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I think being overweight and pregnant can be tough for a lot of women. Not only are you worried about the health of your baby, but you are also consumed with thoughts about gaining weight. However, I’m here to tell you that being overweight and pregnant can be a joyous experience. In fact, pregnancy is the perfect time to get healthy. I have found that when you keep your weight in check during pregnancy it puts less pressure on post pregnancy. You’ll be less likely to have a lot of pregnancy weight to lose. I wish I had know during my first pregnancy.
My plus size pregnancies
My pregnancies with Honey Bee and Bumble Bee were completely different. With Honey Bee people were constantly trying to feed me! Family members were constantly offering me food and when I would turn it down, they got offended! “You don’t want to starve your baby” they exclaimed. So out of guilt I would take the food and eat it. I was also told by my family not to exercise because “it could hurt the baby”. You can guess what happened. I gained 80 lbs during that pregnancy!
I carried over 30lbs to Bumble Bee’s pregnancy. During his pregnancy I was more aware of my health and what I ate. Especially since I was already considered overweight. I was very proud of myself during his pregnancy. I only gained 22lbs and was back down to my pre pregnancy weight after delivery. I was still considered overweight, but I didn’t have any extra added weight to lose either.
Me during my 2nd pregnancy with Bumble Bee
During my time heavy lifting. I actually put on 10lbs of muscles. It was great for my appearance but not great for the scale. According to weight standards I am overweight. However, I didn’t let that deter me when I found out I was pregnant this time.
Me right before this pregnancy (3rd pregnancy)
My plan for this pregnancy was to gain a minimum of 10lbs. I am starting this pregnancy now 50lbs over my pre pregnancy weight with Honey Bee. It’s not anything I’m ashamed of though. I eat healthy and exercise but between pregnancy, breastfeeding, and heavy lifting my body has retained weight. Once my hormones settle I plan on seeing a doctor and healing my body.
So far this pregnancy I have not gained any weight and I’m almost in my 5th month. I’ve been following very simple guide lines, and it’s helped me control my weight gain.
how much should you gain?
The American Pregnancy Association gives guidelines on how much women should gain during pregnancy.
You should gain:
- 25-35 pounds if you were a healthy weight before pregnancy, with a BMI of 18.5-24.9.
- 28-40 pounds if you were underweight before pregnancy with a BMI of less than 18.5.
- 15-25 pounds if you were overweight before pregnancy with a BMI of 25-29.9.
- 11-20 pounds if you were obese before pregnancy with a BMI of over 30.
My BMI is over 30, so I should only gain 11-20lbs during my pregnancy. I checked my BMI through a Weight Watchers scale that my husband purchased.
Here are some things that I’ve been doing to help me manage my weight gain during this pregnancy.
Cutting out sugar
This was a a tough one for me. I love sugar. Seriously, if I could, I would live off of sugar. Now, the only sugar I TRY to consume is from my morning breakfast smoothie. Also, if I have a craving for something sweet I sip lightly sweetened tea or eat a jello. I feel like this has helped me tremendously. Now, I do sneak and have a little treat once or twice a week.
track my food intake
I track my food intake through My Fitness Pal. I don’t do it to try to restrict my calories. I track to make sure I’m not going over my sugar, fat, and carb grams for the day. I do occasionally go over my calorie limit, if I’m feel hungry that day. This app helps keep me accountable. I don’t track everyday, because I pretty much eat the same everyday. However, I do check in when I’m not quite sure of my calorie consumption for the day. Please talk to your doctor about how many calories you should be consuming each day.
eat whole foods
I notice eating whole foods help keep me fuller longer. Their caloric value is always low and filled with nutrition. I try to limit my consumption of processed food. Not only do they make me feel yucky, they take up too much of my calories. I love to eat. So I’d rather eat a BIG salad packed with vitamins than a tiny burger with high calories and little nutrition. Again, I do splurge every now and then.
I aim to try to workout 3 times a week. But honestly I’ve only be able to do 2 1/2 times a week. My energy level won’t allow me to do more than that. When I do workout I go to the gym and take a Body Pump class, swimming, or an at home workout great for pregnant women (I’ll post on that in a few weeks). I find that my body responds really well to these exercises.
watch salt intake
A large part of my weight came from water when I was pregnant with Honey Bee. No one taught me about the dangers of eating high sodium foods when I was pregnant with her. I ate a lot of frozen dinners and highly processed foods. This contributed to my weight gain. Now I watch my salt intake. Also, when I feel myself swelling I eat a banana. The potassium in the bananas’s help with releasing the water.
walk or move around after eating
I’m not sure if it’s true, but SOME studies claim walking after eating aids food digestion and improves blog sugar levels. I notice I feel less sluggish after a meal if I get up and move after eating. Give it a try and see if it helps.
Where do you start?
If you are overweight and pregnant, first consult with your doctor. Discuss a healthy amount of weight you should gain during your pregnancy. Next, feed your body properly and rest. Also, don’t be hard on yourself. Remember, sometimes you body has other plans. Just do your best. I really hope these tips help you have a happy and healthy pregnancy.
Weight Watchers Scale
Download Pregnancy Meal Tracker Pregnancy Food Tracker!