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Overweight and pregnant

(20 Posts)
PenguinTuxedo Sun 04-Jan-15 13:54:45

Bit embarrassing really to be typing this, but I just wondered if anyone had any experience/advice, regarding being overweight and pregnant?

After a really tough year emotionally, and health problems, all exercise and diet went out the window. Despite TTC for 2 years, it was the last thing on our minds, so it was a bit of a (happy) suprise when we got a BFP.

However, I'm now worrying about all the weight I have gained over the last year. I was never overly healthy to begin with, and slightly overweight anyway, but it's to the extreme now.

I am 10 weeks pregnant, and haven't had my midwife appt yet (that's another story!), so I'm looking for some advice really. I'm aware being overweight is really bad during pregnancy, and can lead to all sorts of problems, such as gestational diabetes. Obviously, the best solution would have been to lose weight before getting pregnant. Too late for that now, so what should I be doing?

I am exhausted all the time, so can anyone recommend any light exercise? And should I be on a diet, such as WW/SW...or do I just try and be more cautious with that I'm eating? I haven't put on weight so far (I've cut out all chocolate/fizzy drinks etc). much is the midwife going to tell me off? sad

TIA smile

nippey Sun 04-Jan-15 14:06:30


I am overweight and 16 weeks pregnant now, my BMI was 35 at my first midwives appointment and she was lovely about it, said she had just a lady with a BMI of 50 have an uncomplicated pregnancy.

I carry weight on my stomach so was really worried about the scan but they got a good clear image and no-one mentioned my weight at all.

It makes a difference to the birth I wanted though, I have been told I have to have a hospital birth (not in the lovely midwife led birthplace) and i will be monitored more closely than if I had a normal BMI.

I have started pregnancy aqua classes and pregnancy yoga and that's helped keep my weight the same as when I booked in and am trying to eat well.

You will be fine smile x

applesmummy Sun 04-Jan-15 14:22:46

I've been worried about my weight too. Started slimming when ttc and caught on quicker than I thought!

I'm currently 10 weeks. At my booking appt on Christmas Eve I had BMI of 39. My midwife was lovely and didn't tell me off or patronise me, she just handed me the usual healthy eating leaflets and seemed happy that I was making the effort to be healthier.

The only thing she was worried about was my blood pressure which is a little bit high, the doctor noticed at my first appt aswell and said to keep an eye on it throughout, that could be due to weight or stress/anxiety etc.

I'm not sure about exercise as at this stage I'm so tired all the time everything is a huge task. I was thinking of maybe starting swimming and walking in the next couple of weeks. Something gentle but effective.

I've been placed under consultant led care not because of my weight but due to mental health issues. The midwife said I may not be able to give birth in the midwife led centre if I'm not considered mentally stable at the time. She did say when I asked that weight shouldn't stop me, however.

Hope this helps and congrats x

Teeste Sun 04-Jan-15 19:52:53

If they tell you off, tell 'em right back! My BMI was 40 on booking in, and yes, I have to have consultant led care, high risk yadda yadda, but everything's fine so far in terms of BP and diabetes. My midwife told me plenty of high BMI women have perfectly normal pregnancies, including her. I think something like 50% of all pregnant women have higher BMIs these days. Don't panic!

JennyBlueWren Sun 04-Jan-15 20:12:25

I'm obese (BMI 37) and at 33 weeks. The only difference it has made was that the MW prescribed me stronger folic acid. She wasn't critical or made any more of a comment than explaining to her student that BMI over 30 (or whatever) meant prescribing extra folic.

It is good to try to eat healthily (all the time not just when pregnant!) but don't beat yourself up if you find you are off some foods and wanting others. I went off vegetables but really into carbs and fruit. When I admitted this to MW she said not to worry but just to try the best I could and make healthier choices.

As for exercise, you might feel too exhausted to do much just now. I think I was about 13 weeks before I started to feel capable of much. General advice is not to start doing anything strenuous you weren't doing before and to listen to your body. I cycled a lot pre-pregnancy and kept it up for a fair while (now too big sad) but found I needed to have more breaks than before and not go quite so fast.

For mental health it is recommended that you go for a walk everyday. I've not managed that so well since the days have got shorter.
Swimming is great as you get bigger as the water makes you feel lighter.

See if there're any antenatal exercise classes (aquanatal, pilates, yoga etc) as I've heard they're good and don't expect prior experience. Sadly nothing in my town and not at the weekends in the area.

Gillian1980 Sun 04-Jan-15 20:12:39

My BMI was 38 at my booking in appointment and the midwife was lovely. I told her I'd lost 1.5 st on slimming world while TTC and she was really positive about that.

She said they'd keep a closer eye on me, particularly in regard to gestational diabetes, but that was about it.

I'm just going to do my best with health balanced eating and try to swim regularly. Luckily I've gone right off chocolate!!

skyra13 Sun 04-Jan-15 20:14:00

I would like to point out that being over weight in pregnancy is not really bad during pregnancy....most people in the UK are over weight it is not ideal but it also should't be a problem.
It is not always true that you will even get any problems.
If your BMI is over 30 to 35 depends on your area all your midwife will do is book you in for a consultant appointment after your 20 week scan you will still see the midwife.

My midwife is actually a higher rank them my consultant, when the consultant said my blood pressure had to be checked on a weekly basis my midwife went mad about it, as there isn't any issue with my blood pressure.
I have a BMI of 37 and not had any problems regarding my weight in my pregnancy I am currently 27 weeks.
You will also be refereed to a healthy weight clinic to be my midwife seems to of forgotten about this, and to be honest I don't need someone to tell me how to eat healthy.

You will find being bigger you won't put on as much weight and you may even lose weight being pregnant.
You can always start Aqua natal classes good for you and will support your growing bump.
I have not done much just started eating more fruit and watched my portion sizes and my bump is growing well.
My midwife has been fine about my weight they are told to give you certain appointments after you BMI is over 30 but that's nothing against you its just the health service, you will find she won't even make a big deal out of it either. There are so many things you get referred to a consultant about it's the normal thing now.

Please don't let your weight become an issue and enjoy your pregnancy and just try your best to eat healthy and take a stroll know an again helps. I still eat crap on some days but just use your common sense and your baby will be fine smile

bubalou Sun 04-Jan-15 20:26:23

Don't kick yourself. You sound really concerned and the fact that you actually care and have began taking steps counts for so much.

One of my best friends after a huge battle with IVF in which the stress and hormones etc saw her gain a lot of weight she finally fell pregnant! She then got told she was overweight! confused

She put on 3 stone in that pregnancy.

However 2.5 years later. She has a 4 month old too now. She did slimming world all through her recent pregnancy and is still on it. She has lost all her baby weight already from baby 2 and hardly put on any during pregnancy.

She is now continuing to lose as she moves forward.

Find something that works for you and just do what's right. Do not worry about the midwife. smile

Letmeeatcakecakecake Sun 04-Jan-15 20:45:24


I'm not overweight so I hope you don't mind me butting in, but I just wanted to reassure you as you seem so anxious in your post.

Being overweight and pregnant isn't the end of the world and no midwife/ consultant has the right to make you feel bad because that is the position that you are in.

I do believe that there's different weight gain recommendations for overweight women and I've read that a lot of pregnant woman lose weight as their pregnancy progresses due to making healthier lifestyle decisions.

You've already said you've cut out chocolate and fizzy drinks so you're off to a good start!

I hope your first midwife appointment goes well and if she tries to patronise you tell her where to go!

neversleepagain Sun 04-Jan-15 22:05:25

I was obese at my booking in appointment (bmi 40) and was put under consultant led care. I found out I was having twins at 13 weeks and I think they expected a difficult pregnancy.

My blood pressure was regularly monitored and was not remotely high once (and I had my blood pressure taken every 2 weeks from 20 weeks). No diabetes and over all a really good and healthy pregnancy. I gave birth to two big 5lb4 & 5lb8 healthy babies (big for twins born at 34 weeks!) My consultant said to me at 32 weeks that I was having "an exemplary pregnancy". I had fantastic ante natal care and was never once made to feel bad about my weight.

My babies are now two and I am 5 stone lighter than when I fell pregnant. Fat women can have happy and healthy pregnancies smile

WiggleGinger Sun 04-Jan-15 22:18:32

Huge congratulations grin
What lovely comments from everyone.
I can only agree with what everyone else has said.
I felt like you did. Anxious. Like I was probably going to be told off.
In all honesty that wasn't the case. MW was lovely, yes I got a higher dose of folic acid & consultant led care, but I only saw the consultant once & that was at 38 weeks where she gave me a sweep and was super lovely.
I had to have two tests for GTT but both were fine so just be careful what you eat. But please go easy on yourself, you are growing a human let your body do its thing.

My healthy clinic appt right at the end of my pregnancy showed I'd only gained 14lbs.

My baby was born at 10lb so once everything was over I was actually lighter than when I started. The medics were really happy with that!
If you feel you want to talk through weight with your MW then go right ahead, I kinda felt that if I broached the subject first it would be easier and she was great about it.

The only downside for me was that I couldn't have a water birth ( they feared at BMI40 that they couldn't lift me out in an emergency) fair enough.

I laboured for only 4 hours and gave birth to a healthy baby!

Don't underestimate what you can do.
Be kind to yourself and enjoy this lovely experience
Feel free to PM if you need to grin

helloelo Sun 04-Jan-15 22:36:53

I second all the lovely comments made previously. Also, have a look at the "plus size bumps" thread in the pregnancy section, inspiring.
Enjoy your pregnancy!

Tranquilitybaby Sun 04-Jan-15 23:04:13

My BMI was 36 at my 12 week scan & appt. I asked about healthy weight loss and possibly joining slimming world (as the nhs recommends SW) and she referred me to the Lifestyle Clinic at the hospital first. She said I may be referred for 12 weeks free membership at Slimming Workd. I'm very happy to pay but she explained it's an agreement they have with Slimming World. I'll let you know how I get on.
I've only gained half a pound between 12 weeks and 16 weeks though so finding the weight gain much less than with my last pregnancy.

Good luck.

Fernfrond Sun 04-Jan-15 23:17:02

Congratulations, and please don't feel bad! I have a BMI of 40 and I've had 2 totally uncomplicated pregnancies, including a straightforward vbac (first was breech). I did regular gentle walking, even if it was only a 10 minute walk around the block, and while I tried to eat more healthy food, I found my appetite actually decreased. If the midwife does make you feel bad then I'd be asking for a different one! I found it was the first time I'd been really proud of my body, because it was doing such an amazing thing, and I was damned if anyone was going to make me feel guilty at that wonderful time smile

Littlemissjt Sun 04-Jan-15 23:25:17

I feel like I could have written this myself. I'm 10 weeks, overweight and worried about my midwife app this week. I'm sure we 'll both be fine.

Some very lovely comments from others are reassuring smile

MrsCorr Sun 04-Jan-15 23:30:31

My bmi was 35 at my booking appointment & my midwife didn't mention anything about it. Haven't discussed my weight at all & haven't been referred to anyone. I actually haven't been weighed since & I'm nearly 35 weeks.
I wouldn't worry too much about it.
Congratulations smile

IceLemonGin Mon 05-Jan-15 11:04:49

I'm 10 weeks tomorrow and my BMI is 44. I've already had an appointment with the MW who was lovely and didn't give me a hard time about my weight.

I am doing SW and hope to lose weight during my pregnancy if possible. I will be under consultant care due to my BMI but also because of my family history.

I have my first scan in 2 weeks which I'm worried about visibility as I have a lot of belly fat but apparently if they can't get a clear view to take measurements, they can do it internally.

PenguinTuxedo Mon 05-Jan-15 18:22:57

First of all, thank you so much for all the lovely, helpful and supportive comments. I thought some people may have a go that I didn't lose the weight before getting pregnant, so I am quite overwhelmed with all the support. Thank you everyone.

All of your comments have helped make me feel more confident about things. I am already taking a higher dose of folic acid anyway, and I am likely to need consultant care due to me having a very mild form of spina bidifa. So I think this will be happening regardless of my weight tbh.

My MW phoned today, and I am having my booking in appt on Wednesday. I'm very, very nervous, but after reading the replies, I think perhaps I may bring it up myself. As in, when it comes to her weighing me, I will mention that I am aware I'm overweight/clinically obese and willing to take on any advice she offers. That way, if she knows I'm not in denial about it, she might be less judgmental. Plus it might feel better to take some of the control.

In terms of weight effecting the labour, i.e not having a home/water birth, these were unlikely options for me anyway, as I have M.E. So all in all, the things during pregnancy that are normally affected by weight extra folic acid/consultant care/labour options reduced - are all things I will probably have been facing anyway.

I guess my big concern is gestational diabetes. If I feel the midwife is approachable, then I will ask her for some advise too I think. At the moment, I'm barely eating anyway, but when my appetite hopefully comes back, I'll be very aware to make the right choices.

Again, thank you so much for all the support everyone, and congratulations to all of you expecting too!

PenguinTuxedo Mon 05-Jan-15 18:24:52

Oh, and IceLemonGin, in terms of scan visability - try not to worry. Before I had weighed etc and realised how much of an issue my weight was, I had a private scan at 7+4 weeks (due to worrying over pain), and the scan pictures there, from an external one, came out perfectly fine. Until researching being overweight in pregnancy online, it hadn't even occured to me being overweight would effect it!

Clobbered Mon 05-Jan-15 18:28:22

I was pretty overweight when I fell pregnant and concerned about BP and diabetes. I tried to eat well but cut out all the junk and managed not to gain any weight through the pregnancy. It was great afterwards as I was back to a normal weight very quickly. It's all piled on again in the years since (that's another story) but being pregnant was great motivation to look after myself properly. Good luck and try to enjoy your pregnancy - chances are everything will be fine, whether you manage to slim down or not!

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