Avoiding a Cesarean Section, Tip #1: Hit Your Weight Gain Target
I have a growing list of 30 tips for women who want to reduce their risks of cesarean section. For first-time Mothers, cesarean risk increases by 5% for each unit increase in BMI above normal. So to avoid an unnecessary cesarean section, one strategy is to know your target weight gain and stick to it. The Institute of Medicine published new guidelines in 2009, which set weight gain targets for women in 4 BMI categories. Enter your height and pre-pregnancy weight into an online Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator to get your BMI, then find your target on the chart below.
|If you start pregnancy as…||You should gain…|
|Obese (includes all classes)
BMI > or equal to 30.0
To avoid excessive weight gain, eat a healthy diet and exercise 30 minutes almost every day. Make every calorie count by eating nutrient-dense, colorful foods. Avoid exercises with risk of impacts and falls. I tell my patients to avoid fries and potato chips, candy and cola, but treat yourself to your favorite thing once in a rare while. Life is short!