Being overweight is a problem that can pose some difficulties in our daily life, but especially at such a delicate time as pregnancy. That is why it is wise to consider these nine ways to lead a healthy pregnancy if you are overweight.
Because if you are pregnant and you increase a lot of weight there are certain risks for 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 births, the risk of malformations …
And we do not seem to care too much about these risks, considering that about 40% of pregnant women are overweight or obese (the figures vary from one country to another: in the United States the figures are around 45%) and that this Is a problem at a global level, since more and more in developing countries, especially in urban areas, there are pregnant women with overweight or obesity.
It is not the same overweight as obesity and the case of obese women requires a very specific medical follow-up as the risks increase. Based on the body mass index (BMI), the World Health Organization defines overweight when this index is equal to or higher than 25, and obesity when it is equal to or higher than 30. The preconception visit to the gynecologist (or the first In pregnancy) can tell you what your case is and act accordingly.
Healthy Overweight Pregnancy
So, let’s take into account these nine tips for spending a healthy pregnancy if you are overweight.
- Make the preconception visit to the gynecologist. This consultation before achieving a healthy pregnancy is very useful especially in the case of chronic diseases and overweight women. Knowing that you want to have a baby, you can do the measurements and determine if you are overweight or obese and give you the guidelines to start weight management. Thus, this information will appear in your history and will be available once you get pregnant. In addition, the doctor may act on a possible vitamin D deficiency associated with overweight and obesity and lack of folates, prescribing a supplement.
- Do not lose weight in pregnancy. Pregnant women with obesity should not lose weight during pregnancy, nor should those who are overweight. The US Institute of Medicine recommends that obese women only fatten between 5 and 9 kilograms, while women who are slightly overweight should increase between 6.8 and 11 kilograms.
- Do not gain weight in the first quarter. During the first months of gestation, it is not necessary to gain weight, the baby is still very small and takes everything necessary of the body of the well-fed mother, without needing to increase the energy supply. “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 entire gestation, but its use will be minimal in the first trimester. However, in the second and third trimesters, the caloric intake will increase as the body asks for it (for fetal and placental development, the increase of uterus and breasts …) and it is not a good idea to go hungry.
- Do not eat for two. The fact that the pregnant woman has to eat for two is not true. We must take a healthy and balanced diet, taking into account that in the pregnant women metabolic changes take place that allows you to extract more calories from the food and to conserve that additional energy without having to ingest much more.
- Choose healthy foods. Since we have to eat more, 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. Additional 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 may also help control appetite, keep unhealthy snacks and snacks under control.
- Drink more water. Do not eat for two, but nothing happens if you drink water for two. Maintaining proper hydration during a healthy pregnancy is essential for good health and avoidance of excess weight. Among the drinks, the best is water, milk, natural juices … and the fruits and vegetables of which we have spoken previously will also help you not to gain excess weight.
- The whims, occasionally. We are not of stone and it is not a question of carrying a “nutritional asceticism” during the nine months. Maybe one day we will have a special dessert, a whipped cream, a treat, a hamburger “complete” … But it has to be, one day among many. It is not only a recommendation not to gain weight more than desirable but also to avoid other health problems derived from an excess of salt, sugar, saturated fat …
- Exercise regularly. Recall that body weight and weight gain is the result of the balance between contribution and energy expenditure and that the current lifestyle, which tends to sedentarism and based on poor diet, is the major determinant of obesity and overweight. We have already talked about food, but it is that physical activity is equally important in maintaining an adequate weight. Ideally, you should exercise even before you become pregnant and if you are already, start small, increasing in time and intensity while you are well and able to do so, if there is no contraindication. If you did not exercise before, walking at a good pace or swimming are activities you can do without risk.
- Plan the postpartum. No more time to cook and quietly plan menus or exercise at any time. But the effort made during pregnancy should not be erased by 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 visit with confidence … and maintain a healthy diet in the long term. Try to take time out for exercise, maybe the gym, or even next to the baby is possible. All 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 the pregnancy, carrying out an exercise routine and a healthy diet, we will not see ourselves pregnant and with problems of being overweight. Better to prevent.
During pregnancy, healthy eating and regular exercise are the best ways to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby. Consult your doctor if you are pregnant and are overweight to examine your particular situation and allow you to follow these nine tips to be healthier.