Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tips to Prevent Obesity During and After Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a beautiful phase of a woman's life wherein she feels proud of the fact that she is nurturing a life inside her. Many women take this fact quite seriously and start eating for two adults; this results in excessive weight gain. Experts believe that to provide nourishment to the growing foetus, women need just about 300 calories extra during pregnancy. This can easily be sufficed through extra nutritional food. You don't need to eat for two adults. While little indulgence on chocolates and ice creams can be fine occasionally, excessive calories should be avoided.

Extra weight gain during pregnancy can be risky for both mother and her child. Obese pregnant women are at a risk of developing complications like child birth defects, miscarriage and other life threatening complications like pre-eclampsia. Obesity during pregnancy also increases the risk of maternal high blood pressure by 10 times. Women who are obese during pregnancy are more likely to have gestational diabetes and problems with labour and delivery. They are also at higher risk of Cesarean deliveries.

Tips to prevent obesity during pregnancy

Discussed below are a few tips to help prevent obesity during pregnancy.

  • Eat a well balanced diet, rich in nutrients and vitamins
  • Satisfy your urge for snacks with dry fruits and a bowl of fresh fruits instead of going for junk food
  • Don't take pregnancy as an excuse to turn into a couch potato; being physically active is important to avoid obesity during pregnancy
  • Go for daily walks
  • Many experts recommend yoga for pregnant women as it helps them stay fit and also experience a deep sense of calm and relaxation
  • If you enjoy swimming, go jump in the pool; it will help to strengthen muscles in your upper and lower body and keep your weight in check
  • Before doing any exercise consult your doctor and instructor. Avoid exercises that involve twisting or inversions. Also avoid lying on your back for long periods of time
  • While some exercise is important, don't strain yourself to lose weight. Some weight gain is inevitable and necessary during pregnancy

How to prevent obesity after pregnancy

Soon after delivery, don't expect to get yourself into the pre-pregnancy stage instantly. It will take about 6 months to get back into shape. Many women often feel anxious when they see themselves in the mirror and feel that they still look a few months pregnant. Experts believe that there is no reason to fret. It takes about four weeks for your uterus to contract to its normal size. During this period, you lose about 8 to 20 pounds as the body gets rid of all that extra fluid. Mentioned below are a few steps that you should take to prevent obesity after pregnancy and help yourself get back to your normal weight and shape.

  • Go for breast-feeding. Contrary to what many women feel, breast feeding does help you lose weight and get back in shape. It consumes 500 calories from you a day, helping you to reduce some of the fat you gained during pregnancy. In addition to being the most comprehensive nutrition for your baby, breast-feeding also accelerates your metabolism, consumes redundant fat, reduces fat accumulation under the skin and prevents obesity after delivery.
  • Even while you are breast feeding you can exercise. Consult your doctor and instructor before starting with any exercise routine. Suitable exercises after delivery will help boost your metabolism and avoid caloric accumulation.
  • Take appropriate balanced diet avoiding high-fat and sugar laden diets. While you are breast-feeding, ensure that you include dairy products, vitamins, fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • Ask your doctor if you can use the belly belt. It will help you lose several inches, eliminate gestation lines as well as prevent bowel droop and loosening of the skin.
  • Do not take slimming pills while you are breast feeding.


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