What Happens To Existing Belly Fat When Pregnant
Pregnancy Weight Loss

What Happens To Existing Belly Fat When Pregnant

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Are you wondering what happens to existing belly fat when pregnant

Congratulations! You’re pregnant! And like many women, you may be on a quest to look for answers to help you on this new journey of yours. 

If you’re like most women, you may be curious to know what happens to existing belly fat when pregnant. Let me tell you right now that this is a pretty common question to ask. 

Many first-time moms are curious to know what happens to their bodies when they get pregnant.

And for women who recently lost weight before getting pregnant, this is something they hope to get an answer to. 

Women who are overweight or obese also want to know how their bodies will change now that they are pregnant.

If you are one of these women, here are some of the things you should know. 

We’ll also give you a few tips on how you can have a healthy pregnancy throughout the next 9 months. 

What Happens to Existing Belly Fat When Pregnant?

What Happens To Existing Belly Fat When Pregnant

First things first. Let’s get this answered and cleared right away. Simply put, your belly fat will get stretched out over your baby evenly. 

What you have to remember is that your belly won’t grow big overnight.

Instead, it will slowly stretch out to accommodate the little one in your belly. 

A vast number of pregnant women don’t really gain a lot of weight in their first trimester.

In fact, there are some women who tend to lose weight at the start of their pregnancy. 

Every pregnancy is different so there’s really no telling what your journey will be like.

But it’s important that you stay healthy during this time. 

Pregnant women who are overweight should be careful about gaining too much weight.

You have to monitor your weight and how much you gain over the course of your pregnancy. This is so you can make sure that you and your baby will be healthy. 

The good news is that your doctor is always willing to help by monitoring your progress throughout this time. 

How Much Weight Can You Gain Safely?

Now comes the most important question: how much weight can you gain safely while you are pregnant?

The answer to this will depend on your Body Mass Index (BMI) prior to getting pregnant. 

Here is a short guide from the CDC:

  • Underweight with less than 18.5 BMI: 28-40 pounds
  • Normal BMI between 18.5-24.9: 25-35 pounds
  • Overweight with 25-29.9 BMI: 15-25 pounds
  • Obese with over 30 BMI: 11-20 pounds

Of course, this is not the same for women who are carrying twins or triplets. 

If you are overweight or obese, it’s best to lose weight before you try to get pregnant. 

The reason why you need to stay within those limits is so you and your baby can stay safe.

At the same time, it will minimize your chances of becoming obese later on. 

Not to mention, gaining too much weight can make you acquire high blood pressure or gestational diabetes.

Both of these can put you at risk of a miscarriage or a birth defect on your baby. 

It also becomes more difficult to deliver a baby when you are overweight. This is why you need to be careful with gaining too much weight. 

How Does Pregnancy Change Your Body Shape

Throughout the next 9 months, your body will significantly change to accommodate your growing baby. 

If you are wondering what happens to existing belly fat when pregnant, it won’t really cause a huge difference right away.

This is because most women usually start looking pregnant between 12 to 16 weeks. 

For women who have a significant amount of belly fat prior to getting pregnant, your baby bump may take longer to be so obvious. 

You will likely appear normal and without any signs of being pregnant, especially when you are still in your first trimester. 

Do You Need To See A Doctor If You’re Pregnant & Overweight?

Pregnant & Overweight

If you recently discovered that you’re carrying a baby, it’s important that you see a doctor right away; even if you are not overweight. 

This is because your doctor will need to get an ultrasound in your first few weeks of being pregnant. 

If you are overweight, however, it can be harder to date your ultrasound. And you have your erratic ovulation to blame for that.

Because of this, your doctor may have a hard time determining when your due date will be. 

On your first visit to a doctor, he will likely measure your BMI. It’s also recommended that you get tested for gestational diabetes because of your excess weight. 

If the test is positive, you need to monitor your blood sugar levels at home. Otherwise, you can simply be mindful of what you are eating.

Later on in your pregnancy, your doctor will once again require you to undergo another test to make sure that you have not acquired gestational diabetes. 

Pregnancy Safety Tips For Overweight Women

It is quite normal for expecting moms to worry about the weight they gain throughout their pregnancy.

This is why it’s important that you know how to take good care of yourself and your growing child. 

If you are overweight, you need to be stricter with your health. Here are some of our tips to help make sure you can have a safe pregnancy:

1. Limit Stress

Stress is unavoidable. Even if you try your best to stay positive, you may subconsciously be worrying about the future.

You know, things like your delivery, the bills, caring for a newborn, and many more. These things can make you worry and feel stressed in no time. 

While you cannot really avoid worrying, you should try not to get too stressed. Whenever possible, try to limit your stress levels. 

Seek help from your loved ones so you can lessen your burden. 

2. Get Enough Sleep

It is recommended that you get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Not only is it good for you, it is also crucial for your baby’s development. 

Besides, it is really important that you get enough sleep while you still can. Trust us! You’ll definitely miss being able to sleep soundly once you give birth. 

3. Drink Prenatal Vitamins

Your doctor will likely prescribe vitamins for you to take during your pregnancy. It’s important that you take these prenatal vitamins adequately. 

Some of the vitamins that may be given to you include folic acid and calcium. 

You can also up your intake of folic acid and calcium-rich foods like spinach, beans, broccoli, and milk. 

4. Have a Balanced Diet 

What Happens To Existing Belly Fat When Pregnant

Another thing you have to pay attention to is your diet. Expecting women who are either overweight or obese are not recommended to lose weight while pregnant. 

Instead of trying to lose weight, it’s best that you focus on getting enough nutrients that you need.

And the best way you can do this is by following a healthy diet. 

Depending on your BMI, you may also need to keep track of how much weight you gain during your pregnancy. This is so you can avoid any health risks for you and your baby. 

At the same time, monitoring your weight gain can reduce your chances of undergoing a C-section

Try to eat a balanced diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Opt for low-fat dairy products instead of full-fat items. 

You should also eat a lot of healthy proteins like beans, eggs, and lean meat. Avoid drinking beverages that contain high sugar, such as soda, iced tea, and fruit juices. 

Finally, drink lots of water so you can flush out the toxins from your body. 

5. Stay Active

Depending on your situation, your doctor may recommend you to keep yourself active. 

You don’t necessarily need to start going to the gym during this point of your life. Instead, you can start doing some moderate exercise levels

The safest exercise for pregnant women is walking. Try to get 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. 

Walking will not only help you manage your weight, it can also help reduce the pains and aches associated with pregnancy. 

It is also said to help induce labor, especially if you are already on your 38th week and hoping for a vaginal birth. 

Other than walking, you can do yoga or jogging. But it’s best that you get an approval from your doctor prior to doing any exercise.  

6. Stay Hydrated

What Happens To Existing Belly Fat When Pregnant

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: drink lots of water. In fact, remember to carry around a tumbler with you wherever you go since you’ll be thirsty. 

Water contains thermogenic properties that can improve your metabolism and keep a balanced appetite. This also helps prevent preterm contractions along with other issues. 

Remember to check the color of your urine so you know whether you’re drinking enough water.

If it is dark yellow in color, you need to drink more. 

By following these tips, you’ll be able to have a safe pregnancy. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my belly fat go away during pregnancy?

If you are asking this because you are wondering what happens to existing belly fat when pregnant, the answer is that it won’t necessarily go away. 

There are some overweight women who end up losing some belly fat during their first trimester.

But after this period, you will likely gain more weight, depending on your habits. 

When will my fat turn into a baby bump?

Pregnancy bumps usually start appearing during the second trimester. 

If this is your first pregnancy, you can expect your fat to start turning into a baby bump when you are between 16 and 20 weeks pregnant. 

Does your body hold onto fat while pregnant?

Unfortunately, your body tends to store fat while you are pregnant. Most of this fat gets stored during your early weeks of pregnancy. 

During weeks 14th and 28th, some fat gets stored behind. 

Meanwhile, from weeks 29 to 40, your body stores almost no fat. 

Also read: Why Can’t I Lose Weight While Breastfeeding

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Iesha Mulla

Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She's an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.

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