Posts Tagged ‘pregnancy weight’

Overweight pregnancy can have long-term health consequences for children

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Too much weight before and during pregnancy can have serious health consequences not only for the mother, but for her child’s health for many years, new research shows.

“While it’s pretty well-known a healthy weight is crucial to a healthy and long life, new research is showing that if a woman is overweight while pregnant, her baby is more likely to be overweight,” says Alan R. Fleischman, MD, March of Dimes medical director. Health risks continue into childhood, with a higher risk of developing insulin resistance, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, all of which can lead to heart disease and diabetes.

We realize that weight is a sensitive subject for many women and that some health care professionals are uncomfortable discussing it. But weight is a risk factor that can be changed, greatly improving outcomes. It’s very important to talk about this and get essential changes started. If a woman begins her pregnancy at a healthy weight, it can not only lower the risk of preterm birth and birth defects, but can give her baby a healthier start that can have life-long benefits. You can read a lot more about it at this link.

The March of Dimes recommends that women who are planning a pregnancy should get a preconception health check-up. During the visit, your health care provider can identify and treat health conditions that can pose a risk in pregnancy, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or certain infections.  Your provider can offer information on weight as well as nutrition, smoking, drinking alcohol and occupational exposures that can pose pregnancy risks. If weight might be an issue for you, don’t put off talking to your doc about about it. It will be good for both you and your baby.

Get out and get moving

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

exercisingSpring is here and I’m so excited! Where I live, the past few days have been absolutely gorgeous. Between all the snow and rainstorms we experienced earlier this year, Lola (my dog) and I are happy to finally take our exercise outdoors in the warm weather and sunshine.

If you’re an expecting mommy, spring is the perfect time to get some fresh air and get moving! For most women, exercising while pregnant is safe and healthy. It can help prevent gestational diabetes, a form of diabetes that sometimes develops during pregnancy. For women who already have gestational diabetes, regular exercise and changes in diet can help control the disease. Exercise can also relieve stress and build the stamina needed for labor and delivery. It can also help women cope during the postpartum period by keeping “baby blues” at bay, regaining their energy and losing the weight they gained during pregnancy. Some research suggests that exercising during pregnancy can also keep baby healthy at birth and later in life.

So let’s get out there and get moving!

New guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

pregnant-woman-on-weight-scale-shrunkIf you’re an expecting mommy or a woman trying to get pregnant, listen up. The Institutes of Medicine (IOM) released a report today with new recommendations for how much weight a woman should gain during pregnancy, including how much weight they should gain week by week.

The authors of the report stressed how important it was for women to get to a healthy weight BEFORE getting pregnant. That’s because women who are overweight or obese before pregnancy face greater health risks to herself and her baby during pregnancy. For women who are overweight or obese and already pregnant, the authors recommend that women, working with their health providers, carefully monitor their weight gain so that both mom and baby have a greater chance of staying healthy.

The pregnancy weight gain recommendations are as follows:

BMI* Before Pregnancy

Total Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Weight Gain Week by Week** in 2nd and 3rd Trimester

Underweight (BMI less than 18.5)

28-40 pounds

1 pound

Normal weight (BMI is 18.5-24.9)

25-35 pounds

1 pound

Overweight (BMI is 25.0-29.9)

15-25 pounds

½ pound

Obese (BMI is greater than 30.0)

11-20 pounds

½ pound

Use this calculator to find out your BMI
**  These figures assume a 1st trimester weight gain between 1-4½ pounds

Remember, all women need to make sure they eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and get their folic acid, both BEFORE and DURING pregnancy. With your health provider’s OK, most pregnant women should try to get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most, if not all, days.

Check out ChooseMyPlate, an online tool from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It can help you plan a healthy diet based on your age, weight, height and physical activity. There’s even a special section for pregnant and breastfeeding moms.

Pregnant Mommies: Not so fast on that Halloween candy!

Friday, October 31st, 2008

It’s Halloween and the kids will be bringing home LOADS of goodies. It’s okay for mommies to treat themselves every once in a while during pregnancy. But don’t overload on the fun-size candy bars and the candy corn.

A recent study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology shows that moms who gained more than 40 pounds during their pregnancy were twice as likely to have babies who were too large, compared to other moms. In fact, out of 40,000 moms in the study, 1 in 5 of them had gained too much weight during their pregnancy.

So what’s the harm in having a large baby, you ask? Well, let’s start with what that means for moms. Moms who gain too much weight during pregnancy are at increased risk of facing serious health complications such as gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension and preeclamspia.  Also, a pregnant mom who gains too much weight is more likely to encounter difficulties during labor and childbirth, such as a baby stuck in the birth canal, vaginal tearing, c-section, a longer hospital stay and other recovery complications.

Babies born to overweight or obese moms face their own special health risks, too. These newborns are at increased risk of being born prematurely, having certain birth defects and needing special care in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Some studies even suggest that babies born too big are more likely to face obesity in their childhood, which is a growing problem in the U.S.

While you don’t want to go on any “fad diet” during pregnancy, it’s important that you make healthy food choicesWatch our video on healthy food choices during pregnancy.  Talk to your health provider for more nutrition tips.

Image: Juushika Redgrave, Flickr

Beware of ‘Pregorexia’

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

A lot of changes happen to moms during their nine months of pregnancy.   From changes in hair, to gums and teeth, to breasts and skin, Mother Nature uses this precious time to transform a woman’s body into a safe and healthy haven for her new baby.

But of all the changes taking place, many moms might find themselves most concerned with how much weight to gain during pregnancy.  The CBS Early Show recently did a segment on “pregorexia” and how some moms take extreme measures of limiting how much food they eat to lessen the amount of pounds they put on during pregnancy. This kind of behavior can cause severe harm to an unborn baby.  Fad diets can reduce the nutrients your baby needs for his growth and health.

It’s important that pregnant moms eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.  On average, women need an extra 300 calories a day to support the growth and development of their baby. You can get these extra calories by adding a small snack between meals, so make healthy choices.  With your health provider’s OK, you should also do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most, if not all, days.

As far as weight gain, women who are at a normal weight before pregnancy should gain between 25-35 pounds.  If you’re currently overweight, aim for a range of 15-25 pounds to avoid developing complications during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure.

Remember – the healthier you are during your pregnancy, the healthier your baby will be.

Celeb mommies bringing you down?

Monday, August 18th, 2008

There must be something in the water in Hollywood.  It seems that everybody who is anybody is having a baby.  Not only that, but these celebrity mommies are coming back to their pre-baby shape in record time.

Seeing pictures of Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba and Nicole Kidman looking better than ever after giving birth can leave the average new mom feeling upset.  Some moms may ask themselves, “if these celeb mommies can shed 40 lbs. in 4 weeks, then what am I doing wrong?” Unfortunately, this new wave of celebrity post-baby fitness is setting unrealistic expectations for many women and their partners.

The weight you gained during pregnancy was a good thing.  It helped give your beautiful new baby the nutrients he needed to grow.  Now that he is born, it’s perfectly fine to try and get back into shape.  With your health provider’s OK, you can start light exercises as soon as you feel ready.  Just be sure to take things slowly.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests starting your way back into fitness with a walk.  Take a brisk walk whenever you can, everyday if possible.  When you feel up to it, you can move on to more intensive exercises.  Swimming is another great workout.  Some local fitness or community health centers offer classes that specialize in workouts for new moms.  Not only will you begin to see healthy results, you’ll also experience extra energy, which you’ll need to keep up with caring for a newborn.

The most important thing is that you go at your own pace and choose a workout that’s right for you.  Remember – it’s not a race to the skinny jeans.  Focus on eating well-balanced meals and living a healthy lifestyle.  You’ll be much happier and healthier in the long run.