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How I Manage Pregnancy Weight Gain

November 26, 2018

I had three babies in less than three years. I gained 27 pounds with my first, 25 with my second and 22 with my third.  Here’s how I did it…

I don’t f$#! around

I take nutrition very seriously (duh, I’m an RD), but when I’m pregnant I’m borderline psycho about it. I’m growing a PERSON. Everything I do affects their entire lives. That’s a gigantic responsibility. I’m conscious of every bite I take, every ingredient in the products I consume and I certainly don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever I want. Quite the opposite, actually.

I eat super clean

I don’t put anything in or on my body that’s not as clean and natural as possible. Not kidding, I think with my first I had M&M’s twice the entire nine months, with my second I may have had ice cream or cheesecake twice and with my third I honestly can’t remember one splurge (maybe pizza one night?!). I realize that might not be realistic for everyone, but I had zero cravings because of what I was eating so I just didn’t find splurges necessary.

I’m always super nauseous in the first trimester. With all three pregnancies I could barely eat until around 17 weeks so I actually lost weight (only like four pounds-ish) at first. During that time I ate whatever I could keep down and sometimes that was saltines and pasta. When I was out-of-control nauseous I’d have a sip of ginger ale — just enough to get past the worst of it. I probably drank a total of one can throughout all three pregnancies. I could have probably felt a little better if I had just downed more soda, but I know what’s in that crap and I’d rather feel like shit than feed that to my baby. (I did try a natural ginger ale once, but puked it up an hour later… I can never look at that product again lol.)

Once my appetite came back, I did have to reign it in. I did that by following a modified version of my 7-Day Cleanse; I ate more protein, fat and greens with less starches. (Specific instructions for the pregnancy modification are inside the Cleanse doc.) I always had sweet potatoes, fruit and other starchy veggies like squash and pumpkin, but I avoided bread and pasta completely.

I continued to eat two or three bigger meals per day most of the time, but at the end of pregnancy when there’s a seven-pound human pressing on my diaphragm and stomach, I find smaller, more frequent meals to be more comfortable. I still eat the same foods within those meals and make sure there’s always plenty of veggies in them.

I try to be active

I don’t gain a ton of weight and I’m long so I don’t get really big which makes pregnancy look “easy” for me, but trust me it’s not. I’m completely exhausted and short of breath the entire time. Doing any kind of formal exercise completely wipes me out and I end up on the couch crying. Instead, I walk. I’ll also actively try NOT to ask for help getting/doing things if I have any energy; every time I have to get up for something it’s an ounce of activity and it all adds up.

My first baby was the earliest delivery and I’m convinced it’s because we lived in NYC and I walked so much. When I was pregnant with my third I had a two year old and a baby to take care of and I was beyond exhausted so I didn’t get nearly as much exercise as I would have liked to. Her delivery was the latest and hardest and I’m sure my lack of physical activity didn’t help.

Lessons Learned

  1. If I’m ever pregnant again I’m going to try Simple Mills Almond Flour crackers to help with nausea instead of saltines. I’ll also try making ginger water.
  2. Walk more. Even if it sucks to get out the door.

This was when my second baby was 3 months old (about two weeks before I got pregnant again hahah)

Jenny Champion MS RD CPT

Dietitian. Mom. Boss. Read More

Xo Jenny

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