You might be feeling the tug to have another baby, or maybe your plan was to be pregnant by now. But you still haven’t lost the weight from your last baby. Is there a benefit to losing those last few (or not so few) pounds before trying?
The kinds of foods you’re eating and the quality of your overall diet is more important than your weight for a healthy pregnancy. If your diet is high in sugar, if you’re not eating many fruits or vegetables, or your eating habits are just out of whack, you could be at risk for certain pregnancy complications.
If this describes you, it’s worthwhile to improve your nutrition before pregnancy. Small changes can make a big difference. Ashley Couse, a Well+Prepared health coach with Baby+Company Nashville, gives the example of a client, Rebecca, who was drinking a store-bought bottled smoothie every day, not realizing how much sugar those can contain (more than a day’s worth of sugar just in a breakfast drink!). Ashley taught the client how to make her own nutritious smoothies and drastically reduce that sugar content. Making this switch and other small changes helped Rebecca reach her goal weight before pregnancy in just three months.
Other effective tweaks include learning to cook a healthy home version of a favorite restaurant dish, putting a fresh fruit bowl on your counter, or placing cut up veggies in your fridge where they are visible.
If your ideal weight is far away, you will need to balance your weight loss goals with your pregnancy goals. You certainly can have a normal and healthy pregnancy if you begin pregnancy overweight. However, you’re likely to have an easier time getting pregnant, a lower likelihood of miscarriage, and a reduced chance of certain pregnancy complications if you improve your body mass index (BMI) before pregnancy, even if you don’t reach your total weight loss goal. Research shows that losing just 5 – 10% of body weight can improve fertility and reduce pregnancy complications.
If you do start pregnancy at a higher BMI (over 25), your midwife or doctor will recommend aiming for a smaller amount of weight gain than for people with lower BMIs. Again, focusing on small changes and whole foods can help keep weight gain in check during pregnancy.
Well+Prepared is a pre-pregnancy program from Baby+Company. Get expert consultation, informative classes, and 1-on-1 coaching to help you conceive a healthy pregnancy. Well+Prepared is available in all Baby+Company centers. Find the center near you:
Sign up for a Well+Prepared Consultation and Coaching visit today to receive personalized weight recommendations and help achieving your nutrition and weight loss goals.