Body Mass Index (BMI)

Why should we know our healthy weight before pregnancy? 

1. Healthy weight, which we calculate using Body Mass Index, or BMI, is an indication of your nutritional state and, later, of foetal development. 
2. Weight gain recommendations for pregnancy are based on your BMI. It is therefore good to know where you stand before getting pregnant. 
3. BMI must be calculated before pregnancy since it is not a reliable index during gestation. 

What is healthy weight?

Previously, we referred to ideal weight, based on height and bone structure. Today, we prefer to talk about healthy weight, which is the weight associated with a lower risk of developing health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure or cardio-vascular disease. 

Locate your weight and height on the chart below: 


If you are in Zone A:
Your BMI is below 20. 

You are underweight, meaning that your weight is below your healthy weight. The risks to both your health and to the baby’s are higher if this weight has been reached and maintained through weight loss diets than if you’ve always been thin.

If you are naturally thin, being underweight isn’t necessarily synonymous with health risks. But it may cause medical and obstetrical complications, as well as growth delay, premature delivery and an underweight newborn. Don’t worry: if you gain enough weight during pregnancy, these risks will be considerably reduced. 

If you are in Zone B or C:
Your BMI is between 20 and 27. 

You have a healthy weight (between 20 and 25) or are slightly overweight (between 25 an 27). 

A BMI of between 20 and 25 is associated with a lower risk of disease and pregnancy complications. If you are at this level, stay there! 

A BMI of between 25 and 27 involves slightly higher health risks. 

If you are in Zone D : 
Your BMI is higher than 27. 

You are overweight, meaning that your weight is above your healthy weight. Such a BMI is associated with higher risks of health problems during pregnancy, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, preeclampsia and complications at childbirth.


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