Overweight: Dangerous to Your Pregnancy?

I just found out I am pregnant. During my first pregnancy, I experienced high blood pressure and other complications. I’m five-feet, three-inches tall and weigh 175 pounds, but I am on a diet and have started an exercise program. Is there a danger of any complications occurring during this pregnancy?


Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

The risks of diabetes and hypertension, and an increase in the common discomforts of pregnancy have been implicated in women who start pregnancy at ten percent or more over ideal body weight.

Eating a very good diet is essential, as is continuing your exercise program. You should still gain 20 to 30 pounds to account for all the products of conception and the extra blood volume. If you are planning to breastfeed, this actually requires more calories than pregnancy. During the pregnancy, women need only an additional 200 calories.

Try not to be too concerned. All you can do is your best. Just don't deprive yourself of essential nutrients to cut intake and calories. Walking at a good pace for 30 minutes every day is an excellent way of increasing your metabolism. Rest at least 30 minutes a day on your left side, as this may help the kidneys filter water better and reduce the opportunity for hypertension to start.

I would encourage you to discuss your health concerns with your provider, and if it seems like you are not getting the kind of support you need, seek out a nurse midwife in your area. Good luck in your pregnancy.

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