I had a doctor's appointment earlier this week and it went really well. I'm always a little anxious before going to see the OB-GYN, but this time we had a lovely chat and nothing seemed to be wrong, so it all went well. Every time I visit the doctor, the assistant does a basic urine test and also checks my weight and measures my belly. It's interesting to see how my body is changing! It seems it has changed quite a bit since the last visit four weeks ago!
I have gained around 12 pounds in the last four months of my pregnancy. Let's have a chat about the realities of weight gain and pregnancy. This is an even more sensitive subject for me due to the large weight loss I accomplished prior to getting pregnant—almost 30 pounds! I had cut out most carbohydrates unless they were whole-grain based and was exercising at least 30 minutes a day. When I found out I was pregnant, I'll be the first to admit that I indulged in some French bread and butter—yum! I had to feed the baby, right?
Last week seemed to center around food and social situations, so I found it interesting that it flowed right into the basis of this week and what I was thinking about. I wasn't losing sleep over it or anything, but I'll admit I was feeling a little frustrated having to think about weight gain while basking in the wonders of my expanding waistline. Of course I asked my doctor and also investigated on my trusty computer, and discovered some interesting facts.
My OB-GYN was telling me that I only needed 100 extra calories a day to maintain my pregnancy and should only gain around 25 to 30 pounds for a healthy baby. Anything more than that could lead to diabetes or challenges during delivery—possibly a C-section. One hundred extra calories, that's like an apple added into the day! I'm hungry all the time! I consider myself a fairly healthy eater and eat out rarely. Looking online, I found a lot of the same information, but upping the caloric intake to 300 extra calories during the second and third trimesters, and giving a detailed explanation of how the weight is distributed in my body.
I admit, I'm still having a hard time allowing myself carbohydrates and not feeling guilty. If your partner isn't so excited about some of your new dietary additives—including the amazing craving combinations—try mixing them into your regular, true-blue recipes. I found that a veggie-based lasagna with whole-wheat noodles, thinly sliced tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, and spinach layered with light ricotta cheese was eaten without leftovers. I also added some healthy fish into the menu including broiled snapper sandwiches with thinly sliced red onions on whole-wheat pita bread and garlic cannelloni beans instead of potatoes. OK, so it helps that I like to cook, but I think you can find lots of ways to eat when you are hungry (which I am all the time, so you must be too) and not toss the scale out the window.
I've read so many things telling me not to eat this or that and I'm finding if it's in moderation, it's not going to hurt you. Enjoy that tablespoon of peanut butter with some carrot sticks, toss back a handful of crackers with cream cheese, and allow yourself a slightly soft-yolked hard-boiled egg. If you crave a chili cheese dog, steam that dog 'till the casing peels and chow it down like there is no tomorrow! If you're worried about eating something that is "bad" for you, I guarantee that you will find someone who tells you you shouldn't eat it, and 10 others who say that it is OK. So, whom do you trust? Go with what feels right and don't run to the scale or feel guilty afterward.
Waist measurement: 37 inches
Weekly weigh-in: 161 pounds
Pregnancy symptoms: I am hungry!
My pregnancy advice for the week: Make sure you are getting enough rest! I'm taking advantage of that one for sure! I'm definitely getting my husband to help out a lot more around the house and putting my feet up.
Pregnancy "first" of the week: Once again this week, don't have much to add to the "new" aspect of being pregnant. I started using a thicker lotion because my stretching skin is so itchy. It helped a lot!
Doctor's visit: Yes, four-week checkup.
About the Photo: The above picture of the author was taken during her 19th week of pregnancy by Dean Lipoff.
Read the next installment: week 20