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Obesity in Pregnancy: Know How to Overcome

Pregnancy is a significant phase for every woman. Eating nutritious food during pregnancy ensures that your baby inside the bump is healthy. You may be worried about excess weight gain during pregnancy. Generally, women gain weight during pregnancy. However, women who are obese must be cautious about their weight gain, as it can lead to several complications in their pregnancy. It is a must that you lose weight, even during pregnancy. Obesity during pregnancy can be managed by losing weight safely with the advice of your gynecologist.

Book an online appointment with Dr. Sheetal Agarwal for Pregnancy & Gynecology related issues.

How Can You Tell You Are Obese?

If your body mass index (BMI) is above 30, you may be obese. The BMI is calculated based on your height and weight. Due to changes in lifestyle, eating habits, and other reasons, obesity in women is a serious issue. So, pregnant women with a high BMI must consult their doctor to reduce their weight.

Risks of Obesity in Pregnancy

Obesity and pregnancy risks are closely associated, as they can lead to various complications in pregnancy. The following are the risks of obesity in pregnant women:

  • Gestational diabetes
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Pre-term delivery
  • High chances of miscarriage
  • Abnormal bleeding after delivery
  • Birth defects
  • Chances of Chronic health condition

What Causes Obesity During Pregnancy?

You may put on extra weight as your baby grows. However, excess weight gain results in obesity. Obesity in pregnancy is a matter of concern and you must be aware of the reasons that cause obesity in pregnancy. Overeating, an unhealthy lifestyle, and no or less physical activity can result in obesity when you are pregnant. Hormonal changes and insulin resistance can also cause obesity in pregnant women.

Is it Safe to Lose Weight During Pregnancy?

You may be worried about losing weight during pregnancy, as it would affect the baby’s growth. But recent research suggests that you can lose weight even when you’re pregnant if you suffer from obesity. There are safe ways you can reduce weight when you are obese during pregnancy.

Ways to Overcome Obesity in Pregnancy

Here are some of the dos and don’ts for managing obesity during pregnancy:

Ask your doctor: Consult your doctor if you are looking for ways to overcome obesity during pregnancy. Your doctor may assess your health condition and offer you a personalized plan for weight management. You can also get advice from certified nutritionists on your eating plan during pregnancy. Do not start with diet plans or exercise without the advice of your doctor.

Keep it Slow: Be slow when you start with an exercise programmed and diet plan to overcome pregnancy. Start with a minute exercise session every day. You can increase the time by five more minutes every day of the week. Make sure that you are active for at least 30-45 minutes a day.

Follow Mindful Eating: This is the key to managing weight during pregnancy. You must be aware of what you eat during pregnancy. You may be tempted to eat an unhealthy snack when you feel bored or hungry. You must be mindful of what you eat to avoid hunger due to boredom. Make sure you eat a healthy snack in case you feel hungry between meals. If you crave any food, try to distract yourself by being involved in other activities like talking with a friend, going for a walk, listening to music, dancing, and taking a warm bath. These distractions can help you avoid unhealthy snacking.

Manage Your Blood Sugar Levels: Your blood sugar levels are closely associated with weight gain during pregnancy. So eat the right food to keep your sugar levels stable. Include foods low in GI that help you manage frequent hunger during pregnancy. Foods low in GI are multigrain bread, muesli, low-sugar oats, cereals, lentils, fruits, vegetables, and brown rice. Strictly avoid food high in GI, including potatoes, rice, potatoes, sweets rich in sugar, sugary drinks, etc.

Restrict the Intake of Junk: Eating junk is one of the causes of obesity in pregnancy. Junk food is highly processed and high in calories and fat content. Pregnant women who are obese must avoid the intake of junk food, as it can lead to abnormal weight gain. Avoid eating packaged food, fried food, pastries, and sweets.

Maintain a Journal: Recording your lifestyle, food, and other things during pregnancy can help manage obesity. Note down the things you eat in a day and your water intake. This helps you keep track of the calories you intake each day. This also helps you to know your eating pattern and your hunger levels. This is a great way to come up with a workout plan during pregnancy. Make use of journals available online.

Avoid Intense Exercise: You can perform simple or moderate workouts. Never risk your baby with intense or strenuous workouts. Doing intense exercise during pregnancy is highly dangerous for you and your baby. You must be able to converse comfortably with others when you are performing workouts. This is a potential sign that you are performing a safe workout or exercise. If you feel something is hurting or if you breathe too hard, then you are performing a heavy exercise. A big no to activities in which you lose balance, like cycling, horseback riding, skiing, etc. Walking is the safest physical activity during pregnancy.

Never Try Any Highly Restrictive Diet: Starting with restrictive diets like fad diets can be a risk during pregnancy. This is not a safe diet plan to manage obesity during pregnancy. Fad diets restrict the intake of various foods. This can result in a lack of nutrition for your baby, affecting their growth. Following a restrictive diet is a bad idea when you’re pregnant.

Never Miss Your Prenatal: Make sure you intake your prenatal vitamins regularly. Intake of prenatal can help to manage if you suffer from any deficiencies. There are chances that you may forget to intake vitamins as you concentrate on weight loss due to obesity. Instruct your partner to remind you of the same.

Get Support from Family and Friends: Weight loss during pregnancy can be challenging as your body changes both physically and mentally. Ask for support from your partner, parents, and others to make your weight loss management a breeze. Insist your friends and relatives to avoid bringing sweets or other unhealthy food home, as you may be tempted to eat them.

Follow the above religiously to reduce weight safely during pregnancy. This can help you manage obesity during pregnancy and avoid complications.


1. How can I control my obesity during pregnancy?

You can control obesity during pregnancy by adopting certain lifestyle changes.

  • Make sure to follow mindful eating, i.e., to keep track of what you eat.
  • Restrict the intake of junk food and sweets.
  • Ensure that you maintain your blood sugar levels.
  • Practice simple exercises.

2. How can I stop gaining weight during pregnancy?

It is important not to gain weight during pregnancy. Avoid eating processed food and sweets. Keep track of your daily intake of calories. Limit foods rich in fat. Include foods rich in fibre, like vegetables and fruits. Make sure you are physically active.

3. Can you have a successful pregnancy when you are obese?

Yes, it is possible to have a successful pregnancy when you are obese, provided you reduce your weight as per the advice of your doctor. Regular checkups with your gynecologist can help you avoid complications due to obesity during pregnancy.

4. What happens if the baby is overweight during pregnancy?

A baby who is overweight makes it difficult for the mother to deliver the baby naturally when the baby is overweight. There are chances for overweight babies to suffer from breathing issues or other complications during pregnancy.

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