Losing Weight While Pregnant

Weight Loss can occur due to a variety of reasons which could sometimes become severe. An average weight gain for a woman is between 11-40 pounds which depends on the starting weight.

Is It Safe To Lose Weight During Pregnancy?

If a woman is overweight, the doctor may recommend losing weight which needs expert supervision because losing or gaining is a natural factor. It may result in morning sickness in the first trimester and adding pounds in the next two trimesters which is indeed a healthy way to gain weight.

Managing the Weight

Create a Plan for Weight Loss

The body undergoes so many changes during the trimesters while the fetus grows and develops in the nine months. Having excess weight is problematic and may lead to severe complications, however, one may control it by making changes in the lifestyle and adopting a healthy diet.

Putting on the Right Amount of Weight

One must know the exact pressure to be applied on as being overweight can harm the body. According to the national institute of diabetes in digestive and kidney diseases, there are some guidelines to follow based on the weight:

  • Obese (BMI of 30 or more): Gain 11- 20 pounds
  • BMI between 25 and 29.9: 15-25 pounds
  • 5-24.9 BMI (Healthy weight): 25-35 pounds

Avoid Calories

Reduce calorie intake which can cause excess weight gain developing complications too. 3500- calorie deficit is equal to losing 1 pound which calls for 500 calories per day to be cut out. Talk to a dietician for food plans with setting nutritional labels for knowing the number of calories in foods. One should eat 1700 calories per day ensuring the proper dietary supply daily or can:

  • Avoid condiments
  • Eat small frequent meals
  • Stop eating healthy fats like butter instead try olive oil
  • Try baked goods for fruit
  • Eat vegetables
  • Avoid junk foods like candy or chips
  • Don’t drink soda
  • Take prenatal vitamins
  • Folate supplements can help reduce the congenital disabilities.
  • Avoid salt
  • Food with artificial sweeteners may harm
  • Avoid eating unhealthy fats like margarine, gravy, sauces, butter and salad dressings.

Exercise daily

Practice safe 30 minutes exercise daily to maintain weight or relieve pains. Some of the best exercises include:

  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Gardening
  • Prenatal Yoga
  • Stretching
  • Hire a massage therapist

One should avoid activities that cause pain, dizziness, are performed in the heat, done on the back or bike riding as it may create complications needing a doctor immediately like:

  • Chest pains
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Painful uterine contractions
  • Any gush of fluid from the vagina

Addressing the Issues Early

One usually gains weight in the second and third trimesters when it often becomes uncontrollable. According to a study in the journal, women who took care between weeks, 7 and 21 were less likely to gain excess weight in the third trimester.

Other Measures Include

  • Carrying the lunch to work
  • Making a conscious choice when eating
  • Accepting the changes

Effects of Unhealthy Weight Loss

Losing more weight than expected can cause complications like:

  • Miscarriages especially in the 1st trimester because of Anorexia (eating disorder)
  • Underweight, low amniotic fluid, small-sized and congenital disabilities in the one.

Is Dieting right to Lose Weight During Pregnancy?

It is not the time to follow a weight-loss diet as it can harm both the mother and the fetus. It may happen in the first trimester due to morning sickness which can affect the appetite developing low calories in the body. Overweight women have fat in the form of calories which makes them harmless to even losing a little at first.

Eat healthy foods like cereals and bread made with whole grain, low-fat milk and dairy products, strawberries, spinach and beans, olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil.

The Healthy Diet for Losing Weight

Indulge in following a healthy diet to avoid medical issues occurring due to obesity:

  • Eat 10% more of proteins
  • Avoid eating foods containing sugar
  • Eat more cereals, vegetables, fruits, and beans
  • Do not drink too much fresh fruit juice
  • Eat the nutritious products before 3 p.m

Weight Loss in the First Trimester

Losing weight is easy in the first trimester by sticking to the healthy eating schedule including fruits and vegetables in the diet and avoiding spicy and salty foods.

Losing Weight in the Second Trimester

After the 14th week, one starts gaining too much weight requiring a proper diet including one fasting a week and eating only dairy products. Avoid eating chocolates or caffeine as they create a lack of calcium in the body. Limit cholesterol-containing products like butter, bacon, egg yolk and desserts.

Losing Weight in the Third Trimester

During the third trimester, one faces the risks of getting Anemia, swellings and late Toxicosis, hence adopting a vegetarian diet and limiting the fluid intake is always good. One may also suffer from constipation for which cereals and vegetables are needful. Stay physically fit and indulge in mild exercises to maintain the weight.

Distribution Of Weight

  • Placenta: 1½lb
  • Baby’s weight: 7½lb
  • Uterus: 2lb
  • Large breasts: 2 lb
  • Amniotic fluid: 2lb
  • Blood: 4lb
  • Fats and other nutrients: 7 lb

Weight Gain Chart

18-5 to 24.9 Normal 11 to16 kg
<18.5 Underweight 13 to 18 kg
25 to 29.9 Overweight 7 to 11 kg
>30 Obese 5 to 9 kg

In twin pregnancies, the weight gain should be between 37-54 lb (16.5-24.6 kg).

Tools for Checking

The weight gain requirement is dependant on the state before pregnancy. Check the extra weight gain through a pregnancy weight gain calculator which estimates the ideal weight week by week before knowing the current status, height, trimester and the twin pregnancy.

Side-Effects of being Overweight

  • Heart defects
  • Stillbirth
  • Premature birth
  • Cesarean delivery
  • Gestational Diabetes: One posses four times higher risk of needing a c-section delivery or congenital disabilities.
  • High BP in the mother
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Infections
  • Blood clots (Especially in the lungs)
  • Preeclampsia: A high BMI can increase the risk of premature birth, stroke or blood clots.
  • Labor problems
  • Pregnancy symptoms (Back pain, Headaches, Heartburn, Pelvic pressure and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome)


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