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Robin D

Trying to gain weight on Whole30

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Hi everyone!  It's been quite awhile since I've posted on this forum, although I still follow it off and on.

 

I'm nearly 34 weeks pregnant with my second child.  During both this pregnancy and my last pregnancy I have had a hard time gaining enough weight.  My OB hasn't said a word, although my midwife (who will be delivering the baby) has mentioned that I need to gain more.  That was several weeks ago though, and she hasn't said much since.  Last time I weighed myself last week I had gained 13 pounds.  Baby girl #2 is moving fine and I am measuring right on time.

 

I'm trying to eat more, but honestly, I'm not starving with the heat and humidity we've been hit with in my area.  I also exercise 6 days per week (3 days of running 4 miles and 3 days of CrossFit).  I am not working out nearly as intensely as I am when I'm not pregnant, but still, I do get some good exercise.

 

Do you guys have any suggestions as to what foods I might want to try to eat more of?  I eat an avocado a day, plenty of meat, some nuts etc.  I know eating fat is good, but I'm really eating a lot.  I've been tracking my calories (yes, I know I'm not supposed to do this but I'm doing it to help me GAIN weight not help weight loss, so its okay in my book) and I'm eating between 40-50% fat, 35% carbs and 25% protein.  Should I change the proportion of fats/carbs/protein?

 

I sure wish I had this problem when I wasn't pregnant.  As an endurance athlete I can't seem to eat enough or lose any weight when I want to because of all the exercise I get.  I'm hungry all the time then!

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The current recommendation for weight gain during pregnancy is 25-35 pounds if your weight was in the "normal" range prior to pregnancy. Those who started out underweight may need to gain more and those who were overweight to begin may need to gain less. (That's an "ask your provider" question.)

 

A substantial portion of the weight gain occurs during the final weeks of pregnancy when your body is working to lay down fat stores in preparation for nursing. I'm sure your provider has already quoted you the bit about 1-2lbs of weight gain per week during your third trimester. In general, what's more important than the absolute numbers are the trends. If you're steadily gaining and you and baby are healthy then that's the goal. If your midwife isn't continuing to bring it up, I'd take that as a sign that she's happy with your progress. If you're worried about it, give her a call  to make sure.

 

As far as what to eat, don't forget your starchy veg. Fat is great for increasing total calories, but it's also recommended that pregnant women slight decrease their protein consumption while increasing carbs to compensate. Melissa has previously linked this article in her writings about pregnany and food aversions.

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I would like to point out that in other countries, especially France, the maternal weight gain numbers are significantly lower than in the US (a maximum of 10kg, or about 22 pounds. Obviously you're still under that number, but less overall. My best friend only gained 20 pounds with her pregnancy and had no issues with nursing, maternal or baby health. Your baby might be lower weight (hers was high 6 lbs) but still well within the normal range. Of note, this friend also still kept exercising (mostly weight lifting) throughout her pregnancy, so that could also have something to do with it.

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If your OB hasn't said anything, maybe things are okay where you're at - you said the growth of your baby is good and you're measuring on track.  I only gained 18-20 lbs with each of my pregnancies (and started off completely normal weight) and actually measured a little behind with all my kids, but with additional ultrasounds it was just that my kids were really tucked in there.  For the record I had two over 8 lb. babies so they weren't small either :)  At just over 30 weeks, I had only gained 15 lbs. so I did gain that extra 5 lbs. toward the end.

 

I know that didn't answer your question about what to eat, but I agree with MrsStick that sometimes I think the thinking of having to gain 'x' number of pounds is what's needed.  As long as baby is ok and you're measuring on track, I wouldn't worry if it were me.

 

Oh- and I also exercised a lot while I was pregnant - I ran or did a HIIT workout 5-6 times a week yet still ate plenty of food and didn't workout so I wouldn't gain weight but just to stay in shape and feel good.  Again, sorry I didn't answer your question, but if you're not truly hungry, I wouldn't think it would feel good to stuff yourself with more food :)  The only thing I can think of that's a calorie bomb to get more intake would be smoothies but that pretty much completely defeats the purpose of whole30.

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Thanks everyone for the reply thus far.  I don't pay much attention to recommendations, honestly, because there is so much variation from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy that those recommendations are meaningless.  And thank you, MrsStick, for pointing out that the weight recommendations are different than in the US.  I always thought that 35 lbs would make me miserable; I'm 5' 1 1/2 and a size 4 with a distant history of back pain and always thought gaining a bunch of weight would re-ignite my back pain. 

 

I often wonder if maybe the fact that we some of the worst maternal health outcomes of any industrialized country isn't because of some of the very recommendations (not to mention the interventions) that we push on women during pregnancy.  But I digress....

 

I am trying to include starchy vegetables at every meal but I will really push it in the next few weeks.  I barely gained 20 pounds in my last pregnancy and my daughter was a health 5 lbs 14 ounces.  I just want to make sure I can eat enough food and the right kind of foods to continue to slowly put on weight these last few weeks.  Thank you for your help!

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For pure caloric density, fat is one of your best options. Plus you can know that you're doing baby a favor...brains have a lot of saturated fat in them so you're just helping baby have the best chance possible!

 

Your last baby was on the smaller end so it just figures that this one probably will be too based on your weight gain so far. But as a small woman you wouldn't be able to handle the size baby I'll probably have (I'm 5'10.5" and hubby is 6'3"...) purely on a biological standpoint. So you can subtract two pounds right off of the US weight gain recommendations since they assume a 7 lb baby.

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I wonder the same things about the recommendations we give here in the US.  Honestly, some of the stuff that is common here is ridiculous!  

 

I doubt this will make you feel better, but I'm currently down 6 pounds from where I started this pregnancy and I'm 26 weeks.  I am much heavier than you are, of course (technically obese, sad to say).  But, that's just is what has happened.  I wasn't trying to lose weight.  At first I was too nauseated to eat.  Now I eat as much as I want and it just isn't turning into pounds on the scale.  I am not worried in the least.  I'm still exercising and all that, of course.  I read that squats and planks help develop muscles that can make labor easier.  That's all I had to hear to do them.  Anything I can do to make my labor go more smoothly when it happens I am going to do.  Exercise is a must, IMO (which clearly you already know).  

 

But back to your point, I think it is insane to tell someone my size that they need to gain any weight at all, and certainly not 20+ pounds.  I started at 194 (I'm 5'6") and I'm 188 now.  I haven't had to try at all to lose this weight, it just happened.  Honestly, I wish I could lose weight this easily when I'm not pregnant...

 

I often wonder if maybe the fact that we some of the worst maternal health outcomes of any industrialized country isn't because of some of the very recommendations (not to mention the interventions) that we push on women during pregnancy.  But I digress....

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