Being overweight is a problem that can pose some difficulties in our daily life, but especially in such a delicate moment as pregnancy. Therefore, it is convenient to consider these nine ways to carry a healthy pregnancy if you are overweight.
Because if you are pregnant and you gain a lot of weight there are certain risks to your health and that of the baby, risks that we want to avoid at all costs, such as hypertension, preeclampsia, diabetes, circulatory problems, more complicated deliveries, the risk of malformations …
And we do not seem to care about these risks too much, if we take into account that around 40% of pregnant women are overweight or obese (figures vary from one country to another: in the United States the figures are around 45%) and that this It is a problem at a global level, since more and more in developing countries, especially in urban areas, there are pregnant women who are overweight or obese.
It is not the same overweight as obesity and the case of obese women requires a very specific medical monitoring since the risks increase. Based on the body mass index (BMI), the World Health Organization defines overweight when this index is equal to or greater than 25, and obesity when it is equal to or greater than 30. The preconception visit to the gynecologist (or the first in pregnancy) can tell you what your case is and act accordingly.
Healthy pregnancy with overweight
Therefore, let’s keep in mind these nine tips for a healthy pregnancy if you are overweight.
- Make the preconceptional visit to the gynecologist.
This is very useful especially in the case of chronic diseases and overweight women. Knowing that you want to have a baby, you can make the measurements and determine if you are overweight or obese and give you the guidelines to start controlling your weight. Thus, this data will appear in your history and will be available once you become pregnant. In addition, the doctor may act to a possible lack of vitamin D associated with overweight and obesity and lack of folate, prescribing a supplement.
Do not lose weight during pregnancy.
Pregnant women with obesity should not lose weight during pregnancy, nor should those who are overweight. The Institute of Medicine of the United States recommends obese women who only fatten between 5 and 9 kilograms, while women who suffer a slight overweight should increase between 6.8 and 11 kilos.
Do not gain weight in the first quarter.
During the first months of pregnancy, it is not necessary to gain weight, the baby is still very small and takes everything necessary from the well-nourished mother’s body, without the need to increase energy intake. The “visible” changes in the mother’s body are minimal at this early stage of pregnancy. The pregnant woman performs an accumulation of energy reserves throughout the pregnancy, but its use will be minimal in the first trimester. However, in the second and third trimesters, the calorie intake will increase as the body asks for it (for fetal and placental development, the increase of uterus and breast …) and it is not advisable to go hungry.
Choose healthy foods.
Since we have to eat more, we do not increase the consumption of unhealthy foods, such as those that contain many fats, sugars, spicy … This, in addition to avoiding an excessive weight gain and health problems, can prevent various digestive discomforts. The extra calories should come from healthy foods, eating lots of vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains. These foods should not be lacking in pregnancy because of their nutritional properties, and they can also help control appetite, keep cravings and unhealthy snacks under control.
Drink more water.
You do not have to eat for two, but nothing happens if you drink water for two. Maintaining proper hydration during pregnancy is essential for good health and to avoid excess weight. Among the drinks, the best is water, milk, natural juices, and the fruits and vegetables that we talked about earlier will also help you not to gain excess weight.
The whims, occasionally.
We are not stone and it is not a question of carrying out a “nutritional asceticism” during the nine months. Maybe one day we’ll have a special dessert, a smoothie with cream, a treat, a “complete” hamburger … But that’s the way it has to be, one day among many. It is not just a recommendation not to gain weight more than desirable, but also to avoid other health problems derived from excess salt, sugar, saturated fats …
Remember that body weight and weight gain is the result of the balance between the contribution and energy expenditure and that the current lifestyle, tending to a sedentary lifestyle and based on poor diet, is the biggest determinant of obesity and overweight. We have already talked about food, but physical activity is equally important when it comes to maintaining an adequate weight. Ideally, you should exercise even before becoming pregnant and if you are already pregnant, start slowly, increasing time and intensity while you are well and able to do so if there is no contraindication. If you did not exercise previously, walk at a good pace or swimming are activities that you can do without risk.
Plan the postpartum.
The time to cook and plan the menus calmly or go out to exercise at any time is over. But the effort made during pregnancy should not be erased at a stroke and better if you continue with a healthy diet and exercise when you have recovered. Leave prepared foods in the freezer, ask your relatives to help you in this regard, to the visits of confidence … and keep a long-term healthy diet. Try to take time to exercise, maybe the gym, or even with the baby is possible. A challenge, but your health and that of the whole family will thank you.
Remember that, if we try to control our weight, even before achieving pregnancy, carrying a routine of exercises and a healthy diet, we will not be pregnant and with problems of overweight. Better to prevent.
During pregnancy, healthy eating and regular exercise are the best ways to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby.