as well as emotionally, it is prudent that you must maintain a healthy weight as it could put you at risk.

Each person’s built varies, some are naturally thin, whereas others are on the heavy side. It is optimum to be at the normal weight range as being in either of the extremes (underweight or obese) can lead to complications during pregnancy.

So, what are the risks of overweight pregnancies?

Being overweight or obese does have concerns. It could lead to certain complications during pregnancy and labor. It also affects the baby’s health before and after birth.

Complications to the mother:

Complications to the babies

  • Premature birth
  • Birth defects such as neural tube defect
  • Macrosomic babies with increased chances of getting a metabolic disease in future

How do I know if I am overweight or obese??

A person who has more than the accepted range of body fat is called overweight and if they have an excessive amount of body fat they are considered obese. This is measured by Body mass index (BMI), which is calculated based on your height & weight.

BMI Weight status
25-29.9 Overweight
>30 Obese

 

It is important to know that your body undergoes a lot of changes during pregnancy. Hence these measurements may not be accurate if you are already pregnant. It is always best to maintain a healthy weight prior to your pregnancy.

Though worry not, overweight pregnancies are extremely common these days. Just be mindful of how to manage your health. Being aware of a raised BMI and its associated complications can help you have a happy pregnancy as long as you follow a set of healthy habits.

Follow these practical tips, for having a healthiest pregnancy possible

  • Schedule an appointment with your health care provider before conception
  • Have regular prenatal visits
  • Follow healthy diet
  • Be physically active
  • Stay away from bad habits such as smoking or drinking

What should be your diet pattern?

Food to be focused on:

  • For vitamins, minerals & fiber: Plenty of vegetables, some fruit, wholegrain breads
  • For calcium, protein, and iodine: Cereals low-fat dairy food (or alternatives like soy rice or oat milk products)
  • For iron and protein: Lean red meat
  • For omega-3 fatty acids: Oily fish like sardines for omega-3 fatty acids
  • Eat small frequent snacks and keep yourself healthy
  • Drink plenty of water.

Food to be avoided:

Certain food habits need to be modified – cut on sugary soft drinks, chocolates, ice cream, and fried food items.

Key Take Away:

  1. Enjoy an uncomplicated pregnancy and labor by bringing your weight under control before pregnancy.
  2. Don’t try to lose weight during pregnancy as this may not be safe.
  3. Being overweight, does increase pregnancy complications, but still, you can have a straightforward pregnancy and birth.
  4. Stay positive and have a happy disposition, everything will fall into place.

 

 

 

 

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Aishwarya

Dr. Aishwarya Rajeev has completed her MDS degree and is currently pursuing her PhD. She is an avid reader and loves to teach and write!

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