“Women who gain too much weight during pregnancy face a higher risk of serious medical complications like gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and preeclampsia, as well as an increased chance of cesarean delivery,” Dr. Saldaña explains. “Additionally, women who are overweight or obese before becoming pregnant have an increased risk of preterm birth, and birth defects,” he adds, citing data from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
However, Dr. Saldaña explains that there are safe and healthy ways in which one can stay active during pregnancy. “Although it’s generally not recommended to try and lose weight during pregnancy, there are some activities that can help a woman maintain her current weight,” he states. “Regular physical activity is important for pregnant women, and walking is usually the best option, as it’s low-impact and can be done almost anywhere.” He goes on to add that swimming, yoga, Pilates, stationary cycling, or lightweight training may also be suitable options. “However, any exercise should only be done under the supervision of a healthcare provider, and intensity should be kept low to avoid over-exerting the body,” Dr. Saldaña emphasizes.
“It’s also important to focus on eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, and limiting processed foods,” Dr. Saldaña states in closing. “Pairing healthy eating with physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy and beyond.”