Pregnancy can be one of the most joyful experiences of a woman’s life; however, it is essential for women to look after their health during pregnancy, to avoid any complications or risks to their unborn babies. This is probably why many women start making healthy dietary and lifestyle changes up to a year before they plan to get pregnant, just so that they can increase their chances of a smooth and safe pregnancy. This step is usually recommended for all women, especially those who are obese or even a bit overweight. There are many health risks that overweight women are exposed to and being overweight and pregnant at the same time could increase the number of health risks faced, not just by the mother, but also by the baby.
After getting pregnant, there are several women who believe that they have to “eat for two”, in order to ensure that their babies are getting all the nutrients required for growth and development.
However, weight gain during pregnancy too should be controlled; while the exact weight for each woman may vary a bit, doctors usually advise women to gain no more than 1 pound or so, every week. Gaining excessive amounts of weight due to a high-calorie diet could lead to many health complications for the child as well as the mother. Therefore, in order to prevent an overweight pregnant belly, women should continue to follow a diet that is high in nutrients, but restricts the amount of fat and calories consumed in a day. There are many exercises too, like walking, swimming and Pilates that are good for pregnant women and can also help them maintain a healthy weight during the course of their pregnancy.
Health risks faced by overweight pregnant women
Unfortunately, there are many health risks that an overweight pregnant woman and her baby are highly susceptible too. Given below are some of the common conditions that could affect obese pregnant or even overweight pregnant women:
• High blood pressure or gestational hypertension
• Eclampsia and Preeclampsia
• Gestational diabetes
• Premature delivery
Some of the problems that may be seen in those children that are born to overweight pregnant women include
• Low birth weight, especially in case of preterm labor
• Obesity in childhood
• Certain birth defects or infections
• Unstable body temperature
In case of those women who are morbidly obese and pregnant at the same time, it may be best to seek professional assistance in drafting an eating plan as well as an exercise routine, which can help shed some of the excess pounds, without depriving the baby of any essential nutrients and without causing any harm. There is a lot of useful information for obese pregnant women, easily available through various resources, such as online sites, fitness articles and television shows; however, the health tips provided by such sources are very generic and therefore, may not be suitable for all women who are overweight and pregnant at the same time. Therefore, all obese and overweight pregnant women are strongly advised to check with their doctors and get a go ahead, before using any such tips.