To begin with, pregnancy is something people have to be careful with for obvious reasons, and if you combine it with being overweight or even obese, it opens up a whole new realm of complications. Let’s not forget though, being overweight and obese is a huge health problem itself.
Complications don’t stop at just you; they also affect the baby in your womb. Most women know about it, but they overlook the complications at their peril.
We are here to tell you the possible complications of being overweight during pregnancy, and how to take care of yourself.
Risks & Complications For The Mom:
- Venous thromboembolism is a complication that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein, and from there, it travels to other organs like lungs.
- Sepsis is a possibility, which is extremely dangerous.
- Gestational diabetes, which occurs without previously diagnosed diabetes where blood glucose is high during pregnancy.
- Blood pressure problems like hypertension.
- Possible heart diseases.
- Slower wound healing after delivery.
Diabetes UK also concludes that obese women face a higher risk of induced labor, post-partum hemorrhage, which is severe loss of blood and forceps delivery. AFTER pregnancy, if you’re still obese, there is a high risk of contracting urinary incontinence, type 2 diabetes, digestive problems, endometrial polyps (growths in the inner lining of the uterus), and fibroids.
Risks & Complications For The Baby:
- Miscarriage or a stillbirth, premature birth, foetal abnormalities and neonatal death (death during the first 28 days of life).
- Women who pile on the kilograms during pregnancy run a high risk of giving birth to an overweight child, according to Boston Children’s Hospital.
- According to Dr David Ludwig, “pregnancy weight gain may induce an increased long-term risk of obesity, without interference from the genes or the baby’s environment.” He called it a vicious cycle that needs to be stopped.
- Leading expert Dr Claire De La Serra, from the University of Georgia, Athens, claims that pregnancy obesity triggers changes in the baby’s gastrointestinal function and even the gastrointestinal micro-flora composition.” In layman terminology, there are microorganisms in the tract that assist in digestion. If there is an imbalance in the microorganisms, it can lead to obesity.
How To Manage Your Weight:
- Ensure that you take part in daily physical activities such as swimming, cycling or walking.
- Consult a nutritionist if you need more detailed dietary advice, or if you’re not sure how to go about healthy eating.
- Watch your portions, as control is important, and forget the famous “eating for two” comment. We’ll get to that later.
- Make sure you incorporate fruit and vegetables in your everyday diet.
Going back to the “eating for two” line, it’s actually a myth. Wondering why? It’s because you’re actually eating for a tiny baby that doesn’t need such a large intake of food by their mommies. Having that 5th slice of pizza and justifying yourself? Think again, because a growing baby needs only 300 extra calories, which is what you will find in a healthy sandwich. Plus, those extra calories are only needed towards the latter part of pregnancy.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not telling you to concentrate on losing weight to be skinny; we’re trying to tell you to be healthy for yourself and your baby, as pregnancy should be a positive experience. You’ll have enough to worry about later, so why start so early?
Watch your weight, eat healthy, create a balanced diet for yourself, be active, and you’ll notice how good you’ll feel! Apart from feeling good, you will be able to eliminate the above-mentioned risks.