By Dr. Shaivalini Kamarapu, Gynaecology
Pregnancy makes a woman’s body go through metabolic and hormonal changes. These changes at a certain level also affect their weight. Being overweight or obese during pregnancy can pose major problems to the health of the mother as well as that of the baby.
The risk of preeclampsia, stillbirth or premature birth, gestational diabetes, miscarriage, urinary tract and postpartum infections, sleep apnea, blood clots etc., increases many times. Neonatal deaths, extremely low birth-weight babies as well as infants having birth defects are majorly linked to obesity in the mother. The list of maternal and fetal complications is endless hence it is important to have a control on obesity during pregnancy.
1. Have smaller portions of light and healthy meals – Five to six small and healthy meal servings ensure that your blood sugar level is stable and energy level is good. It provides you with the required calories and nutrients and also helps in reducing morning sickness.
2. Eat breakfast – Energy deficiency and voracious hunger caused by skipping meals can make you feel moody and tired in the morning. Moreover, after 6-8 hours of sleep, your fetus needs energy in the early morning hours.
3. Eat as per your appetite – People often advise pregnant women to start eating for two. In the long run, this excess amount of food that you eat will increase your weight unexpectedly. So, eat what you feel is good for you and your fetus.
4. Have enough Water – Consuming less water can make you feel hungry even after having a good diet. Have enough water to keep yourself and your fetus healthy as well as to avoid unnecessary snacking.
5. Exercise Regularly – Doing regular exercise prevents pregnant women from sudden excessive weight gain. It also helps them in increasing their energy and in getting back to shape post pregnancy.