So you’re having a baby! Not many things are more exciting/terrifying than that. However, pregnancy takes on a whole new set of challenges when right out of the gate you are classified as overweight, chubby, obese, or whatever phrase you fancy. Have you ever googled something like “overweight pregnancy” or “obese pregnancy”? If not, I probably wouldn’t. The internet is just filled with horror stories about impossible deliveries, “maternal death rates” (awesome- thanks for that), and about a million reasons that your weight is the most horrible no good very bad thing you could have inflicted on this fetus. But yet here you are- not in optimal shape and happily pregnant anyway (gasp). Now what?
The truth is most overweight folks already know the health risks of being overweight. It isn’t a secret. So these articles that think they are teaching me something- they can f off. I’m just saying. What I wanted to know, and googled oh so desperately to find out, is “How can I get through this as healthfully as I can?” Turns out there is a lot of crappy advice out there so I decided to just formulate my own.
As you know I was mid weight loss when this pregnancy happened. Would it have been better 50 pounds lighter? Absolutely? Is there anything I can do about that now? Not so much. Soooooo, I have made it my goal to figure out what I can do to healthfully make it to the other side, bring my beautiful little running in pink project baby into the world, and then get back to business health and weight loss wise. Here are my top 5 tips for any overweight mamas to be out there….
1. Find a Doctor Who Isn’t a Giant A-Hole. Thank God I lucked out on my first try on this one. I joined up with a practice that has multiple docs and I got a great one. He talked to me about my weight, blood pressure, and other things but finished up with “we will get you safely through this”. THAT is what you want to hear. You might lose a pound or two during pregnancy if you are starting out significantly overweight but crazy weight loss isn’t in the cards for these 9 months. Nobody wants to be berated at visits nor do you need a lecture about your weight every 30 days (unless you are gaining outside of their guidelines of course). If your doctor isn’t supporting you through the process- FIND ANOTHER. It is your right to do this. Now, please don’t misunderstand- I am not saying find someone to misrepresent what you need to do to stay healthy but nobody deserves to be bullied. This was my biggest fear and I could not be more content and comfortable with my physician.
2. Eat Well. Basically eat real food, consume small meals, and don’t sweat the small cravings. This is kind of easier said than done in the first few weeks of pregnancy. When you are vomiting 10 times a day you can’t exactly get it up for a salad. I get it. Do the best you can. Right now I am getting one healthy meal down a day and trying to stay alive the rest of the time. And that week I couldn’t stop thinking about sweet cream ice cream from Coldstone? I had a small cup and lived to tell the tale. Since I have already been asked, I will post my daily eats soon.
3. All the Water! A nurse recently told me that drinking tons of water would be my key to an easier pregnancy. But the joke was on me because drinking water started to be my big precursor to barf-fest 2015. Soooo, I improvised to stay as hydrated as possible. I tried drinking small sips all day, incorporating juice, coconut water, low cal Popsicles, and pretty much anything else I could think of to keep me hydrated. Sadly, it took the better part of 10 weeks to get me to a place where I am taking in enough liquid but it is what it is. All you can do is your best.
4. Move More*. Honestly, nobody would ever tell you that now is the time to suddenly take up marathon running or cross fit ( though if you were doing those things pre-pregnancy you are likely fine to continue with your doctor’s blessing). Basically, a little moving goes a long way. And I get it- you feel gross and not at all like hitting the gym. You can go even smaller than that- take a short walk, try a prenatal workout on DVD, tread some water at the local pool etc. Getting some fresh air and just a little physical activity does go a long way with your wellness. I am finally feeling well enough to resume walking at the gym or the flat part of the trail. I don’t plan to break any records but just get some gentle physical activity in. *Always consult your doctor before beginning or continuing a workout plan.
5. Don’t Stress. This might be the most important. Try to be thoughtful rather than afraid and solution oriented rather than a googling worry wart. Write down questions for your doc and don’t ask some rando on the internet. I think we are all guilty of googling ourselves into a frenzy. Stop it. For real, stop it right now!
We all know every pregnancy is different and you should certainly follow whatever directives your doctor has given you. But I have this sneaking feeling that I will be making it through alive, well, and happy to the other side. I will be back to boring old weight loss and running posts in no time.
Stay Happy, Healthy, and Strong!