Problems During Pregnancy Due To High BMI | Overweight Pregnancy Effects And Solution

If you’re having high BMI or overweight during or after pregnancy, you’re more likely to have these complications:

  • High blood pressure, preeclampsia and blood clotting problems. Preeclampsia is a condition which can occur in women after the 20th week of pregnancy or just after pregnancy. It occurs due to high blood pressure and indicates that her organs, like kidneys and liver, are not working properly.


  • Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) is a dangerous blood clot problem. When a blood clot becomes severe and proceeds through your blood to organs like the heart, brain, or lungs. It can cause a heart attack or stroke.


  • Miscarriage or stillbirth – Miscarriage usually occurs before 20 weeks of pregnancy, when a baby dies inside the womb.

Stillbirth occurs when a baby dies in the womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

  • Gestational diabetes (and type 2 diabetes later in life)

This is a type of diabetes which usually occurs in women during pregnancy. Diabetes arises when your body has too much glucose level or sugar level in the blood.


  • Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder which stops your breathing while you’re in sleep.


  • Infections might occur during pregnancy, such as urinary tract infections.


  • Problems with breastfeeding


  • If you have problems during labor and birth, or past your due date and are having issues with anesthesia (pain medicine). You might need to stay in the hospital for a long time after having your baby than women who have a healthier weight.

Click to know- What to Do and What not to do during Pregnancy


  • Trouble losing your pregnancy weight after giving birth


  • Cesarean birth (c-section)-If you’re overweight, then you’re more likely to have an issue from a c-section, you might get an infection or might lose too much blood.


  • If your water broke, then you need immediately to go to the hospital or you can stay in the hospital for few days before your due date. If you are having longer labor, then you need to have your labor induced. Inducing labor is a situation in which doctor gives you medicine or breaks your water to make your labor begin.

Can being overweight or obese cause problems for your baby?

Yes! If you’re obese during pregnancy, then there is a possibility that your baby is going to suffer from following conditions:


  • Birth defects-Your baby might have neural tube defects (NTDs). NTDs are birth defects of the brain and spine of a newborn baby. A birth defect is a health condition which a baby has at birth.

Birth defects can-

  1. Change the shape or functionality of any parts of the body.
  2. Cause problems in overall health
  3. It might be harder for your doctor to diagnose birth defects of your child during pregnancy even at prenatal tests like ultrasound.
  • Premature birth- This occurs when the baby’s birth happens before completion of 37 weeks of pregnancy. If this occurred to your baby, then your baby might have a serious health problem.


  • Baby’s future- In later life your baby might suffer from diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. There might be Heart defects in the baby.


  • Macrosomia (large for gestational age or LGA)-Macrosomia is a condition when your baby weighs more than 9 pounds, i.e. 15 ounces (4,500 grams) at birth. When a baby is overweight, then it can cause complications during labor and birth and might injure your baby. It also increases your chances of having a c-section delivery.

Inevitable weight gain is normal while you are having a baby. But, excess weight is harmful to you and your baby.

It is that losing weight is possible during pregnancy and only necessary for a woman who is extremely overweight or obese or having a BMI over 30.

NOTE- Losing weight isn’t good for a pregnant woman who was at a healthy weight before pregnancy. Therefore, do a regular checkup and ask your doctor before undergoing weight loss during pregnancy. Your doctor will tell you a safe procedure without affecting your baby.


Solutions for losing weight

1. Note down- how much weight you need to gain

You need to check your weight from the starting weeks of your pregnancy, You might need to gain weight or lose weight. Therefore, you need to know which one you have to take care of. It is important for you to know how much a healthy amount of is. After all, there is a baby growing inside of you!

Based on your weight before you became pregnant, a woman will gain extra during this time

a) Normal weight (BMI from 18.5 to 24.9) – A woman might gain between 25 and 35 pounds

b) BMI between 25 to 29.9 – A woman might gain 15 to 25 pounds

c) Overweight (BMI of 30 or more) will gain 11 to 20 pounds.

2. Create a plan for gradual weight loss during pregnancy

As soon as you get pregnant, your baby’s future health starts getting decided. Your future baby totally relies on you. You carry them in your body and nourish them for about 40 weeks, helping them develop and grow. Having excess weight can cause problems during pregnancy because it interrupts the nourishment of your little one.

The best solution to gradually decreasing in weight is through a perfect plan which focuses on healthier lifestyle changes. Now, create a plan for gradual weight loss during pregnancy. Gradual weight loss is good for your healthy body and of your baby. But, before doing this take doctor recommendation on safety during pregnancy.


3. Cut down on calories intake

The first and most important way to lose excess weight is by lowering your daily calorie intake. If you eating more calories, then you need to extra efforts for burning it off, this is the most common reason for weight gain. Remember, it takes a 3,500-calorie shortage to lose 1 pound.

It means within a week, you need to cut down 500 calories per day. Be sure to keep a log and note down how many calories you are really eating.

Else you can always hire a dietitian, talk to them and discuss food plans. You can also check the nutritional labels given on the label of foods from stores.

NOTE- Always, keep in mind that a pregnant woman needs to eat slightly more than 1,700 calories per day. This is the minimum requirement to ensure the safety of both you and your baby. Both will get enough energy and nutrients.

Here are few tips on your diet plan which you can follow:

  • Eat smaller portions of meals
  • Eat healthy vegetables
  • Never take soda, instead drink plenty of water
  • Exchange baked goods like bread with fruits
  • Avoid any kind of junk food, like chips or candy.
  • Interchange unhealthy fats (like butter) with a natural plant-based oil (olive oil)

Click to know- Foods to avoid during pregnancy

  • Take a daily prenatal vitamin prescribed by a doctor. This will ensure that you and your baby are getting all of the nutrients needed.
  • Folate containing foods are the most important, as it helps decrease the risk of birth defects.
  • Cut out condiments such as spice, sauce, or any flavor enhancer like ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, barbeque sauce, or soya sauce.


4. Address weight concerns early

A research found that women who received early advice between 7 to 21 weeks of pregnancy were less probable to gain extra weight during the third trimester.


Do not worry about your natural weight gain from your pregnancy; the majority of this happens during second and third trimesters. You can’t control weight gain because your baby also grows rapidly at the time of last two months of pregnancy. Therefore it’s best to address any weight-related problems earlier in pregnancy.

Be sure to have your doctor’s advice about your early diet plan. Your doctor might refer you to a dietitian.

5. Exercise 30 minutes daily

Most women think that doing exercise will harm their babies. But this isn’t true until you are not doing any complicated position such as sit-ups.

Doing a 30 minutes exercise daily can help you maintain your weight, reduce birth defects of your baby, and even smoothes your aches and back pains which you experience during pregnancy. But overdoing it to an extreme could potentially harm your baby.

Click to know- Problems during Pregnancy due to Low BMI | Underweight Pregnancy Risk and Solution

At the starting, you might find it harder; you can break up the 30 minutes into shorter time and do it throughout the day.

Some of the best exercises for pregnant women are:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Prenatal yoga
  • Gardening (do not bend for a long time)


During pregnancy you should avoid any of these activities:

  • Avoid exercise which is done on your back (after 12 weeks of pregnancy)
  • NO bike riding or skiing
  • Avoid exercise which makes you dizzy
  • Avoid exercise which is performed in the heat or causes pain

Author: Hiten Patil

Hiten is Content Writer and He write about all platform like health and wellness related blog and other platform as well