By Beverley Brooke
If you are overweight when you become pregnant, your physician will likely recommend that you gain less weight than a woman who is average or normal weight. You should not diet during pregnancy because it is vital that you supply your body and unborn baby with an adequate number of nutrients. What you can do however to minimize your weight gain is to ensure that you eat a healthy selection of foods during your pregnancy.
One of the best things you can do to avoid too much weight gain is ensure that you have a healthy selection of snacks handy when at times when hunger strikes. Think about things like yogurt, raisins, nuts, fruit and other healthy selections that are not only convenient but also taste good.
There are health conditions that being overweight or obese increases the risk for during pregnancy. Among these include:
- Premature Birth
- Gestational Diabetes
- Cesarean Sections
Giving Birth to Children with Obesity Problems
Unfortunately women who are already overweight prior to pregnancy are more likely to gain excessive amounts of weight during pregnancy. Several studies have suggested that more than 80 percent of overweight and obese women will gain too much weight, defined as weight exceeding 40 pounds or more, during their pregnancy.
Women who are obese and give birth are also more at risk for maternal mortality during labor and delivery. The cesarean rates are often higher because labor fails to progress in a timely fashion.
Did you know that gaining more than the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy also puts you at risk for being overweight several years after pregnancy?
Babies born to mothers that are overweight might also experience a number of health problems. Those most often cited by studies include an increased risk of congenital heart defects and a greater risk of neural tube defects.
The best thing you can do for yourself and the health of your unborn child is maintain a healthy weight prior to becoming pregnant. If you are overweight, work with your healthcare provider or a nutritionist to come up with a sound dietary regimen that will ensure that you gain an appropriate amount of weight for maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Adopting healthy habits during your pregnancy often results in a `carry over' effect, meaning you are more likely to eat healthily after giving birth as well as before.
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