Pregnancy is a time when your body undergoes significant changes. One of the most noticeable change is the weight gain. This weight gain should be a reasonable amount and is recommended based on your pre-pregnancy weight.
If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 25 or more (before pregnancy): it is categorized as overweight and if you have a BMI of 30 or more, you will fall into the “Obese” category. If you have started your pregnancy in these two categories or as sometimes called “ Plus size pregnancy”, you might be more prone to pregnancy complications. However, many women who are overweight can go on to have an uncomplicated pregnancy, birth, and healthy babies. It is important to remember that being overweight does increase the risk of certain complications such as :
1) Increased risk of miscarriage and still births
2) Gestational Diabetes, Hypertension, Pre-eclampsia, Cardiac issues.
3) Difficult vaginal delivery.
4) Increased possibility of longer labour, induced or assisted labour, overdue labour.
5) Increased need for C-section and possibility of C-section complications.
6) Larger than average size baby.
7) Increased risk of post partum hemorrhage ( bleeding) , blood clots etc.
8) Baby more prone to certain birth defects.
The good news is that you can protect your and your baby’s well-being by following some simple tips:
1. Eat healthy: Pregnancy is not the time to diet and lose weight. Eat nutritious and well -balanced diet. Swap your fried snacks with healthy options like nuts and fruits. Include lot of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, high fiber foods etc in your diet. Keep away from sugary and fried items, carbonated drinks etc. Drink enough water and be well hydrated.
2. Physical activity: Regular exercise during pregnancy is highly recommended if you have an uncomplicated pregnancy. It’s one of the most effective ways, along with a healthy diet to manage weight gain during pregnancy. Activities like walking, swimming, yoga are great options during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor before commencing any fitness program, if you have a complicated pregnancy or you are unsure about your medical condition.
3. Understand how much weight gain is necessary for you and monitor your weight gain.
4. Talk to your doctor if you have a history of diabetes, blood pressure or any other risk factors.
5. Attend antenatal classes or talk to your doctor about different birth options. It is always helpful to be well prepared for labour and birth.
Remember – Having that extra kilos don’t always have to mean trouble. But you do need to pay extra attention to your health for the best possible outcome for you and your baby’s future. Undoubtedly, the ideal way is to reach the healthy weight range before pregnancy so that you give the best start to your body and your baby’s health.