Losing Weight While Pregnant – What Expectant Mothers Should Know

person standing on white digital bathroom scale

Losing weight while pregnant is a very serious issue. If a woman loses too much weight during pregnancy, her baby may not develop normally. However, excessive weight gain is not the answer either, as it carries its own complications. So, to prevent either of these consequences, expectant mothers must eat a balanced diet. Of course, how they go about doing this depends on their previous weight. Look to the sections below for a better understanding.

Losing Weight While Pregnant if Overweight

Is losing weight while pregnant okay for overweight women? Yes and no. According to the article, “Plus-Size and Pregnant: How to Manage Your Weight During Pregnancy,” since overweight women have more fat reserves, losing a little bit of weight should not harm the fetus in the beginning stages of pregnancy. The reason why is because the body will make up the deficiencies through the woman’s fat. However, as the article continues, it warns that expectant mothers must not actively lose weight, regardless of what the scale says.

This puts overweight women in a delicate position. They have to learn how to eat healthier without going over or under their doctor’s weight recommendations. If they have trouble doing this on their own, they may want to consider following a pregnancy diet plan for overweight women. These plans encourage mothers to eat more fruits, vegetables and lean protein; fatty foods and sweets must be avoided. If a mother has intense cravings, she should try to substitute with a healthier food she enjoys. For example, instead of eating strawberry ice cream, a mother should try low-fat strawberry yogurt.

As far as exercise, there is some controversy behind what expectant mothers should do. According to the article, “Women Who Exercise During Pregnancy Face Risk of Pre-Eclampsia, Researchers Warn,” a recent Danish study revealed that women who jogged over 75 minutes each week “more than doubled |their| risk of pre-eclampsia.” Researchers came to this conclusion after studying 85,000 expectant women who exercised regularly during their pregnancies.

However, despite these compelling statistics, no official warnings have been issued to expectant mothers. With that said, if you want to exercise during your pregnancy, make sure you do so under the guidance of your physician.

The Brewer Pregnancy Diet – A Good Option for Women of Normal Weight

If an expectant mother’s weight is normal, she should not use a pregnancy diet plan for overweight women. This is not due to excessive calories, as these plans do not encourage overeating. What matters more are the foods being consumed.

Enter the Brewer Pregnancy diet. According to Joy M. Jones RN, author of “The Dr. Brewer Pregnancy Diet: Frequently Asked Questions,” this unique diet was created by Dr. Tom Brewer, a popular obstetrician during the 50s and 60s. As stated in the article, Brewer created the diet after discovering the real cause of pre-eclampsia: “abnormal blood volume caused by malnutrition.” In hopes of preventing such things, he formed a diet that broke all convention. Known as the Brewer Pregnancy Diet, this plan encourages women to eat “2,600 calories and 80-120 grams of protein.” At these stats, women should have no problems maintaining a healthy weight during their pregnancies.

Do not be mislead, though. Even though you might be eating 2,600 calories, the Brewer Pregnancy Diet encourages health first and foremost. The majority of your calories will be from nutritious sources of foods. In fact, if you take a look at the Basic Plan, you will see that nothing on the list is unhealthy.

Even still, Jones does say that the Brewer Pregnancy Diet places no restriction on weight gain, and very little concern for salt, (if you use it just for seasoning). For this reason, overweight women and/or those with hypertension should not follow the Brewer Pregnancy Diet, as it might be too risky for their health. As already stated, there are plenty of other plans tailored to these situations.

For everyone else, the Brewer Pregnancy Diet might be an “easy” way to maintain a healthy pregnancy weight. Best of all, you do not have to follow the standard plan. The diet comes in different forms for vegetarians and women carrying twins. There are also guidelines for diabetic mothers.

Final Verdict – Losing Weight After Pregnancy Should Be Your Ultimate Goal

Losing weight while pregnant is not recommended, even if you were overweight to begin with. During this time, your body needs food to help nourish your baby. You need the nutrients as well, as pregnancy is more demanding on a woman’s body. For all these reasons, don’t worry about losing weight until after your baby is born. In the meantime, use a pregnancy diet to help ensure you are consuming the right amount of calories. While you will not lose weight with such plans, you won’t gain either. And this is the balance you need when you’re carrying a baby.


Joy M. Jones RN, “The Dr. Brewer Pregnancy Diet: Frequently Asked Questions,” DrBrewerPregnancyDiet.com.

“Plus-Size and Pregnant: How to Manage Your Weight During Pregnancy,” Baby Center.

“Women Who Exercise During Pregnancy Face Risk of Pre-Eclampsia, Researchers Warn,” Daily Mail.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.

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