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Mothering › Groups › December 2012 Due Date Club › Discussions › need some advice about weight gain

need some advice about weight gain

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

hey mamas. i am having a really hard time gaining weight and would love some advice/suggestions. with my first pregnancy i only gained 1lb in the first trimester, but by 16 weeks i'd gained 6lbs. which is a good, average weight gain. this time i lost weight in the first trimester, and at 16 weeks i am now just back up to my pre pregnancy weight. before i got pregnant i was already having a hard time maintaining my weight, and now it's nearly impossible. i'm also having a hard time finding protein sources....eggs and dairy and most nuts are out due to allergies, red meat is out due to budget, a lot of fish and deli meats are out due to pregnancy, and there are only so many ways i can cook chicken. pre pregnancy i was on the low end of the healthy weight range, and i'm really starting to get concerned because the more pregnant i get the closer i drop towards the underweight category. i know that nursing my dd is taking a lot of calories that i wasn't losing in my first pregnancy, but weaning her is not an option at this point - she's not ready emotionally, and because of all her allergies i don't think she's ready nutritionally either. can anyone offer ideas or reassurance? is this normal when nursing and pregnant?

post #2 of 13

Hey mamadiamond! Sorry to hear you're having difficulty--I'm pretty little and have always had a hard time gaining weight, but have been doing pretty well this pregnancy. Some thoughts:


* I don't really follow the "no deli meat" rule (I just buy the high-quality stuff, which really isn't very pricy), but if you're nervous about it you can always just pop it in the toaster oven/microwave before you eat it. 


* You can actually eat a lot of fish -- salmon, grouper, shellfish, etc. I believe the only things you're supposed to stay away from are larger saltwater fish like Tuna and Shark. You can find wild-caught canned salmon and make salmon burgers/cakes. Here's a really good recipe: http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2012/04/dont-like-fish-i-bet-youll-like-these-salmon-cakes.html (you could probably sub out the eggs)


* Can you eat raw protein bars? Those might be helpful. Also, are you allergic to all nuts or just peanuts? Almonds are a great healthy fat, as well as almond milk.


* I would also try and eat as much fruit/veg as you can -- the costs really aren't bad, especially if you can go to a farmer's market. Things like mushrooms, cantaloupe, avocado, and greens are really good for you and the nutrients will definitely be beneficial. 


Hope that helps! You can also always try protein smoothies with soy milk or just fruit/ice/OJ/protein (although too much processed protein isn't ideal, but if you need to gain it can help).

post #3 of 13

Add coconut oil to everything, eat it on toast, fry tofu in it, add extra to veggies and soups.  It's great for you, great for your milk and high in fat.  As for protein, eat lentils!  Lentil burgers, lentil soup, lentil nuggets, coconut-curry lentils with tomatoes, kale, and carrots.  Also coconut yogurt and hummus and edamame.  I've been making a big batch of salmon salad every week.  Salmon melts are good, coat in panko and fry for salmon patties, or eat in lettuce leaves with fruit on the side for a healthy lunch.  Sub veganaise and add good mustard, celery, onions, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and pickle relish if you like it.  I add lemon flavored flax oil to mine for extra omegas.  Another thing I make a lot of and is a big hit around the house is coconut rice.  Just add coconut cream and coconut oil to jasmine or basmati rice after cooking and salt/pepper.  My DS and DH love it and we eat it with lentils or stir-fry.  Also Indian dishes can be made with coconut cream instead of dairy so I make a lot of Indian-inspired curries with eggplant, chickpeas, lentils, and tomato-coconut sauce.  You can make herbed chicken meatballs, I have a hard time eating meat because I was veg for so many years but this is one way I can stomach it.  So good with pasta and marinara. You can also make really delicious thai food that's vegan with rice noodles.  Indian and Thai foods are some of my favorites and they are usually dairy and egg free or can be modified and go well with chicken or tofu.  I make fried potato-cilantro pancakes to go with curried dishes and rice.  so yummy!  Good luck gaining and I hope some of these suggestions help. :)

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

thanks both of you! i do eat salmon, but usually only in soup or baked/grilled. now i've got some more good ideas for it. and i think i'm going to have to relax on the deli meat thing. i think i'll start experimenting with smoothies, too. protein bars aren't in my budget, but i get free soymilk and tofu from WIC which i can experiment adding fruits to. i used to cook a lot with coconut cream, and have sortof forgotten about it lately, so i will add it back in. though i can't do coconut oil. no matter if i fry with it, or bake with it, or add it to things, it always tastes like soap to me lol. but i will try adding in other oils like flax and olive to things to up the fat content. thank you so much. you've both given me a lot of ideas.

post #5 of 13
Hmm. Lots of good ideas already.

This reference might be handy when choosing fish/seafood: http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/walletcard.pdf

For chicken, I like to cook a bunch at once either by roasting a whole bird or tossing parts in the crockpot. If you let it cool down and then shred it (use a couple of forks or your fingers) then it's an easy thing to build meals around...enchiladas, stirfry, soup, etc.

I bet you can get a lot of healthy calories into smoothies with things like flax oil/seeds. Are seeds off limits too? If not that's another source of good fat; pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds...all go great on hot cereal or salad. Mmm, also on cereal maye try high calorie extras like molasses or dates. (Actually just learned eating 6 dates a day is supposed to make for a shorter labor.)

Really I think the thing to focus on is nutrient density more so than numbers on the scale. These babies are little parasites, they'll take what they need. The issue then becomes how to build our reserves so that we're not depleted postpartum or beyond. I think if you eat well you'll grow a great baby no matter how much or how little you gain.
post #6 of 13
Originally Posted by cieloazul View Post

Really I think the thing to focus on is nutrient density more so than numbers on the scale. These babies are little parasites, they'll take what they need. The issue then becomes how to build our reserves so that we're not depleted postpartum or beyond. I think if you eat well you'll grow a great baby no matter how much or how little you gain.




I like all the tips, and would add, cheese!  Cheese sticks are an easy snack and good for you in the diary department.

post #7 of 13

She can't do dairy due to allergies.  As far as the coconut oil tasting like soap, maybe try adding some form of sweetener like honey and a TON of cinnamon to it and use it on toast as a spread??  After reading up on coconut oil I'm so convinced it's worth trying to find ways to sneak it in. :)

post #8 of 13
Re coconut oil, I hate the taste too. The two ways I can get it down are 1) blended into a smoothie or something else that also includes coconut milk, and 2) just straight up swallowing a big glob to get it over with fast. It's never tasted right to me in baking, sautéed dishes, or on grains. Oh one excetion to baking: a friend makes an awesome raw vegan key lime pie with coconut oil and avocados, that would definitely help with weight gain!
post #9 of 13

The brewers diet is a really good pregnancy diet to follow for optimal health {and weight gain}. It also gives suggestions for vegan, vegetarian protein sources. 

post #10 of 13

I agree with hotsauce, lentils are awesome!  Try lentils and rice or rice and beans - those combinations provide complete protein, are pretty much one of the cheapest meals you can make, AND are easy and make good leftovers. Plus there are endless varieties you can make using different spices/sauces/etc.


A recipe I make a lot is a version of this called Kichiri - http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=522340


I use brown rice so it take a bit longer to cook.  Use fresh ginger if you can.  Also, I used cumin, tumeric, and coriander for the spices instead of cardamom and cinnamon.  Serve with fresh cilantro if you want.

post #11 of 13

I love a lot of the advice you have already gotten.  Might I encourage you to try to get some beef somewhere though?  It's going to be a lot more affordable than fish, protein bars, coconut yogurts,and all that.


Get the cheapest in your area (for me that's ground beef, liver, and some roasts).  On sale and make it stretch.  You could seriously probably invest 5-7 bucks a week on a little beef and it's going to help you a lot.  1 lb of ground can be two meals if you need it too, stretching it with lentils and shredded vegetables( my basic base is beef, shredded veg, and a couple ounces liver, in the food processor.  That goes into chili, spaghetti sauce, soups, tacos, sloppy joes, etc).  You will get a lot of nourishment from this.


Also, I agree with eating loads of produce, and the coc onut oil.  I know you should try to not stay underweight, but I'd be more concerned about getting in enough nutrients that what your actual weight ends up being.

post #12 of 13

One thing I've done with coconut milk is freeze it in ice cubes to use later.  A whole can is usually at least $1.25 around here, and that way I can still add it to foods (or even just my own smoothies) without feeling like I just went to Diary Queen (in both the calorie and budget busting departments).  I have an SIL who has a liberal hand with the coconut oil in her food and let me tell you, one weekend of eating so much of that and your insides will notice a difference.  Not sure if its good or bad but all that fat makes me feel funny, like my stomach is oily.  Alot of Indian recipies for lentils etc call for just a tablespoon or two aka one ice cube.  Or just melt one and add it to your own food.

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

thanks everyone for the awesome ideas. i know that nutrition is more important than weight, i just want to make sure that i'm not wasting away myself because all my calories are going to belly bean and nursling. i feel like i'm doing better/figuring out what/when/how i need to eat now. i just wasn't prepared for the difference this time nursing and pregnant at the same time. i still haven't gained any weight, but i feel better, like i'm getting what i need. and i've got friday's shopping list made up to include coconut milk, and other good fats and protein. and, i think i may be able to eat eggs as long as i only eat the yolk. dd only seems to have a reaction when i eat the whites. thanks to everyone for helping me brainstorm, and also reassuring me a bit.

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