Going to medical appointments during pregnancy plays an important role that cannot be overemphasized. such as controlling the pregnant woman’s BMI during pregnancy.
These appointments are usually done to control the issues that come with pregnancy, such as weight gain. which can increase the risk of obstetric problems.
However, the recommended weight gain in pregnant women solely depends on the body mass index they had before pregnancy.
During pregnancy, your health and that of your unborn baby may be negatively affected by having a high body mass index.
It is, however, normal to gradually gain weight during pregnancy as the baby grows. But too much weight gain can lead to obesity, which can have a serious impact on your health and that of your baby.
In this article, we will learn about BMI during pregnancy, the risks of having a high or low BMI, and how to calculate BMI. Let’s get started.
What is BMI?
BMI stands for body mass index. Body mass index is a measure of weight to height. It is calculated by taking a person’s weight in kilograms and dividing it by their height in meters squared.
BMI is used to determine whether or not a person is overweight or obese. Although it is necessary not only during pregnancy but also for people of all ages. Body Mass Index is a useful tool for tracking weight fluctuations over time and determining whether you are at a healthy weight.
What influences weight gain during pregnancy?
There are other factors involved in weight gain during pregnancy besides simply eating more or giving in to cravings. For example, the baby’s weight gradually increases. The placenta and breast size also increase during pregnancy.
A pregnant woman carries her baby in her womb, and her body prepares for the arrival of her beautiful one. which brings about various changes to the body and can influence weight gain.
Many women gain weight during pregnancy, even if a lot of effort is put into dieting.
Is there a healthy BMI during pregnancy?
An increase in BMI during pregnancy is proportional to the pre-pregnancy body mass index. The majority of pregnant women are aware that their BMI (body mass index) should be within the normal range.
On the other hand, BMI is a calculation of your body weight to your height. It is not a health indicator. For pregnant women, a healthy BMI ranges from 18.5 to 25.0. A healthy BMI indicates that your weight falls within the normal range for your height.
However, your BMI may not always be a reliable predictor of your health. Even those with a healthy BMI can develop health issues as a result of their weight.
Additionally, some people with BMI in the overweight or obese range may experience health issues due to their weight rather than their BMI.
Regarding your BMI, there is no right or wrong response. If you have any worries, you should consult your doctor.
How do you calculate BMI?
To get an accurate BMI during pregnancy, you have to take note of your BMI before pregnancy.
This will help you know your actual BMI, and you will be able to monitor your weight gain so as not to gain excess weight that will affect your baby.
And, calculating the ideal weight that you can gain during your pregnancy will help you have a healthier pregnancy.
To calculate BMI:
Divide your pre-pregnancy weight (in kilograms) by the square of your height (in meters).
If you weigh 68 kg and are 170 cm tall, for instance, your BMI would be calculated as 68/1.7 x 1.7 = 23.5.
With the help of this pregnancy weight calculator, you can determine your BMI and, if necessary, keep an eye on your weight without risking your baby’s healthy growth.
If your BMI before becoming pregnant was in the healthy weight range (BMI 18.5-24.9), you should ideally gain between 11.5 and 16 kg. In the first three months, you gain 1.1–1.5 kg, and then each month until you get pregnant, you gain 1.5–2 kg.
What happens when you have a high BMI during pregnancy?
Being overweight before becoming pregnant increases the risk of several pregnancy complications, including;
- Gestational diabetes
- High blood pressure during pregnancy (Preeclampsia)
- Sleep apnea
- Heart problem
- Miscarriage or stillbirth
- postpartum hemorrhage
- Possibility of a cesarean section
Although gaining a certain amount of weight is recommended, some research suggests that obese women may gain less weight than guidelines recommend.
Consult your doctor to determine what is best for you and to control your weight during pregnancy.
For the treatment of a pregnant overweight or obese woman who is gaining (or wants to gain) less weight than is advised, a individualized care and clinical judgment are required.
The mother’s and her unborn child’s current and future health may be impacted by the amount of weight gained during pregnancy.
What happens when you have a low BMI during pregnancy?
If you are underweight before pregnancy, you have to gain a reasonable amount of weight while you are pregnant.
Without the extra weight, your baby may be born early (preterm birth) or be smaller than expected.
Where does the weight gain go?
- Larger breasts, weighing between 0.5 and 1.4 kg
- A uterus can weigh up to 0.9 kilograms.
- About 0.7 kilograms of the placenta
- Approximately 0.9 kilograms of amniotic fluid
- Extra blood volume: between 1.4 and 1.8 kilograms
- More fluid was consumed—about 0.9 to 1.4 kilograms more
- 2.7 to 3.6 kilograms of fat
How to achieve the ideal BMI while pregnant
Preventing excessive weight gain during pregnancy seems possible with a balanced diet and regular exercise. However, these practices, which are always advised, do not have any impact on the fetus’ complications and mortality rates.
The main factor influencing a normal child’s birth and the weight of the newborn is achieving a good weight before pregnancy.
To maintain a healthy BMI during pregnancy, it’s crucial to take into account your pre-pregnancy weight and BMI. To determine what’s best for you and to control your weight during pregnancy, consult your healthcare provider.
What health implications can obesity have for my unborn child?
Pregnant women with high BMI run a higher risk of having babies who develop many health issues, including:
- Inherited conditions
- Birth weight being significantly higher than average (fetal macrosomia),
- Stunted growth
- Asthma in children
- Obesity in children
- Developmental delay and cognitive issues
However, these health issues might also be caused by other factors.
What action to take if you have high BMI during pregnancy
Your doctor will carefully monitor your pregnancy if your BMI is 30 or higher. Your doctor might advise:
- Early testing for gestational diabetes
- Screening for obstructive sleep apnea
- Changes to your fetal ultrasound.
We all know weight gain is unavoidable during pregnancy, and it is recommended that weight gained should not exceed 7 kilos. To accomplish this, follow a healthy diet, avoid skipping meals, avoid ultra-processed foods, and engage in some physical activity (walk a little every day).
Maintaining an adequate weight during pregnancy is essential to prevent gestational diabetes or hypertension.
A high or low BMI can endanger your baby’s health. Follow the doctor’s advice, eat healthier, and increase the number of meals if necessary to avoid hunger and binge eating. The objective is to improve your health and your baby’s health during pregnancy.
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