Is it Safe for Pregnant Women to Lose Weight?
Most women gain quite a bit of weight while they’re pregnant. That said, “eating for two” and gaining a very large amount of weight, for instance, fifty pounds or more, isn’t exactly the type of weight gain that is typically considered healthy during a pregnancy. On the other hand, what about weight loss if you are already quite overweight when you become pregnant? Is it safe to try to lose the excess pounds at the same time that you’re gaining weight for the pregnancy?
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), it is perfectly acceptable for healthy women to keep up their workouts – or to begin them – in a fitness appropriate way. That said, activities should be carefully selected in order to avoid anything too strenuous or that could place you at risk of a fall.
That said, while eating a healthy diet and keeping up regular activity is a great idea, most doctors would not recommend actively attempting to lose weight during a pregnancy. The ACOG guidelines state that doctors should encourage pregnant women at any body mass index (BMI) to gain a certain amount of weight. That said, the amount of weight they should gain differs depending on how much they weighed to begin with. A woman with a normal BMI will typically want to gain somewhere between 25 and 35 pounds. That said, women who are overweight will need to gain only 15 to 25 pounds and obese women should gain only 11 to 20 pounds.
At the same time, women who are obese should also educate themselves about the increased risk of problems during their pregnancy as a result of the excess weight. Certain health complications like preeclampsia are more common among women who are very overweight. Moreover, obesity also places pregnant women at a higher risk of miscarriage or stillbirth.
Despite that fact, it still isn’t a good idea for a woman to try to actively drop their weight, according to OB/GYNs. This is particularly true when it comes to following a restrictive diet for that purpose. The reason is that sends the body into “starvation mode,” which causes liver ketones (carbon fragments) in order to provide the body with the energy it is not getting from foods.
However, the ketones can reach the fetus through the placenta and cause brain damage in the baby. OB/GYNs caution that while a woman may want to limit the amount of weight she gains during pregnancy, to be sure it is appropriate for her health and that of the baby, it isn’t a good idea to try to actually attempt weight loss until after the baby is born.