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Getting pregnant whilst obese?

(40 Posts)
juneybean Mon 21-Apr-08 22:45:56

I'm finding it hard to shift the weight but I'm desperate to have a baby.

Is it a bad idea to even consider getting pregnant whilst obese? :/ (18stone/5ft6)

Jenkeywoo Mon 21-Apr-08 22:48:51

I am obese, have PCOS and two lovely girls. I did have 2 miscarriages first due to my PCOS but I then took metformin and had two successful pregnancies. Best wishes to you and I hope you are able to get pregnant soon.

thisisyesterday Mon 21-Apr-08 22:49:02

I have to say, I would really have a big last ditch attempt at losing the weight before getting pregnant.
I don't know all the risks of being pg when you're overweight, but I know there are some like higher risk of gestational diabetes.
It's bloody hard work being pregnant and I think that the fitter and healthier you are to begin with the better.

I know plenty of overweight people have very successful pregnancies, but if you can lose the weight then all the better I reckon.

Maybe see this baby as an incentive to lose the weight?
have you set yourself a target weight to get down to?

juneybean Mon 21-Apr-08 22:50:50

I'd like to get down to about 13stone at the very least...but 5 stone seems like such a mountain.

I've started going swimming but it's hard to stick to it as I always have to cancel to other commitments.

Thank you for your answers so far

schneebly Mon 21-Apr-08 22:51:30

I was just over 16 stones (at 5ft 5")when I fell pg with my first and only slightly lighter with DS2. My health was fine throughout and I gained no weight at all so was actually lighter after each pg but gained all the weight back afterwards sad

Now I am closer to your weight and want to TTC from September but do worry about health issues. I really want to lose weight but have a self-sabotage/self-hate thing going on.

I know how you feel.

thisisyesterday Mon 21-Apr-08 22:56:02

go vegan! lol
my ds2 is sensitive to dairy and egg in my breastmilk, and I am already vegetarian, so am now essentially vegan.
it's pretty restricting but I've lost a whole load of weight lol

ok, maybe not the most sensible way to do it. I have shit willpower usually, so am crap at diets. but I have just given up my car so am walking everywhere, that helps a lot too

dizzydixies Mon 21-Apr-08 22:58:38

am pg with dc3 and overweight f506 and approx 17stone blush

you will be tired and slow but then who isn't when pg

just be careful how much weight you put on, sensible eating is the way forward and try to keep active

good luck smile

paddycat Mon 21-Apr-08 23:03:56

I guess there's no right answer to this one, as it depends on your age and situation. Before I had my first I was 32 and about your height and weighed about 15 stone. I'd tried every diet in the book but nothing seemed to work. Then I got pregnant, had a disastrous twin pregnancy, put on a huge amount of weight and generally had a crappy time of it. One of my twins was stillborn at 32 weeks due to twin to twin transfusion and I was reassured that this was nothing to do with my weight. I actually found the medical profession surprisingly sympathetic to my being on the larger side. But it was very uncomfortable being hugely pregnant and the extra risks were pointed out albeit in a nice way.

On the plus side, having a child did make me reach a turning point in my life where I felt enough was enough, and I decided the weight had to go. It took me two years to lose the weight I put on (including another pregnancy inbetween) and I was down to just over 10 stone. I've kept it off for 5 years and I can honestly say my life has been transformed. Everything is easier, from travelling on a plane to walking to the shops. I don't think I realised how much my weight ran my life until it was gone.

So in my case, I guess I did it the hard way, but the good news is it can be done. I wish you all the very best - it isn't easy to lose weight but it is so, so worthwhile. Oh and I'm now 17 weeks with no.4 for so the whole cycle begins again!

terramum Mon 21-Apr-08 23:04:48

I've been overweight for all of my adult life & was obese when I got pregnant with my DS. My weight wasn't really a factor in my pregnancy though - none of the mws said anything about it & I felt fit & fine for much of the pregnancy...helped a little by losing about a stone during the first few months through morning sickness grin. My back did suffer towards the end though & for that reason I wouldn't want to be any heavier than I was then when we have #2....and as I am now 3 stone heavier than I was then all plans to TTC are on hold until I can lose at least that much weight.

I think if you feel fit enough to carry & cope with the extra strain a pregnancy will put on your body then you will probably be fine...but if you feel unfit or unhealthy it would probably be wise to lose some weight first.

dizzydixies Mon 21-Apr-08 23:06:43

oh paddy am so sorry for your loss but on all other accounts well done you!

I remember someone saying to me why bother to diet if I hadn't finished having my family?! can't really decide if it was a good point or not but am pg with dc3 and had lost 2.5 stone last year to be healthier whilst pg and managed to put it all back on before bfp blush

am hoping now having read your story that I will have same enlightening after this one smile

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 22-Apr-08 07:39:53

My advice - don't look at it as 5 stone target, do it a stone at a time. Also, try it's the most amazing website and weight loss tool! I lost weight on it. it's just a food and exercise diary, calorie counter, with a tailor made calorie target and brilliant support pages like MN. 7 of my friends lost weight on it too

itsahardknocklife Tue 22-Apr-08 07:51:40

Juney, when I got pregant with my son, who is now 18months old, I was one stone more than you. I has a healthy son, although the preganancy really to its toll on me. I had severe back ache due to the weight and couldn't walk one or two steps after the 6th month of pregnancy. I also found hospital trips were a nightmare, and I had to have lots because of my weight and some of the doctors I saw were not very nice sad and did make hurtful comments. I also had very bad water retention which made the whole situation much, much worse.
However, all is fine now. We would like a second child but I am not prepared to go through such a pregnancy again so it'll be a long time before I have lost enough weight to want to do it again!
Go into it with your eyes open - it wouldn't be the end of the world to get pregnant now, but it might feel like it for a while! Oh and don't be heavily pregnant over a hot summer - nightmare!

CantSleepWontSleep Tue 22-Apr-08 08:00:19

Hi Juneybean.
I was a similar weight to you when I first fell pregnant. After that ended in m/c I was determined to lose some weight. I joined Slimming World, which is safe to follow whilst pregnant, and lost nearly 4 stone whilst ttc and during my pregnancy. I felt much better for it.

Since having dd I have put a lot of weight back on, but am now 17 weeks pregnant with number 2. It is harder this time round (esp with a toddler to look after as well), but I try to get to the gym once a week so that I at least feel like I'm doing something constructive.

So I would say that it isn't a bad idea to consider getting pregnant whilst obese, but it's a better idea to start a plan like SW which you can continue whilst pregnant.

oliviaelanasmum Tue 22-Apr-08 08:03:28

Im obese (4'11 and 14.5 stones) and pg with #4. I was slim for dd1 but piled it on when pg and never shifted it since. I have pcos and have suffered 2 miscarriages but my pregnancies that have stuck have been relatively easy. I had spd but i had that when i was a size 10 too so i dont think my weight was the only factor. When i was pg with dd3 (7 months) i weighed 6lbs more at term than i did at my booking in appointment and she weighed 8'11. My mw didn't even raise an eyebrow at my weight this time round, she has referred me to a consultant but each of my last pregnancies i have seen her and she has been fine to let everyhting carry on naturally.
Sorry to ramble blush

wastingmyeducation Tue 22-Apr-08 08:11:23

I was 16 1/2 stone when I conceived in the summer. My blood pressure has been stable, I have not developed gestational diabetes, and my pelvic pain has been minimal. I don't know how much weight I have put on, but it's mostly baby etc., not much fat. I am a jammy git of course, and some obese women will suffer in pregnancy because of it.
However, I read somewhere a while ago, that if you lose weight in the year or two before conceiving, you will put it all back on during the pregnancy, which is much worse for your health than being obese at the start. Your body will think there has been a famine, and store fat accordingly. Vitamin and mineral stores in the body will also be depleted through dieting, which isn't a good place to start a pregnancy if you can help it.
Fitness and health are more important than actual weight, and getting out and walking, swimming etc. and eating a healthy diet of whole grains and fruit and veg will help. You might lose some weight, you might not, but the numbers on the scale are only one indicator of health.
Sorry if that sounds preachy, but dieting is not all it's cracked up to be! grin


ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 22-Apr-08 08:34:48

wasting my education-
that is by no means true for everyone. There are no rules about 'if you lose weight XXX you will put it on XXX'. If you 'diet' (restrict calories unhealthily) you may well have depleted vitamins etc and your body may think you are in famine, however if you do it safely by restricting a safe number of calories your body will lose fat safely, slowly and without starving yourself or depleting mineral and vitamin reserves. Of course binge/starve is an unhealthy cycle but losing weight does NOT mean starving. Laying down fat during pregnancy and losing it after is a natural cycle for the female body. We lay down fat to have energy reserves for breastfeeding, and we then use that fat in the months after birth.

CaptainKarvol Tue 22-Apr-08 08:49:18

First, very best of luck with getting pggrin. I work in health, and am looking into this at the moment (how to let women know about achieving healthy weight beofre conception). All the health advice would be to try and achieve a healthy weight before getting pg. The risks are essentially what has already been said - a higher risk of gestational diabetes, and general strain on the body. It can also be harder for scans to show the baby clearly, which might be distressing. It's also harder to fall pg in the first place if you are very overweight. All these are statistical risks, not certainties and, as has been said, most people, whatever their weight, go on to have sucessful pregnancies. Very best of luck.

CantSleepWontSleep Tue 22-Apr-08 08:54:09

CK - can I ask you about the statistical risk of it taking longer to conceive? I understand that weight can make some women's periods erratic, and that this obv makes it harder to conceive, as it is difficult to pinpoint the right time to have sex. If the overweight woman's periods are regular, is there still any reason why it would take longer?

paddycat Tue 22-Apr-08 09:32:32

I'm also interested in the point about conceiving while overweight - I got pregnant very easily each time, but then had a regular cycle. My lovely SIL tried for 2 years to get pregnant with no luck, then managed to lose about a stone and a half which brought her down to being overweight rather than obese, and about 3 months later she is pregnant! Her problems conceiving were never investigated and I've always harboured a suspicion about polycystic ovaries as she seemed to gain weight very suddenly and her cycle went haywire.

And for anyone who has suffered unkind comments about their weight while pregnant or ttc (my SIL sadly did), I can tell you that one poor friend of mine who is naturally very very thin was the subject of many unkind and ignorant comments when she was pregnant and yet managed to produce 3 healthy babies at normal weights. And this is a woman who has lived on magnum ice creams and coke her whole life so thin isn't necessarily healthy!

All the best ...

sophiewd Tue 22-Apr-08 09:39:08

I was 16st when fell pregnant with DD, put on just under 2 st and took us 6 months to concieve. Problem free pregnancy, walking dogs right up to last day ended up having section as didn't go into labour.

This time was 16.5 stone, fell pregnant first cycle, have muscular problems in back and pelvci area but by all accounts its is cos carrying a big baby, he is measuring 2-3 weeks bigger than dates, but still managing to potter ans aqua natal classes are very good.

Good luck.

TheRealMrsOsborne Tue 22-Apr-08 09:45:05

I was classed as obese when i got pregnant and found in both my pregnancies that i actually lost weight. The policy for obese pregnant women in my area changed when i was pregnant with DS2 and i was told i needed to have a glucose tolerance test to check for diabetes which i refused. My blood pressure was always perfect and my first birth was textbook with no problems.
Just because you are overweight/obese doesn't mean you are going to have problems.
All the midwives were great with me and said that the majority of the mums that were classed as obese looked normal to them wink.

CSWS - i don't know the statistics but the reason overweight/obese women can find it harder to conceive is because when you are overweight/obese your body makes more oestrogen which interferes with your menstrual cycle.

wastingmyeducation Tue 22-Apr-08 10:17:22

kat2907 - sorry, I didn't mean to imply that that was the case for every single woman, I have a bad habit of saying 'will' when I should say 'may'!
I'm sure it is possible to lose weight healthily, but most people in my experience don't and the statistics on dieters putting it all back on are well known.
What is considered healthy as far as diet and dieting is concerned changes a lot too. I lost five stone over two years doing Rosemary Conley Hip and Thigh many moons ago. Low fat, with exercise included. Now, it would not be considered healthy to restict essential fatty acids with lists of banned foods etc. Certainly it was during the weight loss that I developed eczema that I had not had since I was a baby. Margarine is often considered healthier as it has less saturated fat than butter, but butter is a natural food and the trans-fats in many margs are now considered more dangerous to health. I remember reading 'Drop the Dead Donkey 2000', a novel based on the TV series set a few years in the future, and everyone was eating fried breakfasts as health foods and I laughed. Then the Atkins diet became a hit! I no longer trust 'diets' of any kind, as they all contradict each other on what is healthy.
For some people their weight has an immediate impact on health or fertility and therefore diet may be recommended, but for most people I think it is simply better to concentrate on health and fitness, rather than on weight.
It's a psychological thing mainly, as if you are 'treating' yourself to a tasty bowl of strawberries, or a watercress and rocket salad with a big dollop of walnut oil, then you aren't 'punishing' yourself for denying yourself the Mars bar. You won't be waiting for the diet to end so you can eat what you 'really' want to.


ClairePO Tue 22-Apr-08 10:22:04

What a sensible post wastingmyeducation that is now my attitude to diet.

I am trying to lose weight to conceive, as are a few of us in the conception threads, and I'm not counting calories, not counting points and not thinking about grams of fat. I know what is likely to put weight on so am cutting out on those, eating more fruit & veg and slowly upping my exercise. I want a sustainable change, I'm not targeting losing x lbs per week.

I'm 13st 10lb at 5' 4", I am about a stone heavier than when I conceived last summer.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 22-Apr-08 10:24:03

wastingmyeducation -

absolutely. That's why I'm evangelical about ! It's not a 'diet' it's simply maths, helps you reduce the calories you consume by either eating less, exercising more or a combination. It won't let you go below a certain calorie allowance and doesn't tell you what you can and can't eat.
I lost nearly 2 stone over 1.5 years so it's hardly crash dieting, plus started to exercise and not see it as a punishment, as well as making much better food choices. Of course most of it is out the window now I'm preg but that's my fault, not anything to do with having lost weight!

Nemoandthefishes Tue 22-Apr-08 10:25:26

I am similair in size to you and have not had any problems with ttc or the pregnancy of any of my children.

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