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Thread: Pregnant while Primal/Paleo - who else has done it? Weight gain issues?

  1. #1

    Pregnant while Primal/Paleo - who else has done it? Weight gain issues?

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    I'm currently 7 months pregnant with my third child (first pregnancy I've been primal). I'm feeling AMAZING - mood and energy are through the roof, no more anxiety, I can tackle all that is on my plate with ease (and it's a lot).

    The only issue is that I don't seem to be gaining much weight anymore and am not sure if that's a problem or not. I eat plenty of meals and snacks (3 meals and 3-4 snacks per day), embrace my fat and paleo carbs (had sweet potato hashbrowns for breakfast), but I'm gaining less than a pound a month. I love food and eat to being full and beyond even (I do force myself to eat a bit more than I want to at each meal).

    I started totalling up my number of carbs and am coming out at 150ish on average per day - I am NOT low carbing it by any means. So I'm wondering if the lack of weight gain is normal on paleo or if I should be concerned about its effects on my pregnancy. It's hard to find a large enough sample size to compare with, yk?

    FWIW, I am 5'4 and started this pregnancy at 120 lbs (gained 11 lbs in the first tri when I was not paleo, felt horribly sick, and subsisted on panera bagels to take the edge off the nausea. I'm now at 136 lbs but have only gained 1 lb in the past 6 weeks even though baby is growing visibly bigger). Never had weight issues or insulin issues and ate pretty healthy before going Paleo - it was just the next logical step in my lifestyle and not a dramatic change. I look great - baby growing big, measuring on target, I've got what I think are healthy fat stores and don't look skinny. But the scale isn't budging.
    Last edited by FrankiG; 05-20-2012 at 11:22 AM.
    Teacher and Homeschooler
    One husband of 9 years,
    Two kids (6 & 3)
    Pregnant with #3, due this summer

    Going primal resolved my anxiety symptoms!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    I only gained 10lbs with both of my pregnancies, started off at 120 and ended up at

    Pregnancy for me was like "pregnancy induced gastric bypass surgery" because the minute
    I got a positive test, I wasn't hungry EVER.

    My doctor was pissed that I wasn't "gaining", but like you, babies were FULLY on target
    for everything and came out completely perfect.

    So personally, I wouldn't worry one bit.

    I did what I felt was right for me at that time, and putting on an extra 30 for no reason
    sounded really dumb, if I wasn't hungry. Some women are ravenous, some aren't. I wasn't,
    and the babies took everything they needed from me to grow big and strong anyway.

    Anyway, congrats on your pregnancy and glad you're out of the feeling yucky part and
    that you feel amazing! I did too!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Alberta, Canada
    As long as the baby's doing well and growing as planned per ultrasound, I wouldn't worry! Also, a lot of the growth/weight gain will happen in the 3rd trimester, which it sounds you just recently entered, anyway.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    I was on SAD during both of my pregnancies and your comment about the first trimester hit home with me. I was so sick and could only stomach simple carbs and scrambled eggs for the 1st 5 months. Makes me wonder if Paleo would have helped.
    My first pregnancy I only gained 10 lbs or so in the 1st 5 months, then the nausea went away I put on 25 more in about 10 weeks. My OB freaked the heck out and told me no more carbs other than berries the rest of my pregnancy. My blood sugar was at the high end of normal. At the time I hated him, thought he was evil. LOL BUT, I did not gain another pound the last 7 weeks and gave birth to my son at 37.5 weeks. He was 7'11" and perfectly healthy. I am so grateful he gave me that advice and I reigned in the weight gain.
    2nd pregnancy, different doctor. No nutrition advice, but told me to keep weight gain under 25lbs. (I was a few lbs overweight to begin with from baby #1) I knew from the 1st pregnancy that eating whatever I wanted was not going to work and I tried to avoid all simple carbs. I only ended up gaining about 17 lbs total, my blood sugar stayed normal. Carried him to 40 weeks and he was almost 9lbs! So you do not have to gain a ton of weight to have a healthy pregnancy. As long as you are eating healthfully, following hunger cues you will be fine!
    My mom was a part of the generation that essentially "dieted" while being pregnant. She left the hospital 3 times, weighing less than she did before pregnancy and had totally healthy 7lb babies. She had my brother later in life and during the "gain 20-30lbs" advice and he weighed . . . 7lbs. But she had a lot more to lose.

    I just finally got all my pregnancy weight off and my youngest is 4! I wish I had dialed in my diet better back then.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by FrankiG View Post
    I started totalling up my number of carbs and am coming out at 150ish on average per day - I am NOT low carbing it by any means.
    Hi. I just started my second trimester and am doing paleo. I am a (thin) Type II Diabetic. I actually haven't gained any weight yet. My endocrinologist seems alarmed by this, whereas my OB doesn't seem worried at all.

    Anyway, my endo insists that I need to eat more carbs. You noted you're totaling around 150g a day. Can you share what you're eating please?? (I started keeping a log and I'm between 60-80g a day).

    I am most eating berries, apples, sweet potato and since I am getting desperate for more carbs I just started incorporating chana lentils (low GI) into my diet. I know it's not paleo but I need carbs that don't spike my blood sugar.

    I'll appreciate your input.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    I am 5'4", started the pregnancy at 110 lbs and gained 25 lbs, all in the first two trimesters. In the last trimester I ate more cleanly, less carbs, ate until couldnt eat any more, and didn't gain anything. Baby kept growing just fine though, born at 40 weeks, 7 lbs. i was back to my pre preg weight when baby was 6 weeks without doing anything but lying in bed beastfeeding. I don't believe the 25-35lbs guideline at all. I think if you eat healthy according to appetite, your baby will be fine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    New Zealand
    I think the average recommended weight gain is between 15 and 25 lbs, and it's very likely that you will gain as you go. So long as the baby is growing, I wouldn't worry so much about weight gain. Things shift a fair bit.

    I believe I gained 20 lbs or so. might have been 15, might have been 25. I never weighed myself. But anyway, there you go.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    I'm expecting twins in 6 weeks or less, and have only gained about 10 kg so far. The recommended is about 12 kg for singletons and about twice that for twins so I'm a bit behind. But the babies are growing very well, and following the growth curve for singletons so I'm not worried.
    I do eat well most of the time, but I just don't have that much of an appetite. As long as I don't have too much sugar ... Then I just crave more and more.
    "All things are poison, and nothing is without poison; only the dose permits something not to be poisonous."

    A Primal Twin Pregnancy

    Proud mother of twin girls!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Southcoast, Ma


    I'm 12 weeks along right now with 1st Paleo/Primal pregnancy...4th pregnancy, 3rd baby, my daughters are 8 and 9. I, on the other hand am 39, we were quite surprised by this pregnancy, to say the least.
    I am perfectly healthy, I usually hover around 115-120 lbs (I am only 5' 1 1/2") but I quit smoking in Sept (for good!) and packed on 20 lbs in 3 weeks, no lie. Sigh.
    I have LOST a few lbs with this pregnancy, although baby and I are obviously growing. I had medium ketones in my urine at my 8 week visit, even though I eat way more carbs now, I want sweets and starches. Other than honey in my tea, and my dark chocolate, sticking with good starches and carbs. Waiting to crave steak again. Yum.
    My other two, I gained 50 lbs with both kids, at least 10-12 lbs by this point and was HUNGRY!! I wasn't Paleo or Primal and ate lots of cookies and such. Not that hungry this time.
    I weighed myself right after the birth of my first, I lost 27 lbs during delivery..8lbs 13 oz of baby. Second baby was smaller 7lbs 6 oz. I lost the baby weight while nursing in the first couple of months after birth.
    I do think my blood sugar is much more stable this time around, and it will be interesting to see how much I do gain later. My OB was always like, "OK Julie, you can stop now!" I have no idea how she will react to the fact that I have lost a bit, but that would put me back closer to where I should be anyway....I'll see her on Thursday.
    My mother was also preg during the "don't gain weight" stage..I was 7 lbs and my brother was 8lbs...I don't think mom gained more than 18 lbs and she was 110 lbs when she started....but her belly was ENORMOUS!!
    Last edited by Juliemama; 05-22-2012 at 08:43 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Somewhere in Wyoming
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    I'm 7.5 months along with my 1st and have been mostly primal during the pregnancy, but not strict at all. In the 1st & early 2nd trimesters, I was not able to eat enough due to lack of appetite. I had lost weight, and the doctor was concerned that I was weak, light-headed and passed out a few times. So, I added more starches (some rice, beans on occasion, more potatoes, etc) and fruit which really increased my appetite. I'm sure that is why I am now up 25 pounds, with 6 weeks to go. I eat 150-225g carbs/day, pre-pregnancy it was ~125g/day.

    It bothered me that for a while I was gaining too much weight, but feeling good was more important. I feel great now! And the weight has stabilized - about .5-1 pound per week, baby measures right on target, and I have lots of energy. I'm doing zumba regularly and hiking, and can still fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans (although unzipped w/beBand yay). But my total weight gain will likely be 30-35 pounds. Eh. Oh well.

    Anyway, FrankiG, I agree with so many of the others, as long as your baby is growing well and you feel good, then don't worry too much about the "guidelines". I had to put those out of my head too, although for the opposite problem.
    Jen, former Midwesterner, living in the middle of nowhere.

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