When should Moms focus on weight loss if they want to have another baby?
As an Obesity Medicine physician and certified weight loss/life coach, this is a common question I hear from young Moms.
The overriding thought seems to be: I’m just going to gain weight with pregnancy, should I even waste the effort?
Here’s the answers you need to hear…
Should You Worry about Weight Loss Before Getting Pregnant?
Yes. That’s all. Simply YES.
Why Should You Focus on Weight Loss Before Pregnancy?
Probably a better question.
Studies show that Mom’s weight before conception affects her fertility, or chance of getting pregnant to begin with. Mom’s of heavier weights have increased risks of:
- Gestational diabetes – diabetes of pregnancy
- Pre-eclampsia – high blood pressure that starts during or after pregnancy and can be very severe, even leading to seizures
- Premature babies, large babies (macrosomia), birth defects
- Complications at birth like shoulder dystocia and c-sections
And those are just the pre-pregnancy risks. We now know that the uterine environment babies develop in influences even genetics in terms of gene expression.
To provide a better example, studies have repeatedly shown that babies who are born to Moms who have weight loss surgery before the surgery are at higher risk of obesity than those born to the same women after surgical interventions.
When Should You Focus On Weight Loss if You Want Another Baby?
The best time to focus on weight loss is before pregnancy. Controlling weight gain during pregnancy is difficult. Work on losing weight before pregnancy for the best outcomes.
Why Do You REALLY Not Want to Focus On Weight Loss Between or Before Pregnancy?
The Life Coach in me has to address the question to begin with – because that’s what’s really holding you back from losing weight. If you asked the question, the thought has to be there somewhere, right?
The question of the importance of focusing on weight loss before pregnancy comes down to the thoughts you have about your weight and success wih weight loss.
And most of the time that thought goes something like this:
Why work so hard to go down on the scale only to be disappointed by those numbers going right back up again.
Simply recognizing that those lower scale numbers make the pregnancy itself more likely to happen, with less complications, and for your baby’s long-term health probably already changes that thought for you.
My Own Pregnancy Story
If you aren’t quite there yet, I would like to share my own story with you. I had my first daughter after my first semester of medical school. I struggled with weight a bit before that but nothing like after. My first pregnancy had no complications and my daughter was born on her due date at 6lbs 9 ozs despite a pregnancy in the Caribbean with no medical ultrasound whatsoever.
I gained a lot of weight during medical school and continued to gain for years. I was right on the cusp of diabetes before I got serious about weight loss for life. I lost the weight (again) and became pregnant with my second daughter. That pregnancy was a totally different story.
I had gestational diabetes, wore a heart monitor, and took insulin injections. She was induced and the birth was complicated. A week after she was born I ended up back in the hospital with pre-eclampsia. And I had lost the weight – I was just suffering the consequences of by weight battles. Luckily, we both are healthy now. I can’t even imagine what that pregnancy would have been like without the weight loss beforehand.
For more on my pregnancy, check out:https://doctormome.com/post/my-baby-bump-changed-my-medical-practice-and-not-in-the-way-you-think/
If you are ready to start losing weight in preparation for pregnancy, you can get started for FREE and learn how to work with me more by signing up below. As an Obesity Medicine certified Family Physician and certified life and weight loss coach, I specialize in helping Moms lose weight. Join me!