Body positivity is what an expectant women does for her body, not how she feels about it. During pregnancy, an obese woman should lose weight. Here’s how.
The old school of thought was that obese women should not lose weight during pregnancy.
That old way of thinking went out with the bathwater, because a lot of excess weight in the mother can cause problems.
The journal Heliyon reports research (involving over 52,000 pregnant women) concluding that very large, expectant women should make efforts to safely lose weight.
We live in a world where if an oversized woman makes an effort to lose weight – and especially if she succeeds – she’s criticized by a sub-group of the body positivity movement.
However, we can’t ignore the medical facts.
The typical recommendations for weight gain during pregnancy are not ideal for very underweight and very large women, says the paper.
- Too-thin women tend to give birth to small babies.
- Morbidly obese women tend to have large babies.
- Very big babies have an increased risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity as adults, when compared to normal-weight babies.
How an Obese Pregnant Woman Can Safely Lose Weight
“All pregnant women should eat a healthy well-balanced diet throughout their pregnancy,” says Karen Patrusky, a board certified OBGYN and F.A.C.O.G. in private practice for 20+ years.
“Eating right during pregnancy supports a healthier pregnancy.
“The best rule of thumb is to eat whole foods — in other words, foods that are not processed.
“This should include fruits, vegetables and lean proteins [grilled fish, poultry and grass-fed beef].
“The goals are to provide the nutrients to sustain nourishment for the growing fetus.”
If you have a sweet tooth or strong cravings for bakery, ice cream or chocolate chip cookies, then certainly, you can give in – BUT it should be with reason and mindfulness.
Have a brownie, but not half the pan. Limit yourself to one serving of sugary processed foods per day if you absolutely must have them.
This includes “pseudo-health” foods such as cereal, waffles, pancakes and items such as Ensure and sweet-tasting energy bars — all very processed and high in added sugar.
“Women who eat nutritionally balanced meals will be less likely to develop gestational diabetes,” adds Dr. Petrusky.
“Obese women have a higher incidence of blood pressure abnormalities, and this can have a significant impact to both mother and fetus over the course of a pregnancy.”
Exercise for Fat Loss
Ask your OBGYN for guidelines. If your pregnancy is going along well, and the only issue is your obesity, you should be cleared for sustained aerobic exercise such as walking, pedaling or light-level group fitness classes.
You can even take up strength training. Very obese women who are pregnant can safely strength train by using sit-down machines.
Even standing dumbbell and cable machine exercises are safe. You can also work out with resistance bands.
A combination of aerobic activity, strength training and mindful eating should easily knock down some pounds.
Dr. Patrusky is the developer of Voila Intimate Mood Oil, a 100% organic, non-hormonal lubricant made from coconut oil infused with the purest natural herbal oils. All five formulas are vegan, cruelty-free and U.S. produced.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained clients of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.