Pregnancy is a time when most women gain weight. While the idea of gaining weight may cause distress, your growing baby, placenta and amniotic fluid account for some of the added pounds. Although you may not look forward to an increase in your weight, pregnancy is not the time to lose weight or to take diet pills.
Diet pills contain various ingredients, depending on the brand and type. The active ingredients in diet pills may help with weight loss by suppressing your appetite, increasing your bowel movements or reducing the amount of fluid in your body. Diet pills often contain strong ingredients like caffeine, barbiturates and amphetamines.
Environmental factors can play a major role in the development of your baby, especially early in your pregnancy. The most critical developmental period occurs during the first eight weeks of life, the time when your baby’s organs begin to develop.
Weight Loss During Pregnancy
While women who are very overweight or underweight may experience more pregnancy problems than other women may, you should not be on a diet to lose weight during your pregnancy, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. A healthy diet during pregnancy includes nutritious foods that contain folic acid, iron and calcium. If you are obese, your doctor can help you formulate a healthy eating plan that nourishes you and your baby without adding excess pounds.
The Emory University School of Medicine warns that about 4 to 5 percent of all birth defects are due to exposures to teratogens. Teratogens are agents that can cause birth defects in babies. Many medications, including diet pills, are possible teratogens. The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute list diet pills as one type of drug that may trigger miscarriage and premature births. Some diet pills contain caffeine, a substance that may increase your risk of spontaneous abortion.
Substances that circulate in your blood have the potential to cross the placenta and reach your baby. It is important to discuss your use of all drugs, herbs and medications with your doctor, especially while you are pregnant. Notify your doctor of any over-the-counter medications — including diet pills — that you took before you knew you were pregnant.