Can You Lose Weight While Pregnant?

Many women worry about weight gain during pregnancy, what about losing weight? Can you lose weight while pregnant without causing any harm to a developing fetus? Should pregnancy be a time to focus on losing weight? The American Pregnancy Association recommends gaining weight in order to support healthy growth and development. A woman who was at a normal body mass index before getting pregnant should gain anywhere from 25 to 35 pounds. Even a woman who was overweight before pregnancy should still gain at least 15 pounds.

Why Pregnancy Weight Gain Is Important

Those extra pounds during nine months of pregnancy are not only maternal fat. Extra fluids, an increase in blood, nutrients stores and breast tissue all account for some of the necessary weight gain. Also, the uterus, placenta, amniotic fluid and the baby together will weigh well over ten pounds by the time of delivery. Expect to gain rather than lose weight while pregnant to help support the nutritional needs of both the pregnancy and the developing baby. You can, however, make a healthy diet and exercise a priority. There is no better time to increase well-being to ensure a healthy baby and mother.

Nutrition Tips

When pregnant you should not eat to lose weight. You should eat with maximum nutritional efficiency in mind. This means three meals as well as snacks and zero junk food. Eat a variety of whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes for fiber, healthy fats, protein and the extra vitamins and minerals. Snack on fresh fruits and yogurt. Eat a green salad every day as well as one to three other servings of vegetables. Try to drink plenty of fresh fruit juices and stay away from carbonated soda and sugary juices.

Exercise Tips

Can you exercise to lose weight during pregnancy? Regular physical activity is such an important part of a healthy pregnancy. However, don’t go overboard in an attempt to lose weight. Use exercise as a way to help maintain healthy weight gain, strengthen muscles, reduce stress and reduce some of the common complaints of pregnancy, such as back pain, low energy and leg cramps.

Great activities include walking, swimming and yoga. Talk to your doctor about what exercises are right for you. As a general rule, if you were very active before getting pregnancy, you can often continue many of the same activities. If you are just starting to exercise, start slow. Always veer on the side of caution of course, avoiding overheating, contact sports and rapid movements.

Can you lose weight during pregnancy? Shedding a few extra pounds of excess fat from a healthy diet and regular exercise can happen, as long as you are gaining positive weight as well. Focus on nutrition and health and save the dieting for when your body is ready for it – well into the postpartum period.

American Pregnancy Association

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