Can We Talk a Little About Weight Gain? -- (Esp. Moms of More Than One) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 02-22-2011, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Before I gave birth to DS I was never a person who thought about weight/body stuff...maybe cuz I was genetically fortunate to be able to eat whatever, not exercise, and remain slender....  I gained 50 lbs when pregnant with DS (I don't think I was eating crazy amounts of food or anything) and lost most of it within 6 months of his birth.  But, I never lost the last 10-15 lbs (I think it's all mostly in the tummy/thigh area).  Also, DS was 9 lbs. 7 oz. and a nurse told me that if I'm careful about what I eat, esp. in the third trimester, I could maybe have a somewhat smaller baby the next time around.

 

So, this has me thinking about weight gain this time around and the fact that they still say 25-35 lbs is the ideal weight gain for women who are not over or underweight.  I'm not about to count calories or grams of fat...but I wonder what I can do this time around to have a smaller weight gain.  I have a Leslie Sansone DVD (walking-based low impact aerobics) that I could try to do regularly...there's a 30 min. workout, 45 min, and 60 min.  And I could try to stick with low-fat yogurt and low-fat frozen desserts (sorbet, frozen yogurt) when spring/summer rolls around.

 

Anyone else have some sort of plan?

 

Did anyone find they gained more with their first than their second?  Or that, even if they gained as much with the second, that they easily got back to pre-second-pregnancy weight?


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#2 of 17 Old 02-22-2011, 01:53 PM
 
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Hi,

 

This is such a loaded area for sooo many women.  It is good that you're not focusing too much on calories and fat or number of pounds.  This is my first, so I'm not speaking from previous experience, but I'm also in school to be a midwife, where we put a lot of emphasis on nutrition.  The number of pounds gained is totally arbitrary and unique for each woman. 

 

While there are risks for gaining too much weight, the risks are more associated with the *nutrition consumed* rather than the pounds gained.  Meaning, if a woman eats a ton of junk food (too low protein, very high sugar/ processed food, few fresh foods), she may gain 50 lbs or 25 lbs, but both are not so healthy...  She'd have an increased risk for gestational diabetes, which could lead to macrosomic (very large) babies.  However, it is not necessarily the pounds she gained that is the issue, but the nutrients she ate (or didn't) that contribute to many of the risk factors.

 

Good nutrition is sooooo important while pregnant, because our bodies are doing amazing things.  The nutrution we eat helps our babies' brains develop. Frequent meals/snacks are awesome, and ideally, all meals and snacks should contain a whole grain, a protein source, and a fresh fruit/veggie.  Our systems are totally on overdrive helping our babies grow, so our need for protein really increases.  There is also some evidence suggesting that women who consume more protein have lower levels of preeclampsia.

 

With that said, obviously pregnancy is not the time to diet, or restrict our food in any way (though making healthy choices is definitely important).  Our babies are developing so much and they need all the good stuff we're eating, so we should be eating lots and lots of good stuff...

 

Exercise during pregnancy is awesome... The DVD you were talking about, as well as yoga, walking, swimming, dancing. While it is generally not a great idea to diet during pregnancy, exercising during pregnancy has so many benefits.  The obvious ones is that it can help keep excessive weight gain in check.  It will also help your body during labor (labor tends to be easier), and women tend to recover more quickly after giving birth.  It is thought that exercising moderately can also strengthen baby's heart.  Also, though it sounds counter-intuitive, exercise can really help with fatigue.

 

Personally, I'm planning on maintaining my activities, for the most part, as much as I can during pregnancy.  My husband and I both run, and though I have already gotten slower, I plan on running for as long as it feels comfortable.  I do zumba and some yoga, and lots and lots of walking.  Our community pool is under renovation, but hopefully they are complete before summer is here!  I do my best to eat healthy, though I'll certainly eat cake and ice cream when I want it.  My guideline if I want sweets is that I have to eat real food first.  I believe that even if I end up gaining 40 lbs during pregnancy, that doesn't matter if I'm active, exercising, and eating good healthy foods.  I think the risk of trying to avoid weight gain is much greater, because our babies are depending on our nutrition for their development.

 

Anyway, that's just my 2 cents.  It definitely is harder to be active in the winter in general, so keep up what you're doing!  Best of luck to you!


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#3 of 17 Old 02-22-2011, 02:01 PM
 
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I'm with you! I gained about 40 with my son (he's my only). I did weight watchers for nursing moms to get it off and now I am 5 lbs lighter than when I conceived last time. I really think for me, I will be thinking less about what I eat this time than I did then (as far as thinking, "did I get my butter today?"). I did Bradley Method and that method has you eat way too much, period. It has quotas for amounts of food and protein grams that do not take into account the different natural weights and heights of women. I want to gain 25 this time. That's about 2-2.5 lbs a month. There's a website called babyfit that after DS I swore I'd do next time, but next time is here and I'm not sure...it's not calorie counting, but it's tracking, etc. What are you going to do?


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#4 of 17 Old 02-22-2011, 02:37 PM
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I gained 30 lbs with my first, starting at normal weight for height, and am aiming for less this time. They say that pregnancy is not a time to diet but I have talked to a number of physicians and  midwives about this and none have expressed any concern over my ideas, i.e., limiting food to a reasonable amount for the purposes of keeping a tighter handle on weight. I'm not going to radically restrict food, but really, 2000-2500 calories a day is plenty to grow a babe for someone my size. I really don't think that limiting myself to 2-3 apples a day vs. the 5-6 I might otherwise eat is going to have negative impact on the babe. Some countries suggest a max of 9 kg (20 lbs) for normal weight women, which sounds about right to me. I do not want to have to work off an extra 15-20 lbs again. 5-10 would be fine, thank you very much. And if it helps keep the babe a little smaller, that's OK by me, too. DS was 9 lbs 5 oz. I really wouldn't mind an 8-pounder. I am not counting on it, though. I suspect that being careful about weight gain during pregnancy has much more of an effect on mom's weight than on the baby.

 

Say what you will about nutrition, I have definitely gained weight when not pregnant, eating a beautifully balanced diet of whole foods. When I sat down and tracked it, I was eating 3500-5000 calories a day of extremely healthy choices! I was exercising a lot, but it was still too much. You can get too much of a good thing, or at least I can. :) Maybe I am just overly fond of fruit, veg, eggs, nuts, legumes, etc. and therefore eat more than most women would, but as far as I am concerned, quality matters, but so does quantity.

 

All that said, I am having a slightly rough time so far. The only way I am keeping the nausea down is with frequent snacking, which I do not like doing otherwise. I am starting to rein it in now that the nausea is starting to ease up slightly, which is also making it easier for me to exercise more vigorously. (I don't exercise for weight control, though, only to feel good and improve health. All my weight control is through what I choose to eat or not.)


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#5 of 17 Old 02-22-2011, 03:29 PM
 
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I gained around 60+ lbs last time. I really hope to only gain around 25 this time. How do I plan on doing that? Not eating whoppers from burger king 4 times a week. Lol! I am trying to eat healthier this time than I did last time and also go to the gym a couple times a week (and going for walks once it warms up). I can't seem to find the motivation to go to the gym and nothing sounds good to eat though so neither of those goals are working too well.

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#6 of 17 Old 02-22-2011, 03:32 PM
 
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I ate what I wanted with my first and gained 30lbs. I was NOT thin but not overweight at the start of that pregnancy. But I swear I only ever lost 5lbs after I had him, so I ended up 25lbs over what I consider a not-skinny "normal" for me. He was 8lb6oz so that never made sense to me. But its what it was. I apparently put on weight PP (happened with my second preg too).

 

I developed GD with my second (in the third trimester, tested several times). I diet controlled with a lowish carb, whole-foods based diet (no sugars, no/little grains, no juice or liquid milk, restricted fruit, no starchy veg). Very nutrient dense food. I ate smaller meals, 6x per day. Didn't count calories, just made sure I was eating a good serving of fat and protein at every "meal". I exercised 1-2x per day whole pregnancy. I was not trying to lose weight but did for over a month, then gained VERY slowly, I ended that pregnancy maybe 13 lbs over the start. Baby was 9lbs. I lost about 10 lbs from ending preg weight and then at 8m, I went back to the no-grain, no-sugar diet and dropped 35lbs in 6 months. (making me, for the first time in over 5 years, back to my pre-#1 size. Which, let me emphasize, is not particularly small.)

 

Now, I pregnant with a surprise #3. I have to admit, its kind of hard to think of the weight gain, having just gotten back to what I think of "normal" for me. I plan to basically follow the GD diet that worked for me with #2. This is not to lose weight, but seems to be a healthy way for me. I will start spot testing blood sugar soon, and will basically assume I will develop GD, might as well eat for it from the get-go.

 

Hoping that means that weight gain will stay lower for me. Since I am not small to begin with, I'd be happy with 15-20lbs max weight gain, but okay if its more too.


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#7 of 17 Old 02-22-2011, 04:16 PM
 
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I started at 168lbs and after having a miscarriage and I retained 5 lbs only to get pregnant again a month later.  Then I gained 40lbs more with my first (weighing 10lbs 8 oz, born by C-sect) and lost all of it after 6 wks only to gain back about 20lbs.  I was 20 lbs over my normal weight at 188lbs, then got pregnant again and gained only 20lbs that time, still maxing at the same weight ~210 and delivered a 9lb 6oz baby by HBAC.  Then I lost it all after 2 wks and gained back 10 more lbs leaving me at 198lbs.  Then with my third I didn't gain any more than 5lbs until last 8-12 wks when I gained another 10lbs maxing out @ ~210lbs.  I watched my eating habits closely and if I noticed an increase in weight gain than I cut back a little on my portions to keep from gaining since I was so overweight already.  This helped a lot with keeping within the same weight that I had previously been.  I noticed and so did others that I can actually lost fat during the pregnancy, but I never starved myself, just was careful what I ate.  All-in-all, I weighed ~210 when I delivered my third by HBAC and I lost all weight and returned to my pre-pregnancy weight of 199lbs within 4 wks postpartum only to gain it all back a now I am about 2-3 from being at my pre-pregnancy weight.

 

My observations has been what I believe is an adjustment of my hormones and feeling ravished and then eating really often like I did in pregnancy, however, my choices are not as healthy post-partum and I struggle with eating too much and too often.  I'm working to get to my pre-pregnancy weight for the third pregnancy and then attack the extra weight retained and gained over the last 5 yrs very carefully as I am breastfeeding.  During my third pregnancy I was able to maintain a really healthy balance of my blood sugar by eating protein dense snacks and planning my meals to be very healthy.  When I am pregnant I don't crave sweets usually until the last trimester, so I don't have the same struggles as I do when I am not pregnant.  

 

I hope someone has some good inputs on losing while post-partum and breastfeeding.  I know you can retain up to 10lbs with breastfeeding, so I hope to at least loose the other 12lbs and then work on the other more slowly with smaller portions, better meal choices, and exercise.  


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#8 of 17 Old 02-22-2011, 04:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ~pi View Post

I gained 30 lbs with my first, starting at normal weight for height, and am aiming for less this time. They say that pregnancy is not a time to diet but I have talked to a number of physicians and  midwives about this and none have expressed any concern over my ideas, i.e., limiting food to a reasonable amount for the purposes of keeping a tighter handle on weight. I'm not going to radically restrict food, but really, 2000-2500 calories a day is plenty to grow a babe for someone my size. I really don't think that limiting myself to 2-3 apples a day vs. the 5-6 I might otherwise eat is going to have negative impact on the babe. Some countries suggest a max of 9 kg (20 lbs) for normal weight women, which sounds about right to me. I do not want to have to work off an extra 15-20 lbs again. 5-10 would be fine, thank you very much. And if it helps keep the babe a little smaller, that's OK by me, too. DS was 9 lbs 5 oz. I really wouldn't mind an 8-pounder. I am not counting on it, though. I suspect that being careful about weight gain during pregnancy has much more of an effect on mom's weight than on the baby.

 

Say what you will about nutrition, I have definitely gained weight when not pregnant, eating a beautifully balanced diet of whole foods. When I sat down and tracked it, I was eating 3500-5000 calories a day of extremely healthy choices! I was exercising a lot, but it was still too much. You can get too much of a good thing, or at least I can. :) Maybe I am just overly fond of fruit, veg, eggs, nuts, legumes, etc. and therefore eat more than most women would, but as far as I am concerned, quality matters, but so does quantity.

 

All that said, I am having a slightly rough time so far. The only way I am keeping the nausea down is with frequent snacking, which I do not like doing otherwise. I am starting to rein it in now that the nausea is starting to ease up slightly, which is also making it easier for me to exercise more vigorously. (I don't exercise for weight control, though, only to feel good and improve health. All my weight control is through what I choose to eat or not.)

I found sipping water all day rather than gulping it and going without it for an hour or two helped with the nausea as well as protein rich snacking.  Your goals sounds great.  I was able to keep my weight gain to 5lbs until last 8 wks or so and then gained 10 more.  I actually lost some of the extra fat by watching what I eat and eating what I needed, not more.  :-)


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#9 of 17 Old 02-22-2011, 04:48 PM
 
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I just read that the extra 300 calories a day needed for the baby does not come into effect until the second trimester. That makes sense to me. A baby the size of a rice ball doesn't need as much. So, with grace and exceptions, I'm going to continue to eat normally until the second trimester.
I'm "vegan 'til 6" (maybe some people have heard of this?) I eat healthy vegan until dinner and then I eat a healthy dinner that is not vegan, usually containing some meat.


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#10 of 17 Old 02-22-2011, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Amy May, for sharing your insights as a midwifery student.  I do plan to speak to my midwives about this when my prenatal appointments start.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy May View Post

Hi,

 

This is such a loaded area for sooo many women.  It is good that you're not focusing too much on calories and fat or number of pounds.  This is my first, so I'm not speaking from previous experience, but I'm also in school to be a midwife, where we put a lot of emphasis on nutrition.  The number of pounds gained is totally arbitrary and unique for each woman. 

 

While there are risks for gaining too much weight, the risks are more associated with the *nutrition consumed* rather than the pounds gained.  Meaning, if a woman eats a ton of junk food (too low protein, very high sugar/ processed food, few fresh foods), she may gain 50 lbs or 25 lbs, but both are not so healthy...  She'd have an increased risk for gestational diabetes, which could lead to macrosomic (very large) babies.  However, it is not necessarily the pounds she gained that is the issue, but the nutrients she ate (or didn't) that contribute to many of the risk factors.

 

Good nutrition is sooooo important while pregnant, because our bodies are doing amazing things.  The nutrution we eat helps our babies' brains develop. Frequent meals/snacks are awesome, and ideally, all meals and snacks should contain a whole grain, a protein source, and a fresh fruit/veggie.  Our systems are totally on overdrive helping our babies grow, so our need for protein really increases.  There is also some evidence suggesting that women who consume more protein have lower levels of preeclampsia.

 

With that said, obviously pregnancy is not the time to diet, or restrict our food in any way (though making healthy choices is definitely important).  Our babies are developing so much and they need all the good stuff we're eating, so we should be eating lots and lots of good stuff...

 

Exercise during pregnancy is awesome... The DVD you were talking about, as well as yoga, walking, swimming, dancing. While it is generally not a great idea to diet during pregnancy, exercising during pregnancy has so many benefits.  The obvious ones is that it can help keep excessive weight gain in check.  It will also help your body during labor (labor tends to be easier), and women tend to recover more quickly after giving birth.  It is thought that exercising moderately can also strengthen baby's heart.  Also, though it sounds counter-intuitive, exercise can really help with fatigue.

 

Personally, I'm planning on maintaining my activities, for the most part, as much as I can during pregnancy.  My husband and I both run, and though I have already gotten slower, I plan on running for as long as it feels comfortable.  I do zumba and some yoga, and lots and lots of walking.  Our community pool is under renovation, but hopefully they are complete before summer is here!  I do my best to eat healthy, though I'll certainly eat cake and ice cream when I want it.  My guideline if I want sweets is that I have to eat real food first.  I believe that even if I end up gaining 40 lbs during pregnancy, that doesn't matter if I'm active, exercising, and eating good healthy foods.  I think the risk of trying to avoid weight gain is much greater, because our babies are depending on our nutrition for their development.

 

Anyway, that's just my 2 cents.  It definitely is harder to be active in the winter in general, so keep up what you're doing!  Best of luck to you!




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#11 of 17 Old 02-22-2011, 05:15 PM
 
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With my first, I was very nauseated during the first trimester, and when the nausea disappeared, my appetite didn't return. I was overweight by a good 40 pounds to begin with, so I wasn't worried, but I kept losing weight, to the point where I had to have an ultrasound every four weeks to monitor the baby's growth. She was fine, it was mommy that wasn't thriving. I did at some point start gaining, but very slowly, and I ended up being 12 pounds lighter at 41 weeks than when I started out. Sounds ideal, right? Not so much. The constant pressure to eat, and the constant worry that I was depriving my baby, combined with an absolute lack of appetite was really quite horrible. 

Second pregnancy I fully expected the same, and when the nausea hit, I thought:"Here we go again!" but no. I was sick, but could eat anyway. I gained 26 pounds with that pregnancy, but my pre-pregnancy weight was 42 pounds lighter than with my first (I lost 30 pounds while breastfeeding my daughter, in combination with a healthy eating pattern) . So that was a reasonable gain, and it didn't take me all that long to lose most of it. 

This time around I am sick as a dog again, barely any appetite, but it's early in the game still. I have lost 2 pounds since my BFP, am now at 8 weeks 3 days, and so far am not worried about either gaining too much or losing too much. My pre-pregnancy weight was about 10 pounds higher than with my second, so I have some reserves. I'm making a concerted effort to eat healthy, as in: whole grains, low fat, plenty of protein, and lots and lots of water. A bit of common sense also comes into play... If I have a craving for Big Macs and fries, that doesn't mean I have to actually get them. Cravings pass. wink1.gif


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#12 of 17 Old 02-22-2011, 05:57 PM
 
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I agree! I have a much harder time with diet PP- I am MUCH hungrier, more tired, and can't devote as much time and attention to cooking and shopping. I did find, FOR ME, that a return to a much lower carb, lower grain way of eating really helped me to get back to a "normal" weight for me, and this time I plan to go to that at 6-8weeks PP rather than 8 months. (btw that "normal" is around 170, 5'6"... size 10.) Like I said above, I seemed to gain weight PP... . Good to know its not just me ;) I've never had any low supply issues, so once BFing is established, I am not worried that weight loss will be bad for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by natural&organicmom View Post

My observations has been what I believe is an adjustment of my hormones and feeling ravished and then eating really often like I did in pregnancy, however, my choices are not as healthy post-partum and I struggle with eating too much and too often.  I'm working to get to my pre-pregnancy weight for the third pregnancy and then attack the extra weight retained and gained over the last 5 yrs very carefully as I am breastfeeding.  During my third pregnancy I was able to maintain a really healthy balance of my blood sugar by eating protein dense snacks and planning my meals to be very healthy.  When I am pregnant I don't crave sweets usually until the last trimester, so I don't have the same struggles as I do when I am not pregnant.  


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#13 of 17 Old 02-22-2011, 08:11 PM
 
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I am in a different boat than many of you. I have loooooong struggled with my weight. I gained 40lbs with ds (starting at 20-30lbs overweight) which was totally disappointing to me as I was really trying to keep the weight gain in check. Even more disappointing was that I didn't lose a single pound after ds arrived - for over 2 years. Yep, on his 2 year birthday I weighed the same as the day before he was born. SO frustrating. I finally lost 30lbs in the past month & am now looking at how to not gain with this pregancy (as I am now sitting at 40-50lbs above what I would like to be).

 

Personally, I am working with a nutritionist. I am continuing to aim to lose weight for the 1st trimester (my care providers are ok with this plan) & then not gain for the remainder of the pregnancy if at all possible. I will continue working with the nutritionist for the remainder of the pregnancy to make sure I am getting everything I & the baby needs. Quite frankly I'm really not concerned about the baby - I know he'll get everything he needs & if there are shortages it will be my body that suffers. But we are working hard at making sure I get everything needed.

 

I also exercise 1-2 times daily (depending on the day - I do cardio daily & then weight workouts 3-4 times a week).

 

I know this sounds extreme to a lot of people but getting weight off is SO incredibly difficult for me I know that for my own well-being, physically & emotionally, I really need to be on top of this this time.


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#14 of 17 Old 02-23-2011, 04:24 AM
 
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Well i have ALWAYS struggled with my weight ever since i can remember. I was overweight when I FINALLY became pg with my DD in 2006 but I only gained 17 lbs thru out the whole pregnancy which i thought was good considering she weighed almost 8 lbs. I was lucky as my dr never made an issue about weight gain as long as I was eating healthy. After her birth I lost about 25 lbs using WW only to become pg again when my DD was 7 months old with my son. That time around I gained like crazy - I am talking 50 lbs!!! - and my son only weighed 5lbs 5oz...lol.. the whole pregnancy I kept saying I think he is going to be huge but nope it was just me being huge! I actually just lost 40lbs before becoming pg this time around using WW again ( i still had 40 more to go ) but I am determined to try to not let my cravings get the best of me - currently my craving is LIFE cereal and yes it is getting the better of me - I haven't gained any weight yet which only be 6/7 weeks i didnt expect to. I think as long as you don't live by the rule of - you are pg you can eat whatever you want - I should be ok  :)


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#15 of 17 Old 02-23-2011, 03:07 PM
 
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So you will aim to end your pregnancy lighter than you are currently?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post

I am in a different boat than many of you. I have loooooong struggled with my weight. I gained 40lbs with ds (starting at 20-30lbs overweight) which was totally disappointing to me as I was really trying to keep the weight gain in check. Even more disappointing was that I didn't lose a single pound after ds arrived - for over 2 years. Yep, on his 2 year birthday I weighed the same as the day before he was born. SO frustrating. I finally lost 30lbs in the past month & am now looking at how to not gain with this pregancy (as I am now sitting at 40-50lbs above what I would like to be).

 

Personally, I am working with a nutritionist. I am continuing to aim to lose weight for the 1st trimester (my care providers are ok with this plan) & then not gain for the remainder of the pregnancy if at all possible. I will continue working with the nutritionist for the remainder of the pregnancy to make sure I am getting everything I & the baby needs. Quite frankly I'm really not concerned about the baby - I know he'll get everything he needs & if there are shortages it will be my body that suffers. But we are working hard at making sure I get everything needed.

 

I also exercise 1-2 times daily (depending on the day - I do cardio daily & then weight workouts 3-4 times a week).

 

I know this sounds extreme to a lot of people but getting weight off is SO incredibly difficult for me I know that for my own well-being, physically & emotionally, I really need to be on top of this this time.




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#16 of 17 Old 02-23-2011, 06:01 PM
 
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I guess so. Very slightly lighter - but in reality it's more like finishing with less body fat than I started.


Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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#17 of 17 Old 02-23-2011, 06:09 PM
 
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I gained over 60lbs with my first but only 30 with my second. I'm hoping this time to keep weight gain to a minimum since I still have an extra 20lbs leftover from #2. I am looking forward to having a mainly spring/summer pregnancy because we live so far north it's impossible to get out much in the winter.


 partners.gif Married to an awesome dh for 5 years. energy.gifSweetpea, our honeymoon baby! (06/07), biggrinbounce.gif Little man (04/09), and rolleyes.gif our newest little guy (10/11).
 

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