Although many health officials strongly advocate plus size women losing weight before their pregnancies, statistics show that one in three pregnant women have crossed the line to obesity. And despite the health risks associated with pregnant women carrying extra weight, with proper health care plus-size women can generally enjoy healthy pregnancies and deliver healthy babies.
But the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists still strongly urges healthcare professionals to advise overweight women against falling pregnant before they have control of their weight.
The health risk list
The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention places pregnancies in this category on the same health level of risk as sufferers of uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, drinking and smoking.
We cannot agree more, however, that a healthy body certainly leads to a healthy and very often, easier, pregnancy and birth. But, with good medical care, obese women can still enjoy a healthy run and should problems arise they need to be aware of them and seek medical attention appropriately.
“Most plus-size women have completely normal pregnancies and normal babies, said clinical instructor in obstetrics at Harvard Medical School.
Overweight and pregnant is ok
As a plus-size pregnant woman you would have heard all the negative reports about your pregnancy. But just because you are overweight doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a really great pregnancy resulting in a healthy, bouncy baby if you know the possible risks by educating yourself and ensuring you get the best medical care that you can.
There are obvious health risks that often go hand in hand with overweight and obese pregnancies. But by choosing a good health care professional and informing yourself of possible risks, most of these conditions are easily controlled without affecting your growing baby. The fact remains, however, that most obese women will develop high blood pressure. Many are also at risk of developing gestational diabetes. Mostly, obese women give birth to larger babies and this is certainly not without its own set of risks to baby and mom come delivery time. But again, all this is manageable with professional care.
Adopting a healthier mindset
Obese pregnant women can drastically reduce their risks by taking on a healthier mindset. This would include a balanced eating plan and as vigorous an exercise regime as is possible.
These are simply good health routines practised by society’s majority and so can easily be sustained by the overweight or obese mom-to-be.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is the relationship between your height and your weight. To fall into a healthy weight category before pregnancy your Body Mass Index (BMI) should fall within the 18,5-24,9 range. This will allow you to gain 11-16kgs (25-35 pounds) during your pregnancy.
You are considered obese if your BMI is above 30. If you fall into this category you are advised to gain only 7-11kgs (15-25 pounds) during your pregnancy with no more than 1-1,5kg (2-3 pounds) a month and only in your last two trimesters.
Dieting: a no-go option
Regardless of whether you are pregnant or not, overweight or underweight, dieting is not the way to go when trying to shed those kgs or even gain a couple.
The answer is a simple one – no measuring, no starving yourself, no following specific menus! It’s rather all about healthy eating. A well-balanced diet, coupled with daily exercise (even just brisk walking for 30 minutes a day, riding an exercise bicycle, swimming or water aerobics) is the perfect recipe to gain control of your weight! The best part is you will feel so much better for it, with loads more energy, too.
You may hate this lifestyle change initially. But cut yourself some slack here; it’s simply because it is so foreign to you! Give yourself a two to four week chance at the good stuff and by the end of it your new way of eating with a little exercise thrown in will become addictive – especially when you start to see the weight coming off!