The best way to be a good mother is to be a good you!  It takes a lot of energy for a healthy pregnancy but it takes even more after the baby is born!  It is of utmost importance to maintain a healthy weight for a healthier pregnancy and beyond.  Body Mass Index is one way to determine where your weight falls on the health continuum.  It’s not perfect, but it’s a great place to start:

  1. Weigh yourself in pounds and divide by 2.2.  This will be your weight in kilograms (kg).
  2. Measure your height in inches and divide by 39.37.  This will give you your height in meters (m).  
  3. Take your (weight in kg) divided by your (height in m squared) and this will give you your Body Mass Index (BMI).
  4. You can also click here for a chart to make it easier 🙂

bmi-chart

Being even moderately overweight is a significant risk factor for complications during pregnancy. It’s logical and has been formally studied.  The pregnancies of 89 overweight women were compared to the pregnancies of 54 women of healthy weight. Researchers found that excess weight before pregnancy resulted in increased labor complications, length of hospitalization, and overall cost of care.  Additionally, the overweight mothers suffered from:

  • Hypertension
  • Toxemia
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Blood sugar problems
  • Macrosomia  (This is a baby with a birth weight of over 8 pounds, 13 ounces, which puts both mother and baby at risk for birth complications.)

While you are preparing for pregnancy and motherhood, it is wise to lose excess body fat and maintain a healthy weight.  Epigenetic factors, the ability to turn on and turn off genes, have the greatest influence in the womb.  What a mother does, including her diet, stress level, environment and emotions can send a multitude of signals to the protein that surrounds the unborn baby’s DNA.  While some signals are helpful and some are harmful, they have a profound effect right after fertilization.  While they don’t change the little person’s genetic makeup, they influence which genes will have greater expression.  That’s why preconception health of the mother and the father are vitally important.

Stay away from diet pills, fad diets or weight-loss supplements, even those claiming to be “natural.”  The very best “diet” is actually not a diet at all.  START SOMEWHERE with small, sustainable lifestyle changes.  Here are some easy options:

  • Drink more water! Dehydration is often mistaken as hunger.  Start by adding just 1 cup of pure water to your day and increase it until you are drinking half your body weight in ounces.
  • Start walking.  Even if it’s just to the mailbox and back, get started and increase your distance and time.  It will increase your energy!
  • Develop a sleep strategy.   Fatigue can cause people to eat, thinking it will revive them.   
  • Eat two cups of raw vegetables every day.  Try it!  It will help curb your appetite and improve digestive health.
  • Cut your dessert in half.  The first bite is always the best!  Rather than feeling deprived, eat less and enjoy it.  

Getting healthy doesn’t have to be difficult.  Maintain a healthy weight for a healthier pregnancy and a healthier life.  You can do.  Just START SOMEWHERE!  

Maintain a healthy weight for a healthier pregnancy

Maintain a healthy weight for a healthier pregnancy