Being A Fit Mommy-To-Be | A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss

Being A Fit Mommy-To-Be

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I have fond memories of my pregnancy. I spent lots of nights snuggled up in my bed with my arms wrapped tightly around my tummy, because it felt like there were little arms wrapped around me on the inside. Probably wrapped around my bladder, which would explain that constant “Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now!” feeling I had.

I gained a LOT – A LOT – of weight during my pregnancy. Something like 80lbs, I believe. Mentally, I fudged the numbers because they’re kind of hard to swallow. I was already something like 240lbs… another 80lbs put me out of this world.

And yes, all of that belly birthed one 9lb, 1oz baby girl.

After giving birth, I had to get several exams and ultrasounds to see what was going on with my legs. I was experiencing a seriously insane amount of pain and numbness. What I was dealing with, really, was pitting edema. Considering my other issues, they feared that I had developed diabetes.

Now that I’m in a better place mentally when it comes to understanding my health, I see all of the things that I did wrong. I see the things that I wish I had done, the tidbits of my doctor’s advice that I had taken seriously, and the opportunities I wish I had taken advantage of. So, allow me to offer some very important bits of information to my pregnant beauties out there that you should bring up with your doctors on your next visit. Confirm that these are good ideas for YOU, and do your best to stick to it – we want you around to see your baby’s babies!

  • You are not eating for two. I’own care what Nana says. Nana might’ve been able to “be greedy” when she was pregnant back in the day, but I can assure you Nana’s food was way more filling, way higher quality, and much less processed. The prevailing sentiment right now is that a pregnant mommy only needs about 300 calories extra… so try not to go beyond that.
  • Try to avoid the magic elixir foods. If it involves a powder that turns into a liquid – you know what I mean… rice-a-roni, hamburger helper, drink mixes – it’s probably in your best interest to limit your intake of it. You want to get as many whole foods and nutrients from natural resources for you and your baby as often and as much as possible. You’re already tired, trust me – you want to make sure you’re getting nutrients that will keep you energetic – not make you more tired.
  • Having said that, the more vegetables and fruits and whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat breads, etc – consult your doctor in the event that you may have allergies to be concerned about) you eat, the better off – not to mention more full and healthy – you and baby will be. Processed foods have a tendency to contain HIGH levels of salt in them so while they may feel good to the Mommy with the salt cravings, you might not love how you feel post-pregnancy… or even later on IN your pregnancy.
  • Stay busy! Pick up several hobbies, and keep BUSY! You don’t want to feel compelled to eat simply out of boredom. Go take a stroll, go run some errands, anything that can keep your hands and mind busy.
  • Pregnant Mommy Yoga! I know Mommies-to-be who have enjoyed modified Yoga poses while pregnant, and say that the muscles they were able to develop actually helped them in delivering the child. It is a mild-intensity, light activity that can allow you to relieve a little stress (always good!) and be a little more active.
  • Go for a walk. If it’s pacing up and down the stairs a few times, if it’s walking around the neighborhood a little bit, or if you’re only walking a lap or two around the office during your lunch break? Walk. This helps in the long run. Trust me.
  • Don’t overindulge! I know when those cravings hit, it feels like you don’t know how to act! Here’s a method to trying to control those cravings and how you attack them. Get a big glass of water to go with whatever it is (for my best friend, it was popcorn and strawberry ice cream… for me, it was dill pickles cut up in rice-a-roni) and be sure to take a sip inbetween bites. This way, you’re enjoying your craving (if you must,) and limiting how much of it you indulge in all while still getting that “full” feeling.

Now, some women will chastise me for posting about “self” when one is pregnant and should be focusing on feeding the child. As someone who spent 42 weeks “feeding the child,” coming out of pregnancy with a slew of health concerns… there needs to be a safe and sane plan of attack. There needs to be strong consideration for the health of both the mother and the child because the baby needs his or her parents, right? So let’s not take this that route.

All of us are different. My pregnancy was high-risk because of a lot of what I was doing to myself. Yours may not be. My suggestion – the most important of all – would be to talk to your doctor. Try to create a daily nutrition schedule. “For breakfast, I will have a grapefruit. For a snack, I’ll have an apple, a pear, or an orange. For lunch…” talk about healthy options to swap out, so that you have variety. This is important. Why? Because habits that you develop during the pregnancy will undoubtedly carry on with you beyond your pregnancy. Trust me, you don’t want those habits to be ones that will cause you to gain even more after the baby.

In closing, be mindful. Focus on staying stress free and relaxed, and everything will come into place.

Oh, and the most important thing of all? Congratulations! Here’s to a happy and healthy pregnancy! Do you have any tips for eating and living healthily during pregnancy? What struggles did you face? How was your pregnancy? Let’s chat!

The proud leader of the #bgg2wlarmy, Erika Nicole Kendall writes health, fitness, nutrition, body image and beauty, and more here at #bgg2wl. After losing over 150lbs, Kendall became a personal trainer certified in fitness nutrition, women's fitness, and weight loss from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She now lives in New York with her family, and is working on her 4th, 5th and 6th certificates.

16 Comments

  1. Caress Lepore

    December 22, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    Thanks so much for this post. I really need it. It seems that now I am pregnant I crave healthier foods with the exception of the occasional Chilli Cheese Slaw dog.

  2. Nicole

    September 28, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    Love this post! I have a 12 month old, and I am still battling the weight I gained from pregnancy. I am also “short” at 5’2 and put on a whopping 50 pounds.

    I have 10 left to loose…

    My tips..hmm I really did eat healthy when I was pregnant. I ate lots of fruit because thats all I craved. However, I think that I didnt move enough. I probably should have tried yoga and walked a bit more.

  3. Lala

    May 10, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    please post more like this. I had just started my lifestyle change when I found out I was pregnant. after a trip to Europe I can no longer stomach fast food or excess grease/salt so I’m safe there. but my three meals and three snacks plus my increased water and fiber is not staving off the hunger. HELP!

  4. Ashley

    May 20, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    Thanks so much for this post! My husband and I have been talking about having kids and I will admit I got a little nervous. I just started on my weightloss journey and worried that any weight I loss I’ll probably just gain right back if I got pregnant. This was very reassuring that I don’t have to gain all the weight back and still be healthy.

  5. Randi

    May 20, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    This is such a great post. I actually became pregnant in the midst of my weight loss journey. I had already lost 52 lbs in a year and was super scared that this pregnancy would be the same as my 1st (I gained about 60 lbs which took me from the 150′s to the 200′s). I had to realize that 1st I am not the same person I was before. I was a teen mom and ate like any teen ate..now multiply that by being pregnant..yes the weight crept up.

    I am older and because of the journey I was on prior to becoming pregnant and I now much wiser. I had many people ask me why I would become pregnant when I lost all that weight. They also told me I would gain all my weight back.

    I was quite upset but have managed to prove them wrong. I eat the same way I ate prior to becoming pregnant and I walk daily and do Zumba twice a week. All of that has allowed me to keep my weight gain in check. I understood I may gain weight because I am pregnant but I am not allowing it to get out of control.

    One thing I’d like to add that may work for new moms is also coming up with an after baby regimen. Yes I know that the baby will take up lots of time and that it’s not ok to exercise hardcore prior to 6 weeks post-partum. That being said those days home with baby (on maternity leave) may lead to those bad habits creeping back up again.

  6. Dana

    June 7, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    I had a different experience while pregnant. I was in the 280s when I got pregnant, and overnight everything just changed about the way I viewed my body. Suddenly I had an important task to fulfill and that task depended on my body and the way I treated it.

    I gained the first 8 lbs in the first couple of weeks of pregnancy, which was a little alarming. Then came those waves of nausea. Suddenly I was in tune with my body in ways that I had never been in tune before. My body absolutely positively demanded… SALAD. Salad of all things! And anything vinegary – pickled peppers, olives, regular pickles, pico de gallo, all of it. Considering I *hated* vinegar, I couldn’t believe what I was eating.

    By the time I stopped feeling nauseous, I was a lettuce queen and started adding in small amounts of protein. In the last 2 months of my pregnancy, I craved nothing but fat and sugar, and by golly I ate it. But as pregnant women know, your belly is squished and moved around in the last trimester and I could barely eat a meal the size of my fist. So yeah, I ate fat and sugar, but I could NOT overeat. I was eating every couple of hours because my baby was growing and my stomach didn’t have the space to expand.

    I only gained 30 lbs during my entire pregnancy, the first 8 lbs in the first 2 weeks and the last 10 lbs or so was mostly water that I gained in the last 2 weeks. I loved being pregnant because I was so completely in tune with my body – it was the first and only time that I seemed to intuitively know exactly what to do all the time. If only I could be that way NOW! Life would be totally different…

  7. Lakesha

    June 25, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    First, I would like to say I absolutely love your blog. I could spend hours on it just reading the many topics that are available. I would like to know how did you get your stomach in such good shape after after having a 9 lb. 10 oz baby? When I had my son (which was 3 1/2 years ago) he weighed 9 lb. 6 oz. Could you please share some tips on how you did it?

  8. Cocoa bean

    November 18, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    So true, I was my healthiest when I was pregnant with my son, now 11 months, and after his birth, by C section, I continued eating healthily, watching the calories, stayed off the alcohol and caffeine and I weigh less now than I did before I got pregnant – and feel great. It’s really a mental thing. I exercised right through my pregnancy till I was 8 months gone and 2 months after birth I was back on my power walks. As a result I also don’t have a single post pregnancy stretch mark. Yoga stretches are king!

  9. bplatonova

    January 29, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    I would like to send you a private message. I have a few questions to ask, but not in public…. Yet!

  10. Bellishae

    July 30, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    When I was pregnant all I could think about was sweets, donuts, cakes, ice creams, pies, omg any desert. Maybe it was easier for me to eat them then salty of regular food to avoid nausea idk but I couldn’t ran away from it at all. My husband open the pantry one day and saw all the sweets my doctor told me not to eat and was upset. I knew I had a problem when I didn’t even care what my husband or doctor had to say.

  11. Stacy-Ann

    July 30, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Great post! The first tip was really important for me. I was already 242lbs when I got pregnant with my first son so I knew that “eating for two” would be just a disaster for me. I figured that since I already overate, if I continued eating the amount I was used to, it would be sufficient for me and a baby. I already had a relatively healthy diet, I just ate too much of it. And I was right, I had a beautiful boy, 8lbs 11ozs via c-section. My stomach was so huge and an incorrect ultrasound said that he would be 11lbs. But that’s another story. Now if I could just stop looking pregnant…….

    • Stacy-Ann

      July 30, 2012 at 6:12 PM

      oh,(forgot the most important part) I only put on 35lbs, weighing 275lbs at the end of the pregnancy and dropped to 250lbs a week after he was born.

  12. Christina

    August 4, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    I can identify with this! I have 3 kids….a 4yo and a set of 2yo b/g twins….I was already 200lbs when I got preg with my first son, but bc I was in school, doing a lot of walking and trying to eat right, I only put on TWELVE lbs….yup…and he was a healthy 7 pounder. With my twins, who were full term, I was about 169lbs, gained 25 lbs….I was active, eating right and trying to keep moving so I didn’t slush away and gain back the 40lbs I had lost….It IS possible to have a fit pregnancy…you just have to work at it and think ahead.

  13. ife

    August 4, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    “i’own care ” ……love it.

  14. Keyea

    August 4, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    I’m expecting my second child in approximately…..8 days 13 AUG 2012 (scheduled c-section) b/c I’m a high risk pregnancy w/gestational diabetes. I wish I knew what I know now 5 years ago with my daughter. I did not have gestational diabetes but ate whatever I wanted to. So far I’ve gained 15lbs with this pregnancy and most of that didn’t happen until about 4 wks ago…I started eating more. Since having gestational diabetes and having to monitor my blood sugar levels, and REALIZING most of my food came from carbohydrates….I’ve had to change the way I eat, drastically…breakfast is now a spinach ommlette, snacks are trail mix, string cheese, fruits (no bananas)…dinner (hardest meal b/c I’m so tired) I still struggle w/dinner….

    So far all is well…and now I know I don’t need to eat “for two” and managing my weight while pregnant is possible..I worked out by walking, jogging, boot camp classes…you name it and stopped about 4 wks ago when I started feeling cramps after one of my work-outs…

  15. Mishala

    April 16, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    I had the best pregnancy ever. Not only did I not get extra stretch marks, heart burn, morning sickness, cravings, swelling, weird hair growth, extra emotions, I got to watch Daddy go through all of that and gain forty pounds to my twenty two. I was healthy, and loved it. I ate better than ever, and did yoga until i was about seven months. By then I couldn’t even fit behind the wheel of my car, but I kept up the walking daily. And since I lived on the second floor, I did stair stepping up until I went to the hospital. I did eat like clockwork, and I mean that literally. Unless I was sleeping, every two hours I was putting something in my mouth. But it was stuff like fruit, fresh fish, and the most amazing grilled fruit kabobs ever. It’s all about what you put in. I can barely wait to be pregnant again.

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