As a certified personal trainer, I’m often asked about what is considered to be a healthy weight for someone of their particular size? According to The American College Of Obstetricians And Gynecologist, a calculation called body mass index (BMI) is used to determine ‘healthy body weight’.
In general, I’m of the opinion that a body fat composition analysis is a far superior barometer of your bodies composition; however, a score of 30 or higher on the BMI chart will land you in the obese category. Currently, one out of every three adult Americans is obese. Obesity occurs mostly from an energy imbalance, but lifestyle, environment, culture, and socioeconomic status play a role as well.
Obesity and getting pregnant
So, what are the challenges that you might face if you’re obese? When a woman is obese it becomes more likely that she and/or her child could experience problems during pregnancy and childbirth. If her BMI is over 40, those problems are much more likely to occur. Some of these risks seen in patients with a high BMI continue for the child even after they are born. Before pregnancy, obese women are more likely to have challenges with infertility. During pregnancy, obese women are more likely to have one or more miscarriages, birth defects, problems with blood sugar, and problems related to high blood pressure. During childbirth and delivery obese women are more likely to:
- have the baby’s shoulders get stuck during delivery
- need to have labor induced by medication
- get a skin, womb, or bladder infection after delivery
- get life threatening blood clots
- have problems related to anesthesia
need a cesarean section, and are less likely to succeed with a vaginal birth after a previous cesarean section
As you can see, exercising and improving your health are key to a healthy and safe pregnancy. If your BMI meets or exceeds 30, or if you have a body fat analysis performed, and it comes back poor; It’s time to take action. If not for your sake, for your baby’s sake.