manage your weight if you're plus sized

By Associate Professor TAN Thiam Chye Head & Senior Consultant, Dr TAN Shu Qi Associate Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

Many plus-sized women undergo uncomplicated pregnancies. However, to tip the odds in your favour, get proactive. Regular antenatal visits are a great way for you and your doctor to monitor development and plan for any foreseen issues. To help this process, share any health conditions you think might be relevant: for example, whether you suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea.

Here are four healthy habits to help manage your pregnancy:

1. Have a Healthy Diet

have a healthy diet

Take control of your diet, which will give you peace of mind and put you in the driver's seat to help you and your baby to stay in tip-top shape. Don't embark on a crash diet, though — your body will need more nutrients such as folic acid, calcium and iron at this time. As your calorie needs will increase the further along with your pregnancy you get, talk to your doctor about coming up with a controlled weight-gain plan. As a guide, you need 1,800kcal a day during your first trimester; 2,140kcal a day during your second trimester and 2,250kcal a day during your third.

Related: Diet & Pregnancy

2. Start With Gentle Exercises

start with gentle exercises

Aim to start a low-impact and effective exercise routine, which can be as simple as walking, swimming or yoga. Hitting 30 minutes of exercise a day is a good level, but if you find it hard to reach this point, start with a daily five-minute workout and increase by five minutes each day. Just be sure to keep it at a level you're comfortable with. A good rule of thumb is that if you're not able to talk normally during exercise, you should take it down a notch.

Related: Guide to Working Out While Pregnant

3. Seek Regular Prenatal Care

seek regular prenatal care

See your doctor regularly to get advice on how to keep your pregnancy healthy. Your doctor will track your weight during every visit and will also monitor your baby's growth rate. Seeing your doctor often will ensure that any issues can be dealt with early. It will also help reassure you that you're proactively managing the situation.

Related: Prenatal Ultrasound Scans

4. Give Up Unhealthy Habits

give up unhealthy habits

Smoking and alcohol consumption may cause harm to your baby so do your best to give up these unhealthy habits, even if you're not overweight.

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Read these next:

Sources:

The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific

Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore