Is It Possible To Lose A Healthy Weight During Pregnancy?

Gaining Weight While Pregnant

Weight gain is a natural process of pregnancy.

Women who were overweight before becoming pregnant may be concerned about how this might affect their pregnancy and wonder if it is safe to lose weight at this time.

As the baby grows and the woman’s body changes, she naturally gains weight during pregnancy. The increase in blood volume, amniotic fluid, and growing baby cause a steady weight gain throughout pregnancy.

In most cases, women who are overweight or obese still need to gain some weight during pregnancy. However, they can use safe methods to reduce problematic body fat and prevent potential weight-related complications.

In this article, we discuss whether women should lose weight during pregnancy and whether they provide safe methods for reducing body fat and minimizing the risk of potential complications.

Can You Lose Weight Safely While Pregnant?

Instead of losing weight, doctors recommend focusing on getting enough nutrients and exercising during pregnancy.

Doctors generally do not recommend that women lose weight during pregnancy. Instead, they encourage pregnant women to focus on adequate nutrition and exercise to keep themselves and the baby healthy.

The authors of the 2015 meta-analysis reviewed six studies and concluded that overall, physicians should not recommend weight loss to women with obesity during pregnancy. They suggest that losing weight at this time may increase the risk of complications to the baby.

If a woman is overweight or had obesity before becoming pregnant, the doctor can advise on ways to avoid possible complications. Ideally, a woman should try to lose excess weight before becoming pregnant.

University of Utah’s Dr. According to Jones, women who weigh 60 pounds (lb) or more may not need to gain weight for a healthy pregnancy. The fetus can use their body’s fat stores for energy.

Despite not gaining weight during pregnancy, a woman often loses her fat stores. After pregnancy, she may naturally have less body weight than during pregnancy.

Some women may find that they lose weight unintentionally during the first trimester of their pregnancy due to nausea or morning sickness. Women who experience severe morning sickness may want to talk to a doctor about how they can get enough nutrients. Weight gain usually happens when pregnancy reaches the second trimester, and the woman begins to feel better.

Safe Ways to Gain Weight During Pregnancy

Following a healthy diet and doing regular physical activity will help boost the baby’s health.

According to the March of Dimes, most women need 300 extra calories daily during pregnancy. That calorie count is equivalent to 2 glasses of milk or a protein bar and a piece of fruit.

A healthy diet and regular physical activity will help boost a pregnant woman’s overall health and the health of the baby. Women can lose weight naturally as a result of these lifestyle changes.

In addition to focusing on following a healthy diet, a woman should talk to her doctor about her physical activity during her pregnancy. Exercise not only burns calories, but also offers stress-relieving benefits. It is important to discuss exercise with a healthcare professional as it may not be safe in some pregnancies.

While guidelines vary, many experts recommend 30 minutes of activity per day most days of the week, unless a doctor recommends otherwise. These activities include walking, swimming, cycling and aerobics.

Doctors recommend that pregnant women avoid contact sports and not exercise at very high altitudes. In the later stages of pregnancy, it’s best to avoid exercises that require lying flat on your back as they can affect the blood flow to the fetus.

How Much Weight Should Pregnant Women Gain?

Expected weight gain during pregnancy will depend on a woman’s weight before pregnancy and how many babies she is expecting. A woman who is pregnant with twins will gain more weight than with a single baby pregnancy.

Women can use their baseline body mass index (BMI) to determine how much weight they should gain.

Below is a table of how much weight a woman should gain during pregnancy based on her pre-pregnancy BMI.

Underweight (BMI less than 18.5) Single baby 14–20kg / Twin 25–31kg

Healthy weight (BMI 18.5 – 24.9) Single Baby 12–17 kg / Twin 18 – 27 kg

Overweight (BMI 25 – 29.9) Single Baby 7 – 12.5 kilos / Twin 15 – 25 kilos

Obese (BMI 30 or above) Single Baby 5-10 kilos / Twin 12 – 21 kilos

As you can see, if your BMI – BMI value is high, you should gain less weight.

Summary

Doctors generally do not recommend that women focus on weight loss during pregnancy.

However, if a woman is concerned about how her weight might affect her pregnancy, she can reduce her risk of weight-related complications by using diet and low-intensity exercise.

MedicalNewsToday, Can I safely lose weight during pregnancy?, 2019

References

Evenson, K.R. et al.. (2014). Guidelines for physical activity during pregnancy: Comparisons from around the world. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4206837/

Kapadia, MZ. et al.. (2015). Weight loss instead of weight gain within the guidelines in obese women during pregnancy: A systematic review and meta-analyses of maternal and infant outcomes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4509670/

Rethinking how much weight to gain during pregnancy. (2014). https://healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/shows.php?shows=0_hoyieku0

Robillard, P.-Y. et al.. (2018). Relationship between pre-pregnancy maternal BMI and optimal weight gain in singleton pregnancies. https://www.heliyon.com/article/e00615

Weight gain during pregnancy. (2019). https://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/weight-gain-during-pregnancy.aspx

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