38 answers

Getting in Shape While Pregnant?

I just found out I'm pregnant with #2 and while my husband and I are both very happy about it, we're also a little worried about my health. I gained 54 pounds with my first pregnancy and even though I lost a huge chunk immediately, I gained a bunch back. And I wasn't supposed to gain much in the first place because I started out overweight.

I don't think I can afford to gain that much again, but I was just about to start a pretty rigid weight-loss plan to get back into shape. I know that's not really safe for pregnancy, but I do want my baby to have as much health as I can give it.

So, what's safe? How much exercise and diet changing can I implement without having problems? Are there exercises that are safer than others (can't jog - weak ankles, but I do like biking)? I'd appreciate any advice and would love to hear of any personal experiences. Thanks!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

At the advice of doctors, I just took things easy. Walked mostly but very lightly. I ended up on bed rest with another premie, and through all the stress, didn't start a real weight-loss program till baby #2 was about 6 months old. In the past 10 weeks I've lost 38 pounds of fat and I feel great. I'm doing Total Health & Fitness, which takes the thinking out of the equation and keeps me accountable. And I started a blog about the process so that I can't hide anymore (I'd link it but mamasource won't let me - send me an email if you want the link). Now that I'm on the journey, I'll wait till my body can handle it before I get pregnant again. Pregnancy is already tough, but being fat makes it super duper uncomfortable!

Thanks to everyone for your support.

Featured Answers

I also gained almost 60 lbs. and I got preg. again when my daughter was 10 mos old. I had only lost about 30 when I got preg. again. However my doctor told me I could keep excercising how I had been before I got Preg. as long as it felt ok and I have lost 8 lbs since then. I have only lost because I was still a little over weight and a little sick. But he said as long as I was eating well and excercising as much as flet right then I was fine.

When it looked as if I was gaining too much weight with my first (only so far) we invested in an elliptical cardio-machine...i loved it. I did a lot of prenatal yoga and walking. I still gained 60 lbs though---now it's all gone and then some, when all is said and done training for a triathlon is a SUPER weightloss plan, I highly recommend it!

All the info here already is great. I don't know if anyone said this yet, but you cannot ride a bike while pregnant.. I love biking and that was one of the 1st things I asked my doc :( There are just too many risks if you do happen to fall. Best things for you are walking and swimming and a healthy diet. Best wishes and congrats!

More Answers

Gosh, you and I have a lot in common. I, too, started my family in my mid-thirties, and had already been fighting the "battle of the bulge" (and not exactly winning it, either). I gained 35 pounds with the first, lost some, and gained most of it back. Then I got pregnant again. I went into my doc and started asking questions.

I was told not to cut food, but to make sensible choices (feed the baby first - and you don't let a baby eat double ice cream sundaes, right?). Exercise is okay, as long as there are no contraindications, and if you've not been very active, now is not the time to start something intense like running or extreme mountain biking. I was told walking, dancing, yoga, stationary bike were all good choices. I took up yoga, and kept it up throughout the pregnancy. I credit yoga with keeping me in decent shape, and I gained a healthy-but-not-excessive 19 pounds with my boy. I think the yoga helped me get rid of the weight afterward, too - that 19 pounds was gone in 6 months. (Of course, the weight I gained with my daughter is still with me - can I still blame it on the baby if she's 7?)
Anyway, whatever you do, do it in consultation with your health care provider.
Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

If you have excess weight and eat healthfully/exercise during your pregnancy, you could lose weight while being pregnant. That is hard to do because sometimes being pregnant makes you feel hungry almost constantly. Of course the best time to lose weight is before or after a pregancy. Don't be too hard on yourself if you don't feel like losing weight while being pregnant. But if you want to undertake it, I have some ideas. Personally, If it were me, I would go forward with the diet plan you were going to do, but add in extra servings of fruit, vegetables, whole grain breads, milk, low sugar/fat yogurt as needed. It seems that Weight Watchers may have a program for nursing moms which would probably be good for pregnant women as well.

Additionally, here are some ideas and tips to consider:

1) Research shows that people who regularly eat breakfast weigh less than those who don't.

2) Research shows that women who drink milk regularly weigh less than those who don't.

3) Research shows that women who get 8 hours of sleep weigh less than those who don't get enough sleep, this especially applies to post-pregnancy (making a great case for new moms to nap when their babies nap, the ideal time being 12 hours after your night-time sleep midpoint).

4) Pregnant moms only need an extra 200-300 calories per day (a piece of toast with a little butter and a banana for example). So it's easy to gain more than the recommended 25-35 pounds... too easy since many of us feel like eating all the time while pregnant... add emotional eating or snack popping while watching tv into the mix and no wonder we are gaining too much.

5) Take inspiration from people who lose weight successfully the old fashioned way (watch the Biggest Loser, or at least the finale).

Lastly, I will say that it is definitely lifestyle changes and health habits that make for long term good health and healthy weight. I lost 60 pounds, but it took me 6 years to do... little things like not eating in the eveing after dinner when my body didn't need food, not wasting calories on things that I didn't love (for instance, to me doughnuts are just okay, so if I have the opportunity to eat a doughtnut, I don't), avoiding buying things that are a temptation, eating smaller portions but really savoring what I like.

Recently my weight was creeping up and I went off sweets for 3 weeks to get myself out of the habit of snacking.

I guess I have said enough and I hope something I said is helpful. Good luck H.!

Also, Walking and swimming are great exercises that are not too hard on a pregnant body.

One last thought, we are all different and our bodies are different... things like heredity and genetics have a lot to do with body type. Focus on healthy habits and loving yourself and your body. God loves you and He wants you to love the beautiful you He created! You do that by doing your best, then accepting yourself, imperfections and all!

You can safely ride bike until the middle of the second trimester, when the baby starts getting bigger and throwing you off balance. Probably the best thing you can do is eat plenty of fruits, veggies, and whole grains, eat small meals often, and go walking. It's not wise to start a workout routine while your pregnant, but it's ok to continue one after you are. Your body is going thru enough changes as it is and starting a workout might be too much for you. But walking every day is a good way to start. Yoga is also really great in pregnancy. They make yoga videos, or I'm sure if you search you can find a prenatal yoga class. Buy a book about eating while pregnant so you can make sure you get the foods you need and know how much to eat. What To Eat When You're Expecting is a good one, but there are many others out there. Stay away from foods high in fat and sugar. Good luck!

I haven't read the other responses so sorry if this is a repeat. I would say to talk to your doc. But most woman can still watch what they eat and exercise while pregnant. I knew a girl who was a little on the bigger side and gained a lot of weight with baby #1 so for #2 her doc said she only needs to gain about 10 to 15 pounds. To help her he put her on a diet plan and she did only gain about 15 for the whole pregnancy. And you can exercise while pregnant but I have heard the rule is to only do what you were doing before you were pregnant. so if you bike a few miles a few times a week you can still do that or what ever. My sis is pregnant and just ran a half marathon so just know your limits and don't over do it. Good luck and congrats on the new baby!

Hey H.! Congrats! Wow! How exciting. I also understand your fear. The whole been there done that comes to mind.

Hi H.. first congratulations! it's so exciting and easier in some ways to have a second child. at least you know what to expect this time. at least that's how i felt.
now...you said you have weak ankles, try some swimming, which is low impact but still a full body work out. second, don't diet, eat healthily but still indulge in your favorites. if your a chocoholic like i am, buy a bag of your fav single candy. then indulge when you need chocolate. after your baby is born, and this is what i did, eat three meals a day, but only half of it, with healthy snacks in between when your hungry. do this for about three weeks. it's a great way to retrain your appetite, i had to after having three babies in four years. good luck!

Don't "diet" but eat as healty as you can. I was overweight when I got pregnant with my dd. I too was just gearing up for some weight loss--I couldn't take prenatals so I was worried about getting in enough good foods. Ironically what I hadn't been able to do for myself, I was able to do for my baby. I ate small meals throughout the day, my snacks were healthy (dried cranberries, or other dried fruits, without the sugars...a slice of whole wheat bread, carrots...etc....) made sure I was drinking tons of water, I figured if I had to pee all the time anyway, might as well! lol. I cut out most sugar, although Red Vines were the only thing that didn't make me nausious. I stopped drinking my cokes. I didn't gain any weight during my pregnancy. None. My body redistributed the weight. The baby continued to grow and was healthy and strong. I kept expecting to see the scale go up, but it never did. I was actually 3 pounds lighter when I had dd. She is now 2 and healthy and vibrant...I took care of myself to the best of my abililty and it was enough. I walked a lot because it was about all I could do. The last half of my pregnancy I was on bed rest. So I couldn't keep up the workouts but I chewed a lot of gum instead of mindless eating in bed--and didn't let my dh bring me anything but the right proportions of my meals. I just focused on going forward. I was okay with gaining some weight if I needed to for my baby, we had already lost one. I just wanted to do whatever I could to have a healhty baby. I guess what I am trying to say is focus on your health, don't stress about dieting because that isn't healhty right now, but focus on getting the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. If you can take prenatals great. I had to get folic acid and then took flinstones vitamins because it was the iron that made me sick! hehe...I was too self conscious to go swimming but I wish I hadn't been. I got a pedometer though and was trying to get in my 10,000 steps each day (up until the bedrest) You can do this, you obviously care very much about your baby, and your health and I think that those are the two components you need. GL!!

a nurse friend of mine started gaining too much at the beginning of her pregnancy so she focused on eating a lot more fruits and vegetables. it made a big difference with her weight. thanks to my cravings for vegetables during this pregnancy and aversions to just about everything else, especially meats and sweets, i have been slow to gain weight and i'm thrilled because i started this pregnancy overweight. so if you can stand vegetables right now, i recommend eating as many as possible! of course combined with something like beans and rice to get protein.
i love your "a little about me".

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.