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question on healthy weight gain

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

i've noticed that i haven't really gained much in the last 6-7 weeks. i'll be 30 weeks on Saturday and have so far gained 20lbs, which apparently is within the normal range. but i haven't had a steady weight gain, i think. the last 6-7 weeks i've hovered around the same weight.. i might have gained 2lbs during that time. 


i'm a vegetarian (lacto) and have struggled to get enough protein in. my last visit to the OB revealed that i'm moderately anemic. (i also had to take the 3hr GD test today since the 1hr one came back with slightly elevated levels.. not sure if that is related at all, though.) 


i've read somewhere that if i don't get enough protein in, that my baby might have a low birth weight. how bad would that be if that were to happen?

DF wonders if the baby is gaining weight steadily, but i am not, whether i might be actually "losing" weight. is that possible? 


anyone any thoughts, input? 

post #2 of 19
How many grams/servings of protein do you think you eat per day? What does the rest of your diet look like?
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by mrsandmrs View Post

How many grams/servings of protein do you think you eat per day? What does the rest of your diet look like?


i know i need 70g of protein per day so i'm aiming for that. however, i don't know much about nutrition, so i might be having "incomplete" proteins or whatever they're called..


on a normal work day i eat

1 bagel or "protein bread" sandwich for breakfast - 10-15g

snack - protein bar (10-20g)

lunch - whatever my work serves / pasta (with tofu, on good days). if i spot beans or anything else protein-related, i will have that.

snack - protein bar (10-20g)

dinner - whatever DF makes (he tries to cook stuff with protein in it - i try to have fake meat a few times a week but that's an ideal.). otherwise bagel or protein bread sandwich (10-15g)

dessert - greek yoghurt (21g)


that should add up to 61-91g of protein in a day. although i don't know whether those protein bars are really that useful? 


basically i feel like i'm eating all the damn time, i can't possibly eat MORE. but it's possible i'm eating the WRONG stuff. 


i usually eat a lot of fruit and i like cheese. 

post #4 of 19

I believe the theory that vegetarians have to eat certain combinations of foods to get complete proteins was debunked.  (http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/2006/10/articles/diet-myths/)


And it looks like you are doing fine, making an effort to make choices of protein rich foods.  Do you eat eggs?  Most veggies contain protein, too, so eating lots and lots of veggies is a good idea.

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by lilmamita View Post

I believe the theory that vegetarians have to eat certain combinations of foods to get complete proteins was debunked.  (http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/2006/10/articles/diet-myths/)


And it looks like you are doing fine, making an effort to make choices of protein rich foods.  Do you eat eggs?  Most veggies contain protein, too, so eating lots and lots of veggies is a good idea.


i don't eat eggs. that would make it a bit easier i'd think.. 


THANK YOU for sharing that link!! i've never heard of incomplete proteins before i got pregnant.. and then i've heard of it from like 2-3 different people. so i really thought i had totally missed out on some essential protein knowledge.

post #6 of 19

i think certain vegetable greens like kale and swiss chard have good amounts of protein plus all the other good stuff they have. 


what about smoothies? 


this website might be useful to you on getting ideas for protein. 




if you go to THE DIET link they have a bunch of ideas on food groups you can eat, they have vegetarian and non-vegetarian choices grouped together by the way. 

post #7 of 19

Steady weight gain isn't an issue.  I'm an omnivore and I can go three weeks at one weight and then all of a sudden be up three pounds (for good, not just water weight) on week 4 or 5.  To my knowledge, that isn't necessarily indicative of anything good or bad.


Like lilmamita said, there's no such thing as having to combine certain foods at a meal to make a complete protein.  The key is variety.  Your RDA of protein as a pregnant/lactating mom is going to be 70 (ish) grams per day.  If you don't eat eggs, you'll have to make a more concerted effort to get enough protein, IMO.  Per HappyCow.net (a veg resource guide), here are some of the following good sources of vegan protein:


Protein in Legume: Garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, navy beans, soybeans, split peas

Protein in Grain: Barley, brown rice protein, buckwheat, millet, oatmeal, quinoa, rye, wheat germ, wheat, wild rice

Vegetable Protein: Artichokes, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, green peas, green pepper, kale, lettuce, mushroom, mustard green, onions, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, turnip greens, watercress, yams, zucchini

Protein in Fruit: Apple, banana, cantaloupe, grape, grapefruit, honeydew melon, orange, papaya, peach, pear, pineapple, strawberry, tangerine, watermelon

Protein in Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, cashews, filberts, hemp seeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts (black)


What do you normally put on your protein-bread sandwich or bagel when you have it for breakfast and/or dinner?  By having a nut butter on it or oodles of veggies, you're probably right around where you should be for your daily protein level.  Nut butters and whole grains should be your BFF right now!


It's been my experience that anemia can sometimes be tied to low B12 levels as well, so since you're not eating eggs or meat, I would make sure you're taking additional B12 with your care provider's blessing.  Despite taking Floradix and blackstrap molasses/OTC iron supplements, on my two vegetarian/vegan pregnancies, I was borderline anemic (10.4 down from a 12.3 starting level).  We later determined that it was low B12 levels that were sandbagging my hemoglobin counts.  6 months of continued postpartum supplementation with B12 (pills, not shots) and iron turned things right around for me.  Also, calcium-containing foods inhibit your absorption of iron, so if you're only borderline on getting enough iron, you may want to watch your cheese intake, or space it further away from your supplements or the times when you eat iron-rich foods.


As far as what happens with a low birthweight (LBW) baby, it depends on just how low the birthweight is and what exactly your doctor was trying to imply by stating this.  If you deliver at full term and your baby is over 6 pounds, he/she will just be a small baby and will likely catch up.  But if you're looking at intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)  or small for gestational age (SGA) then it may get more serious both in terms of what happens post-delivery at the hospital and what that may mean health-wise for your baby.  SGA babies usually catch up by age 2 without any lasting effects, but IUGR babies are at increased risk for stillbirth and neurological development issues.  That being said, I am sure/hoping that your doctor was just trying a sort of "scare" tactic to encourage you to watch your iron and protein now and if you were truly at risk for either IUGR or SGA that he'd be more forceful in his recommendations.

post #8 of 19
Im just on my phone, so it's hard to type much. I would just add that you might try alternating some snacks - like two slices of cheese instead of one of those9 proteiin bars.i also make a protein smoothie for at least one meal a day. I mix 1 banana, 1/3 milk (i prefer soy), some peanut butter, 3 tbsp of hemp protein powder, 1.5 scoops of whey protein powder, 1.5 tbsp cocoa, a few ice cubes and 1 cup of greek yogurt. Our recipe has over 50g of protein, which helps me hit my goalsa lot easier.

Good luck!
post #9 of 19

I am vegan and this is my second pregnancy.  My midwife for the first pregnancy wanted me to aim for 100 g of protein a day!  It was impossible.  I would stress about it but could not possibly eat that much.  I probably ate between 50-70/day most of the time.  My son was 8 1/2 lbs and very healthy.  THis pregnancy I probably don't eat as much protein as I should be but I am not letting myself stress over it either.  I do my best which on some days is probably only half the amount recommended and on others it may be close to the recommended amount.  I guess what I am trying to say is to do your best but don't let it cause you stress.  As long as you are aware of it, as it seems you are and are making healthy choices that do have protein in them, I would think you'd be fine as will baby.  


ETA- I only gained 21 lbs with my first pregnancy over 42w 6d and he was still a bigger baby.  I have gained more with this one - 28lb at 33w but I started out less than with the first. Weight gain is not always an indicator of a healthy/unhealthy pregnancy, 

post #10 of 19
I'm starting to gain all the sudden since July, about 5 pounds now which worries me, but sadly, not much can be done. I can't deny myself food and can't do any workout for any duration. The baby is sitting so low. Confirmed this by the midwife. Great for labor she says, should shave hours off of it! Not great for general mobility so gaining weight will be inevitable won't it?

I am struggling with protein too! I feel like I eat more cheese and dairy then any normal person should. Eggs are great but still make me a bit queasy no matter how I cook them. If I don't cook them I eat WAY more. I cook them most of the time.

What about "flax" eggs in a veggie scramble or you could do a soy chorizo from Trader Joes? I've been told wheat and soy are major ingredients to avoid with hypothyroidism so I try and stay away buy I really like TJs brand. I'm hitting a major wall with salads and just can't stand to make them. The only thing I want is fruit and comfort foods like beans and cheese, tamales, pizza (though i always regret it due to mass bloat), Thai and Greek food, bread-y types of things. What can ya do?
post #11 of 19
Lentils have a good amount of protein and they are so good made into a soup. Yum! Also quinoa has a good amount too.
post #12 of 19

Nuts and nut butters are also a great source of protein and healthy fats for baby's brain development.  I carry nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans) around with me in my purse at all times and just reach in and snack on them throughout the day.  And nut butters can be added to smoothies along with nut milks (soy or almond) for extra protein.

post #13 of 19
I agree! Nuts and dried fruit are a GREAT snack!

I'm 32wks and about 5 days. DH told me that he was reading BabyCenter's email about 32wks and its the beginning of a growth spurt where average weight gain is about 1lb a week for mom. O_o

lol.gif I don't subscribe to those stupid emails because of the stupid "advice" but DH is very happy to read them! It's cute.

I as you mentioned have not gained much of anything since the beginning of July and now find myself at the max weight I wanted to gain! Eeek. I ended up vowing to take more walks and really tighten up my diet. Which isn't good still-- I dislike most meals and really feel I don't eat much at all. I've not gorged myself in anything and stop when I'm full.

Are you 32wks yet? I believe I remember you being a week or two ahead. Have you noticed any sudden weight gain?

Edit-- I see you are about 35wks now?
post #14 of 19

tilly, I think your question was for the OP, but I'll chime in anyways. orngtongue.gif

I'm 34 weeks today and in the past two weeks I gained 5 pounds (wowza).  I thought I had kinda slowed down my weight gain by really getting more disciplined about diet and cutting out sugar and refined flours, but apparently not.  Thanks for telling me about the growth spurt, I'll chalk it up to that.  I'm trying to not get too hung up on weight, though.  Just trying to make healthy choices and assume my body and the baby will do what they need to do.

post #15 of 19

I read this thread this morning, and am glad I did, since I gained 3 lbs in the last 2 weeks and just chalked it up to the growth spurt. I'm in week 33 and definitely feeling the baby is bigger.  ;)

post #16 of 19

Yep me too... she's moving differently. Oh yeah aaaaand I just decided it was OK to have 4 slices of Cinnamon Strusel bread from Costco. Hrmm.


Aidenn-- this is all your fault! ROTFLMAO.gif

post #17 of 19
Tilly that bread sounds amazing! And now i want some...
I'm having a hard time eating a whole meal but am hungry less than an hour later. Oh the joys of near constant snacking.
post #18 of 19

Lets see, I started at 127lb and I'm 145lb as of last wed Dr. visit at 36weeks... so I've only gained 18lb? 


I'm not the best eater. I drink more water then I do eat. Morning breakfast is usually consists of my huge class of prune juice followed by a handful blueberry's in my mini wheat's cereal. The non frosted kind, I'm not a huge fan of sugar. Since I'm lactose intolerant, I substitute with watered down almond milk or lactaid milk. Lunch varies, Since  we order from work. Sometimes a grilled chicken wheat wrap, salad  or a PB&J on whole wheat bread. I try to remember to bring a fruit with it if my lunch doesn't come with veggies. Other wise I'll eat a whole plate full of steamed green beans or broccoli. no butter.  I get home late at night so dinner is pretty non existent. Sometimes I'll nibble on some crackers with a little bit of peanut butter on them. Or steal a cookie if I have them ^^.

post #19 of 19
I started out at tiny 101 or so and was 138 at my appointment on Tuesday. So 37 lbs gained. I'm also 37 weeks. Lol I always gain about 43lbs each birth and this is no different. Guess my body has a set point. My midwife says I need the weight since I was a size 0 when I got pregnant. She see it as healthy and no matter how much I try to gain less even though this is the third babe for me I always gain the same amount and it takes over a year to take it all off again. greensad.gif not looking forward to that part.
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