Belly fat is among the most stubborn fat in the body. It is a common problem for most overweight women. 20 to 40% of women are already obese even before getting pregnant. Belly fat is a matter of concern for the majority of pregnant women.
If you, your friend, or any family member is pregnant, congratulations! You may have heard women talking about what happens to existing belly fat when pregnant, it is quite a common concern among pregnant women.
However, we cannot say every woman deals with a similar situation. They all have different pregnancy symptoms. Even if you give birth to numerous children, not all your pregnancy signs need to be the same. Hence, belly fat and weight gain are different for all.
In this article, we will discuss what happens to existing belly fat when pregnant, the weight gain guideline during pregnancy, how your body changes during pregnancy, and health tips that every overweight pregnant woman should follow.
What happens to the existing belly fat when pregnant
If we talk about what happens to the existing belly fat when pregnant, the answer is the belly fat stretches and distributes over the baby. The abdominal fat adjusts itself over the growing fetus.
The pregnant belly does not appear overnight but takes around 12 to 16 weeks. The weight gain of pregnant women depends on their BMI before pregnancy. For some women, the belly growth takes time to increase others may start noticing it within a few weeks.
If you are wondering how the existing belly fat may impact your growing fetus then don’t stress out because it will stretch out to accommodate your baby. There is no guarantee that you will gain weight from the beginning of your pregnancy.
Due to morning sickness and nausea, women tend to lose belly fat during their first trimester. Either the first trimester does not impact the weight or causes weight loss depending on the general health.
How the body changes during pregnancy
Regardless of your body weight and shape, pregnancy will obviously bring major changes to your body. Since the baby grows in your womb, it completely changes your body. The uterus stretches from the start of the second trimester from 12 to 16 weeks resulting in weight gain.
Those Women who already have enlarged bellies due to excessive fats, their baby bum may not be much prominent throughout the second trimester. The belly shape gives a rounder look.
Weight gain during pregnancy
For a healthy pregnancy, it is significant to gain an appropriate amount of weight. The weight gain of pregnant women should be according to their body mass index BMI. Following is the CDC guideline for pregnant women
- An underweight pregnant woman having BMI less than 18.5 should gain 28-40 lbs.
- A pregnant woman with a normal BMI from 18.5 to 24.9 should gain around 25-35 lbs.
- An overweight pregnant woman with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 should not gain more than 15-25 lbs.
- An obese woman with a BMI of 30 should only gain weight of around 11 to 20 lbs.
The weight gain values for women conceiving twins or triplets may vary.
Healthy tips for overweight pregnant women
If you desire to lose belly fat during pregnancy or you are facing safety concerns due to excessive weight then you should follow the below health tips.
- Take a nutritious balanced diet
The best and most effective way to reduce belly fat during pregnancy is to consume a healthy diet. You should avoid eating junk food, high carbs, or fatty foods. Instead, eat whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Fulfill your protein needs by eating lean meat or fish.
- Get proper sleep
At least 7 hours of sleep is very important throughout pregnancy. Proper sleep relaxes your mind and body. It also helps in the baby’s development.
- Keep yourself hydrated
Dehydration is the most common problem during pregnancy, especially in the first and third trimesters. In the first trimester, you feel nausea and vomiting, While in the third trimester, you’re so exhausted that you don’t feel like drinking water. To rescue yourself from dehydration, drink plenty of water and fresh juices.
- Increase physical activity
Physical activity not just reduces belly fat and excessive weight during pregnancy but smooths your delivery process. A 30-minute walk on regular basis reduces body pain and aches during pregnancy.
We hope that you have got the answer about what happens to existing belly fat when pregnant and how you can get rid of it. It is crucial to keep a check and balance between your weight and the healthy growing baby.
You should take care of yourself and consult your gynecologist or dietician. Avoid stressing out. Whether it is your first pregnancy or fifth, you should enjoy it. If your doctor says you and your baby are doing good then keep yourself calm, do not freak out about weight.