Saturday, February 11, 2012

Weight management during pregnancy

Late in the week I really started to feel pregnant. I can feel the rounded hardness of my uterus, see it protruding a bit (though not past my breasts), and notice that it's starting to affect the way I walk.  I can't stabilize my torso/core using my abdominal muscles the way I normally do, so I'm holding my back and shoulders differently, and trying not to do the side-to-side waddle. At least, not yet.

Oh, and I feel really bloated. When I went in to see the obstetrician Friday I thought for sure she'd tell me I'd gained 10 pounds this month, that is how bloated I feel. But I've actually dropped two pounds. I'm about a 1/2 pound from my weight prior to going to Bali in October, and on target for a zero to 10 lbs net weight gain for my pregnancy.

Some people are really bothered that I'm trying not to gain any weight during this pregnancy, especially my friends and family who are nurses. They're worried I'm letting vanity get in the way of a healthy baby. It's not about vanity though, it's about having a healthy pregnancy. I worked really hard last year to lose weight and I dropped over 40 pounds. I could stand to lose 40 more -- in fact, that was my goal for 2012, before I found out I was pregnant in mid-December. I don't want to regain that weight and then have to lose it all over again, and I know that in my 40's the extra weight (and the extra calories and carbohydrates that cause the extra weight) can cause complications (such as gestational diabetes) that I'm desperate to avoid.

So I'm working with my obstetrician and my perinatologist and a dietician and a medical nutritionist to make sure I'm meeting my nutritional needs. I'm getting growth ultrasounds to make sure the baby is the right size for his age. I'm getting monthly blood and urine tests. I'm doing everything I can to make sure we're having a healthy baby -- I'm even avoiding 'diet' products that contain artificial sweeteners because of the metabolic byproducts. (For more on the subject of artificial sweeteners, see the last half of this Unintentional Mother post.)

I've also got the weight-maintenance tools I've picked up the past few years. I've learned how to handle cravings, for example. I know when to re-direct and when to relent. I know when to stop indulging (most of the time) and I know when to get rid of something tasty because I can't resist the temptation to keep indulging.

I think a lot of women gain 30+ pounds during pregnancy because they aren't in the habit of fighting cravings, and helpless under the hormonal and hunger-pang onslaught, they indulge, and indulge, and indulge. And that's ok. My sisters gained 50+ pounds with their first pregnancies. They lost it all, eventually, but one of them developed toxemia in all three of her pregnancies. They were also 20 years younger than I am now -- and I can't afford to wallow in a pint of ice cream a day, as tempting as that sounds ;)

I fully expect to put on some weight in my last trimester (which begins in a couple of weeks) because that is when the baby starts building subcutaneous fat and putting on his weight. But I'm doing everything I can to keep it under 10 pounds. For both the baby and me.

1 comment:

  1. More on the weight management topic, specifically controlling cravings and the use of artificial sweeteners, can be found here:


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