Firstly, visit your doctor to discuss this. If you're very overweight it's a good idea to lose weight before you start trying for a baby. Being very overweight puts you and your baby at extra risk of problems during pregnancy. The higher your BMI, the higher the risk.
If your BMI is 30 or above the risks include:
- high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia.
- pregnancy (gestational) diabetes.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis – developing a blood clot in your legs or lungs.
- stillbirth, but this risk is still low at one in 100.
- early miscarriage, the risk rises from one in five to one in four.
- macrosomia (having a baby who is too big)
- longer labour, labour being induced, emergency caesarean delivery or having problems after the birth, such as infection or heavy bleeding
Now is an ideal time to get healthy to ensure you give your baby the best start in life. Once you are pregnant you are not advised to diet as it may mean that you cut out nutrients to the baby. Instead you're recommended to have a healthy diet.
Now however, dieting is not an issue, but don’t go on crash diets that cut out major food groups, or which could leave you short of vital nutrients. Instead aim to make healthier choices for your food, which can continue when you become pregnant. If you crash diet now you are likely to pile the weight back on in early pregnancy.
Speak to your GP about also taking up some simple exercise to help you shift the weight, and learn about how to continue some moderate exercise during pregnancy and beyond.
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Weight management before, during and after pregnancy, public health guidance 27, London NICE, 2010
Being fit and healthy is an advantage if you're thinking about starting or adding to your family.
How do you know when you're pregnant? If you've been trying for a baby, there are a few ways to find out whether you're expecting.
Follow these simple steps to make sure that your body is in the best condition to for conception. If you have stopped using contraception you could be pregnant at any time.
It takes two to make a baby. We’ve put together some useful tips for making super sperm and giving you the best chance of making a healthy baby.
If you've decided you're ready to start a family, find out more about getting your pregnancy off to the best start.