I went to the doctor last week. I was in my 25th week of pregnancy, so it was a pretty simple checkup. I was weighed and measured. My blood pressure was checked. I heard my baby’s heartbeat on the handheld Doppler. Everything measured well except my weight. I’ve gained about 27 pounds so far, but nine of those pounds were in the past four weeks.
|Photo via losingweight.com|
The nurse practitioner decided to go over a list of things that I should be eating, should not be eating and what to watch for in my food. I can’t have coffee or tea due to the caffeine, plus a kidney stone scare that may or may not even be warranted. Dairy products, even lean ones, have to be kept at a minimum (kidney stones again). I need to watch my carbs. I need to watch my sugar intake. I should not eat a lot of fruit. According to my nurse practitioner, if I cut up an apple, I should only eat half of it. I said that I eat plain oatmeal for breakfast and she raised an eyebrow. She told me to be careful there. I should add here that my blood pressure was “perfect” according to the stat nurse. I have not yet taken my glucose test, so we will see what happens with that.
I realize that gaining too much weight during pregnancy can be a major health issue, but I left my visit feeling like I had been put on a diet. Instead of feeling like a beautiful woman who has the power to grow a human, I left the appointment feeling bad. I gained close to 40 pounds with my first daughter and lost all but five of those pounds by the time I returned to work seven weeks later. I took morning walks with my daughter, ate relatively healthy and breastfed. I did not starve myself, hire a personal trainer or count calories. I decided that my body must have just needed those extra pounds for one reason or another. Gaining 25 – 30 pounds during a pregnancy is not my body’s way of doing it.
So I am being more mindful of what I eat, especially my sodium intake. I already drink a lot of water in a day, but am trying to drink even more. I’m eating half of an apple. I’m still eating my morning oatmeal. My husband bought me a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day and I ate three pieces last night.
I’m walking regularly and doing an exercise class on my Wii or at the Y about twice a week. I chase three kids around several days per week and just getting them in and out of their car seats works up a sweat. I will not be reduced to carrot sticks and low-carb thin sandwich-slice bread for the duration of my pregnancy.
I’d like to hear what other women think about weight gain during pregnancy. Did you stress about it, or decide that it was the least of your worries? Do you think doctors are too harsh on pregnant women about weight gain, or do they have reason to be?
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