Weight management and physical activity during pregnancy
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity during pregnancy can lead to a number of health risks for both the mother and child, including:
-High blood pressure and preeclampsia;
-Type 2 diabetes;
-Cognitive complications in children born to obese mothers.
However, it is also important not to obsess over weight gain during pregnancy. It is natural for pregnant women’s appetites to increase and their metabolisms to slow down during pregnancy. Women should aim to eat a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and healthy fats while staying within the recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM): 25–35% calories from fat, 11–20% calories from protein, and 55–60% calories from carbohydrates.
So how can you balance your weight gain during pregnancy with the health risks associated with obesity? One way is by engaging in regular physical activity. In addition to reducing your risk for cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes later in life (regardless of your pre-pregnancy weight), regular physical activity may help you avoid excess weight gain during pregnancy.