Plus-size and Pregnant
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 give tips on some healthy lifestyle choices, which might make your pregnancy both safer, and you might even enjoy.
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
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.
You don't have to cute out all sugar and carbs, but try eating smaller, well-balanced meals so you feel full without overeating. This is also 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. To start with, going for regular walks or swimming can get the blood pumping without being too high-intensity.
As you can see, the risks brought on by a plus-size pregnancy can be scary, but small changers to your diet and exercise can help alleviate some of the problems. Remember that switching to a healthier lifestyle today won’t just benefit you and your growing baby during your pregnancy: You’ll want and need all the energy you can muster in order to keep up with your little one. So making healthy lifestyle changes now can help make positive changes for years to come.
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