Singer Jessica Simpson acknowledges that she gained 50 pounds when she was pregnant with her daughter Maxwell in 2012. Years later, while going through old photos of her pregnant self, she recalls asking her husband, “Babe, why didn’t you tell me to put the brownie down?”
So what should you do if you’re pregnant and overweight or obese? We know being overweight increases your risk for gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, sleep apnea, miscarriage and birth defects, but a 2015 metastudy published in PLOS One concluded that if overweight or obese women lose weight while pregnant, it increases the risk of complications and may harm the fetus. Instead, the focus should be on getting top-notch nutrition by eating a plant-based diet that eliminates highly processed foods, red meats and added sugars, and on enjoying daily physical activity. Remember: Consult your doc about nutrition and doing physical activity before making changes to your lifestyle.
Your goal is to gain about 2 to 4 pounds during your first three months of pregnancy and 1 pound a week for the remainder of the pregnancy — perhaps less if you’re overweight.
The best plan, however, is to lose weight before you become pregnant. Work with your doctor to determine how much weight you need to lose for maximum health and then how long — losing 1 pound a week — you need to achieve that goal. Once you hit that mark and maintain it for a couple of months, then you’re ready to move on to the next great event in your lives!