How Preconception Weight Affects Pregnancy

How Preconception Weight Affects Pregnancy

So, why should you care about your weight and health before getting pregnant?

Again, excess weight on the body is the body telling you that something is out of balance. Think beyond the scale. Think in terms of body systems. Think about the circulatory system, the digestive system, the endocrine system, and so on.

Often overweight women will be prediabetic or diabetic. Is it the weight causing diabetes? Well, we’d have to look at the organs and hormonal systems that metabolize glucose. What is your lifestyle and food choices? You see how this will lead to a series of questions and investigations to get to the root of the issue?

​So, an overweight woman could be stressing her pancreas with an overrun of sugary foods and drinks. This could increase her chances of developing diabetes. Or, she could already be diabetic. Gestational diabetes is a health complication that puts moms at risk of a large baby, preterm birth, and preeclampsia.

Being overweight can cause stresses on the circulatory system

Perhaps poor food choices and a sedentary lifestyle has created poor blood quality and the heart has to work extra hard. Well, becoming pregnant puts added stress on the organ systems. If the mom is already at risk for high blood pressure, she would be extremely susceptible to high blood pressure should she become pregnant. High blood pressure puts the pregnancy at risk for placenta detachment and preeclampsia.

In other words, it’s not just the numeric value of being overweight to take into account. It’s what being overweight or obese can be indicating as major imbalance and disease in the body.

Weight gain during pregnancy

Another reason to be in optimal health and wellness before getting pregnant is that women will absolutely gain weight during pregnancy. In rare instances, obese women who adopt a healthier lifestyle while pregnant can maintain the same weight or even lose.

For the most part, women will gain anywhere between 15 – 50 lbs during pregnancy depending on her pre-pregnancy weight, frame, ethnicity as well as other factors.

Pelvic floor and abdominal muscles

Another factor to consider is the importance of carrying the baby to full-term. An overweight mother could have a weak pelvic floor and abdominal muscles that are crucial for supporting a growing fetus.

Pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding are orchestrated by a complex system of hormones. Any imbalances in these hormones can cause complications in the pregnancy. As discussed earlier, being overweight can be the manifestation of imbalance in the body, including hormonal imbalance.

Preparation for labor

Labor is physical work. Having good health and fitness is key to getting through pregnancy healthily and having a safe delivery. But I’m not trying to get pregnant. Okay, sure. But ask yourself if you’re doing anything to get pregnant. Ask yourself if you’d like to be pregnant one day. It would be so much more advantageous to prepare now. Plus, good preconception health, and weight for that matter, is important for all women of all ages. It’s just a bonus to be in great health should you become pregnant or meet the man of your dreams and be ready to start a family.

That’s why it’s important to act as if. Act as if you could become pregnant in the short-term. Thinking about your future children may give you more motivation to achieve and maintain optimal wellness. A healthy weight is an indication that things are balanced in the mind, body, and spirit.
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