You may want to give enough vital nutrients to your growing baby when you are pregnant. Gaining a little bit of weight in pregnancy is normal. But what if you are obese already?
Obesity usually comes with many pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes and toxic pregnancy (preeclampsia). There is also a high risk of some congenital disabilities like preterm birth. Earlier, doctors used to refrain from giving weight loss advice to obese women during pregnancy as they were concerned about the child. According to a recent study, obese women can choose a healthy diet and light exercise to lose weight safely.
You can still have a healthy delivery and pregnancy with obesity. Here are the tips to lose weight effectively and safely in pregnancy -
Can I lose weight safely during pregnancy?
In a British Medical Journal study, obese women with exercise and diet counselling got better results for both their babies and themselves. They were provided with information about how to keep a food chart, follow a balanced diet, and engage in light exercises. Dietary changes reduced 61% risk of gestational diabetes and 33% of preeclampsia. Healthy eating also helped in reduced risk of preterm baby and gestational hypertension. It could be an excellent opportunity for you to have a fresh start by living a healthy lifestyle.
How would I know if I am obese?
If you have a BMI of above 30, you are obese. Your weight and height are considered to calculate your Body Mass Index. There are several BMI calculators available online to figure it out.
Pregnancy Risks Associated with Obesity
There are certain complications which may arise due to obesity in pregnancy. You may at higher risk of these complications if your BMI is on the high side –
- Gestational diabetes
- Blood clots
- Preeclampsia and hypertension
- Heavier bleeding after birth
- Blood clots
Whether you are obese or not, you may have these problems. The risk also increases with higher BMI.
Obesity also leads to health risks for your baby in pregnancy. Here are some of the complications during delivery –
- Higher birth weight
- Preterm birth (i.e. earlier than 37 weeks)
- Born with more body fat
- Spina bifida
- A chronic condition like diabetes or heart disease later in life
How Can I Lose Weight Safely During Pregnancy?
Remember, it is not the right time to start a strict exercise regime or a fad diet. No matter what you do to lose weight, just don’t overdo it.
Start slow and steady
If you are starting a new exercise, do it slowly and progress gradually. Do it only for 5-10 minutes in the beginning. Next week, add 5 minutes to it. Finally, you will want to reach around 30 to 45 minutes per day. If you are new to physical activities, you may walk and swim and be gentle on your joints.
Ask Your Doctor
Before starting any workout program or diet, call a specialist at Mannat Fertility Centre. She may help you choose the right exercise and answer all your queries. They may also refer you to a personal trainer or dietitian to help you in healthy exercise and diet in pregnancy.
Ditch empty calories
If possible, try to avoid the following food items during pregnancy –
- Fried food
- Fast food
- Soft drinks
- Oven-cooked dinners
According to a study, diet changes were considered more effective than workouts alone to improve results in pregnancy. A balanced diet consists of a blend of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and protein.
Skip diet fads
These diets are rigorous against calories. Your baby may not get all the vital nutrients. It’s not the right time to try anything new. If you lose weight too frequently or you eat only a limited amount of food, it can be too dangerous for your unborn. You need to eat various vitamins for your baby.
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