Is Safely Losing Weight During Pregnancy Healthy
A significant increase in blood volume, amniotic fluid, and a growing baby add to the mothers total body weight. Women who are already overweight or suffering from obesity will eventually gain some weight during pregnancy. However, they can lose problematic body fat and get rid of weight-related complications via safe applied methods & naturally during pregnancy. They become nauseous or have food aversions and unintentionally start losing weight during pregnancy . Regardless, one should always share all the symptoms with the doctor or health care provider.
Opting for extreme diets during pregnancy to lose weight is not advisable. You should eat enough to provide the baby and yourself with sufficient nutrients. It is essential for your overall health. At the time of pregnancy, going on diets, cutting calories or restricting food groups can impact the development of the foetus and deprive the body of required nutrients. It is essential to learn the risk associated with being overweight and the risk involved in losing that weight through unsolicited methods.
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.
Accept Inevitable Pregnancy Body Changes
For most women, managing body weight is safer than losing a significant amount of it. While there are many benefits of reducing BMI during pregnancy, weight loss may not be appropriate for all pregnant women. The problem with weight loss when pregnant is that it involves exercise and cutting calories. When done incorrectly, some women can go to extremes and possibly harm the unborn baby. Healthcare professionals usually do not recommend losing weight while pregnant unless the woman is obese. Discuss any concerns or questions you may have with a professional.
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When Weight Loss Is Advised
Unless recommended by your physician, intentional weight loss is not recommended during pregnancy. In some cases, minimal weight loss is advised for some women who have extreme obesity. However, this is somewhat controversial as research and experts are divided about the benefits and risks of this approach.
Some studies have shown that weight gain below the recommended limits may provide some benefit for women with higher body mass index > 30 kg/m2 before pregnancy, but may increase the risk for small babies in women with normal or low BMI, explains Dr. Han.
Modest weight loss for women who have obesity has been shown to lower the risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, emergency c-section, and having an overly large baby. However, those benefits may come with a costexcept for women with a BMI over 35as gaining below the recommended guidelines also increases the risk of complications for your baby.2
In cases where a woman is in the highest BMI classification, she may have enough stored fat to safely sustain her baby without gaining as much weight. Your doctor will be the best person to evaluate whether or not weight loss or minimizing weight gain would be appropriate in your specific case.
Vitamin D And Pregnancy
Vitamin D is essential for your babys growth and development and your own health during pregnancy. Vitamin D is important for bone health and for optimal pregnancy outcomes for you and your baby.
We get most of our vitamin D from the sun. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun produces vitamin D in the skin and is the best natural source of vitamin D. Only a small amount of our vitamin D intake comes from our diet from foods such as eggs, oily fish, margarine and milks fortified with vitamin D.
Women who are at most risk of vitamin D deficiency:
- have dark coloured skin
- wear covering or concealing clothing for religious or other reasons
- spend much time indoors.
You may need a blood test at the beginning of your pregnancy to assess your vitamin D levels. If so, your doctor will arrange this. Depending on your results, you might need to take vitamin D supplements. During the winter months, it can be more difficult to obtain enough vitamin D. Consider talking to your GP about your vitamin D levels before pregnancy or early in your pregnancy to make sure you begin pregnancy with optimal vitamin D.
If you are considering taking vitamin D or any other supplements during pregnancy, always discuss it with your GP first. It is not beneficial to take vitamin D supplements if you do not need them.
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Important Foods To Focus On Eating In Month 8 Of Pregnancy:
Omega 3 fatty acids: babys brain growth and development is the fastest in third trimester, so focus on including omega-3 sources in your diet such as:
Oily fish like salmon
Sour cherrieshave been shown to promote restful sleep by increasing your bodys natural supply of melatonin . Try having 1 cup of unsweetened cherry juice before bed to improve your sleep
Calculate Your Calories And Cut Them If Necessary
The best way to lose excess weight is to manage daily calorie intake. Firstly, find out how much you are currently eating and burning per day. Keep in mind that in order to lose one pound, you require a 3,500-calorie deficit. Over the entire week, this equals around 500 calories less per day. In most cases, women who were at a normal weight based on their height before getting pregnant will require anywhere from 2,200 to 2,900 calories daily while pregnant. However, the exact calories may vary.
Here are some rough guidelines:
- First trimester: no added calories required
- Second trimester: an additional 340 calories daily
- Third trimester: about 450 calories daily
While the best way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories than you burn, this can be dangerous during pregnancy when done incorrectly. Talk to a healthcare professional about your health and how many calories you need to remove or add for a healthier pregnancy.
We recommend keeping a log of your daily caloric intake. After this, discuss your options with a dietitian. A professional will help you create a pregnancy diet plan to ensure that you eat nutrient-dense foods lower in calories. This way, you will reap the benefits of different vitamins, minerals, quality protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates without gaining excess weight.
As a supplement to your pregnancy diet plan, we recommend following some of the tips and tricks:
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How Much Weight Do You Need To Gain
Women who are obese or overweight when pregnant can sometimes only focus on losing excess weight. However, weight gain is inevitable you will notice some pregnancy body changes, and it is completely normal! However, it is crucial to know how much weight gain is healthy.
Here are the weight gain guidelines for pregnant women from the National Institutes of Health:
- Women who are obese may gain 11 to 20 pounds
- Women between BMI 25 and 29.9 may gain up to 25 pounds
- Women with a BMI range from 18.5 to 24.9 may gain up to 35 pounds
- Women who are underweight or below a BMI of 18.5 may gain up to 40 pounds
Again, discuss your health and other pregnancy-related doubts with your doctor. Remember, pregnancy body changes are normal, and they happen to everyone. While gaining weight is normal, it can become harmful at a certain stage.
How To Lose Weight Safely During Pregnancy
Being obese during pregnancy can lead to many health issues and can also cause complications duringlabourand delivery. But losing too much weight too fast while pregnant can prove dangerous for your health as well as your babys health. This is why you should know how you can lose weight without harming the baby. Heres what you can do.
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Pregnancy Weight Gain Chart
The recommended weight gain during the different stages of pregnancy varies depending on the individual. During the first trimester, you will not gain much weight as the baby is still tiny. On the other hand, morning sickness and loss of appetite in the first trimester can make you shed a few pounds. Your weight gain will really pick up in the second trimester as this is the time when your baby will start growing in size. By the third trimester, your baby will continue to grow but your weight gain should stabilise since your abdomen can get quite cramped and eating food can become difficult.
Take a look at the chart below to understand how much weight you need to gain throughout the nine months of your pregnancy:
If yours is a case of multiple pregnancies , then the ideal weight gain should be somewhere between 16.5 kg and 24.5 kg.
Cut Back On Your Calorie Intake
If youre already at an unhealthy weight and have been advised to lose some of it, you will have to start keeping track of your calorie intake. Cutting back on calories when not pregnant is different from cutting back calories when pregnant. You wouldnt want to end up depriving your baby of the nutrients he/she needs by slashing way too many calories from your daily diet.
You may need to consult your doctor or a dietitian to find out how many calories per day you should consume. The easiest way to keep track of your calorie intake is to make a weekly meal plan. This way, you wont have to count your calories during every meal. Check nutritional labels when doing your groceries, or find recipes online that already specify how many calories are present.
Generally, a pregnant woman should not eat fewer than 1,700 calories a day. This is the minimum needed to support both your energy and nutrient needs and those of your babys.
Here are simple ways to reduce your calorie intake:
- Eat smaller portions.
- Use plant-based oils, such as olive oil, and skip unhealthy fats, such as butter.
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less of traditional carbs.
- Keep junk foods and sweet desserts to a minimum.
- Drink water instead of soda and other sweetened beverages.
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Tips To Lose Weight After Delivery
Here are some tips to help you reduce weight after delivery naturally.
Tip 1: Pay attention to your plate
Its easy to get carried away with the eating for two line of thinking. And once those habits sink in, it can be quite hard to stop. If youre still breastfeeding and/or under the supervision of your gynaecologist/midwife/doctor, then please follow their guidance. If not:
Its time to get back to eating for one.
Here are some simple guidelines:
- You dont need any more stress in your life, so dont count calories. Keep it simple and think in terms of food portions.
- At each meal aim for 2 portions of vegetables and 1 portion of protein.
- Drink water often. Aim for about 1.5-2 litres a day.
- Snack on fruit.
- Limit the treats/junk. If youre not sure if something is a treat or junk, it probably is! Think of a treat 2-3 times a week, not daily. The best way to succeed at this is to clean out your pantry.
This is not the time to try crash dieting or follow a very restrictive diet. However, this is not an excuse to binge-eat or eat poor quality foods either. You need to practice eating a healthy plate.
Tip 2: Resume physical activity / workouts to lose weight after delivery
Start with targeted exercises. Strengthen your pelvic floor since it tends to be the weakest area post-delivery. Kegels are the easiest to start with as part of your exercise routine to lose weight after delivery.
Ease into your exercise routine gently and slowly.
Tip 3: Be patient and realistic
Supplements Worth Considering During Pregnancy:
This is a general guide please talk to your health care provider before beginning any of the suggested supplements.
High quality pregnancy multivitamin that contains at least 400 mcg folic acid – this supplement is most important in the very early stages of pregnancy as the spinal cord is developed 4 weeks after conception. It is important to start as soon as you know you are pregnant, or ideally before you start trying to conceive. If you know you have an MTHFR gene mutation , you may benefit from supplementing folinic acid and/or 5-MTHF instead.
Lactobacillus Rhamnosus probiotic. If both parents have a history of eczema, the chances of their baby developing eczema is around 60-80%. Probiotics containing lactobacillus strains have been shown to reduce the chances of the child developing allergies by almost 80%. One of the most studied strains: lactobacillus rhamnosushas been shown that when taken in the final trimester of pregnancy , it greatly reduces the chances of the baby developing atopy . If you or your partner have a history of allergies, talk to your health care provider about whether this probiotic might be helpful for you.
Magnesium is essential for foetal bone and teeth development and can prevent premature contraction of the uterus. Its also a great supplement to take throughout pregnancy as it helps muscles to relax, so can help with constipation, assist your tissue growth and promote restful sleep.
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Body Image During Pregnancy
If you have struggled with your weight in the past, it may be hard to accept that it is OK to gain weight now. It is normal to feel anxious as the numbers on the scale edge up.
Keep in mind that you need to gain weight for a healthy pregnancy. The extra pounds will come off after you have had your baby. However, if you gain a lot more weight than is recommended, your baby will also be bigger. That can sometimes lead to problems with delivery. A healthy diet and regular exercise are your best ways to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Diet Plans For Overweight Pregnant Women Everything You Need To Know
Gaining a little weight during pregnancy is normal and, in fact, healthy. But excessive weight gain can be alarming. To avoid or manage such a situation, you could try following some diet plans for overweight pregnant women to help maintain a healthy pregnancy weight.
While preparing a food chart for pregnancy, you should include foods from all the major food groups while controlling your calorie intake. An abnormal weight gain during pregnancy invites complications such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and even depression. These issues can take a toll on both your and the babys health.
In this post, we have provided some healthy food choices to include in your pregnancy diet, including tips to make delicious yet balanced meals.
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Dont Compare Yourself To Other Moms
All women are different, and getting fit after pregnancy might be easier for some moms. As long as you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly after birth, odds are that youll lose the extra pounds sooner rather than later.
Dont be discouraged by magazines that show celebrities getting back in shape only weeks after delivery do what is best for your body and your baby, and the weight loss will follow. Real postpartum bodies dont always go back to their pre-baby state, and thats okay as long as youre healthy.
Include Your Baby In Your Workouts
You can include your little one in many types of exercises after giving birth, which will help you bond and will make it easier for you to find the time to exercise. Try taking a walk along with their stroller or consider enrolling in mommy-and-me yoga, swimming, or aerobics classes.
These classes can also be a great place to meet other new moms who are also trying to lose baby fat!
Once your doctor gives you the green light, you can try these exercises after delivery for a flat stomach and overall weight loss:
If you were active before and during pregnancy, your doctor might recommend waiting a month before doing more intensive workouts, such as crossfit, cycling, running, and high intensity interval training . You can also try modified exercises that include holding your baby for a great post pregnancy ab workout.
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How Much Weight To Gain If Youre Pregnant And Overweight Or Obese
If you started off your pregnancy carrying too much weight for your height, youre not alone. More than half of pregnant women are overweight or obese.
Youre considered overweight if your pre-pregnancy body mass index is between 25 and 29.9. Youre considered obese if your BMI is 30 or greater.
Not sure what your BMI is? Try this BMI calculator.
How much to gain during pregnancy depends on your BMI:
- If your BMI is 25 to 29.9: Its recommended that you gain between 15 and 25 pounds by the end of your pregnancy, or approximately 2 to 3 pounds per month in your second and third trimesters.
- If your BMI is 30 or higher: Youre advised to gain 11 to 20 pounds during pregnancy.
For guidance, try our pregnancy weight gain calculator and learn more about pregnancy weight gain.
Though its not safe to lose weight during pregnancy, if youre overweight or obese during pregnancy you may be able to safely gain less than the recommended amount with your healthcare providers guidance and monitoring.
Pregnancy weight gain recommendations are provided by the Institutes of Medicine , and theres been some controversy about the IOM amounts stated for obese women. One issue is that the IOM provided one recommendation for all obese women rather than different numbers for different categories of obesity.