Obesity and Pregnancy– FAQ

Obesity and pregnancy– Frequently Asked Questions

Can obese women have a healthy pregnancy?

Yes. Being obese and pregnant requires careful management of the body weight, body fat, attention to diet and exercise, and regular prenatal care to look for complications and special considerations for the labor and delivery day. If these aspects are considered, the pregnancy and delivery can be successful.

What kind of diet should obese women follow while they are pregnant?

A balance between eating healthy food and staying at a healthy weight is highly recommended for mother and baby's health. About 300 extra calories are daily needed in the second and third trimester, which can be found in a glass of skim milk and a bread with cheese, tomato, lettuce and a slice of low fat turkey ham.

What kind of exercise is it suitable for obese pregnant women?

Exercise during pregnancy is a great way of keeping women and their babies fit and healthy. At the beginning of the pregnancy 5 minutes exercise a day are fine, then an increasement of 5 more minutes every week are needed. In total, women must be active for a maximum of 30 minutes every day during the whole pregnancy. Exercises such as yoga, mat pilates for pregnant women, walking and swimming are safe and healthy exercises during pregnancy.

How can obese women know if their weight is suitable during the whole pregnancy?

The women's weight will be controlled at each medical visit. The growth of the baby will also be monitored. If the woman is gaining less weight than the recommended guidelines but the baby is growing well, there is no need to increase the weight. On the contrary, if the baby is not growing well, some changes must be done in the diet and exercise plan.

How will the labor and delivery day look like?

In general, obese and overweight women have longer labors than women of normal weight. Besides, it can be harder to monitor the baby during labor, therefore mostly a cesarean is the best way of delivering the baby. If a cesarean delivery is needed, the risks of infection, bleeding and other complications are higher for an obese women than for women of normal weight.


What can obese women do to mange their weight after the baby is born?

After birth it is highly recommended to continue eating and exercising safely and healthy in order to reach a normal weight. In the same way breastfeeding is crucial for the first year of a baby's life. Breastfeeding is the best way to feed the baby because they get the best nutrients and necessary antibodies. Further, breastfeeding may help with weight loss after birth. Normally, women who breastfeed their babies for at least 6-12 months, lose pregnancy weight faster than women who does not breastfeed.