Being Overweight During Pregnancy
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We all know that pregnancy is a highly complicated phase of a woman’s health in life. The body undergoes hundreds of changes. Being and healthy and attain a normal weight is very necessary for a woman. Although a woman gains weight in pregnancy gradually and that is all normal and part of the journey. However, being overweight can create so many health problems and risks. There are so many complications associated with obesity in pregnancy. A pregnant woman’s BMI is the most important thing to consider while talking about weight and body mass.
In this article, we shall discuss the complications associated with being overweight during pregnancy. It is important to be mindful of the reasons for extra fat and how we can lose it harmlessly in pregnancy. Let’s get into the conversation without a further delay.
Your BMI: Before and after pregnancy
Being overweight in pregnancy can cause a lot of problems for you and your baby both. Extra fat in the body is never good. And being pregnant, obesity can lead to several linked disorders and complications. Obesity and overweight in pregnancy depend on your Body Mass Index BMI. Even women who are overweight also experience a more high-risk pregnancy than a normal-weight woman. Overweight women, first of all, face difficulty in conceiving. They have to tackle so many problems in getting pregnant. And even after overweight women get pregnant, they may face numerous after-pregnancy risks as well.
The most important thing in this situation is that a woman should be conscious of her BMI before and after pregnancy both. BMI depends upon the weight and height of an individual with respect to his age. According to the world health organization WHO, overweight and obesity means when you have extra fat in your body that may harm your normal health and body mass. To know such a range, BMI is a measure.
- Being overweight: If your BMI is above 25 and up to 30, then you are in the overweight category depending upon your height and weight.
- Being obese: if your BMI is above 30, then you drastically fall into the category of obesity.
Therefore extra weight is always an alarming situation for pregnant women, and their BMI should not exceed 30. Otherwise, they would need to lose weight during pregnancy and that too without any complications and safely.
According to a survey, about 70% of the women in the United States are overweight and about 40% come in the category of being obese.
Being Overweight in Pregnancy: Complications
It is very important to attain a healthy weight for a pregnant woman. For the protection of yourself and your baby during pregnancy, it is crucial to be mindful of the complications associated with being overweight. Besides the pre-pregnancy problems, there are tens of complications that pregnant women suffer due to their extra weight. In this section, we shall discuss some major risks associated with overweight in pregnancy and their complications.
a. Testing difficulties:
There are numerous testing difficulties for an overweight pregnant woman. The most common one is ultrasound testing that is a prenatal test done almost every other week of pregnancy. Ultrasound visualizes the inner body images. To check on a baby’s stages of development, ultrasounds are done frequently in pregnancy. But if there is a lot of body fat in the abdomen region, then it becomes difficult to visualize the baby inside the uterus. Monitoring a baby’s heartbeat, gender, and movements becomes hard to visualize. And even IVF treatment of fertility also becomes difficult for obese women.
b. Diabetes and Hypertension
Overweight women in pregnancy are at a greater risk of acquiring diabetes and high blood pressure disorders. Often in pregnant women, a state of insulin resistance develops in the body, leading to a more chronic disorder in pregnancy known as gestational diabetes. This hyperglycemia (higher levels of glucose) state is more common in overweight women.
Controlling blood pressure gives a very hard time to some women in pregnancy, mostly for those who are overweight. There arises a condition of high blood pressure in some women in their pregnancy after the 20 weeks, particularly known as preeclampsia. If hypertension does not get any better, it may proceed to clot formation as well, which may further deteriorate your and your baby’s health ultimately.
Therefore obese women, have the most chances of diabetes and hypertension in pregnancy.
There is a high risk for obese women to miscarry the fetus. The overweight BMI category is a great risk for miscarriage in women. Extra body fat causes so many health issues combined that a woman develops complications other than obvious ones as well. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and overweight altogether are highly alarming states for miscarriage. Therefore it is advised by doctors to reduce body fat before conceiving and also try to manage body weight during pregnancy as well. It becomes very difficult for a pregnant woman to lose weight safely during pregnancy. Therefore overweight individuals are at higher risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.
d. Complications in delivery:
Overweight pregnant women face an even bigger problem during giving birth to their babies. Gestational diabetes and hypertension factors should be controlled during the delivery of a baby. Doctors do not proceed with the delivery process in high blood pressure or sugar level states. Overweight ladies face these issues and severity during childbirth. Obese women are more likely to acquire infections during C-section delivery. CS delivery poses a lot of complications for women with abnormal body weight. Therefore it is important to control your body weight before childbirth to avoid such dangerous circumstances.
Care for baby and you: Bodyweight guide
· Monitor your weight: During pregnancy, you should regularly check your weight and body fat. It is normal to gain a healthy body weight during pregnancy, and doctors even recommend that. But being overweight is never encouraged. It is necessary to consult with your doctor regularly to know how much weight is ideal for putting on in pregnancy for you.
· A healthy diet: A proper healthy eating plan and diet schedule are mostly recommended to acquire normal body weight. During pregnancy, it is recommended to avoid extra fat and junk food that may increase chances of high blood pressure and obesity ultimately. If necessary, hire a nutritionist to plan your meals and help you losing weight safely.
· Exercise: Staying inactive during pregnancy for health is just a bad myth. It is beneficial to schedule a workout session for yourself. Health professionals highly recommend physical activity and exercise for obese pregnant women. It not only keeps the overweight woman healthy but also keeps her mentally fresh and stable during the complex and strenuous phase of pregnancy.
· Regular checkups: Doctors recommend consultations on a regular basis to monitor the body weight and linked complications of obese pregnant ladies. Your healthcare practitioner will always guide you better and prescribe you healthy vitamin supplements that would help to maintain your normal body weight.
· DONTs: One most important thing to keep in mind is that you should never go for any weight loss supplements and medications. Such medicines disastrously harm the pregnant woman and her unborn baby. Cutting the essential nutrients from the diet may deprive the mother and the baby of both the necessary nourishment.
A pregnant woman should always be conscious of her body weight and changing body states during her pregnancy. Even any small risk factor caused by abnormal body weight can proceed towards a severe condition. Avoiding an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle are the most important dos. Keeping a regular check on your weight gain is necessary for a healthy pregnancy. In case of uncontrolled weight gain, consulting with your doctor is the very first step you need to do. For further information about weight and pregnancy and related risks, contact us. We would love to hear your suggestions and your queries.
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