Beating maternal obesity

  • By Team TDO

Obesity can cause trouble to both the mother and the baby. Here's what experts recommend:

It is obvious that you will gain weight during pregnancy. But be careful even before you get pregnant. Your increasing weight might be a symptom of obesity. Maternal obesity refers to being overweight during pregnancy.

Obesity in women can cause serious pregnancy-related complications, such as gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, infertility, labour and delivery complications, pre-eclampsia, fetal and neonatal death, metabolic dysfunction, and delivery of large-for-gestational-age (LGA) infants.

But when caught early, maternal obesity can be managed that can be modified to improve birth outcomes. Preconception assessment and counselling is a must for obese women.

Armed with this information, you can about managing your weight. Here are some tips:

  1. After the cravings and morning sickness stabilize, weigh yourself regularly every week. Knowing the weight gain abnormalities in an early stage helps in its management.
  2. There is relative constant weight gain after 20th week. Weight gain more than 500g is not considered normal. Revise your diet and habits that might be causing it.
  3. Balance out eating patterns. Do not munch on unhealthy snacks all the time to meet the increased appetite. Eat three regular meals, eat at same time, and watch for the kind of food you eat.
  4. Do not go to bed immediately after food. Eating right before going to bed causes the food to be stored as fat, thus causing obesity.
  5. Cut down on excess calorie intake. Avoid eating excess of sweets, and restrict additional salt. Excess salt causes weight gain.
  6. Eating out can cause obesity. Food outside is mostly high in calories and all these add to excess weight.
  7. Do not eat for two people. Pregnant females presume that they are supposed to eat for two people. Eat to satisfy your hunger not to feed two.
  8. Watch for what you eat. Calcium, iron, protein should be the main nutrients in the food you eat.
  9. Exercise. Go for prenatal yoga or follow a regular walking routine.