In Singapore, women with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 and above are considered “overweight” – “obese” if it climbs higher than 30. Experts agree that excessive weight gain during pregnancy can is unhealthy for both mother and baby, and especially so if you are overweight or obese to begin with.
Studies have linked obesity to pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes, neural tube defects, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, a longer labour and/or a large baby. But that doesn’t mean you need to worry excessively or go on some strict diet or exercise regime! On the contrary, such an extreme lifestyle change could be even more hazardous for baby and you.
Most plus-size women can, in fact, expect a healthy pregnancy, delivery and baby. However, it’s important that you are aware of your personal risk factors, and take steps to modify your lifestyle appropriately to avoid certain health issues. Your gynae should be able to advise you on a recommended weight gain based on your starting weight and height, and track with your progress over the nine months.
You should also make sure you eat a balanced diet and include some form of exercise into your daily routine. It’s one thing to be obese and pregnant; it’s another to be obese, pregnant and unfit.
If you’re wondering where to start, begin with a low-impact exercise like walking, swimming or light aerobics. Check with your gynae if you are unsure about what is considered ‘safe’ for you to practice. And always drink lots of water to prevent dehydration or overheating.