Overweight and pregnancy are the two most feared words for some people. Being overweight during pregnancy is one of the most daunting and difficult tasks for a woman.

Overweight And Pregnancy

Some of the most common complications during pregnancy arise when the mother becomes overweight. And this happens when women start eating more than required in an attempt to have healthier babies. However, as endocrinologist Teresa Hiller said – “there are too many women that gain weight during pregnancy and this extra weight puts them at a higher risk for having heavier babies and the child becoming obese later in life”. If the woman is overweight before her pregnancy, then a proper diet and exercise must be recommended so that the delivery is easy and the baby is born healthy. However, if a woman becomes overweight during pregnancy, usually around the 14th week, then a doctor must be sought immediately to keep the weight under control. Pregnant women must realize that it is the health of the baby too that they are responsible for. Mostly, the child’s physical and mental abilities are also affected when the carrying mother is overweight. To know more about overweight and pregnancy issues, read on the next section!
Overweight During Pregnancy
  • An average woman is allowed to gain about 10kg during pregnancy. It’s only if she is underweight that she is allowed to gain up to 18kg! But an overweight woman can only gain about 7kg and still have a healthy baby.
  • But what can a carrying mother do about the weight issues then? Doctors usually have strict advice on the amount of exercise (such as gymming) that can be done too since it raises the risk of injury. Thus, exercise must be done but limited to about a 30 min walk. Yoga is also a good option.
  • Swimming is not only safe for overweight pregnant women but also reduces the pain during childbirth. Research says that women who are obese have a risk of giving birth to heavier babies too thereby complicating delivery issues. Hence, other toning exercises such as pelvic movements and neck and foot exercises must also be taken up for these are the areas that are most strained during a pregnancy.
  • It must be remembered that at no point during exercising must an overweight pregnant woman lie on her back because this reduces blood supply and nutrients to the baby.
  • Some of the complications that can arise due to being overweight are: diabetes, miscarriage and hypertension. Hypertension (constricting blood vessels) has the ability to cause strokes and reduces blood supply to the baby. Preclampsia, also called toxicosis, is one of the complications of overweight pregnancies that hamper the supply of nutritive materials through the placenta to the baby.
  • A certain study showed that women who have become overweight during pregnancy have a higher probability of giving birth to children with ADHD-like symptoms.
  • A common misconception is that women need to eat ghee so that they are providing nutrition to their unborn child. But, in effect, overweight pregnant women must control the amount of fat, junk food, sweets and colas that they consume because they are nothing but empty calories.
  • The excess weight could be due to overeating or genetic problems. But either ways, pregnant women need to think before they eat. Never eat a meal for two even if you feel hungry (sometimes mixed signals from the brain). A pregnant woman needs only 300 calories more than a non-pregnant one. Plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole wheat products, cereal, non-fat dairy produce is the key.
  • Even though some pregnant women are overweight, they must never cut out on folic acid and iron as these are essential to the baby’s growth. If not supplied through the diet, it must be supplied through supplements such as tablets etc.
However, a sincere advice would be to consult a doctor regarding the causes, complications, diet and exercise regimens while overweight during pregnancy.

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