Many women are concerned about how to lose weight after the baby has arrived, but the focus should shift to before the baby is even conceived. You wouldn’t run a marathon without training, or take a long road trip without having your car tuned up, so if you are trying to conceive, you want to make sure you are prepared for a safe and healthy pregnancy for you and your baby.
Being overweight during pregnancy can be risky for mom and her baby, so if you are thinking about conceiving, it is a good idea to check in with your doctor.
According to Dr. Rob Goldberg, MD, OB/GYN of The Avery Center in Westport, Connecticut; “Counseling women who are overweight is a very important part of my practice. The women I care for who are of child bearing age or considering becoming pregnant are encouraged to exercise and make healthy food choices.”
According to the March of Dimes, 3 out of 4 women in the United States are overweight. Just how overweight you are can range from a few pounds to more severe problems with obesity.
A good way to determine if your weight is in the healthy range is understanding what your BMI (body mass index) number is. Based on your height and weight your percentage will tell you if your weight is healthy, slightly overweight or falls in the obesity range. Use this Centers for Disease Control BMI calculator to find out your BMI.
Moms who are overweight can develop problems with:
- High blood pressure or preeclampsia,
- Blood clots
- Gestational diabetes
- Complications from anesthesia
- Slower recovery time if she needs a c section to deliver the baby
Maternal problems can directly affect your baby. Babies of moms who are overweight or obese are more likely to be born prematurely due to the complications associated with her weight. They can also be large (macrosomia) which can cause complications with delivery and birth trauma.
Breastfeeding rates are also lower for moms who are overweight or obese due to problems with positioning, hormonal factors (reduced milk supply) and body image issues.
You owe it to yourself and to your baby to be healthy! Establishing healthy eating patterns for yourself now can have a life long impact on your entire family. If you have struggled to lose weight in the past and know you want to become pregnant, think about meeting with a certified nutritionist or joining an organization like Weight Watchers to design a healthy plan that works for you.
About Our Author
Beth Iovinelli, BSN, RN, IBCLC is the Director of Nursing, Director of Newborn Services and Clinical Director of Lactation Services at the Center for Advanced Pediatrics. She has over 20 years experience as a nurse in the maternal child field, including work in labor and delivery as well as postpartum and nursery.
Beth has been a patient educator and lactation consultant in maternal child health for over 10 years. She has previously worked as online medical expert for Disney Interactive Media Group and collaborated with The Newborn Channel/iVillage to develop new breastfeeding programming. Beth has appeared in several segments on the Newborn Channel featured in more than 1000 hospitals nationwide. She has also extensive experience in event planning and music production.