Pregnant and plus-size – what you need to know

October 07, 2011 12:00 AM by

Pregnancy is a beautiful time for women of all shapes and sizes, but if you're overweight, being with a child can come with special challenges. Although you've probably been encouraged to diet by your healthcare professionals, pregnancy is no time to be counting calories or cutting back on meals. Here's how you can be healthy about your pregnancy and your weight at the same time.

During pregnancy, most women are expected to gain a few pounds, but women who are already above their ideal body weights can gain slightly less with no harm to the fetus. This doesn't mean you should be skipping meals, but it does mean that you'll be alright if you continue substituting low-fat varieties of your favorite snacks and reaching for apples instead of chips when you get a craving.

In fact, pregnancy is an excellent time to start paying a little more attention to your health. Your baby needs nutrients, and whatever you eat is the same thing your unborn child is eating. That means you need to be aware of what you're putting in your mouth, and pick healthy meals that feature lots of lean protein, whole grains and veggies whenever possible.

You can also enjoy some gentle exercise, like walking and swimming, while pregnant. A fitness routine can help you jump-start your ability to shed your baby weight after your little one arrives. 

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