Weight gain during pregnancy is something normal because obviously, you have a fetus growing inside of you. That said, there’s a cut-off point that differentiates a normal weight gain and a problematic one.
The health ‘burden’ of too much weight gain
There’s an enduring myth that says a pregnant mother should eat for two. In reality, however, so long as you eat a balanced diet, loaded with all the right nutrition and in the right quantity, you are eating optimally. Eating too much is never a good thing especially when one is pregnant. Being overweight does not only increase the likelihood for the mother to experience some health problems, it also risks the fetus as well. Below are some conditions associated with excessive weight gain:
When it comes to excessive weight gain, diabetes is a no brainer. For pregnant women who have diabetes, it is easy to experience increased blood sugar levels during pregnancy. After delivery, children of these women are likely to be overweight at the age of three. They can also get other conditions such as yellow skin, breathing problems and have low blood sugar.
Your doctor or a nutritionist can help teach you how to keep your blood glucose within a healthy range. They can also instruct you how to divide ideal portions and arrange ideal meal timings.
It is well known that vegetables, fruits, whole-grain bread, whole-grain crackers, and cereals are sources of natural fibre which contain good nutrients for your body. Increasing fibre by 10 grams each meal daily can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes by 26%.
Doing regular exercise can contribute to keeping your glucose levels within a healthy range. Walking and swimming are good examples of exercises. However, you cannot work out too much, consider your doctor’s advice about how much and how regularly you are allowed to work-out. It depends in part upon your overall health.
If your blood sugar remains at a high level, the doctor may give you a prescription to keep it within a healthy range and protect your baby.
#2 Hypertension (High blood pressure)
Hypertension doubles the risk of strokes, heart attacks, heart failure and kidney disease. It can be the result of obesity, drinking too much alcohol, smoking or family history.
Treating hypertension involves lifestyle changes and possibly drug therapy.
- Leading a healthy lifestyle is a critical step in preventing and treating high blood pressure.
- Doing regular aerobic exercise can contribute to losing weight if you are overweight or obese.
- Quitting smoking or limiting alcohol.
- Having a healthy diet (eating more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products, less saturated, total fat and sodium).
There are several types of drugs used to treat high blood pressure in case you get serious hypertension such as:
- Calcium channel blockers
- Renin inhibitors
- Other medication combinations
Gaining too much weight during pregnancy is dangerous to the mother and her baby. Moreover, it also does not help to keep you in shape after delivery. Consult your doctor to ensure that you a personalised management plan to control your weight.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: February 8, 2017 | Last Modified: November 29, 2019
Your Guide to Pregnancy Weight Gain. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2015/09/25/your-guide-to-pregnancy-weight-gain. Accessed August 17, 2016.
Gestational Diabetes: Can I Lower My Risk? http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/gestational-diabetes-guide/gestational-diabetes-can-i-lower-my-risk?page=2. Accessed August 17, 2016
Weight gain in pregnancy. http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a554810/weight-gain-in-pregnancy. Accessed August 17, 2016
Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Health Center. http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/hypertension-treatment-overview. Accessed August 17, 2016