Overweight women can control their weight gain during pregnancy safely, without any threat for themselves or the child, as well as lose excess weight, sticking to the rules of proper nutrition.
This is the conclusion made by Australian researchers from the Ramsay Health Care medical center after conducting a special study published in the Obstetrics & Gynecology journal.
As recommended by the US Institute of Medicine, the women with normal body weight should gain 11-15 kg during the period of pregnancy, the women with excess weight – 7-11 kg, and obese women – 9.5 kg.
However, for many pregnant women with evident signs of obesity it is useful to get rid of extra pounds rather than to gain weight during this period. This will not harm their health and the health of the child and will also reduce the risk of possible complications during pregnancy, such as diabetes and hypertension, associated with overweight.
The researchers have analyzed the data from four randomized clinical trials in which 537 pregnant women received advice on healthy eating and were told to keep daily records and count their calories. It was found that the pregnant women, who took care of their diet and controlled body weight, gained 6.4 kg less weight on average, compared with those, who did not. Also it has been revealed that a decrease in body weight during pregnancy causes no harm to the health of children.
According to Dr. Raul Artal, head of the department of obstetrics, gynecology, and women’s health at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, women with obesity can maintain body weight during pregnancy, or even lose up to 4 kg, without any damage to their health and that of a child.
The scientists do not advise pregnant women to have a strict diet. Instead, they recommend to consult a doctor and find the right diet and physical activity level.
Pregnancy is the perfect time to start a healthy lifestyle and approach healthy weight!