Many people think that being too fat is not good for health, including during pregnancy. However, did you know that being too thin is also not good during pregnancy? There are several problems if you are too thin during pregnancy, among which you can be at risk of premature labor and low birth weight in your baby!
The Importance of Checking Your Weight Before and During Pregnancy
Actually, the body is said to be obese, fat, ideal, or thin it’s relative for everyone. For that, you can use your body mass index (BMI) or body mass index as a parameter of your body condition.
The following is the reference for each BMI category:
- Underweight: <18.5
- Ideal body weight: 18.5-24.9
- obesity (overweight): 25-29.9
- Obesity: 30 or more.
The way to calculate it is:
BMI = body weight (kg) : (height)2 (m2)
So, suppose your weight is 42 kg and your height is 159 cm, then:
BMI = 42 kg : 2.53 m2
BMI = 16.6 (underweight)
If you are underweight before pregnancy or too thin, then you are advised to increase your weight both before and during pregnancy.
The Centers for Disease Control itself provides recommendations for women with this category to gain weight during pregnancy around 12.7-18.14 kg. But to be clear, you should consult a gynecologist because everyone’s body condition is different.
Why do you have to have an ideal body weight during pregnancy? Baby growth will generally reach 3.1 to 3.6 kg. While the nutrients from Mums intake will be absorbed for the development of the Little One.
That is why you need a balanced diet and achieve the ideal weight so that your little one can grow and develop optimally and your pregnancy is always healthy.
Problems If Pregnant Women Are Too Thin
According to Emily Mitchell, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator from the Center of Fetal Medicine, one of the common signs of pregnant women experiencing inadequate weight gain is fatigue. Mums can also take longer to recover after giving birth, at risk of developing bone health problems, as well as increasing the risk of nutritional deficiencies, one of which is anemia.
Especially in the first trimester, you are prone to losing weight due to morning sickness or nausea and vomiting, so this problem should not be ignored. And if you don’t gain weight in the second and third trimesters, some research suggests you are at a higher risk of preterm labor and cesarean delivery.
Babies born prematurely in general will also have a low weight. In addition, they will be more susceptible to various health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), and diabetes.
Tips to Increase Weight for Pregnant Women who are Too Thin
Well, after knowing the problem if pregnant women are too thin, it’s good for you to start paying more attention to your weight, yes. There are several tips that can be done to increase weight.
- Apply a healthy diet, such as regularly eating vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and foods rich in protein.
- Avoid processed, high-sugar, fried, or high-fat foods.
- Calculate your daily calorie intake.
- Actively move or do light exercise, at least 2 hours every week.
- Eat in small portions, but often.
- Always eat breakfast.
- Eat snacks that are high in calories and rich in nutrients, such as nuts and avocados.
- Drink milk that is rich in fat.
- Mums can add butter or cheese while cooking.
To accommodate the needs of the little one so that he grows and develops optimally in the womb, inevitably pregnant women who are too thin need to increase their weight. Consult your doctor, Mums, how much weight gain is needed to achieve the ideal weight. Spirit! (US)
Verywell Family: What to Know If You Are Underweight While Pregnant
WebMD: Is It Safe to Be Skinny While Pregnant?
Office on Women’s Health: Weight, fertility, and pregnancy