How To Lose Weight During Pregnancy Third Trimester Weight
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Symptoms To Pay Attention To During The First Trimester Of Pregnancy
In the first trimester, it is especially important to carefully monitor the changes in your body and state of health to detect any disorder early.
You should seek medical help in the case of:
- vaginal bleeding
- body temperature rise
- vaginal discharge and itching
- pain or burning when urinating
- exacerbation of chronic diseases
How To Not Gain Too Much Weight During Pregnancy
- Early in your pregnancy, talk to your obstetrician about how much weight you should gain. If possible, work with your obstetrician before youre pregnant to determine how best to get your body ready for a baby.
- Stay away from high-calorie snacks and empty calories such as chips and candy. Focus instead on healthier foods, including vegetables.
- Monitor your weight gain and make adjustments to your eating habits throughout your pregnancy.
- Continue to exercise to keep your entire body healthy and strong. Talk to your doctor about safe exercise, especially after the 12th week of pregnancy.
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What’s Causing The Weight Gain
Much of the weight that you gain during pregnancy is not fat, but is related to the baby. Here is a breakdown of how 35 pounds adds up:
- Baby: 8 pounds
- Placenta: 2 to 3 pounds
- Amniotic fluid: 2 to 3 pounds
- Breast tissue: 2 to 3 pounds
- Blood supply: 4 pounds
- Fat stores: 5 to 9 pounds
- Uterus growth: 2 to 5 pounds
The Journey To Healthy Post
While losing weight after pregnancy might seem daunting, it is not as overwhelming as it may seem. As long as you take the right steps, it is indeed easy to lose the gestational weight gain with ease and care.
Before moving to the solutions for how to lose weight after pregnancy, know how the weight loss will happen with time. The initial weight loss happens when you give birth. A good part of the pregnancy weight is contributed to by the babys weight, the placenta, and the amniotic fluid. Once delivery of the baby happens, all of this weight is lost. The placenta alone weighs about a pound and a half.
So why wait? Let us delve into healthy ways on how to lose weight after pregnancy!
Risks Of Gaining Too Much Weight
Women who gain extra weight during pregnancy are more likely to have
- Gestational diabetes and high blood pressure
- Backaches, leg pain and varicose veins
- A cesarean section or other problems with delivery due to a larger than normal baby
- Trouble returning to pre-pregnancy weight
- Long term health problems from obesity
Did You Know? Gaining too much weight during pregnancy increases your babys risk of being overweight during childhood?
What Extra Care Will I Get During My Pregnancy
You will also have:
- extra ultrasound scans to check the babys development
- blood pressure tests at every antenatal appointment
- a gestational diabetes test between 24-28 weeks
- a risk assessment for thrombosis at your first antenatal appointment, which will then be monitored throughout your pregnancy.
You may also need to have injections of low molecular weight heparin to reduce your risk of blood clots.
If you have a BMI over 40 there is a higher risk of complications during labour or birth. These include:
- an emergency caesarean section
- a more difficult operation if you need a caesarean section and a higher risk of complications afterward, for example a wood infection or blood clots
- anaesthetic complications, especially with general anaesthesia
- heavy bleeding after birth or at the time of caesarean section.
Because of these risks your obstetrician and/or midwife will talk to you about the safest way and place for you to give birth and your options may be limited. You should also be referred to an anaesthetist to talk about pain relief during labour.
Being classed as obese does not always mean you will need a caesarean section but you may be more likely to have one. Find out more about c-section advice for overweight women.
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Eat Healthy Nutritious Food
Instead of doubling up on the quantity of food you eat, double up on the quality. Focus on meals that will support a healthy pregnancy. Incidentally, these nutrient-rich foods also cause weight loss.
Aim to eat only whole grain foods. This means that your bread, pasta or rice should be made up of whole grains.
Eat lean meats like fish and poultry, nuts and seeds. Take vegetables, beans, and legumes. Finally, consume dairy or alternative to dairy like soy.
Can You Lose Body Fat While Pregnant
There is almost no situation in which you should lose weight during the second and third trimesters of your pregnancy.
A 2015 systematic review and meta-analysis shows that women who lost weight during pregnancy have a 76% higher likelihood of having a small for gestational age baby .
In general, an appropriate amount of weight gain is necessary to support your growing baby, regardless of your body mass index .
With that said, if you were overweight prior to pregnancy, you may be able to gain less weight than recommended as long as your baby is growing appropriately.
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What Can I Do To Slow Weight Gain
If youre gaining more weight than recommended, talk to your health care provider or WIC nutritionist. You should never try to lose weight during pregnancy. But slowing weight gain can help you have a healthier pregnancy and delivery, and an easier time getting back to your pre-pregnancy weight.
To slow weight gain
- Enjoy your food, but eat less
- Avoid oversized portions
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk. Calcium- fortified soy milk is a good choice for those that choose not to drink milk.
- Make at least half your grains whole grains
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks
- Find your balance between food and physical activity
Did You Know? Pregnancy only requires around 300 extra calories a day.
Which Foods Do I Need To Avoid Or Limit During Pregnancy
Although it’s important to eat a wide variety of foods to get the nutrients you and your baby need during pregnancy, there are some foods that you should avoid or limit. In pregnancy your immunity is lower so you and your unborn baby are more susceptible than usual to food-borne illnesses that affect everyone.
Bacteria such as listeria, salmonella and campylobacter and pathogens such as toxoplasma can cause food-borne illness. When you are pregnant, this can cause infection in you and your baby. In extreme cases, this can cause complications such as miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth.
Foods to avoid during pregnancy for this reason include:
You should avoid alcohol while you are hapu/pregnant. There is no known safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Read more about pregnancy and alcohol.Other than avoiding the foods above, you should practice the following when you are pregnant:
- wash your hands with soap and water after being around animals
- avoid handling cat litter, particularly if the cat is pregnant if you need to handle cat litter, wear gloves
- wear gloves while gardening.
Drinks to avoid or limit include:
- drinks that contain caffeine
- herbal teas
- fermented drinks
- sugary drinks, such as juice, flavoured fruit drinks and soft drinks.
You should limit your caffeine intake to below 200mg per day when you are pregnant. Energy drinks and energy shots have high caffeine content, so it’s best if you don’t drink these while pregnant.
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How Much Weight Gain Is Appropriate While I Am Pregnant
Although you may feel hungrier in pregnancy, eating for two is not necessary. Nor is it a time to diet, so let your appetite guide you. If you feel hungry, healthy snacks like yoghurt, fruit, washed vegetable sticks, nuts, wholegrain crackers and cheese, and fruit smoothies are great options.
Putting on weight is natural and will help you breastfeed well. The extra weight often comes off when breastfeeding if you maintain a balanced diet. The weight gained in pregnancy is caused by your developing baby, placenta and the amniotic fluid, along with increases in volume of your own body .
Too much weight gain during pregnancy can increase the chances of high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and having a big baby. Having a big baby can increase the chance of birth complications. Too little weight gain during pregnancy can cause premature birth and a low birthweight baby. Gaining the right amount of weight for your body size increases the chances of you having a healthy pregnancy, normal birth and a healthy baby.
It is not recommended to lose weight during pregnancy.
Keeping track of how much weight you gain is an important part of your pregnancy and your midwife or doctor will check your weight at your antenatal appointments. The amount of weight you should gain depends on your weight before getting pregnant. If you know your normal pre-pregnancy weight, you can calculate your BMI and use the table below to work out what a healthy weight gain should be for you.
Causes Of Weight Loss During Pregnancy
As we mentioned above, morning sickness, a healthier lifestyle, and typical weight fluctuations can cause first-trimester weight loss, but any sudden weight loss should be brought to the attention of your doctor. Very Well Family notes some other potential causes for weight loss during pregnancy including
- Autoimmune disorders
- Undiagnosed diabetes
- Other chronic diseases
The most important intervention for a woman who is losing weight in pregnancy is to identify and treat the underlying reason for the inadequate weight gain, explained Dr. Chris Han, a physician at the Center for Fetal Medicine and Womens Ultrasound. While some weight loss early in the pregnancy is normal, Dr. Han also noted that losing weight during pregnancy has been associated with increased risk of decreased birth weight and preterm delivery.
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Risks Of Losing Weight During Pregnancy
You might rightly ask ok, so when should I worry about weight loss during pregnancy?
As we saw above, losing weight in the first trimester isnt usually an issue, but continuing to lose weight during pregnancy can potentially cause problems for your baby.
After all, they need those extra calories to grow and develop!
This could then lead to other health problems during babys life as they didnt get enough energy or nutrients for their full development in the uterus.
So, if youre concerned about losing weight during pregnancy, be sure to check in with your healthcare provider.
Lack of appetite during pregnancy
In pregnancy, loss of appetite can be par for the course.
If you have no appetite while pregnant, whether thats due to pregnancy nausea, food aversion, or pregnancy cravings that you cant satisfy , youre not alone.
In fact, according to this 2019 study, 69.2% of women had an aversion to at least one food, which can cause a lack of appetite during pregnancy.
Having no appetite while pregnant can be tough, but not impossible to solve.
After all, baby needs their nutrients to grow!
Try eating smaller meals or healthy pregnancy snacks more often, rather than bigger meals.
Address Weight Concerns Early
While youll certainly gain weight naturally from your pregnancy, the majority of this weight gain happens in the second and third trimesters. Your baby also grows rapidly during the last 2 months of pregnancy. You cant control weight gain attributed to the fetus and supporting elements like the placenta, so its best to address any weight issues earlier in pregnancy.
Some research has reported success in weight intervention during pregnancy. Findings showed that people who received advice between weeks 7 and 21 of pregnancy were less likely to gain excess weight during the third trimester. The same participants studied also benefited from weekly support group meetings.
This is just one example of when early planning helps stave off excess weight gain. If you want to lose weight or control the amount of weight you gain overall during your pregnancy, be sure to have your doctor help you come up with a plan early on. Your doctor can also refer you to a dietitian for more advice and meal planning.
Consult With A Registered Dietitian
If its determined that losing weight is important for the health of your pregnancy and for a healthy delivery, you will need to work closely with a healthcare provider to ensure that you are getting the nutrition and calories you need, both for yourself and your growing baby.
Again, since healthcare providers rarely recommend weight loss, when they do, they will be working carefully with you to ensure that the weight loss is done in a safe manner.
Do I Need To Take Any Supplements During Pregnancy
Folic acid and iodine are the only supplements that all pregnant people need to take.
- Take a folic acid-only tablet from 4 weeks before you are pregnant until the 12th week of your pregnancy. Ideally you would start this when you are trying to conceive. Some pregnant people, such as those with a BMI over 30, diabetes, epilepsy or with a personal or family history of neural tube defects, should take 5mg of folic acid.
- Take an iodine tablet from the start of your pregnancy until you stop breastfeeding.
If you are taking a multivitamin, make sure that it is one specifically for pregnant people , as some multivitamin tablets contain vitamin A which should not be taken during pregnancy. You should only take supplements on the advice of your doctor or midwife. Talk to your doctor, midwife or dietitian if you think you may have any nutrient deficiencies. If you are a vegan, your healthcare team may advise you take vitamin B12 supplements.
Many pregnant people will need to take iron tablets. However, these are only prescribed when you are low in iron or anaemic and are not given routinely for everyone.
Some pregnant people will be prescribed vitamin D.
If you have risk factors for pre-eclampsia, your doctor or midwife may prescribe you calcium tablets.
Read more about avoiding nutrient deficiencies during pregnancy.
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Complications Of Being Overweight During Pregnancy
Preeclampsia This condition is becoming more common, increasing 25% over the last two decades. Preeclampsia symptoms usually occur after the 20th week of pregnancy up until your due date and can up until six weeks postpartum.
Preeclampsia can range from an elevation in blood pressure up to maternal seizures called eclampsia.
Gestational diabetes If the body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy, glucose cannot leave the blood and provide energy. As glucose builds up, the result is gestational diabetes.
Pregnant patients with gestational diabetes are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes later in life, and high blood sugar can cause rapid fetus growth and delivery complications.
Know The Recommended Quantity Of Healthy Food
It is essential to only eat what you need to so as to lose weight during pregnancy.
For the food groups above, vegetables are essential. You need about 5 servings of vegetables a day.
For fruit, you need about 2 cups daily. Whole grains or high fiber starches should be 8.5 servings.
Do not exceed 3.5 servings of lean meat or legumes. Dairy should be about 2.5 cups.
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It Is Safe To Start Exercising During Any Month Of Your Pregnancy
Yes the sooner, the better, to give you time to get the benefit of your exercises. Being as fit as you can during your pregnancy can also help you recover after you give birth and will ease some of the aches and pains of your constantly changing body. You may have to adjust your exercise.
You can modify your exercise with:
- Wider stances when you squat
- Smaller stances when you lunge or changing to single-leg squats
- Avoid lying on your belly after 12 weeks of pregnancy without supports to reduce abdominal pain.
Be sure to avoid lying flat on your back sometime starting in the second trimester, but definitely between 24 to 28 weeks. This can increase your risk for orthostatic hypotension, which is a form of low blood pressure that can lead to dizziness, lightheaded sensations and shortness of breath. The reason you need to avoid lying flat for long periods is because thats when a baby can put too much pressure on your vena cava, a large vein in our abdomen, which can decrease blood flow to the baby.
Avoid sit-ups and crunches. They can cause unnecessary stress on the pair of muscles that run vertically up the front of your abdomen. However, there are many core strengthening alternatives that can be completed. I highly recommended seeing a physical therapist who specializes in how the body changes during and after pregnancy.
You may have to avoid or change your exercise if you have:
- Shortness of breath