Getting Pregnant While Overweight

QUESTION

Dear Nutritionist,
I recently started an exercise program, because I am a little overweight. I am 5'7" and I weigh 179, but I am still pretty muscular from being very active most of my life.

My husband and I want a baby very badly, but my stomach is getting in the way. When I sit down, I have a couple of big rolls. I just want to know if I should work harder to get my stomach into better shape before we conceive, or just don't worry about it and lose the weight afterwards. I plan on exercising and eating healthy throughout my pregnancy.

I am 30 now, so I am worried about putting it off any longer. I've never been a vain person, I am just worried that if I get pregnant while I am overweight, I will never lose the weight!

I appreciate your help!
Mistelle

ANSWER

Mistelle,
What a wonderful time in your life as you begin your family! Start on a healthy eating and exercise plan now! Don't wait until you get pregnant. The healthier you are once you become pregnant the less risk of problems there will be. Starting now will ensure that once you do get pregnant your health and body as well as your nutrition stores will be in better shape for a healthy pregnancy. In addition, taking care of yourself now by eating healthier, watching portion sizes and exercising regularly will help give you a better chance conceiving!

You don't need to do anything drastic. You need to make some positive changes in what and how much you are eating. Start exercising slowly and work your way up from there. Just walking 3-5 times a week can make a big difference. If you are unsure on how to begin to lose weight I highly recommend you seek out a dietitian in your area that you can work with one-on-one! If you haven't done already, you should also make an appointment with your OB/GYN to discuss your plans to conceive so your doctor can start you on prenatal vitamins and can talk to you about any other concerns you may have! Good Luck!

-- Kimberly, RD LD

Kimberly Tessmer

Kimberly A. Tessmer, RD LD has been a registered dietitian since 1992 and is also an Ohio licensed Dietitian. Her educational achievements include a Bachelor of Science in Technology (Dietetics) from Bowling State University in Bowling Green, OH. She currently owns and operates a consulting business called "Nutrition Focus" www.nutrifocus.net, in which she specializes and offers services in the areas of weight management, general nutrition, authoring, menu development and a variety of other services.

To date Kim has authored three books including "The Everything® Nutrition Book", "Tell Me What To Eat If I Have Celiac Disease", and "The Everything® Pregnancy Nutrition Book". In addition, Kim has written numerous articles for various health/nutrition web sites and magazines including Bally Total Fitness Magazine, Well and Healthy Women Magazine and Healthology.com, Inc as well as continuing education courses for www.care2learn.com. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and the ADA Practice Group, Nutrition Entrepreneurs.