When I was pregnant in 2017 with my second child I had Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). I remember being devastated when I found out. I had worked in women’s health for five years and I knew what the 3rd trimester would entail with having GDM. I would have to see High Risk Pregnancy in addition to my regular OB, prick my finger several times a day, give myself daily insulin shots & do fetal monitoring twice a week for the last two months of the pregnancy.
The first step to all of this was to go see a Diabetic Counselor at the high risk doctor. The “diet” they put me on was similar to macro counting. She told me to eat well balanced meals, increase my protein and limit my carb intake. Easy enough, right? My last trimester of that pregnancy I felt great. I was eating intentionally and not eating everything in sight like I had been doing in the first few months.
After I delivered my son the diabetic counselor told me that I had up to an 85% chance of having GDM again with my future pregnancies. She said I needed to develop a regular exercise routine and lose the baby weight if I wanted to make those statistics go down. So what did I do? I started tracking macros at six weeks postpartum and joined a CrossFit gym! See my post linked below about my journey with macros.
Fast forward to March 2020 when I found out I was pregnant with baby #3. I knew I wanted to continue those habits I had developed & I decided early on that I was going to try to continue to track my macros and keep working out as much as I could. I am so glad I did! I am due any day now and feeling better about myself than I ever thought possible while expecting a baby. If you’re wondering if counting macros while pregnant is a good idea or something we recommend… it is!
You may lack the motivation to attempt counting your macros while pregnant or wonder if it’s worth it. But I’m here to tell you that it is! If you keep these few tips in mind it will make the process easier.
Things to Keep in Mind When Tracking Macros Pregnant
- Your macros will be increased – Depending on where you are at in your macro journey when becoming pregnant, your coach will probably lower your protein intake. Eating your body weight in grams of protein each day can be tough when pregnant! So that alone makes hitting your numbers easier. Also, this usually means more carbs! Like I mentioned above, we want you to limit your carbohydrate intake while pregnant but not eliminate it! Diabetic counselors will recommend you eat around 50% of your caloric intake from carbs. So increasing my carbs and fat and lowering my protein a bit has made hitting my macros quite easy! I don’t feel deprived and I can still enjoy treats.
- Know that you don’t have to be perfect – Learning to give myself grace while tracking these last 9 months has been awesome. When I was counting my macros before becoming pregnant I usually hit 6-7/7 days a week. But aiming for 5/7 days a week now has been perfect for me. I have learned to hit my numbers most of the time and not feel guilty about when I don’t! As long as you go into this knowing you will NOT be perfect and allow yourself a little more freedom then you can be successful!
- Be in tuned with how you feel – My favorite part about staying active while pregnant and counting my macros has been how I feel. I have energy and self confidence! And I can honestly say I had neither of those with my first pregnancy and most of my second. Part of that is because I am eating ENOUGH. I know that if I wasn’t counting my macros then I probably wouldn’t be fueling my body and my baby properly.
- Don’t focus on the scale or pounds gained – We tell all of our clients this all the time but that is something you really need to remember while pregnant. Medical providers suggest a weight gain of 30-40 pounds during pregnancy. However, as long as you stay active and are eating well balanced meals, don’t pay attention to the scale. I know this time around that I will bounce back and will lose the baby weight. It’s not a matter of “if” but “when” and I am excited for that journey!
So give yourself some slack, know it’s possible and give yourself & that baby(babies) of yours the proper nutrition you both need. Counting macros is for EVERYONE and that includes pregnant women!
Update: Baby Cort was born 12/20/20 at 7:40a.m. He’s a health 7 pounds 4 ounces! Congratulations Cassie!
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