Pregnancy is known for many things, and one of them is weight gain. Ask any woman who has been or is pregnant, and she’ll tell you this. Women are advised to consume more food to aid in the healthy development of their babies (fetuses).
Fetuses rely on their mother for everything: feeding, respiration, and excretion. So doctors tend to give pregnant women a pass on weight gain. But what happens when there seems to be extra weight? Can a pregnant woman wait? Is it safe and gynecologically recommended?
We’ll explore these options in the article.
Can A Woman Lose Weight While Pregnant?
In truth, most research on weight loss during pregnancy is frowned upon. A woman is advised to consume more food in order to provide vital nutrients for the developing fetus. However, these studies state that if she must lose weight, weight maintenance is the safest way. This only applies when she is overweight.
When it comes to pregnancy and obesity, the scale can tip the balance of health. Excess weight gain during pregnancy can produce complications such as high blood pressure, preeclampsia, preterm labor, and gestational diabetes. However, losing weight while expecting could result in a baby with a low birth weight. So, what is the best route? That would be maintaining her weight in a delicate equilibrium.
More research has been conducted on this fascinating topic. In 2017, researchers unveiled a secret recipe: a healthy diet and good exercise. These companions not only manage weight effectively but also reduce the odds of a cesarean delivery. Before the mom adopts this method, she must ensure that she falls within the acceptable BMI. And for that to happen, she must visit her gynecologist.
The Risks Of Losing Weight While Pregnant?
- Blood clots
- Gestational diabetes
- Heavier bleeding after birth
Possible Risks For The Baby If The Mom Is Obese
- High birth weight
- Premature delivery
- Birth defects
- Increased risk of chronic disease, e.g., diabetes.
In honest terms, these risks could occur in obese or normal-body-weight women. But the chances are higher when her BMI is higher.
Healthy Lifestyle During Pregnancy To Rid Extra Weight
Everything must be done in moderation. Experimenting with diets and pills is not ideal.
🔹 Consult Your Doctor
They are highly trained professionals with experience. It is best to get their counsel. Her doctor can draft a suitable and personalized plan for her. Or even better, recommend her to a dietician to assess your progress. In addition, they could recommend a trainer to draft an accurate exercise routine.
🔹 Embrace Pregnancy As An Opportunity
If you’re determined to lose extra weight, condition your brain and mind to see it as an opportunity to adopt a healthy lifestyle The reason is that routine exercise is challenging, and even more so for a pregnant woman. She will need all the motivation she can get.
🔹 Take It Slow And Steady
Do not allow excitement to distract you. Engage in activities for 10 minutes at a time. If your physical activity is strenuous, it affects the baby. Some activities she can engage in include swimming, walking, and jogging. Stay active for 30-45 minutes.
🔹 Document Everything
This is not only helpful to the mom-to-be but also to her doctor, trainer, and dietician. If documenting on paper is not preferred, there are a ton of journalism apps for mobile phones. Some include a community feature.
Journaling also keeps her accountable and busy. Mental exercise is also helpful.
🔹 Rid Yourself Of Empty Calories
When it comes to weight management during pregnancy, your calorie count matters a lot. Therefore, calorie counting is your compass. Excess calories lead to weight gain.
Here’s a reminder: 3500 calories shed 1 lb or 0.45kg. If a pregnant woman targets 500 calories per day for a week, she gets to lose 1lb.
This is all exciting, of course, but if a pregnant woman is considering cutting calories, her first step is to consult her doctor (our first point). Her doctor and dietician can draft her a healthy food plan that provides a healthier routine.
Here are some pointers to look out for with a healthy food plan:
- Consume smaller portions.
- Opt for healthier fats, e.g., olive oil.
- Snack on fruits.
- Vegetables are your best friend over starchy foods.
- Hydrate with water, not soda.
- No more processed snacks.
Consume prenatal vitamins, especially folate; it’s essential to the baby’s development.
While trimming calories, ensure you provide yourself and the baby with adequate energy and nutrients.
Read More: Achieving Sustainable Weight Loss for Women