Sunday 25 March 2018

Theresa* was obese during her first pregnancy.

Theresa* was obese during her first pregnancy.

During her second she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and later had a third, and then a fourth, baby.

However, recalls the 38-year-old mum, who is also a practising GP, it was only after her third baby that she seriously attempted to introduce a healthier lifestyle with more exercise.

At that stage, she weighed 17 stone.

"The obesity and the gestational diabetes certainly affected my own health, and my third child was four weeks premature," she recalls.

"Once you're a gestational diabetic your risk of everything increases, and there's now evidence suggesting that the babies also have an increased risk of obesity in later life.

"As a GP I knew the risks, but I was unable to get to grips with my weight problems between pregnancies. It's embarrassing working in healthcare and carrying so much extra weight.

However, during her third pregnancy Theresa joined Weight Watchers, signed up to a fitness bootcamp and started jogging. Within a year she lost four stone, and her BMI dropped by 12 points.

"It took a complete lifestyle change and a lot of support for me to make such a significant change. I'm ashamed because I know better than most all the risks, and I took a chance. I was lucky.

"A lot of women don't plan their pregnancies so they're overweight when they become pregnant.

"However even how you eat and exercise during pregnancy can have a huge impact. If you plan your pregnancy, and lose weight and be in the best state of health, then it makes everything so much more straightforward and uncomplicated."

*Not her real name

Irish Independent

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