Is It Dangerous to Be Overweight During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, there’s hardly any part of your body that isn’t affected in one way or another. Among the most obvious changes is weight gain. On average, a pregnant woman puts on from 9 to 13 kilos. In this article we’ll take a look at the effects of being overweight during pregnancy.
Women who gain excessive weight during pregnancy have an increased risk of not being able to return to their original weight after giving birth. Likewise, moms who were overweight before pregnancy, and who gain weight during pregnancy, have a higher risk of becoming obese, or more obese than they were.
Because of this, it’s very important to take care of your health and that of the baby. The essential thing in these cases is to control your weight to avoid situations that could be a risk for both you and your baby.
What are the risks of being overweight during pregnancy?
Being overweight during pregnancy can have negative consequences for both the mother and the fetus. We’ll explain these risks below:
Risks related to the mother’s health
The mother is in danger of developing gestational diabetes or preeclampsia. The overweight mother also usually has more problems with high blood pressure during pregnancy.
In addition, the risk of a miscarriage is even greater in the first trimester, and the likelihood of having to have a cesarean is also higher.
Risks related to the baby’s health
The main fetal risks are related to congenital anomalies. Being overweight during pregnancy also increases the risk of premature birth and neonatal complications.
Manage your weight gain during pregnancy
Pregnancy is an opportunity to reflect on your lifestyle. It’s also a time you can become aware of how your daily habits may affect your health and that of your future child.
To protect the child from these risks due to being overweight, nothing is more beneficial than following a healthy and balanced diet.
Remember that extreme diets are not recommended during pregnancy. These actually reduce the intake of the nutrients that your baby will need in order to develop correctly.
However, overeating in this period isn’t healthy either. What you need to do is to find a healthy balance and seek advice from your doctor.
We’ve also prepared some dietary recommendations for you, to help you control your weight during pregnancy:
1. Have variety at breakfast time
In the morning, try to find a balance between what you want and what you really need as a pregnant woman. You should be thinking just as much of your baby when you decide what to eat.
Bear in mind that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so take advantage of the opportunity to eat a good amount and a good variety of food.
The ideal breakfast should consist of a dairy product, a drink, a cereal product, some fruit or a glass of fruit juice. Under no condition should you skip breakfast, as it will give you the energy you need for the whole day.
2. Eat in small quantities
Instead of having three meals, experts recommend that you eat six times a day. It’s far better to eat smaller quantities more often, distributed throughout the day.
“Feeling fat lasts nine months, but the joy of becoming a mother lasts forever”
3. Opt for fresh and varied foods
A balanced diet is key. By eating a little bit of everything, with the exception of banned foods during pregnancy, the expectant mother will be sure to stock up on essential nutrients.
Also, opt for a selection of five fruits and vegetables per day. Replace what you don’t like with nutritionally equivalent foods, and cook simple dishes that don’t contain too much fat.
4. Prepare a light dinner
Unlike lunch, dinner should always be light and balanced. We recommend that you don’t eat too late to avoid heartburn or any other type of discomfort during the night. By doing this you’ll favor proper digestion, and will be able to rest better.
5. Be physically active
Remember that it’s important to be physically active during pregnancy. This has psychological and physiological benefits for the mother-to-be and her baby. Walking and swimming, among other things, are highly recommended during pregnancy.
Finally, if you find that you’re overweight during and after your pregnancy, you should talk things over with your doctor or other health advisers. They will offer you the answers you need, and will help you find solutions to limit the risks associated with excess weight, and help you enjoy a healthy pregnancy.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Plows J., Stanley JL., Baker PN., Reynolds CM., et al., The pathophysiology of gestational diabetes mellitus. Int J Mol Sci, 2018.
- Aune D., Giovannucci E., Boffetta P., Fadness LT., et al., Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all cause mortality a systematic review and dose response meta analysis of prospective studies. Int J Epidemiol, 2017. 46 (3): 1029-1056.