Did you know that obesity and pregnancy are related? One in four women in the United States is overweight, and a couple of those women are pregnant. That number is even higher for Hispanic and black women, at one in three. Being obese during pregnancy can lead to several health problems for the mother and the child, not to mention it won’t look good in your maternity photograph! Let’s take a closer look at the link between maternity and obesity and how you can stay fit and healthy during pregnancy.
The Risks of Obesity During Pregnancy
There are several risks with being obese during pregnancy. For mothers, these include an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, sleep apnea, urinary incontinence, and cesarean delivery. Obese mothers are also more likely to experience complications during delivery, such as shoulder dystocia (when the baby’s head gets stuck during delivery) and postpartum hemorrhage (excessive bleeding after delivery).
For children, being born to an obese mother increases their risk of developing obesity later in life. In addition, children of obese mothers are more likely to be born prematurely, have congenital anomalies (birth defects), and experience stillbirth or neonatal death.
Reducing the risk of obesity during pregnancy starts with preconception counseling from a healthcare provider. This is especially important for women who are overweight or obese. Healthcare providers can help patients develop a plan to lose weight before becoming pregnant. For women who are already pregnant, healthcare providers can help them manage their weight gain through diet, exercise, and other lifestyle modifications.
Pregnancy and obesity are linked. However, by taking steps to reduce your weight gain, you can help keep yourself—and your baby—healthy throughout your pregnancy. Getting preconception counseling is a smart choice, but if you want to do it yourself, you also have your options. Here’s how you can stay physically healthy during pregnancy, so you’ll look perfect during your maternity photo.
Get regular exercise
Exercise is essential for everyone, but it’s imperative during pregnancy. Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of obesity, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and other complications. It can also help improve your mood and energy levels and promote better sleep. Talk to your doctor before starting or continuing an exercise routine during pregnancy.
Eat a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet is essential for both you and your baby. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy. You may also need to take a prenatal vitamin supplement. Talk to your doctor about what diet is best for you and your baby. Here are other essential foods you can eat while you’re pregnant:
- Folic acid: This nutrient helps to prevent birth defects of the brain and spine. Good sources include leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, and fortified foods.
- Iron: This mineral is essential for preventing anemia during pregnancy. Good sources include lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, spinach, and iron-fortified cereals.
- Calcium: This mineral is essential for developing your baby’s bones and teeth. Good sources include dairy products, kale, broccoli, and calcium-fortified foods.
Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is crucial during pregnancy. Drinking enough water can help prevent nausea and vomiting, constipation, urinary tract infections, and fatigue. aim to drink eight glasses of water per day or more if you’re thirsty.
Get enough rest and sleep
Getting enough rest is essential for your physical and mental health. Fatigue can make it challenging to get through the day and lead to mood swings and anxiety. aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night, and take naps during the day if possible.
Avoid harmful substances
Smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs are all harmful to both you and your baby. If you can’t quit smoking or using drugs, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce the risks associated with these substances. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation—no more than one drink per day (for example, 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ounce of liquor).
Get the Right Photography Services
You might look fit and healthy, but that doesn’t mean it won’t translate immediately to your photograph. You will need to find the right photography services if you plan to take your maternity photo. An experienced maternity photography service can ensure you get the best possible photos during pregnancy. When you’re ready to take maternity photos, consult with a photographer offering services like 3D/4D ultrasound, gender determination, and private sessions. These services can help you get the most out of your maternity photography experience.
Pregnancy is a fantastic time for a woman and her body—but it’s also a time when it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself physically and mentally. Following these five tips can help ensure a healthy pregnancy for you and your baby. It’ll also help you look good in your pregnancy photos!