Pregnancy and you blog

Talking to a woman about her weight during pregnancy — without putting her off from all future pregnancy checkups — is an art. Hopefully I have learned it, but undoubtedly I have offended a few women.

Of course, the reason health care providers stress appropriate weight gain during pregnancy is because it’s good for mom and baby — not out of vanity. Recommended weight gain during pregnancy is based on your pre-pregnancy BMI, so let’s start our discussion there. Part of having a healthy pregnancy is focusing on your health before you see those life-changing little pink lines.

As obesity has risen in the U.S., so have pregnancy complications. Having a BMI of 30 or more (and especially 40 or more), puts your pregnancy at risk for a long list of complications, including diabetes, high blood pressure and pregnancy loss. Benefits of achieving a healthy pre-pregnancy weight include:

  • You’ll feel amazing
  • Getting pregnant might be easier
  • You’ll minimize your risk for pregnancy complications

In addition, excess weight is often easier to lose before pregnancy than afterward, when you’re busy healing and caring for your baby.

So how do you do it?

  • Educate yourself by meeting with a dietitian or nutritionist
  • Choose fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains
  • Burn calories by getting moving outside or by joining a gym
  • Make sure loved ones and friends understand and support your goals

Optimal health before pregnancy involves getting chronic illnesses under control, quitting smoking and seeking preconception counseling. Weight management should be on the list, too. Best of all, you can motivate yourself by visualizing a fit, healthy pregnancy!

April 08, 2015