Being a healthy weight during pregnancy reduces the risk of complications.
If you are able to get to a healthy weight before becoming pregnant this is best for you and your baby.
Attending all of your antenatal appointments is very important to make sure any problems are spotted early and you get the right care for you. You should not feel embarrassed or judged about your weight. Health professionals support women of all shapes and sizes.
If you are overweight or underweight at your first appointment with your midwife they will be able to give you support and advice about how best to keep you and your baby well in pregnancy.
You may also be referred for specialist support from the hospital maternity team. Healthy weight is assessed using BMI (body mass index). A healthy BMI is between 18.5–25.
Weight gained in pregnancy is not ‘just baby’ it is also made up of;
In the UK there is no fixed advice on how much weight you ‘should’ put on in pregnancy. Advice about weight gain can be discussed with your midwife taking into account your individual needs.
Being underweight in pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight and early delivery (before 37 weeks).
If you have a low BMI your midwife will talk to you about this. They will ask;
Some people have eating disorders that affect their body image and this can make the body changes in pregnancy feel particularly hard. If this is true for you let the team know so that you can be supported.
You may be given advice to help you gain weight in a healthy way and your midwife will discuss any extra care you may need during your pregnancy with you.
You may have heard that being overweight in pregnancy increases some risks to you and your baby. It is important that you get the right support from the start to keep risks as low as possible.
The reason this is so important is because being overweight in pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. It also makes it more likely you will have your baby early. You might have less choice about how you give birth – there is a higher chance of caesarean section.
Your midwifery team will keep a closer eye on you to spot any problems early. They will talk to you and explain how you can minimise these risks.
Partners & Healthy Weight
Although partners are not carrying a baby – expecting a baby can be a good time for the family to think together about healthy eating and having an active lifestyle.
Take a look together and plan a healthy start for your family life – small changes can make a big difference.
If you feel worried and would like more advice you can speak to your midwife throughout your pregnancy and up to 28 days after the birth of your baby.
If you live in Norfolk
If you live in Suffolk
You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below.