Is Being Overweight A Problem During Pregnancy?


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Being obese or overweight is something that we should be wary of, as it poses several health problems.

When it comes to pregnancy, the issue of being overweight becomes even more critical. If one is obese at the start of pregnancy, then there may be several complications later, since the weight is bound to increase during the tenure of pregnancy.

Being Overweight And Pregnancy Problems:

First of all, you will need to know if your weight is beyond the acceptable limits. For this, calculate your body mass index (BMI). If the BMI is above 25 before pregnancy, then you can consider yourself to be overweight. Here are some aspects that will help you to know about problems related to being overweight and pregnant:

1. Problems In Getting Pregnant:

The first step of conceiving a baby will be tough for those with excess weight. Research says that if your BMI is over the permissible limit, then in case of first pregnancy the chances of getting pregnant reduces by about 8-10%. Th

e risk is even higher in case of subsequent pregnancies, when the chances get hit by 16-20%.

The problem can be attributed to some changes in your body which occur due to excess weight. There might be lower production of the hormone that induces the fertilisation of eggs. Also, the production of insulin might increase and this also interferes with the process. In fact, even those who are taking up in vitro fertilisation (IVF) will have lesser chances of succeeding in case of obesity.

2. Risks During Pregnancy:

Many overweight women with regular menstrual cycles do successfully conceive by following some precautions. However, even after conception, there can be substantial risks.

  • One is the risk of suffering from preeclampsia. This is a condition where the sugar and protein in the urine increases. It can cause damage to your kidneys and clotting of blood, which will put you at risk.
  • Your blood pressure is another aspect that can be affected by weight issues. It has been found that most women who are overweight suffer from high blood pressure.
  • Gestational diabetes is another condition that is common among women with excess weight. This is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy due to high levels of sugar in the blood and is spurred by weight gain.

3. Health Hazards For The Newborn:

Even a newborn can face some problems if the conditions mentioned above are not treated properly. Breathing problem is one of them. In such cases, babies are also wont to be larger and normal delivery becomes hazardous.

  • Since women with excess weight are likely to have low vitamin D, your newborn child will also be deficient, unless you take proper dosage as a supplement.
  • In case of high obesity with BMI of 30 or more, there are high risks of your baby developing neural tube defects, i.e. improper development of brain and spine.
  • Low blood pressure and premature birth are other risks associated with being overweight in pregnancy.

All these symptoms can lead you to having challenges during labour and pose risk to your newborn. A C-section is advised to women suffering from any of these conditions.
Apart from these factors, you will feel extremely sweaty, as the temperature of your body will also rise during pregnancy and the excess weight will enhance the discomfort. It is, therefore, always advisable to check your weight and bring it under control when you are planning to conceive.

How To Deal With Overweight During Pregnancy?

While it is not at all advisable to go on a diet and try to cut the calories during pregnancy, here are some tips that can help you in controlling the kilos:

  1. During the first few months, you may tend to lose some weight or keep it constant, because of nausea and vomiting. There is low tendency to eat and most of the time what is consumed cannot be retained.
  2. Since obese women already have excess fat deposits in body, they can afford to keep fat intake low, while increasing proteins and vitamins. So avoid fatty stuff like butter, ghee, ice cream, chocolate, red meat, etc.
  3. Eating sensibly helps tremendously. Opt for fresh fruits and vegetables. While you need all nutrients, concentrate on foods rich in fiber.
  4. Drink lots of fluids, in the form of water, juices and soups, which help in cutting fat and keeping you satiated.
  5. Do light exercises keep active. However, consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise. Walking is great and if you are trying to lose weight, then you can walk away some of the fat.

It is a tough challenge, and often a dangerous one, to lose weight when you are pregnant. So, do get your weight under control before you plan to conceive a child. If you are overweight and would like to reduce the extra kilos, the best way is to consult a certified nutritionist, who will be able to assess your fitness level and prescribe the right exercise and diet chart.

Hope you liked our post on is overweight a problem for pregnancy. Don’t forget to share your experiences with us.

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