Obesity is a condition where the person’s weight is 20% more than his/her ideal weight. Most obese women have completely safe pregnancies and perfectly healthy babies. Still there is an added risk of developing gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.
Most obese women have hormonal disturbances that may prevent them from conceiving in the first place. Because of the excess padding the practitioner may find it difficult to estimate the growth and the size of the fetus. Labour becomes more difficult and prolonged as obese women give birth to larger babies. However, there are some tips you can keep in mind to have a safe pregnancy.
Pregnancy Tips For Obese Women
Target Weight Gain
Weight gain for obese, pregnant women should not be more than 15 pounds. This will be difficult as women will have to make particularly healthy diet choices, which may not have been the case earlier. They should minimally consume fats and refined carbs.
More emphasis should be laid on high fiber, multi-grains and fruits/vegetables. 8-10 glasses of fluids daily are necessary. Focusing on quality instead of quantity is necessary. More emphasis should be laid on taking all essential pre natal supplements like folic acid, iron and calcium to compensate for any nutritional deficiencies.
Blood Sugar Monitoring
Since obese women are likely to develop gestational diabetes, they should regularly have their blood sugar levels tested.
This is done with the help of the glucose tolerance test and glucose challenge test. Any excess sugar detected in the blood can pose a risk and requires medical intervention.
Blood Pressure Monitoring
With excessive weight comes the added risk of high blood pressure. This is potentially dangerous as it predisposes the woman to conditions like preeclampsia and eclampsia.
These are life-threatening conditions and may necessitate a premature delivery, which only complicates issues and affects the normal health and safety of the baby. Hence, the doctor may ask all obese women to have their blood pressure checked either weekly or bi-weekly as deemed fit.
Obese women must incorporate exercise into their daily regimen. This is crucial to prevent excessive weight gain, which may jeopardize their chances of having a safe pregnancy. Obese women can take recourse to yoga, walks, and meditation to keep stress and weight gain at bay.
Do ask your doctor the kind of exercises that are safe to take up and which will not put extra strain on your joints. Exercise will also prevent bloating, indigestion, constipation, and excessive water retention in your hands and feet.
Say No to Vices
A combination of obesity and alcohol/drug abuse is lethal. Cut down on smoking and ban alcohol from your life at least for these nine months.
If you are on drugs it is wise to seek rehabilitation before you even think of having a baby. Discontinue smoking.
Say No to Appetite Suppressants
While it is imperative that you stay as close to your ideal weight, do not take refuge in appetite suppressants and caffeine, which are not only not recommended but can have drastic effects on you and your baby. Strive to achieve your target weight in a gradual healthy manner.