Pregnant women who are obese are often advised by obstetricians to limit weight gain during pregnancy. However, a new study from Denmark suggests that the recommendations for weight gain for obese diabetic women may be even lower than previously thought. This is because carrying extra weight can put pregnant women at a higher risk for complications such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and C-sections. So if you’re pregnant and obese, be sure to talk to your doctor to find out how much weight you should gain during pregnancy.
When reviewing the records of 58 obese Type 2 diabetic women who had given birth to a single child, researchers at the Center for Pregnant women with Diabetes in Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen found that in a study reported in the journal Diabetes Care in January 2013, these women were more likely to have had induced labors and cesarean sections.
1. The physicians advised the women to gain 0-5 kg, or 11 pounds, during their pregnancy; seventeen of the women gained 5 kg or less. Diabetic mothers are more likely to give birth to overweight babies. However, the mothers who gained the recommended amount had lower birth weight infants and fewer who were considered overweight.
2. Women who gained 5 kg or less had pregnancies that were on average 2 weeks longer than those who gained more than 5 kg. The average length of pregnancies for women who gained 5 kg or less was 268 days, while the average length of pregnancies for women who gained more than 5 kg was 262 days.
3. According to a recent study, babies of mothers who gained the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy had a lower risk of health problems during their first month after birth than did those from mothers who gained more than 5 kg. This suggests that adhering to weight gain recommendations during pregnancy can have benefits for both mother and child.
If you are obese, you are at a higher risk for developing Type 2 and Gestational diabetes. If you are obese and thinking about becoming pregnant, it is best to try to normalize your weight before conception. If you are pregnant, obese, and have Type 2 diabetes, you should speak with your doctor or midwife about how much weight you should gain during pregnancy. It is likely that you will not need to gain as much weight as a woman who is underweight or of normal weight.
Most pregnant women are able to burn calories by walking, swimming, or performing many of the activities they did before pregnancy. Add physical activity to the list of things to discuss with your healthcare provider.
It is generally recommended that you include more fruits and vegetables in your diet than meat. This is because they are usually lower in calories and fat, and because you don’t need cholesterol in your diet. Use cooking oils, such as olive oil, sparingly. To make sure you’re getting enough fruits and vegetables, eat lots of salads and baked or broiled vegetables.
Cutting down on dairy products is one way to reduce your calorie intake. Calcium, which is necessary for the development of your baby’s bones as well as for maintaining your own bone health, is found in broccoli, spinach, and other dark leafy vegetables. You can also get your calcium from supplements.