Pregnancy weight gain is a common occurrence. Women gain at least a few kilograms of weight right from their first trimester. Weight gain during pregnancy is in fact the indicator of good health of the mother and the child and healthy pregnancy. This change in the body’s duty is due to the changes in the body and the baby’s weight; pregnancy weight doesn’t have the component of fat.
However, this sudden weight gain can have some unwanted effects on pregnant women. They start experiencing stress with all the changes that the body is going through and find it difficult to accustom these with a positive outlook.
It is also vital to understand a very distinguishing difference between being slightly overweight and becoming obese. The lack of understanding will lead to women trying diets and cutting down the intake of food that is essential for a healthy pregnancy. Being overweight is defined as having a weight that exceeds the appropriate threshold for your current height. Obesity is a condition characterized by excessive and abnormal fat accumulation throughout the body. Obesity has a negative impact on human health.
Risk factors due to Obesity and Overweight
Although weight gain is normal it is vital to still control the weight with some healthy nutritious diet plans and moderate levels of physical activity. One needs to consult their doctor to make healthy weight plans, to avoid any risks of being borderline overweight or having conditions like obesity. This poses several health risks.
There are a lot of risk factors that occur due to fat accumulation. Being overweight is considered a risk factor for one’s health. Being overweight causes high blood pressure and depression. whereas obesity is classified as a disease because it leads to a wide range of long-term health problems. Excessive fat accumulation leads to a variety of metabolic health issues, including diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke as well. Obesity is also linked to arthritis, fatty liver, infertility, an increased risk of several cancers, and low quality of life and self-esteem. These double up with the other complications that arise due to pregnancy.
Also being overweight or obese before pregnancy is one of the major factors of health complications during pregnancy. It increases the risk of blood pressure issues, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, premature birth, etc. even overweight women will need to gain some baby weight however gaining too much weight also leads to birth complications and the risks of weight retention post-delivery.
Being overweight and Obesity are not the same conditions, however, it is critical to obtain treatment as soon as possible before progressing from being overweight to obese and developing obesity-related diseases. A healthy diet and moderate physical activity can go a long way in monitoring the baby’s weight gain during pregnancy. However, dietary changes and exercise must only be taken with the advice of the doctor post the necessary tests are concluded. Getting on a diet or making workout plans on your own during pregnancy can harm the baby and the mother and lead to complications.
Spokesperson: Dr Amudha Hari
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist,
Apollo Cradle & Children’s Hospital, Karapakkam Chennai