Posts Tagged ‘weight gain’

When You Haven’t Lost the Baby Weight

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

When baby comes and you find yourself still struggling with your weight, here are a few things to consider.You find out you’re expecting and it is so exciting. That moment finally comes when you can wear the stretchy, maternity pants and the loose-fitting shirts. I don’t know about you, but I love the moment when I can finally ditch the jeans with zippers. You go through your pregnancy and have your little miracle baby, and then there is this saggy belly instead of this cute, hard belly.

All of us women have different bodies. We are different sizes and shapes. According to the American Pregnancy Association, these are guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy:

  • Women with a BMI (body mass index) of 18.5-24.9 should gain 25-35 pounds.
  • Women who are considered underweight with a BMI of less than 18.5 should gain 28-40 pounds.
  • Overweight women with a BMI of 25-29 should gain 15-25 pounds.
  • Women who are considered obese should gain 11-20 pounds if their BMI is over 30.

Now we don’t always fit into this magical category. For me, my BMI was around 19 pre-pregnancy and I have gained around 40 pounds with each pregnancy. This time around, I am well on my way.

When baby comes and you find yourself still struggling with your weight, here are a few things to consider.

  1. It takes time. It took you 9 months to gain the weight, so don’t expect it to fall off automatically. With my previous pregnancies, I lost all of my weight except the last 10 pounds easily. Those last 10 pounds were a struggle. I tried Weight Watchers, exercising regularly, and tried to count calories. I can tell you that before each of my three pregnancies, my weight has been within 5 pounds of where it was before. So, don’t stress momma. It will come off.
  2. Nursing helps. If you do decide to nurse your baby, breastfeeding will help your weight come off. One study done by the Danish National Birth Cohort showed that women who breastfeed are more likely to lose all of their baby weight within the first 6 months. As a mom who has nursed both of my babies over a year, let me tell you this wasn’t true for me. It did make me more health conscious, however. I was more aware of what I was eating, since in turn my little one was also getting what I was.
  3. Embrace your new body. Postpartum bodies are beautiful bodies, but even at the same weight, they won’t be the same body you had before. So, embrace your new body. Maybe you have a bigger bust or a booty you never had? It’s okay to not be the same. Treat yourself to some new clothes if you can. Remember, it’s probably been a year or more since you bought non-pregnancy or postpartum clothing. Changing styles can make as big an impact as a changing body.

Get creative with exercise post-baby. There are classes you can take and exercises you can find online that will help you get moving, and will also help you mentally as you recover from pregnancy and birth. Even just going for stroller walks can help. Use this new little person as a reason to get yourself healthy. Try new recipes, find new kid-friendly foods.

Take care of your emotional health, too. Find mom friends, get breaks for yourself, and find a hobby you love. Even if it just means watching Netflix alone after everyone is asleep, take the time to do something that makes you happy.

The weight will eventually come off, and if you’re like me, you may be pregnant again before you know it. You are perfect just the way you are momma, and now you have a little miracle. That’s totally worth the weight!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Arkansas. She needs to remember her giant baby bump is a blessing, not a burden.

Pregnancy Week 23: Swelling and Weight Gain

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Pregnancy Week 23: Swelling and Weight GainFor all pregnant women there must be some weight gain, and I am definitely no exception. Lately, I’ve been skyrocketing upward on the scale and with a healthy amount of swelling to boot. My hands look like sausages, my toes like cocktail wieners, and my shoes barely fit. I blame part of this on the heat–even in October, Oregon has had unseasonably warm weather. But mostly I blame the swelling on my cravings for salty and sweet foods.

Swelling, or edema as it’s medically called, just means that fluid from your body is pooling in your extremities. As your blood volume doubles to accommodate baby, so does all the fluids that support your body. I find my swelling is worst in the evening as I lay down to sleep. Between gaining weight and swelling, I’m a mess!

What You Can Do

One thing you can do is cut out salty and sweet foods– both of these tend to lead to water retention that will leave you looking like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man. Also avoid excess caffeine (no easy task for a tired preggo) and rest as much as possible, changing positions often. If you stand often then sit, stand if you sit a lot. If the swelling gets really bad, you can always try compression hose–those sexy, sexy nude-colored socks. If you are having issues with swelling, watch out for an increase in blood pressure accompanied with headaches, as these are warning signs for preecclampsia.

Foods like celery, parsley and cabbage help draw out fluids, so my favorite go-to tea has been parsley tea with lemon. Just hot water over a handful of parsley leaves with a lemon slice. This has been helping curb my craving for salty and sweet food and helping me stay on my new clean-eating fix to help slow the weight gain. I’m aiming for healthy, natural foods, staying away from junk at all levels. I used to follow this philosophy with my other two pregnancies, but this time around I admit I’ve been very lazy about my eating habits. That changes today!

Pia Watzig is a stay-at-home mom to two little boys with a third due Thanksgiving. She enjoys not being swollen!

Pregnancy Week 31: Side Effects

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Pregnancy Week 31: Pregnancy SIde EYou’re in the grocery store and they don’t have the right kind of canned corn you need to buy for your recipe. To a normal woman, it’s not a big deal. To a highly emotional, full-of-raging-hormones pregnant woman, it’s the end of the world. I’ve been thinking this week about some of the side effects pregnant women encounter.

Let’s start with pregnancy brain. Is it real or just a myth? While being pregnant doesn’t actually cause changes in your actual brain, it can affect your memory and thinking. Helen Christensen, PhD, of The Australian National University, says, “If you read pregnancy manuals and listen to pregnant mothers—-yes, there is such a thing as pregnancy brain or ‘momnesia,’ and there is also evidence from research showing deficits in memory.”

Being stressed out, nervous, or sleep deprived can definitely cause you to feel like you are suffering from pregnancy brain. Being pregnant also affects what holds your attention. Your intelligence isn’t affected, but your priorities in thinking are.

Here are some easy tips to combat pregnancy brain:

  • Have a sense of humor. This is temporary. You will feel like yourself again soon.
  • Write things down. Make lists or tell your spouse aloud what you need so one of you remembers.
  • Accept help. Let others help you and try to limit your daily responsibilities.

What about body changes during pregnancy? With my first pregnancy, I gained 44 pounds and developed an awful habit or snoring. My husband was not a fan. So far, I haven’t heard that I’m snoring again. One study claims that one-fourth of all pregnant women experience some snoring sleep disruptions during pregnancy, especially during their last weeks. Congestion, weight gain, and even the increase in blood pumping through your body can be to blame for this pregnancy symptom.

Vivid dreams can be caused by an increase of the hormone progesterone in your body. This hormone causes your emotions to flourish and your dreams to come to life at night. Ever have an incredibly real dream that you forgot your lunch, didn’t have time to fix your hair, and were going to be late for high school English? I have had that dream a few times this pregnancy. Many women tend to dream about their baby. What will they look like? Is it a boy or a girl?

Pregnancy is a roller coaster full of emotions and funny moments. Cherish each moment, momma, and take the time for a really good belly laugh. You may be forgetful now, but just remember that you are not forgotten!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of one and one on the way in Northeast Indiana. She is starting to take herself a lot less seriously as her pregnancy progresses. 

Pregnancy Week 30: The Weight is Worth It

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Pregnancy Week 30: The Weight is Worth itSwollen feet and fingers. Tighter shirts. Feeling chubby. As I go through my third trimester, I am starting to notice some of these side effects. Of course, during pregnancy you are going to gain weight. But how much should you gain? What can you do to keep it under control? How much is too much?

To start with, your doctor or midwife should figure out how much you weigh pre-baby and figure out your BMI or body mass index. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. If you fall into this bracket, then you should gain between 25-35 lbs. The question is, do many women actually stay in that weight gain range? With my daughter, I weighed 126 lbs. pre-baby. I am 5’8,” and my BMI was a 19. I gained 44 lbs. So did I gain too much weight?

Obviously women who are underweight, overweight, or who are having twins should aim to gain different amounts. Be sure to talk with your provider about what is healthy for you and your baby.

Here is exactly where the weight gain goes:

  • Baby: 8 pounds
  • Placenta: 2-3 pounds
  • Amniotic fluid: 2-3 pounds
  • Breast tissue: 2-3 pounds
  • Blood supply: 4 pounds
  • Stored fat for delivery and breastfeeding: 5-9 pounds
  • Larger uterus: 2-5 pounds
  • Total: 25-35 pounds

Throughout this pregnancy, I have noticed I am packing on the pounds much easier. Maybe the fact that it’s a boy is to blame? Maybe it’s because I am home and not working full-time this pregnancy? Whatever the reason, I am hungry all of the time! So, how can I get this weight gain under control? Here are some general tips:

  • Eat a healthy diet full of green, leafy vegetables and fruits.
  • Get plenty of exercise! (And get plenty of rest!)
  • Focus on the fact that you are growing a miracle, not on your expanding midsection.
  • Trim the fat on your foods. Opt for no butter, stay away from fried foods, and get your dressing for your salad on the side.
  • Follow the pregnancy diet if you are extra concerned about your weight gain.

Weight gain can add to the discomfort of pregnancy, so it’s important to be open and honest with yourself and your provider of your goals. Higher blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes, and even a higher risk of c-section are risks of gaining too much weight during pregnancy.

The important thing to remember is that your weight will eventually come off. Once your baby is born, you will lose much of the weight at first. With my daughter, I lost most of my weight thanks to breastfeeding. The last 10 pounds were not as easy to get rid of, but as I started my second pregnancy, I was right back at the beginning. Remember momma, weight gain is just part of the journey.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of one and one on the way. She loves to eat, but she wants to stay healthy for herself and her family more than anything.