Obesity and Risk To Baby's Health
I was following Weight Watchers before I got pregnant. Before I stared dieting I had a BMI of over 37. I had lost 18lb before I got my BFP and had a BMI of under 35. This is still obese - not far of morbidly obese - it is still a serious risk to me and my baby. I had no idea I was this heavy until I went to the Fertility Clinic and they weighed me and promptly told me I needed to lose weight to get pregnant and for the health of my baby when I did.
In my second and third pregnancies I was monitored for Gestational Diabetes. In the end they agreed that I didn't actually HAVE GD but that because of my weight they would always have to monitor me in pregnancy AND MODIFY MY DIET! I could become affected by GD in this pregnancy, and I could very easily develop Diabetes permanently afterwards.(read about the complications that can arise from GD here). Even with my 18lb loss I am heavier now than in my previous pregnancies. My risk is higher now than it was then.
So I am modifying my diet now instead of waiting until my 20 week scan! The meals I prepare for myself and my family are perfectly healthy, they have been ever since we started a family. My problem is portion control and snacking between meals and at bedtime. I have always liked the Weight Watchers plan because it doesn't ban anything, but it makes you look at how much you are having and encourages you to make the right portion choices. A healthy meal will still make you gain weight if you eat enough for 3 people at a single sitting, and there is nothing wrong with enjoying some chocolate now and then, but eating 500g a day at bedtime is excessive! Instead of snacking on Jaffa Cakes through the day I am snacking of fruit and veg (super healthy for me and baby)
What I'll Do, What I Want To Achieve
So this is what I am doing - not to lose weight or avoid gaining my baby bump (because I am not a moron, and I happen LOVE having a baby bump) - but to avoid gaining BODY FAT which actually my baby DOES NOT NEED and which affects the hormonal balance of my body and causes health problem for us both! My baby needs a healthy balance of nutrients. Following WW correctly will provide those nutrients. My baby will take exactly what it needs from my body, I get to keep what's left. I will be using my Online WW tools to record my meals and control my portion sizes. I will adjust my points to allow for the extra calories baby needs (WW gives you an extra 500 for an exclusively breast fed baby, and 2-300 for a mix fed baby. When preg you need c 300 extra cals so I'm adjusting to "mix feeding" for the first 20 weeks, and "exclusive" for the last 20 weeks).
It's worth mentioning that Weight Watchers do not endorse using their system when pregnant in order to cover their own backs. When I have spoken to my GD Dietitian in previous pregnancies his advice was to "cut out the junk and eat a balanced diet" which is exactly what I will be doing.
How It's Going!
For a girl of my BMI the expected pregnancy weight gain including an average 7lb 4oz baby is 11 - 20 lb (see here, yes it's from Australia but the average baby size is the same as the UK). My babies are ALL 9lb 8oz+ so I will allow myself that 2lb extra before I start to worry.
And Finally - September 2014, Freddie is 6 weeks old:
I am actually 2lb lighter 6 weeks after Freddie was born than I was when I found out I was pregnant. Freddie was 3 weeks early and weighed 9lb 6oz. All of him big baby and none of him fat baby. I am continuing with Weight Watchers and adding points for breastfeeding. Freddie is exclusively breastfed and is growing well, following his percentile. I am losing at a safe and steady rate while following a healthy eating plan and making sure I do plenty of walking with Freddie in his sling.