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Are you planning to try to get pregnant in the near future? Looking into your menstrual cycle, assessing how suitable your house is for a baby, and trying to figure out post-baby finances may all be part of your preconception check list. How about your health? Do you need to lose weight before trying to conceive?

Being at a healthy weight is always beneficial. Obesity brings many risks, and the risks of being obese during pregnancy include gestational diabetes, but also a baby with birth defects like spina bifida, or a cleft palate. Babies born to obese mothers are more likely to be born at a high birth weight, which can cause complications for the baby, as well as the mother during labor and delivery.

Those risks can be reduced by losing weight before a woman tries to get pregnant, if applicable. Dieting during pregnancy is complicated, because there are questions about its safety. And the beginning of pregnancy, the first trimester, is of crucial importance. The time to get healthy including exercising more, eating better, starting folic acid, and losing weight is before pregnancy, rather than while a woman is already expecting.

Who needs to lose weight? Most women will be aware whether they are at a healthy weight or not, but Body Mass Index is a great tool to make sure. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, while those between 25 and 29.9 would be classed as "overweight". Losing weight before trying to get pregnant is most important for those with a BMI of over 30, those who are classed as obese.

Women who suffer from PCOS, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, should be especially motivated to lose weight. Although they often struggle with weight gain despite lifestyle changes, and may need weight loss medication to help them, losing as little as five percent of their total weight can greatly increase the fertility of a woman who has Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

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