14 Nov 2022
If your BMI reading is classed as being either overweight or obese, it's vital to make sure you know how to manage your weight in the best way possible
The definition of being overweight during pregnancy: What is it?
Your healthcare provider will take a recording of your BMI by measuring your height and weight to determine if your weight is within a healthy range. BMI readings will be calculated on your weight prior to pregnancy.
Once you find out your BMI results, use the below scale to get a definition of your reading
Less than: 18.5 - Underweight
Between: 18.5 to 24.9 - Healthy
Between 25 to 29.9 - Overweight
Between: 30 to 39.99 - Obese
40 - Severely obese
During your first antenatal visit with your midwife, they should take a recording of your height and weight to discover your BMI reading. It can be hard not to be overly sensitive when you hear words such as "obese" to describe your weight, especially from your healthcare provider. It's important to remember that you are not being judged in any way during these appointments. Medical experts will use terms like "overweight" and "obese" to make sure they provide you with specific resources and support for your pregnancy. Every single woman's pregnancy journey is totally unique to them and not like anybody else. You may experience pregnancy symptoms totally different to what your friends may have.
Being overweight during pregnancy: Risks that may affect you and your baby
If your BMI is over 25 either before pregnancy or in the early stages, this can have a negative effect on both you and your baby's health. Simply put, the higher the BMI, the higher the risk.
Risks can include:
- A much longer labour
- Heavy bleeding post childbirth
- An early "premature birth"
- Gestational diabetes
Risks to your baby
Your baby can experience the following problems if you have a high BMI:
- Premature birth
- Higher than normal birth weight
- Suffering from obesity and diabetes in later life
As difficult as this can be to read, if you relate to any of the above, just know that you will have extra care provided throughout the entirety of your pregnancy. The good news is there are still lots of different methods and exercises you can perform to lower the risks of the above and experience an overall healthier pregnancy.
Can you reduce the risks if you are already obese during pregnancy?
The truth is that it may be less than likely to reduce all the risks if you have a severely high BMI. However, there are still a number of different activities and lifestyle choices you can do to make sure your pregnancy is a healthy one.
- Always make sure to attend every one of your antenatal appointments. Get a reading on your blood pressure and take a gestational diabetes tests
- Follow a healthy pregnancy meal plan full of a variety of nutrients
- Follow a pregnancy exercise program to make sure you're staying active
- Take supplements
- Make sure to follow the advice of specialists to help support your journey. Dietitians, pregnancy and postpartum corrective exercise specialists and your healthcare provider etc.
Losing weight during pregnancy
It's highly advised to not focus on weight loss during pregnancy, even if you're considered to be obese. Dieting while pregnant can cause severe harm to your baby and their rate of development. Focus on a wholesome diet that is filled with protein, fibre and healthy carbs and fats. You'll notice a change in many areas of your life due to taking onboard a healthier diet and you may even lose a minimal amount of weight that's unlikely to negatively affect your baby.
Exercise is such a magnificent tool, especially during pregnancy. Doing just 15 minutes a day, 3x a week will greatly benefit you when it comes to labour and your postpartum recovery. As the weeks go on you can increase the intensity by doing longer workouts. You can also add low-impact forms of exercise to your daily routine such as:
If you're confused in any way about how to start an exercise routine during pregnancy, then make sure to get in contact by using the live chat window and I can advise you on the best pregnancy program specific to you