For most women, pregnancy is one of the most awaited and happy periods in their lives. Generally if the pregnancy is planned then the mother-to-be will have taken steps beforehand to get her weight into a normal and healthy range. But not all pregnancies are planned of course, and so some women may find themselves carrying more weight than they would wish for when the conceive, so weight loss in pregnancy is something many women are concerned about.
In this article we’ll discuss the possibly somewhat controversial subject of weight loss in pregnancy. I describe it as controversial because from the research I’ve done it’s apparent that many medical professionals have strong views on the subject – both for and against as to whether women should even try for weight loss while they’re pregnant.
So to start off with, we’ll discuss this issue from both sides and you can then make up your own mind about it and decide if it’s something you feel you want/need to do. Then, if you decide you should be looking to drop some weight during your pregnancy, I’ll list out some of the recommended methods of achieving this.
OK, lets get started…
Should You Lose Weight In Pregnancy?
It used t be that obstetricians would offer advice to pregnant women along the lines of “eat for two and just take things easy”. The thinking was that a woman had more than enough stress in her life just by being pregnant, and she didn’t need the extra stress involved with trying to lose weight during pregnancy as well – the weight loss part would be best left until after the birth. I have to admit that I can quite relate to that!
Some doctors are concerned that certain women – especially those who tended to be very fit and slender prior to becoming pregnant – can start to obsess about their weight gains during pregnancy. The thinking is that they are so used to being trim that the idea of gaining weight is more than they can deal with and so they’ll start cutting down on the extra calories that the baby requires to develop in a healthy way.
Recent scientific research however does tend to fly in the face of this type of advice. This is in part due to the fact that obesity is now so much more widespread than even ten years ago, and the dangers of being obese during pregnancy are now more fully understood than before.
I found this video to be very informative:
A study was recently published by the Saint Louis University which concluded:
Doctors hadn’t encouraged pregnant women who were obese to limit their weight gain or have them lose weight because they were afraid it would hurt the baby,” says Raul Artal, M.D., principal investigator and chair of the department of obstetrics, gynecology and women’s health at Saint Louis University.
We found that obese women do not have to gain any weight, and, in fact, can lose weight and it won’t hurt the baby. Pregnancy is an ideal time to start an exercise and fitness program, particularly for women who are obese.”
Dr. Artal is an internationally recognized expert who has conducted extensive research on exercise during pregnancy and is the lead author of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ current guidelines on exercise for pregnant women.
The new research flies in the face of the “eat for two” and “take it easy” advice that obstetricians gave to a past generation of moms-to-be.
There are so many more obese women and men. We are witnessing an epidemic of overweight and obesity,” Dr. Artal says. “Pregnancy seems to be an ideal time for behavior modification.”
Pregnant women are more likely to regularly see a doctor and tend to be highly motivated to make lifestyle changes that protect the health of their babies, he added.
So, based on the above, the general conclusions to be drawn are that carrying excess weight whilst expecting is not desirable and that weight loss in pregnancy is safe if carried out correctly.
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