Plus-size and Pregnant
Being overweight is very unhealthy. Although you may face teasing from insensitive family, friends and even strangers, the real danger lies in the medical issues which come from being overweight.
If you know that you’re carrying around some extra pounds and you discover that you’re expecting, there’s no reason to panic. While an overweight pregnancy does carry some added risk, there are many steps you can take in order to ensure a healthy experience for you and your baby. Here, we’ll briefly review the risks, and then clue you in to some healthy new lifestyle choices.
Risks of Overweight Pregnancies
Pregnancy, although it’s a beautiful and natural process, does put an added strain on any woman’s body. Being overweight adds to that strain. Studies have shown that women who are overweight during pregnancy run a higher risk of developing some frightening complications, including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and hypertension. Overweight pregnancies also have higher rates of miscarriage and stillbirth, as well as emergency Cesarean section deliveries, which carry their own risks. A baby born to an overweight mother may also be predisposed to becoming obese during their childhood.
What You Can Do
While the risks are frightening, there’s no need to panic. By making a few easy changes to your lifestyle, you can make a real impact on your own health and the health of your growing baby.
Diet should be your first concern. Experts agree that a pregnancy doesn’t require any extra calorie intake during the first trimester. During the second and third trimesters, you only need about 300 extra calories per day. Eat smaller, well-balanced meals so you feel full without overeating. This is an ideal time to cut out processed foods and, instead, focus on things like lean meats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.
Exercise comes next. It’s vital to discuss any exercise regimen with your doctor, especially when you’re expecting. There are certain exercises which are dangerous to a growing baby. A plus-size expectant mother needs to be even more careful, since a sudden burst of intense exercise could be very dangerous. Talk with your doctor about your health goals, and work together to develop an exercise regimen that will produce benefits without being a danger to you or your baby.
As you can see, the risks brought on by a plus-size pregnancy can be scary, but you can deal with them very effectively through proper diet and exercise. For many plus-size women, a pregnancy is just the motivation they need in order to start living a healthier lifestyle. Remember that switching to a healthier lifestyle today won’t just benefit you and your growing baby during your pregnancy. Babies and young children are notoriously hard to keep up with. In the beginning, you’ll be exhausted from middle-of-the-night feedings. As your child grows, you’ll be chasing after him or her all day long!
You’ll want and need all the energy you can muster in order to keep up with your little one. Whether it’s keeping up with them on the playground, finding the energy for an extra game of catch, or simply being alive to watch them grow, making healthy lifestyle changes now can help make it happen.