You should not lose weight during pregnancy but can avoid excess weight gain, if you are overweight or obese (1). As per the guidelines set by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (2), every pregnant woman needs to gain weight during pregnancy, irrespective of their BMI.
However, the amount of weight gain differs depending on whether the woman has normal weight, is overweight or obese. If you are obese or overweight, you can control your weight gain through healthy eating habits and safe exercises as suggested by your doctor.
Therefore, do not get misled by the internet promises of losing weight during pregnancy. Instead, talk to your doctor and follow their instructions. If your doctor agrees that you are gaining excess weight, then they may ask you to control it. In this post, MomJunction tells you about some safe ways to manage weight during pregnancy.
Why Do Overweight Women Need To Manage Weight During Pregnancy?
According to the UK’s National Health Services (NHS), being overweight increases the risk of a miscarriage, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia (high blood pressure), blood clots, postpartum hemorrhage, and heavy babies in the mother.
In the babies, there could be risk of stillbirth or early birth (before 37 weeks). However, these risks are not unique to women who are overweight because they could happen in any pregnant woman (3).
The NHS recommends women not to try losing weight during pregnancy even if they are “very overweight”.
The best way to avoid weight issues during pregnancy is to reduce weight before conception. But if you have conceived even as you were trying to lose weight, make sure you are having a controlled weight gain so that you are not crossing the threshold of the recommended weight gain (see the next section).