Plus Size Pregnancy

If you are a plus sized pregnant mother then you may be apprehensive about weight gain during pregnancy. Many plus sized expectant mothers have concerns about additional weight gain and the difficulties that they may have to face.

Some expectant mothers may also find it difficult to find suitable maternity clothes, but there are plenty of clothing outlets that cater for plus size pregnant ladies. You should remember that whatever your size may be, pregnancy is a blessing which should be celebrated.

Pregnancy can be an enjoyable and exciting time and if you have a sensible approach and take the necessary precautions, you can achieve a healthy pregnancy.

Managing your weight during pregnancy

If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 25-29.9 you may be considered overweight. The BMI is calculated by analysing your ideal weight according to your height. A BMI of 30 or above falls in the category of being obese. Your doctor or midwife may be able to calculate your BMI and will advise on the necessary precautions during pregnancy, if you are found to be overweight or obese.

It is inevitable that during pregnancy every women will put on weight and it is also a must that you put on weight. However, the amount of weight you would expect to put on varies and you would be advised to follow specific nutritional rules in regards to what you should and shouldn’t be eating. If you do have a BMI of above 26 then you should aim to limit your pregnancy weight gain to 7-11.5kgs by the end of your pregnancy.

In the first trimester you may not gain any excess weight and therefore you could continue following a healthy well maintained diet. Some doctors recommend that pregnant women with a high BMI try to control the amount of weight they gain during pregnancy, due to potential risks to the heart and high blood pressure. If you put excess weight on during pregnancy it could lead to several health risks, such as gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and requiring a caesarean when having the baby.

Can I lose weight during pregnancy?

It is not recommended to attempt to lose weight during pregnancy as you need to eat properly to provide the necessary nutrients for your growing baby. If you deprive yourself from eating properly it could be dangerous to the health of your baby.

In the first trimester many women lose weight naturally due to pregnancy symptoms such as vomiting and morning sickness. The nausea can affect your appetite and vomiting can make you lose those extra calories. Your baby will still get all the nutrients they need, as, if you are overweight, you have an extra reserve of calories in stored fat so it is perfectly fine to lose a little weight through natural pregnancy symptoms. It is not advised to deliberately skip meals or go on a diet, as this could be hazardous and women can experience low blood pressure, feeling faint and headaches.

Ways to avoid putting on too much weight during pregnancy

There are many ways to avoid putting on too much weight during pregnancy that do not involve dieting. Your midwife or doctor will be able to offer advice on the types of foods you should be eating, and the foods which you should be avoiding. Below are some ways which you can avoid putting on excess weight during pregnancy:

  • Take regular exercise – Exercise such as brisk walking and swimming can significantly help to prevent excess weight gain. Any exercise should be discussed with your midwife or doctor to see if it is suitable for your pregnancy.
  • Eat a healthy and well balanced diet – Eating healthily can work wonders to avoiding excessive weight gain.
  • Reduce your sugar intake – Pregnant women are more susceptible to developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
  • Drink plenty of water – Drinking water helps the circulation of the blood and helps to improve your overall wellbeing.

What are the health risks of being plus sized and pregnant?

Most pregnant and plus sized women can expect to have a healthy pregnancy if they follow the necessary precautions. Your weight may not even have any effect on your pregnancy; however, you may be at higher risk of developing problems if you are overweight during pregnancy. Sadly, there are some risks to being overweight and pregnant, as described below:

  • If you are overweight and have a high sugar level you may be more susceptible to developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy. If you do develop gestational diabetes it could subside at the end of the pregnancy or it may continue if you do not control your diet.
  • Plus sized pregnant women are more likely to have high blood pressure due to their weight. High blood pressure which is left untreated can be a potential danger and you would need to seek a doctor’s advice.
  • If you are overweight you may be more likely to having a larger baby. This can in turn make the delivery more difficult.
  • You may be more susceptible to the need for a caesarean section at the time of labour if you are overweight.
  • You may need to have an assisted delivery, involving forceps or ventouse.
  • Some overweight pregnant women may have to deliver their baby prematurely.
  • Research has suggested that some babies from high BMI mothers develop neural tube defects and other problems to do with heart and abdominal defects.

What can I do to prevent potential risks?

Every pregnancy regardless of your weight can pose potential risks to you and your baby; however, if you are overweight the chances of developing problems during pregnancy are increased. Risks of problems during pregnancy can be controlled and managed through careful expert advice and preventions.

Most plus sized pregnancies are normal, and babies are perfectly healthy. It is therefore important not to worry too much. By following a well balanced diet and reducing your sugar intake you can make a step to avoiding excess weight during pregnancy.

It would be more beneficial to try to lose weight before getting pregnant, as it is not recommended to do so after pregnancy. However, if you are already pregnant and plus sized you can still take preventative measures to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby. The best way to prevent potential risks is to take regular appropriate exercise and maintain a healthy balanced diet. Exercise is also a great way to avoid potential risks during pregnancy.

Maternity clothes for plus sized women

Pregnant women often find that maternity clothes can be difficult to find especially if you are overweight.  There are many retail outlets that cater specifically for big and beautiful women and do a range of maternity clothes. You can try looking on the internet as they have a range of websites around the world and I am sure you will be spoilt for choice.  There are many plus sized catalogues which cater for bigger women’s clothing.

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