Friday, February 05, 2010

On maternal weight gain

After the judgemental and insensitive remarks on my weight from Dr. X at PCMC, I decided to write about this topic.

My weight before I was pregnant was 55kg. I am now 34 weeks pregnant and my total weight gain is about 15kg. I am the sort of person who counts her calories. I watch what I eat. I used to be 60kg when I came back from UK and weight loss was difficult (as we all know it). Due to an illness, I lost about 15kg and I worked hard to maintain and keep my weight down. So I do cherish my health and my weight. I also realized after my illness, we really are what we eat. To keep my weight down, I was on a low carb regime and lots of cardio and toning exercises at the gym. I also played a fair bit of golf, go out often on photoshoots and brisk walk in the park whenever I can. I can say that I lead quite a decent healthy lifestyle. I know it could be better, but I think it's not bad for a lazy bum like me.

So when I got pregnant, I was adamant to have a good and healthy weight gain. I watched what I eat and ensured that everything I ate counts. I am not a healthy eater, food groupwise, but since I got pregnant, I made sure that I had some fruits everyday, keep oily foods at bay and sweet and sugary foods controlled. Also due to pregnancy, I had difficulty eating large meals due to morning sickness during the first trimester and acid reflux thereafter.

My pregnancy meal regime was roughly as follows: 2 slices of toast in the morning and one mug of coffee, a portion of rice and side dishes (must have veg and no oily deep fried stuff) or sometimes a sandwhich for lunch and the same for dinner. I don't have anything in between meals. In the first trimester I had quite a bit of chocolate sundae ice cream, but probably only once a week. This craving tapered off and eventually I had desserts about roughly once in a few weeks. On weekends its pretty usual and no different from what I ate before I got pregnant. (weekends we have richer foods eg meals at American Chilli's, seafood at some famous seafood place like Fatty Crab etc).

Throughout my pregnancy I did keep a close watch on my weight gain. Always checking with my Dr. at DSH how I was doing. He said I was doing fine. I had my glucose test and everything was normal. I had a good and steady weight gain in the first trimester, about 1kg every month. And then I had a huge jump probably between the 5th and 6th month pregnancy where I gained 4kg. Then a steady 1kg plus every month after that.

I remain as active as I can. Unfortunately I stopped my usual gym routine, although my Dr did say I can keep doing what I used to do. I did continue my weekend photoshoots and I go for pregnancy yoga and exercises at Fit For 2. I wished I did more brisk walking in the evenings after work though. Exercise definitely helps keep energy levels up during pregnancy! I can really feel the difference if I miss my classes at Fit For 2. I would feel sluggish and lethargic. My classes puts the bounce back into me and I would dash around the office with no problems.

Every pregnant women gain weight differently. No matter what her original weight was. Whether she was under weight or over weight. It is also not necessary that she gained weight because she over indulged. Sometimes it's just water retention. People are all different. I had friends who are overweight who only gained 7kg in total throughout her pregnancy. I had petit friends whose original weight was 45kg, gained 25kg during her pregnancy. Some lose all their pregnancy weight completely, some don't. Some put in a lot of efforts to lose weight, some don't.

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