With the average BMI on the rise and the age of first time pregnancy gradually crossing 30 in the urban areas, there are a lot of women who face the issue of being overweight. Pregnancy brings with it a bout of weight gain, and in overweight women, this only adds to the problem. A BMI between 25 and 30 is considered overweight; a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.
Obesity brings with it a lot of complications for the baby and the mother. Some of them have been listed below:
- Fetal loss: Excess weight increases chances of miscarriage.
- Preterm birth: This is also in part due to the complications associated with increased weight during pregnancy.
- Still birth: This risk increases with obesity.
- Birth defects: The risk of birth defects like heart defects and neural tube defects increase with obesity.
- Gestational diabetes: The woman gets diagnosed with diabetes during pregnancy and may require a cesarean section.
- Preeclampsia: Increased blood pressure can develop in women who are overweight. If not treated, this could even turn into a fatal condition.
- Sleep apnea: This is a breathing disorder with loss of breathing for short periods of time.
Some of the suggestions one must follow in order to manage weight during pregnancy include the following:
- Do a weight check when you plan for pregnancy. It is always easier to achieve weight loss and then go for pregnancy than vice versa.
- Check the BMI and ensure it is brought down to the 20 to 25 range before pregnancy.
- Once pregnant, constantly monitor your weight. It should be correlated with the growth of the baby to ensure the weight gain is normal.
- Plan your meals. Get a nutritionist’s help to plan out a detailed meal chart. Remember that though most people believe that you need to eat extra during pregnancy, it is not true. You only need to eat about 300 calories extra per day, which is sufficient for the baby’s growth. More important is to ensure the baby receives the required nutrients, including folic acid, calcium, iron, etc.
- Stay active during pregnancy. While hard-core gymming is off limits, regular yoga and brisk walking are ideal for keeping yourself flexible and to ensure an active lifestyle.
- Undertake lifestyle changes like quit smoking and avoid excessive drinking to keep a check on your weight.
It is very important to constantly stay in touch with your doctor and monitor your weight regularly. Even slightly more than desirable weight gain should immediately be brought under control to avoid complications for both, the mother and the baby.