It is possible that you would have planned everything well for your pregnancy, including having a moderate weight. However, for some of you, having a moderate body weight is not possible. And some of you get into a weight dilemma. It happens to you, especially when you are already overweight.
As per recent studies and Dr. Ruchi Malhotra, a fertility specialist at the best IVF centre in Rajouri Garden (Delhi), losing weight during pregnancy is possible and beneficial for women with a higher weight or a BMI of 30. However, losing weight is not good for females who had moderate weight before pregnancy. You should talk to your doctor if you wish to lose weight during pregnancy.
Why should you lose weight during pregnancy?
Before coming into this world, your future baby relies on you in several ways. You carry and nourish your future child for around 40 weeks and help him/her grow and develop. Extra weight during pregnancy can create issues. Being overweight or obese can lead you to:
- Premature birth
- Gestational diabetes (and type 2 diabetes later in life)
- High blood pressure
- Cesarean delivery
- Heart defects in the baby
- Sleep apnea
- Blood clots, especially in the legs
- Preeclampsia, a chronic high blood pressure form
How to safely lose weight during pregnancy
As mentioned above, being obese or overweight is not good for you during pregnancy. For a healthy and successful pregnancy, you should manage your body weight. Here are some useful steps for your support:
- Have an idea how much weight you should gain – During pregnancy, gaining weight is normal for all females. If you are already overweight, you will still gain weight. Therefore, it is crucial for you to know how much weight gain is healthy. As per the National Institutes of Health, you should expect weight gain:
- 11 to 20 pounds if your BMI is more than 30
- 15 to 25 pounds if the BMI is between 25 and 29.9
- 25 to 30 pounds if you have a normal body weight or your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9
- 28 to 40 pounds if you are underweight or your BMI is lower than 18.5
- Cut down on calories – The management of your daily calorie intake can help you lose extra weight. Taking more calories in comparison with what you burn can lead you to weight gain. To lose 1 pound, you need to burn 3 500 calories a week. It means you need to burn 500 calories a day. You need to take around 2 200 to 2 900 calories a day during your pregnancy if you had a normal weight before getting pregnant.
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Usually, you do not need extra calories in the first trimester by having a normal weight prior to pregnancy. You need to add 340 calories a day in the 2nd trimester and 450 calories a day in the 3rd trimester of your pregnancy. For healthy weight management during pregnancy, you should:
- Cut out condiments
- Eat in smaller portions
- Skip unhealthy fats and prefer plant-based fats
- Fill up on vegetables and salads in spite of conventional carbs
- Avoid junk, fast, or processed foods
- Limit or avoid soda and prefer normal water and home-made fruit juices
- Take prenatal vitamin and mineral supplements as per the mentioned doses
- Exercise for 30 minutes a day – Some of you are afraid of performing exercises during pregnancy. You think exercising can harm your baby. However, it is not true. Performing light to moderate exercises is highly beneficial for you. It helps you manage your body weight, ease some aches, and reduce the risks of having birth defects. You should be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day. Here are some good exercises for pregnancy:
- Prenatal yoga
- Manage your weight concerns early – It is certain that you will gain weight during pregnancy. You will notice it in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of your pregnancy. And in the last two months, your baby in the womb grows rapidly. You need to keep a close watch on your BMI and expected weight gain in each trimester. And you must get in touch with your doctor if you notice abnormal weight gain. The doctor will offer the needed support and make you feel at ease.
Weight gain during pregnancy is common whether you are normal, overweight, or underweight. However, excess weight can be a matter of concern. Having an idea about how much weight gain is ideal and how to manage excess weight during pregnancy will be beneficial for you. And it will help you avoid pregnancy complications and give birth to a healthy and cute baby in or around the period of 9 months.