You are plus-size and pregnant, but don’t worry – plus-size women have successfully given birth for many years. In fact, things can only get better with the current advances in medical technology, which are helping prevent many health risks during plus-size pregnancies.
That only leaves you with one task: take the necessary precautions given by health experts.
Family History and Healthy Plus-size Pregnancy
Whether over-weight or not, every woman must necessarily check her family history before thinking of having a baby. This is the best way to identify hereditary health issues. Some complications experienced by pus-size women during pregnancy may have nothing to do with their weight, but simply genetic health factors.
Once you identify potential health issues, consult your doctor to come up with plans of reducing or completely eliminating such risks.
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Folic Acid Supplements
This may scare you, but obese and overweight women are more likely to have babies with Neural Tube Defects (NTDs). Fortunately, this danger is quite small, making up only 0.1 percent of all births. Moreover, you can reduce the risk of your baby getting NTDs by taking supplements of folic acid.
Many doctors recommend taking folic acid supplements, since the levels of blood folate in plus-size women tends to be lower than slim women. You can start taking your 1,000 mcg. folic acid supplement even before conceiving, because the NTDs start in the early phase of pregnancy. Taking this supplement should continue on throughout pregnancy. Just to ensure that you are completely on the clear, you can request for a blood test (triple-screen) in the 15th week of pregnancy.
Blood pressure checks are much more than a formality during your prenatal visits. These checks are critical in early detection of gestational hypertension (pregnancy-induced hypertension) and preeclampsia. Considering the vital functions of blood in the body, this factor is particularly crucial during pregnancy.
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Gestational hypertension occurs when your blood pressure reading gets to 140 over 90 and higher after the 20th week of pregnancy. Urine tests should also not detect protein. However, if protein is detected in your urine, it’s a sign of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia leads to constricted blood vessels, heightened blood pressure and reduced blood flow in the body.
By regularly checking on your blood pressure, you would have a better chance of early detection. This will reduce the extent of harm done to your body or that of your unborn baby. Even when such ailments occur, a doctor can prescribe effective medication to prevent the situation from getting worse. Early treatment is effective in lowering your blood pressure and opening up the constricted blood vessels.
Psychological Preparedness for a Healthy Plus-size Pregnancy
If you are not mentally and emotionally ready for a pregnancy, its better to avoid conceiving no matter how physically healthy you are. Actually your mental health can also affect your physical well being.
There are various factors to think about when making plans to conceive. These factors tend to be the main source of emotional and mental strain during pregnancy. Therefore, you should seriously plan how to handle each of them:
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1. If you are in a relationship, is it stable or shaky and uncertain? (A loving and caring relationship will give you strength to carry on through the nine months, while a shaky relationship will shift your focus from the fragile, unborn child and drain your energy).
2. Are you in agreement with your partner about having a baby or might it cause a disagreement? (A supportive partner will greatly help in keeping both you and your baby healthy).
3. How would you balance your work with raising a child? (If possible, you should try to organize free time off work to breast feed your baby – breastfeeding is beneficial to baby’s and mother’s health).
4. Do you have a reliable source of income to sustain both you and the baby? (Eating a healthy and nutritious diet will definitely cost money – saving up early for the pregnancy should help you to cover such costs).
5. What changes would you need to make in your life to accommodate the baby? (The environment in which you live can affect your health and that of your baby, therefore, you may have to relocate to a better place if your home has any health issues).
Although its not possible to prepare for everything during plus-size pregnancies, having one less issue to worry about is much better than leaving everything to chance.