How Weight Plays a Crucial Role in Pregnancy
If you are trying to conceive or are already pregnant, it is very important to monitor your weight. This is not only crucial for a healthy pregnancy, but also for you and your baby’s long term health.
It is imperative that you discuss your weight concerns with your gynecologist before you get pregnant, and start your pregnancy at a healthy weight. Being underweight or overweight can have an impact on your ability to conceive and deliver a healthy baby. The closer you are to achieving a healthy weight, the better your chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy delivery.
Should I worry about weight gain during pregnancy?
Weight gain during pregnancy is crucial. Having a healthy weight gain during pregnancy can safeguard the health of you and your baby. While every woman may have varying body weight, studies show that obesity leads to menstrual irregularities, anovulation, and a reduced conception rate. It can also potentially contribute to miscarriages and maternal/perinatal complications.
At the same time, weighing less can also affect your chances of getting pregnant. Being underweight can cause irregularities in your menstrual cycle and increase your chances of delivering a premature baby. A premature baby may pose a higher risk for illness and may even experience delayed development.
How much weight should you gain during pregnancy?
The amount of weight you need to gain during pregnancy will entirely depend on your overall health and body mass index (BMI) before conceiving. BMI is the measure of your body weight on the basis of your height and weight. Discuss your BMI with your gynecologist before pregnancy so that you can determine your weight gain/loss goals and track your weight regularly throughout your pregnancy. According to studies, the following is the recommended weight gain based on your pre-pregnancy weight.
- Underweight (BMI of less than 18.5), you should gain 28 to 40 pounds.
- Normal weight (BMI of 18.5 to 24.9), you should gain 25 to 35 pounds.
- Overweight (BMI of 25 to 29.9), you should gain 15 to 25 pounds.
- Obesity (BMI of 30 or greater), you should gain no more than 11 to 20 pounds.
What are the risks of increased weight gain for women during pregnancy?
- Gestational diabetes: Being overweight puts you at risk of developing gestational diabetes, which further increases the risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes in the future.
- Labor complications; Obese women are more likely to undergo labor and birth complications such as long labor, heavy bleeding post-delivery, the need for an emergency cesarean section, and increased chances of shoulder dystocia.
- Medical complications; Overweight women are more susceptible to developing illnesses such as sleep apnea, high blood pressure, postnatal depression, and more.
What are the risks of increased weight for a baby?
- Premature birth; Premature babies are at greater risk of developing long-term health problems, including obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
- Low blood sugar; If the mother has gestational diabetes, the baby is at higher risk for low blood sugar.
- Congenital Disabilities; Excess weight gain during pregnancy can lead to congenital disabilities in your baby, such as neural tube defects (birth defects of the spine and brain).
- Macrosomia; Delivering a large baby can lead to complications during birth and labor, including potential injury to the baby. It can also increase your chances of requiring an emergency C-section.
Book an appointment today with our gynecologist in Johns Creek, GA to learn more about fertility and to get help in managing your weight during pregnancy.
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