More Articles on A Healthy Pregnancy

Thinking About Getting Pregnant?
Congratulations on Your Pregnancy! (for those who are newly pregnant)
What is a healthy pregnancy weight gain?
Can I continue to eat a vegetarian diet during pregnancy?
A Pregnancy Menu For You and Your Baby
Treating Nausea and Vomiting
What About Seafood?
Don't Eat That!
Pregnancy and Cholesterol
Wash Those Veggies!
Breastmilk, the Healthiest Diet for Babies
What DOES that Broccoli Do for My Baby?
Vitamin D Supplements in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
New Research Affirms Individualized Vitamin D Supplementation for Pregnant Women
Breastfeeding: Developing a Future Gourmet
What to Do About The Flu
Gestational Diabetes
Decreasing the Risk of Gestation Diabetes
Keeping and Storing Breastmilk
Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines – Do We Need New Ones?
Breastfeeding: A Woman's Health Issue
Eating During Labor
Probiotics and a Decreased Risk of Gestational Diabetes
Pregnancy - a Time to be Active!
Clearing the Air : Quit Smoking for You and Your Child
What is a Healthy Pregnancy Diet for Obese Women?
Does Iron Intake Matter?
One Fish, Two Fish... Full Term Birth?
Folic acid in pregnancy and language development
A Mediterranean Diet, Pre-Pregnancy
There is No Substitute for a Healthy Diet
Honest Healthy Diets for Babies
Exercise for New Moms
A Healthy Pre-Pregnancy Diet and Gestational Diabetes
Vitamin D and Gestational Diabetes
Great News About Breastfeeding
Peanuts and Pregnancy
Fried Foods and Gestational Diabetes
Iodine supplements - should you take them?
Prevent Gestational Diabetes with a Mediterranean-style diet
FDA Updates Recommendations for Fish Consumption in Pregnancy

About Faith Bontrager, RN, BSN

Faith Bontrager, RN, BSNFaith's passion in nursing is to help people find the options they need to discover their personal path to optimum health. Ask her friends and they will tell you that their appreciation of nutritious food has grown through Faith. About Faith Bontrager, RN, BSN


A Healthy Pregnancy

Thinking About Getting Pregnant? Think about your weight

Pregnant woman with bananaOne important step you can take to help ensure a healthy pregnancy is to consider your weight before even getting pregnant. Obesity has major effects on placental, embryonic, and fetal growth. Obese mothers are more likely to have large for gestational age (LGA) babies than lean moms, no matter how much weight they gain during pregnancy.

We know that certain birth defects are more common in babies born to obese women. For example, obese mothers are twice as likely to have babies with spina bifida as non-obese mothers. Some pregnancy problems such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes are more common with obese women. These pregnancy complications are dangerous to the women themselves and to their developing baby. Here's more information from the CDC on obesity and birth defects.

Babies get metabolic "signals" from their moms by direct transfer of nutrients such as glucose and amino acids through the placenta. Indirect signals also occur by transfer of hormones such as insulin. Obese mothers are more likely to have larger babies, which are in turn more likely to have a cesarean birth or shoulder dystocia.

If a woman's obesity affects her circulation, it may reduce the oxygen that reaches the baby. This will slow baby's growth, resulting in a baby that is much smaller than expected.

Pregnant woman doing yogaSo what should you weigh before getting pregnant? Calculate your current body mass index (BMI).

If you are thinking about getting pregnant, but your BMI shows that you are "obese" or "very obese," consider waiting until you have worked on losing weight so you're as healthy as you can be.

Check with your doctor about starting a moderate exercise program. Most women with healthy pregnancies will be able to continue their usual exercise routines. Don't have a routine? A daily walk is beneficial. Swimming provides buoyancy and ease of movement as your size increases. Many communities offer pregnancy aerobics or yoga classes. In addition to the exercise, some women enjoy the social aspect of these classes, networking with other women about pregnancy and birthing and infant issues.

Pre-pregnancy weight loss is an area where you can make a significant difference in your health and the health of your baby. Make the effort. It's worth it!