What Is a Healthy Weight for Trying to Get Pregnant?

weight gain during pregnancy with pregnant woman holding scale
A pregnant woman carries a bathroom scale. (Image: adrian825/iStock/Getty Images)

If you are overweight or underweight, the hormonal imbalances in your body may make it difficult for you to ovulate and become pregnant. It is important to understand how you can determine your healthy weight and reach it safely so that you can improve your chances of becoming pregnant and get your pregnancy off to a healthy start.

Overweight

If you are overweight before you become pregnant, it can increase your risk of experiencing pregnancy and birth complications. It can also make it more difficult to get pregnant. Being overweight is linked to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which occurs when your body does not produce enough of the hormones needed to stimulate an egg to mature. Being overweight can also make it more difficult to ovulate.

Underweight

If you are underweight due to extreme dieting or restricted nutrient intake, it can affect your periods and make it difficult to predict ovulation. Being underweight also increases your risks of delivering a baby with low birth weight.

Reaching a Healthy Weight

A healthy and ideal weight for conceiving is a body mass index (BMI) of 19 to 25. To determine your BMI, which takes into account your height and weight, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that you divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared. You then multiply that number by 703 to get your BMI. Whether you need to gain or lose weight to reach a healthy BMI, do so by eating balanced meals with nutritious foods. Babycenter states that a balanced diet increases your chances of conceiving, so make sure to include grains, protein, dairy, fruits and vegetables in your diet. Avoid extreme weight loss, as this can deplete your nutritional stores.

Recommendations

If you are planning to conceive, talk to your doctor. He can help you reach a healthy weight. Your BMI is not always accurate, especially since it does not take muscle into account. You will also need to decide on a prenatal vitamin to make sure you have the nutrients necessary for a healthy early pregnancy.

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