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  #1   ^
Old Tue, Oct-08-13, 17:40
KristyRusi's Avatar
KristyRusi KristyRusi is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 292
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 251.9/179.8/160 Female 5'6 inches
BF:43%/40%/31%/28.8%
Progress: 78%
Location: Troy, Alabama
Default Low Carb and Pregnancy? Need Advice (TMI)

So after 7 years of trying to get pregnant, back in may i had my first pregnancy of my life at age 30. It ended in a pretty physically brutal miscarrage but at least a good sign that something about eating low carb and losing weight had helped me conceive.

I just found out 2 and a half weeks ago, i'm once again pregnant (about 6 1/2 weeks) but i do not have my first ob/gyn appointment to confirm with a bloodtest until 2 weeks from now and i'm just a complete wreck.

My first question is about eating Low Carb. As soon as i found out i started upping my carbs (as low carb google searches suggested) but i did it in the form of fruits and veggies. (i'm now around 50-60 carbs a day) i have not gained nor lost a lb in the past 2 1/2 weeks of adding carbs, and i'm still taking my usual 1 a day vitamins + magnesium 200mg, + vitamin D3 4000iud, and 3x a week i take a 250mg capsule of Omega 3 (since they say its good for brain development). Have any of you maintained a low carb diet while pregnant and was there any complications?
My biggest fears are a.) that i'm starving my baby of something it needs or b.) changing back to a "non low-carb" lifestyle will screw me up back to the way i was before the diet and my body will no longer be able to get or stay pregnant.
The scariest thing is not knowing "what about this way of eating fixed my reproductive problems?" It could have been the weight, it could have been a vitamin deficiency, it could have been an allergy to wheat it could be so many things and there's no way to know.

My second concern is how to separate dietary symptoms from pregnancy symptoms?
Since finding out i was pregnant i have had the worst constipation of my life. I've literally (TMI) had to "DIG" feceis out of me while crying on the toilet. And this is after taking a stool softener (which is all i can take) every day for a week 1/2. I had bad constipation before pregnancy and i've upped my water because i'm ALWAYS thirsty and my mouth is constantly dry. I probably drink 2 gallons a day minimum. I've cut back from 2-3 mugs of coffee a day to only 200ml of anything with caffine in it a day. I'm eating the same foods i ate before but MORE fiber, so it makes no since. (fruits and veggies being more fiberous). Also, i've started (for the first time ever) getting leg cramps. I never suffered from this when i was low carbing before but i did get bad atkins flu, but now i am getting foot twitches and leg cramps daily.

Finally my last question is more for mothers than just low carbers, is a sudden loss of pregnancy symptoms something to worry about?
My constant symptoms have been EXTREME exhaustion. I sleep about 14-16 hours a day (before pregnancy i had SEVERE insomnia sleeping about 6 hours every 2 days) and constipation. Those 2 have never stopped, but at weeks 3-4 of pregnancy i had heartburn, gas, extremely sore breasts, itchy nipples, cramping on and around my ovaries, and a sensitivity to smell (but never once had any nausea/vomiting that could be discribed as "morning sickness").
All those symptoms have gone except the sleeping and constipation. My nipples are slightly more sensitive, but barely noticable, and evvvery once in a while i'll get a little tug in my stomach but that's it.
Mentally never having a sucessful pregnancy i'm flipping out while waiting on my appointment. I just fear the worst, and worry that i'm hurting my baby by not feeding it this or that or that i'm not getting the right nutrition but on the flip side i worry that if i change what got me pregnant in the first place it could also hurt the baby.
I know that low-carb can really help a mal-functioning thyroid and if low-carb helped my thyroid function, if i stop, it can starve the baby of t3 and t4 and i will miscarry again. I'm just so emotional (maybe that's a symptom lol) i spend 1/2 the day trying not to webMD myself into a craze and crying because i "don't FEEL pregnant".

Anyone else's experiences are welcome. Thanks guys i just really needed a little support!
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  #2   ^
Old Wed, Oct-09-13, 05:39
ParisMama's Avatar
ParisMama ParisMama is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 1,370
 
Plan: AIP (autoimmune paleo)
Stats: 235/185/165 Female 5'5"
BF:
Progress: 71%
Default

Hi Kristy

First, congratulations on your pregnancy!

I too had a very difficult time getting pregnant and miscarrying, so I know the worry you have right now. Hard as it is, do try to relax and enjoy the process.

Symptoms in early pregnancy often come and go, many women have none, some have them nonstop - and everything in between. Try not to worry!

Unfortunately, constipation is a very very common symptom in pregnancy, probably made worse if you already had it from your diet. Maybe try some of the flaxseed or chia seeds? The exhaustion is also a very typical symptom, in particular in the first trimester.

I believe the upper levels of Atkins OWL are recommended during pregnancy - basically more fruits and veggies, which it sounds like what you're doing. There was a nutrition tracker on the sister site to Sparkpeople for pregnancy (I think it's called 'babyfit' that I found reassuring in early pregnancy because you could see your foods lined up against the recommendations.

Today personally I'd be comfortable avoiding starches and sugars in pregnancy but would up the fruits and veggies considerably and I think I'd try to stay out of ketosis (just because I don't think there is any proof ketosis is safe for the fetus). But I'm not a medical professional and this is justmy personal opinion. I think you'll have a hard time finding a low-carb-friendly doctor during pregnancy, but of you instead talk of avoiding processed foods, flour and sugar I think most would be supportive.

Good luck - and sending you lots of sticky dust.

Last edited by ParisMama : Wed, Oct-09-13 at 05:41. Reason: Incomplete
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  #3   ^
Old Wed, Oct-09-13, 06:03
mfish mfish is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 510
 
Plan: general LC
Stats: 191/140/133 Female 5'3"
BF:
Progress: 88%
Location: USA
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Congratulations, and first of all, stop worrying ! Enjoy and embrace this time, even if you do feel like poo, it's one of the best things you can do for yourself.

You need to do what makes yourself comfortable, but there have been many a successful pregnancy completed while on a LC WOE, my own included. I remained VLC for most of my pregnancy after doings loads and loads of research. My pregnancy was amazingly easy, I didn't even care that I went past 42 weeks, I wasn't uncomfortable in the least. Recovering from labor was not bad and my son has always been incredibly healthy (he's 2y 8mos).

I also had bad constipation during pregnancy, I ended up taking colace and a couple tablespoons of liquid magnesium citrate every morning somewhere around the end of the first trimester. I was also exhausted the whole first trimester... it's hard work making a placenta!! I never had any morning sickness though, I attribute that to LC.

On contemplating changing back to your old "non-low carb lifestyle"... if it was not healthy for you before, do you think it will create a healthy environment in your body to grow a baby?

Unfortunately pregnancy losses occur for so many reasons and most of the time we never know what was the cause. I can only imagine the trepidation you have with carrying this pregnancy after suffering a loss. Early pregnancy symptoms can come and go... don't over analyze or read to much internet stuff, get lots of sleep and naps and drink plenty enough water.

I gotta run, I hope this was helpful, have a great day
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  #4   ^
Old Wed, Oct-09-13, 09:16
FREE2BEME FREE2BEME is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 2,414
 
Plan: Atkins & IF
Stats: 260/218.9/150 Female 65 inches
BF:??/40%/25%
Progress: 37%
Location: Japan
Default

Congratulations! My suggestion is to research paleo plans. You may not go all the way with it, but I think just focusing on whole foods is fine! People existed and thrived for hundreds or thousands of years that way! If it wasn't good for you before, it's especially not good for you now. I did a moderate carb plan for all three of my pregnancies. I ate as much fruit and veggies as I wanted. Period. I gained around 25 pounds with each of them and it was gone before even leaving the hospital. I seem to carry a lot of fluid in pregnancy. My babies were light and healthy and perfect. I would suggest that you actually decrease your fiber because I've read lots of stuff that suggests that it actually constipates people who are not eating processed junk. What worked for me to relieve constipation in pregnancy was adding more fat into my diet. Give it a try! You've tried upping the fiber and it hasn't improved, so try backing off of it. Digestion will slow down in pregnancy. Just no way around it. Drink your water and add some fat! Your baby's brain loves fat!!
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  #5   ^
Old Fri, Oct-11-13, 19:09
KristyRusi's Avatar
KristyRusi KristyRusi is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 292
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 251.9/179.8/160 Female 5'6 inches
BF:43%/40%/31%/28.8%
Progress: 78%
Location: Troy, Alabama
Default

Thanks everyone who replied i'm so glad i finally got a firm doctors appointment as i've been waiting forever to "confirm" this is a "viable" pregnancy and i go Thrusday of the upcoming week. (they had a cancelation thank goodness).
I've been eating a TON (or at least to me it feels like a ton) of food lately. I wake up eat 2-3 servings of fruit (like a cup of grapes, an apple, and a hand full of strawberries), 30 mins later i eat breakfast of bacon and eggs (though eggs haven't gone down well since i can't eat them with the yolks runny >.<), then i snack on low carb cheesecrackers, then i eat a tuna salad or a leafwrapped taco or 2, then i'm eating another apple then i eat dinner like meatloaf (i've been craving beef, ground beef to be exact and i HATE ground beef, it's pretty odd) with brussels sprouts and i even eat a second plate of dinner and before i get tired around 10pm i will probably eat a few pickles or cucumber dipped in sour cream or ranch, i sleep from about 10pm -4am at which i wake up eat something else and go back to sleep till about lunch time and repeat the process. I actually counted my carbs yesterday it was around 98carbs (i just about had my mind blown since i've been eating 20netcarbs since december of 2012 until about 2 weeks ago). The craziest thing is... i've LOST WEIGHT. I was 175lbs when i found out i was prego, when the grazing and gorging started, i've been nearly making myself sick i'm so hungry. My belly is super swollen (not pregnancy related in my opinion, just like water retention/omg i'm eating so much swollen), and yet i was 172lbs this morning when i weighed. It's unreal?!! The nutrition lady i spoke with said she isn't going to harp about the diet to me so long as i'm getting the "nutrients" i need during the pregnancy and from what she could tell whatever i was missing i seem to make up for in vitamins, however she did emphasis to NOT lose any weight, that considering i was "over weight" still i should only gain about 15-25lbs during my entire pregnancy but losing weight meant i wasn't eating enough and the baby was ripping it off my body. So as much as i'm eating i don't know what else to do without literally busting my gut with food. I've been painfully full the past 2 days. Buffets aren't even helping lol. My stomach had shrank so much while never being hungry low-carbing that i'm having to stretch it back out just to hold enough food not to lose weight.
I will say however that they upped my stool softeners and i was able to use the bathroom without tears the last time, though i still only use it about 1x a week. They are despirately trying to get me to drink Milk... but i can't bring myself to do it. I feel i'd just be drinking sugar-cow-water. (the wic program offered me 2% or1% which is the worst ones of them all anyways i would have considered whole milk but this is a deff no go.)
I do greatly appreciate the help with extra fresh veggies/fruit/eggs/cheese and PB.
I am tempted to add a possible "bean" to my diet to help up the carbs and maybe actually fill my tummy up without feeling i'm going to burst. Something like a black eyed pea or lima bean? I just don't want to crave a bunch of sugar and starch once i'm not pregnant so i deff don't plan on eating wheat or table type sugars at all period. I guess technically i'd be Paleo minus "grains" and overly starchy veggies.

I can already tell though how much i've missed fruit and how hard that habbit will be to break afterwards.

I still take a 1-aday-vitamin, magnesium, omega 3, vitamin d3, and now a stool softener a day, and on days i eat a lot of protein i take 2 stool softeners. So far it seems to work but i just fear needing these post-baby. I know a friend who got addicted to them and now she can't use the restroom without the strongest laxative they make. (she had an eating disorder though).
Its just good to have a place to vent and hopefully i'm out of ketosis, but if not i'm gonna try to get up to around 100net carbs and see if i can stop losing weight. Not gaining is fine, but i don't want my baby to be starving of anything. The leg cramps have gotten worse and 2 gallons of water aint working so i gotta try something. I will back up on the protein and see if it helps. Thanks everyone again for the imput!
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  #6   ^
Old Fri, Oct-11-13, 21:18
mfish mfish is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 510
 
Plan: general LC
Stats: 191/140/133 Female 5'3"
BF:
Progress: 88%
Location: USA
Default

It incredibly common for overweight women to lose weight when they get pregnant, and it doesn't mean that you are starving your baby. I don't think that forcing in excess calories that you don't feel like eating sounds very healthy. In fact, you only need an extra 300 nutrient dense calories a day for pregnancy. Eating till you "feel like you're going to burst" in order to prevent weight loss sounds like a sure recipe to aggravate your current digestive issues and potentially cause even more issues (heartburn?). If you are worried about your food intake, you may want to try using an online tracker.

I would make all of your calories count (super-nutrient dense stuff) but not add gross excess. Just get plenty enough protein, I think the Dr. Brewer Pregnancy Diet recommends about 100 grams per day, and you can make it as LC as you want.

We are all different, but for the record I'd been LC for about 6 months before we conceived, and by then I'd lost down to 179. I ate pretty much the same for my whole pregnancy, with a few extras like a couple pieces of low-cal bread for massive bacon sandwiches and sweet potatoes more often. Getting lots of protein was never a problem for me, and my calories had always been high with all the fat + protein. I didn't intentionally add food for the sake of doing so, I just ate what I felt like eating, which was still a lot. I continued losing (actually faster than my usual snail pace) till I hit around 168, I think, then at some point in the 2nd trimester I started gaining. I checked in at 191 pounds to deliver, and that was going more than 2 weeks past due.

This is a very emotional and exciting time for you. Trust that your body knows what it's doing so you may be able to relax and really enjoy your pregnancy. I wish you all the best.
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  #7   ^
Old Mon, Oct-14-13, 06:45
RonnieScot RonnieScot is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 233
 
Plan: LCHF, no breakfast.
Stats: 256/160/140 Female 5ft 3"
BF:
Progress: 83%
Location: Scotland, UK
Default

Hello! I am also recently pregnant - about 7 weeks. I'm going for a whole food diet without grains, sugar etc. Primal I think its called.
I don't like or eat much fruit, but have been craving fruit juice, just a few sips seem to calm my queezy tummy and if that allows me to eat a proper meal, it can't be all bad.

I've done a bit of Googling, and as far as I can see, so long as mum's eating decent food (or anything even aproaching food in the first trimester) there's not much to worry about. I've been LC for the last 8 weeks... and have lost 6 pounds in that time. (In the past when I've gone LC I've lost a stone or more in that time and was surprised it wasn't coming off faster.) So I've already lost weight in my pregnancy - I'm going to keep eating the way I think is right and stay mostly off the scales. Maybe I'll gain 25lb, maybe I'll loose another pound? I'm keen to eat this way throughout if I can rather than hit average targets, unless I get really massive!

As others have said, just relax and do what your body wants - I tend to feel a bit delicate on and off, and am gassy, so wouldn't want to fill up to the max - even when I'm thirsty I can only sip at water whereas a few weeks ago if I wanted some water I'd just down a pint.

If you think adding something like beans to your diet will help you realise you're full before bursting, I suggest trying it for a few days; people and pregnant mums have had beans in their diet the world over and it seems unlikely a few servings will do you or your baby much harm
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  #8   ^
Old Fri, Nov-01-13, 10:14
Zuleikaa Zuleikaa is offline
Posts: 16,666
 
Plan: Mishmash
Stats: 365/350.4/160 Female 67
BF:
Progress: 7%
Location: Maryland, US
Default

Please up your fat and magnesium until the baby is born.

The fat and magnesium will help your bowel movements become softer and more regular.

As for your diet, I concur with the rest of the posters.
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