A big mama needs diet advice
August 4, 2008 8:15 AM   Subscribe

Pregnancy filter: What is this weight gain?

I'm about 60 pounds overweight and about 6 weeks pregnant. From reading stuff online, I see overweight women should gain in the range of 15-25 pounds during pregnancy, the majority of which in the second and third trimesters. I've gained about 2 pounds since I found out I was pregnant and I'm wondering if it's actually body weight or something else, like water, and should I be concerned? My first doctor's appointment isn't until the 15th, and I'm curious about this now.

I've tried to eat healthier now at 2-3 hour intervals and I've been taking prenatal vitamins. Average intake looks like this:
--1/2 c organic vanilla yogurt with blueberries and sliced almonds
1 pkg weight control oatmeal (for the added protein) with a little skim milk
--Peanut butter and all fruit spread on two slices 100 percent whole grain bread
--Black beans (cooked with onions, garlic and crushed tomatoes in chicken broth) and brown rice, orange
--Brown rice and seaweed soup (seaweed, tofu, shiitake mushrooms in chicken broth)
--chicken spaghetti (baked chicken, store pasta sauce, noodles, parmesan cheese) or another peanut butter sandwich
snacks include steamed broccoli, applesauce, popsicles and prunes. Sometimes I have high fiber and protein cereal with skim milk as well. If I don't have cereal that day, I have a glass of milk with one of my meals.

I know I'm low on veggies and I'm just not into meat right now, which is a big change from my regular diet. I have strayed a little and had things like a junior whopper when I was out and hungry, but I'm on a limited budget for the time being, so I'm trying to keep the eating out at a minimum anyway.

Am I eating too little? Too much? Any tweaks y'all can suggest will be helpful. I'll talk to the doctor about a nutrtionist, but since the appointment is two weeks away, I'd like to make some adjustments if I need to before then.

I haven't had problems with morning sickness yet and had to go off Lexapro cold turkey (GP's instructions), so I've been feeling too horrible to exercise, but the withdrawals seem to be better and will start walking and prenatal yoga. I just don't want to get as big as a house and have complications. Any help would be appreciated.
posted by lemoncello to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Quite frankly, 2 pounds isn't something you can measure, unless you're measuring from a known data point - as in, you've eaten exactly the same thing for two days beforehand, have the exact same hydration, exact same sleep. (My mean weight is about 165. That can vary from 160-170 depending on hydration and whether I've crapped yet that day.)

If you want to beanplate this, count your calories, and your basic nutrients. See where that gets you, first.
posted by notsnot at 8:24 AM on August 4, 2008

6 weeks and 2 pounds? No biggy.

I actually LOST weight in my 1st trimester and found, through internet and doctor, that this is totally normally. In my 2nd trimester I gained about 15-18 pounds . Now I'm at the beginning of 3rd and I'm actively gaining weight. The books, internet and doctor say 10 pounds in 3rd trimester is normal.

15-30 pounds is normal for ALL pregnancies. Keep eating healthy and feeling good and you'll be fine.

I'd also recommend for pregnany-related questions, although I <3>LiveJournal's pregnant group. There are lots of recently pregnant people on there and they are quick to answer.
posted by k8t at 8:26 AM on August 4, 2008

normally = normal
posted by k8t at 8:27 AM on August 4, 2008

This is NOT my day. I love Metafilter, but LiveJournal's Pregnant group may be more helpfulll.
posted by k8t at 8:30 AM on August 4, 2008

"How much total weight should I gain?

The amount of weight you should gain depends on your weight before pregnancy. You should gain:

* 25-37 pounds: If you were a healthy weight before pregnancy
* 28-40 pounds: If you were underweight before pregnancy
* 15-25 pounds: If you were overweight before pregnancy"

posted by k8t at 8:33 AM on August 4, 2008

Make good nutrition your goal. If you nurse your baby, which I recommend for the health reasons, as well as for the fact that it's just the nicest way to hang out with your baby, you may lose a lot of weight. For me, 1st 6 months of nursing, I lost some weight, 2nd 6 months of nursing, the weight just slipped away.
posted by theora55 at 8:54 AM on August 4, 2008

15-30 pounds is normal for ALL pregnancies.

no, not really, as stated above it depends on your body type and your being under/overweight or OK before you got pregnant
posted by matteo at 9:16 AM on August 4, 2008

I'm overweight, too, and about 13 weeks pregnant. During my first visit, my OB gave me some helpful, comforting advice about the whole weight gain thing. She said that for all pregnancies, including mothers who are overweight, she likes to see "10 in 20", that is, gain 10 pounds over the first twenty weeks. Then, after that, from what I've heard, nature can take hold and the weight can come on a little faster. But the 10 in 20 keeps you on a healthy track to start-- maybe you just gained the first two faster than most.

Also, on the diet front, I wasn't very into vegetables in the first trimester either, but I couldn't get enough fruit. Maybe go get a bunch of apples or peaches (which are great now!) and put them in a bowl where you'll see them when you go to the kitchen. A piece of fruit was often enough to keep me from getting all sicky between meals.

PS: Sometimes I think we know too much and it just makes us worry.
posted by weezetr at 10:23 AM on August 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Seconding notsnot, that 2lbs is within daily variance, so don't stress it!

Don't go on a weight-loss diet, as your body needs a proper intake in order to feed baby and you (your body makes baby the highest priority luckily). I can't tell at a glance whether your stated menu is low cal or just healthy, but aim for healthy. So, until the doctor's appt just focus on eating healthily, don't stress out if you aren't eating perfectly - plenty of women with morning sickness survive off nothing but water and crackers for weeks on end, and everything turns out fine for them :)

Oh, and congratulations!
posted by Joh at 10:51 AM on August 4, 2008

IANAM(other), and have never been pregnant, but as others have said, you can easily "gain" and "lose" 2 lbs several times over the course of a week or even a day.
posted by lunasol at 10:59 AM on August 4, 2008

I track my weight daily, and I gain/lose 2-4 pounds day to day depending on my salt intake. Don't sweat it. (No pun intended.)
posted by restless_nomad at 11:05 AM on August 4, 2008

Talk to your doctor. My doctor said the 15-25 lb guidelines could be crazy for some overweight women, depending on the size of the baby. She said that a woman who only gained 15-15 lbs but gave birth to a nine-pound baby would potentially have been losing weight.

And 2 lbs could just be water retention. No biggie.
posted by acoutu at 11:16 AM on August 4, 2008

Congratulations! I am 26 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child (in 3 years). With my each of my pregnancies, I started out between 200-210lbs (shhh don't tell) and have gained about 35lbs. So far, I am up 20lbs with this guy. I'm blaming it on the lack of morning sickness :) With my first daughter I threw up so much from weeks 7-16 that I lost 10lbs. Again with my 2nd I lost somewhere between 5 and 10lbs. This time, I didn't have the same sickness and didn't lose any. This is also my first boy. Coincidence?

My OB has never been concerned or even mentioned my weight as an issue. Keep eating as well as you can and let yourself have treats too.

Every pregnancy is different. Some people gain 15lbs some people gain 60+. Don't stress about weight at all unless your dr. advices you otherwise.
posted by Abbril at 11:17 AM on August 4, 2008

Best answer: I was also overweight when I delivered my daughter last year. You may want to look at the Brewer's Diet for guidelines on nutrition in pregnancy.

As for another data point on the weight gain issue, I gained probably 35 lbs. during the first two trimesters, and gained nothing more until the last few weeks of my pregnancy when I started retaining water like crazy. I delivered a healthy, big (very tall) baby who is now a beanpole toddler. The day I left the hospital, I weighed almost 30 lbs. less; within another week I lost another 10-ish pounds. My weight then stayed steady until nine months postpartum when I suddenly dropped another 15 pounds. (Yay for breastfeeding!)

So I would agree with Abbril's comment about not stressing unless your doctor says otherwise. Ir you're eating healthfully and getting daily exercise, you should be fine.
posted by Sully6 at 11:56 AM on August 4, 2008

I'm a huge fatty. And twenty weeks pregnant. I took myself off to a dietician very early in this pregnancy because I had gestational diabetes with my last pregnancy. My dietician, under her strictest of supervisions, is encouraging me to lose about 1 kilo a month. She said I've got heaps of fat on me, which I can use up and I should be severely limiting my portion sizes(1/2 to 1 slice of bread, never two etc).... my biggest downfall.

Other than than, "Don't eat more because you're pregnant" is her mantra. Oh, and "Get off your fat pregnant bum and do some walking". My obstetrician and g.p. are also happy with her... so I'm not freaked out. I wouldn't dream of doing anything like that without the supervision of a very well respected dietician... but it's better for the baby and myself if I don't gain weight.

With ToddlerTaff I lost weight over the whole pregnancy incidentally because I was exercising more and eating well.

Anyhoo... I'm happy to chat via email if you like. I suggest you write a food diary for everything you put in your gob before you see the dietician. It will save you one appointment... because every dietician is going to tell you to go away and do one and come back in a few weeks.

Good luck and congratulations lovie. When are you due?
posted by taff at 9:25 PM on August 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the reassurance; this is my first pregnancy and I guess I just got a little obsessed over the issue. I think I'll try the Brewer diet and then see what the doctor thinks.

taff -- It looks like I will be due in late March. I have a ways to go!
posted by lemoncello at 7:18 AM on August 5, 2008

Taff, that is so interesting. Here's an article that appeared in the New York Times Magazine a few weeks back on doctors encouraging patients to lose weight during pregnancy. I should note that the patients in this article are really morbidly obese (being weighed on a loading dock), not just your everyday chubbette.

(Lemoncello, a happy, healthy pregnancy to you!)
posted by Sully6 at 3:03 PM on August 6, 2008

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