Most women are overweight when pregnant. Some gain too much weight after being pregnant. When your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or greater, you are said to be obese. Gaining too much weight and reaching a stage of obesity creates a variety of complications during pregnancy.
Problems related to pregnancy due to obesity
If you are obese, you must take care of your health and that of your would-be baby by losing weight before you plan on getting pregnant. Obesity during pregnancy may put you at risk of a variety of problems that include:
- Gestational Diabetes: This occurs during pregnancy and if you are obese there is a greater chance of suffering from this problem. Due to gestational diabetes, you may end up having a caesarean section. Moreover, it increases the risk of the mother and the baby suffering from diabetes in the later stages of their lives.
- High Blood Pressure: Obesity can also lead to high blood pressure during pregnancy which is also known as preeclampsia. In some cases, it may lead to seizures, kidney or liver failure etc.
- Miscarriage: Obese women are at a higher risk of miscarriage compared to women with normal weight.
- Birth Defects: Obesity can lead to various type of birth defects like neural tube defects, heart defects etc.
- Preterm Birth: Preterm birth may occur if you are suffering from obesity during pregnancy.
What to do if you are obese during pregnancy?
Losing weight during pregnancy is not good, but if you are obese, try not to gain much weight. You can keep yourself and your baby healthy by limiting weight gain. If you are obese you may adopt the following ways to keep on track with weight gain.
- Healthy diet: During pregnancy, it is very essential to have a healthy diet as recommended by your nutritionist. Avoid junk and unhealthy foods.
- Drink plenty of water: During pregnancy, you should drink lots of water. Water not only helps in keeping you and your developing baby healthy but also in preventing hunger.
- Have light meals: If you don’t want to gain much weight, eat light meals frequently instead of heavy meals. Light meals provide the required energy without increasing your weight.
- Avoid eating for two: Pregnancy doesn’t mean that you have to eat for two. Eating for two makes you put on lots of excess weight which is not good at all for obese pregnant women.
- Exercise: Daily exercise helps a lot in limiting excess weight gain. If you are a beginner, you can go for pregnancy exercises like swimming and low impact aerobics. But do consult your doctor before doing any one of these.
- Walking: You can walk slowly for 20 to 30 minutes daily. Walking helps in keeping yourself fit and healthy.