There are tons of studies and articles about the negative impact of excess weight on pregnancy, but with a large portion of the population living overweight or obese, there are bound to be tons of women out there who have successful, healthy pregnancies despite living outside the designated healthy BMI range.
What Does Overweight Mean Exactly?
The term overweight is used for women who fall outside the healthy BMI range. If you are one pound over the suggested weight you will fall outside the maximum BMI of 24.9. A woman with a BMI of 25 is not going to instantly fall into a high-risk category. Many studies focus on women who are well outside the healthy range or in the obese/morbidly obese range.
Are All Overweight and Obese Women at Risk of Complications?
The answer, based on real life pregnancies, is no. Not all overweight or obese women are at risk of pregnancy complications. I managed three pregnancies – all while falling outside of the normal BMI range – with no complications associated with my weight. All of my children are normal weight, healthy, active and extremely smart. There are plenty of women out there like me.
Tips to Reduce Your Risk During Pregnancy
If your weight has you reeling with concern about your health and the health of your baby, take a few steps in the healthy direction. You will not lose a ton of weight during pregnancy or instantly become a fitness guru, but you can make healthier food choices and walk a little each day to improve your overall health. Choose whole grains rather than white grains like white pasta and white rice. Increase your fiber intake and add some green, leafy vegetables to your diet.
You can have a healthy, normal pregnancy when you’re overweight or obese despite what studies and articles have to say. There are risks and complications associated with pregnancy at a higher BMI, but once you are pregnant the only thing you can do is make healthy food choices, maintain a healthy weight gain and keep all prenatal appointments to ensure the pregnancy is progressing in a healthy way.