As per the studies, obese women are at a risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia during pregnancy. However, the risk of such certain complications can be reduced by losing weight. Although, it is very uncommon that pregnant women are asked to go on a diet or lose weight but at the same time, pregnant women can lose weight during the first trimester and then, gain during the nest two trimesters.
In this article:
Is Losing Weight During Pregnancy Normal?
Can you go on a Diet to Lose Weight During Pregnancy?
Pregnant women are not encouraged to reduce their calorie intake or go on a crash diet during pregnancy. This is because it is said to bring about cellular changes in the unborn baby. If you reduce your calorie intake during pregnancy, your child is at risk for obesity in later life.
Side Effects of Being Overweight During Pregnancy
Obesity has its own side effects that are detrimental to both the mother as well as the baby. we have listed a few of them below:
Risks to the Foetus
- Neural tube defects – the risk is doubles
- Risk of heart disease or diabetes as an adult
- Possibility of miscarriage
- Higher chances of child being born larger than average which can also lead to obesity in later life.
Risks to the Mother
- Possibility of problems during labor and delivery
- Difficulties in monitoring foetal development
- Blood clotting problems
- Higher risk of preeclampsia, resulting in reduction of blood flow to the baby
- Higher chances of gestational diabetes, resulting in a larger baby and a difficult vaginal birth
- Risk of urinary tract infections during pregnancy and the postpartum period
- Higher chances of induced labor
- Higher chances of infection and excessive blood loss in case of C-section
- Blood clot problems that can complicate delivery
- Risk of sleep apnea leading to fatigue and disorders like high blood pressure
Side Effects of Weight Loss on the Baby
While being overweight during pregnancy has its own complications, so does losing too much of weight has. We have listed below a few issues that can arise as a result of unhealthy weight loss:
- Giving birth to an underweight baby
- Lower levels of amniotic fluids
- An undersized baby
- Poor cognitive functioning in the child
- An undersized baby
- Higher chances of miscarriage in the first trimester due anorexia
- Being prone to infections
How can you Lose Weight During Pregnancy?
Figure Out how Much Weight is Healthy
No matter if you are underweight or overweight, you will still gain some kilos during pregnancy. You can first measure your current weight and then calculate how much weight you need to gain with the help of a pregnancy chart. Make sure that you weigh yourself at the same time and on the same scale.
Cut the Calories
Pregnant women are recommended 1700 calories every day. For this, you will first have to calculate how many calories your body needs each day for the well being of you and your baby. You can thus keep a track of what you eat each day and then add the calories consumed. With the help of this, you will get to know if you are eating more or less than what your body needs.
It is of utmost importance to stay hydrated during pregnancy. You should drink at least one to two litres of water each day. This will make you feel full and also prevent excessive eating.
You must have already been advised to throw all the junk food away and switch to healthy food. Eat foods that are a rich source of folate, including strawberries, spinach and beans and high fibre foods like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans.
Some moderate exercise is recommended to everyone during pregnancy as that helps ease pains and aches your body goes through. Pregnant women are recommended at least half an hour of exercise every day that can include swimming, walking and yoga.
Have Small Meals
Instead of three big meals, you can switch to having six smaller meals throughout the day. With this, the calories you consume will be in control as well as helpful for when the pregnancy progresses and the bay grows inside pushing against the digestive organs.
Don’t Forget Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins will help you meet your nutritional needs without having the need to consume more calories. Thus, make sure that you do not skip on them and take them on a regular basis as prescribed by your doctor.
Make sure you consult your doctor and confirm with him about your weight loss program. Losing weight does not mean that you have to stay hungry all day long and barely consume something. Remember, anything you do during pregnancy is going to affect your baby in some way or the other. So, it is important for you to follow the precautions.