Losing Weight during Pregnancy affects Baby's Health

Updated at: Feb 03, 2012
Losing Weight during Pregnancy affects Baby's Health

Weight loss during pregnancy directly affects baby’s health. It is important for a prospective mother to maintain a normal weight and healthy lifestyle during pregnancy.

Gunjan Rastogi
PregnancyWritten by: Gunjan RastogiPublished at: Feb 01, 2012

A certain amount of weight loss is beneficial for the newborn of overweight pregnant women but reduction of weight in underweight pregnant women or women with normal weight can lead to develop alarming complications in their newborns.


Weight loss in obese pregnant women

If you are overweight, you are more likely to experience complications during pregnancy. During pregnancy, you may experience miscarriage, gestational diabetes, stillbirth, hypertension, complications in labour and childbirth. Obesity can shoot up your blood pressure increasing your chances of preterm delivery. Being overweight also elevates your chances of undergoing a caesarean section. Your obesity can equally be harmful for your baby causing various health problems such as, neural tube defects, shoulder dystopia, obesity during childhood, preterm birth and immediate death after birth.

Knocking off few kilos during pregnancy will help you to have a healthier pregnancy and a healthy baby. Definitely, pregnancy is not the right time to go on a diet because it will reduce the amount of nutrients, minerals and vitamins required for the growing embryo.  However, by eating a healthy, balanced diet, and being moderately active -- 30 minutes of walking a day can help obese pregnant women to lose weight.

Losing weight during gestational period curb the chances of having larger-than-normal-baby. It lowers the risk of developing neural tube defects and shoulder dystopia in the newborn. By losing weight during pregnancy the chances of caesarean delivery also diminishes.  Researchers have found that overweight pregnant women can reduce weight without harming their newborn's birth weight -- which is their main concern. Infants of overweight mothers have higher Fecal Bacteroides and Staphylococcus concentrations increasing the risk of infant being overweight.


Weight loss in normal-weight pregnant women

Weight loss in normal-weight pregnant women points that the prospective mother does not have enough endurance ability resulting in poor well-being of the unborn. Researchers have found that women whose BMI fell by five or more units during pregnancy have a higher risk of preterm delivery than women whose weight remains stable.  Due to preterm delivery, the foetus does not develop completely and its survival chance reduces. Surviving premature babies can develop learning disabilities, developmental impairment or cerebral palsy.

Your reduced weight can leave your baby oxygen deprived before birth causing death in the womb. Infants of weak mothers are more likely to have a lower birth weight.

To get a healthy life for yourself and your baby, it is important to attain and maintain normal weight during pregnancy. The weight of the mother affects the overall development of the baby, therefore, a prospective mother must maintain a healthy lifestyle.


Read more articles on During Pregnancy.



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