It is a fact that the lifestyle we choose to follow impacts different areas of our lives. Our habits will impact on conception rates and, therefore, must be taken into account when planning a pregnancy. Our dietary pattern, aligned with the practice of physical exercises, for example, are variables that will influence the chances of pregnancy.
In general, the ideal recommendation for a woman who wants to be more likely to become pregnant is to have her Body Mass Index – BMI – between 20 and 24 , or at least up to 22% of body fat. Thus, being within these parameters, the chances of becoming pregnant are higher and, therefore, food balance along with exercise is essential to achieve such numbers.
But what is this BMI? BMI is the Body Mass Index that uses a calculation taking into account weight in relation to height to assess whether the person is within their ideal weight or not. See below how to calculate it:
BMI formula: weight ÷ (height x height).
Example: If a person is 1.60m and has 70kg, he / she should do the following calculation:
– multiply the height by the height: 1.60 x 1.60 = 2.56
– divide the weight by the height squared result: 70 / 2.56 = 27.34
Thus, this person has a BMI of 27.
With the result of your BMI, it is possible to identify if you are within your ideal weight from the reference table of values.
|Under 18.4||Under weight|
|18,5 a 24,9||Normal weight|
|25 a 29,9||Overweight|
|30 a 34,9||Grade I obesity|
|35 a 40||Grade II obesity (severe)|
|Above 40||Grade III obesity (morbid)|
In the example we used, the person would then be classified as overweight, as their BMI is 27.
It is important to clarify here that when we talk about maintaining an ideal weight, this is equivalent to neither being over nor underweight. Thus, not only overweight women find it difficult to conceive. Women who are extremely thin also experience difficulties and should seek help to overcome this situation.
Women who are overweight produce more estrogen due to excess fat, affecting ovulation and unbalancing the hormonal system . With this, the body does not know how to signal that the egg is mature and when it is the right time to release it, hindering the chances of conception.
Women who are underweight stop menstruating due to lack of fat in the body. As there is not enough fat, the body concentrates on other physiological processes and stops producing the hormones needed for ovulation, and the woman can have her periods unregulated and even go months without menstruating.
What are the related risks in case of pregnancy?
If you are able to get pregnant, women who are underweight are more likely to experience miscarriage or premature birth . Therefore, it is essential to follow up in these cases in order to ensure that the baby will receive the necessary vitamins and nutrients so that such risks are minimized.
For women who are overweight, there are some associated risks , such as:
- Thrombosis in the leg or lung (blood clots)
- Gestational diabetes
- High blood pressure and pre-eclampsia
- Difficulties in performing some procedures, such as, for example, monitoring the baby’s heart rate, since excess fat makes this monitoring difficult.
For the baby, there are other associated problems if the mother is overweight, such as problems with brain and spinal development; chances of miscarriage, greater chances of stillbirth (the baby is born dead), in addition to the increased chances of the baby also having obesity and diabetes during life.
How to avoid these problems?
In addition to maintaining a healthy diet, it is necessary to follow up with a professional to monitor all the needs of the mother and, also, the baby. It is possible that women with an overweight BMI may have a peaceful pregnancy and, therefore, having the support of professionals and attention to diet and physical exercise are essential.
The same attention goes to the practice of excessive and high intensity exercises. They can influence the chances of pregnancy, since they demand a lot of energy from the body, affecting ovulation, and will also impact on BMI. Of course, it is important to note that no extreme diet should be carried out on its own during pregnancy or after childbirth, as there is a risk of limiting the intake of nutrients or ingesting high calorie foods that will affect blood pressure, in case of women who want to gain weight.
In short: it is essential that monitoring be carried out with professionals if the woman is overweight or underweight. In addition to a good gynecologist, the accompaniment of a nutritionist is very important. This professional can develop a diet plan that will provide the necessary and ideal nutrients for this very important phase that is pregnancy. Therefore, avoid diets on your own, because in addition to risks to your health, you also put your baby’s health at risk.
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.