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Obesity and Pregnancy

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How much can you eat during pregnancy?

How much you can eat depends on:

Like any pregnant woman, you need to eat a variety of foods from all the food groups. You especially need to make sure to get enough calcium and folic acid.

You may want to work with a dietitian to help you plan healthy meals to get the right amount of calories for you.

How will your prenatal care change if you're obese?

You will have the same number of doctor visits as a woman of average weight, unless you start to have problems. Then you would see your doctor more often. But you'll have the same type of tests to look for problems and make sure your baby is healthy.

What can you do to have a healthy pregnancy?

The best things you can do to have a healthy pregnancy are to eat a variety of foods, get regular exercise, avoid alcohol and smoking, and go to your doctor visits. If you didn't exercise much before you got pregnant, talk to your doctor about how you can slowly get more active.

For more information on healthy habits, see the topic Quick Tips: Healthy Pregnancy Habits.

For more information on eating well when you're pregnant, see:

actionset.gif Healthy Eating: Changing Your Eating Habits.
actionset.gif Healthy Eating: Making Healthy Choices When You Shop.
actionset.gif Healthy Eating: Cutting Unhealthy Fats From Your Diet.
Quick Tips: Adding Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet.
Meal Planning: Menu and Grocery List(What is a PDF document?).

If you're not pregnant yet, what can you do to get ready for pregnancy?

If you're not yet pregnant, now is a good time to try to lose some weight. Losing even 5 or 10 pounds may help reduce your risk for problems.

You also can make other lifestyle changes to get a future pregnancy off to a good start. These include getting enough folic acid, avoiding alcohol and smoking, and avoiding or limiting caffeine. See your doctor for a checkup before you become pregnant.

For more information on getting ready for pregnancy, see the topic Preparing for a Healthy Pregnancy.

Some women may want to have weight-loss surgery. If you're thinking about it, talk with your doctor to learn how it might affect a future pregnancy. For more information, see the topic Pregnancy After Bariatric Surgery.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 14, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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