5 Ways to Avoid Prenatal Obesity

It is important for a woman to take care of her health, especially during pregnancy, as there is a fragile life growing inside your body. Complications that arise during such time can take a significant effect on the mother’s health, the infant’s health, or both. One such complication is obesity or weight gain, which is common among pregnant women.

Obesity and Pregnancy 

People who are overweight have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 29.9, whereas those who are obese have a BMI of 30 or higher. Relatively, those with a BMI of 40 or greater are at the highest risk of complications during pregnancy.

Research suggests that women who are heavier than normal before pregnancy are at greater risk of pregnancy complications, including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and C-section.

Obesity during pregnancy can also put the baby at great risk of certain health problems, such as birth defects; macrosomia, or a baby that’s larger than normal; preterm birth; stillbirth; and even pregnancy loss. Furthermore, having too much fat in the body may make it difficult to detect certain problems in the fetus’ anatomy through an ultrasound exam. This is also especially difficult when checking the baby’s heart rate when labor comes.

How to Keep Weight under Control 

Women may catch health problems while they are pregnant or before they have conceived. This is the main reason why women are urged to receive prenatal care throughout their pregnancy: to decrease their risk of pregnancy complications. Aside from this, expecting mothers can also try different interventions to avoid maternal obesity altogether.

Work Closely with Your Doctor 

During your prenatal checkups, your healthcare provider will closely assess your health status all throughout your pregnancy. Your doctor will also discuss how much weight gain is necessary while you are pregnant.

Women with the average weight should be able to gain twenty-five to thirty-five pounds during pregnancy, but women who are overweight may need to gain less or even lose some pounds to reach the recommended pregnancy weight.

Record Your Pregnancy Weight Gain 

Keeping track of your weight gain throughout pregnancy is extremely necessary, especially for women at risk of obesity. Doing so will help you and your doctor compare any progress in your weight and implement essential interventions to keep it under control as much as possible.

Women who are overweight may only need to add up fifteen to twenty-five pounds to their weight during pregnancy. This extra weight will go not only to the baby, but also to the placenta, the blood supply, the uterus, the amniotic fluid, and the stored fat in preparation for delivery and breastfeeding. 

Eat a Balanced Diet 

Pregnancy may give you unusual cravings in unnecessary amounts, but you may want to mind what you eat while pregnant, especially if you are concerned about your weight gain. However, it is still important not to deprive yourself of the vitamins and nutrients needed to keep your pregnancy healthy; you just need to choose what to eat and how much to consume.

For overweight mothers, slow your weight gain by choosing lower-fat food, limiting sweet and sugary drinks, avoiding whole-milk items, leaving out salt when cooking food, using fats in moderation, and baking or broiling food instead of frying your food in oil or butter.

Exercise Regularly 

Yes, pregnant women can definitely exercise, especially among morbidly obese women. With your doctor’s go signal, you should be able to do moderate exercise for thirty minutes or more most days of the week. Doing so significantly reduces one’s risk of certain pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes.

However, exercise may be contraindicated during pregnancy if certain conditions or symptoms arise, such as dizziness, headache, vaginal bleeding, chest pain, calf pain or swelling, preterm contractions, amniotic fluid leakage, or decreased fetal movement. Such symptoms may require you to undergo a nonstress test to detect whether or not your baby is receiving adequate oxygen inside the womb. This procedure uses a toco transducer to measure uterine contractions and another sensor to keep track of your baby’s heart rate in response to his or her activity.

Get Regular Prenatal Care 

Seeking prenatal care as early as possible can increase your chances of maintaining a healthy pregnancy. If you think you’re pregnant, schedule a visit to your doctor as soon as possible, especially if you have existing problems with your weight.

Getting regular health-care assistance throughout the course of your pregnancy can greatly help monitor your condition and prevent any further complications to arise. It also allows doctors to treat a specific condition as early as possible.

During your checkups, you will be assessed and required to undergo a series of prenatal tests and examinations, which are all crucial to closely monitor your health as well as your baby’s. More importantly, religiously follow your doctor’s advice, as he or she knows best how to keep you and your baby healthy.