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Obesity and Pregnancy – Weight loss options

Obesity and Pregnancy – Weight loss options

Obesity and Pregnancy

Since losing weight before getting pregnant is the best choice to decrease the risk of problems caused by obesity, it is not necessarily an easy task. Many women presenting obesity and wishing to have children ask themselves what can they do to lose weight. At this point it is important to mention that it is not strictly necessary to lose a lot of weight, for instance, losing 5-7% of the current weight, or about 10-20 punds can improve the overall health and prepare the body for a healthier pregnancy. These values depend of the BMI of each woman. In any case, the health care provider should be consulted first before starting any kind of diet.

Weight-loss options

The best way to lose weight in a healthy way is to burn more calories than the ones being taken in. This can be done by getting regular exercise and eating healthy food. Increasing the physical activity is highly recommended for losing weight. It can be done at once or in intervals of 20 minutes along the whole day. For example biking, brisk walking, yoga and general gardening for one hour are moderate activities to lose weight. Active exercise such as mat pilates, jogging, swimming or doing heavy yard work for half an hour (5-6 days a week) are also recommended to lose weight.

Medications to help losing way before getting pregnant could also be an option if diet changes and exercise has not helped to decrease the BMI. If the BMI is not lower than 30 and the woman is healthy or if the BMI is not lower than 27 and the woman presents diabetes or heart disease, special medications can help to lose weight. It is important to mention that the use of medication is never recommended if the woman wants to get pregnant or is already pregnant.

Another option to lose weight before getting pregnant is the bariatric surgery. This is a special kind of surgery perfomed to treat obesity. People who are very obese or who have major health problems caused by obesity and have had bariatric surgery should wait before getting pregnant for at least 1-2 years. Women presenting fertility problems should not worry about it because generally speaking these may resolve on their own the more weight is being lost. This situation is very important to consider because an increase in fertility may lead to an unplanned pregnancy. Besides, some types of bariatric surgery may affect the way the body absorbs orally taken medication. This means that the birth control pills may lose their effect, in this case, it is highly recommended to replace the birth control method.