Diabetes Pregnancy: Weight Control and Baby Size

Kelsey Bonilla Health Guide November 08, 2010
  • Over the past few days, I've had several women comment on my pregnant appearance.  Happily, there comments were all extremely positive: "You look great!" "You're all belly, you haven't gained weight anyone else!" And, (my favorite) "How is your face getting thinner while you're pregnant?!" 

     

    Since it's difficult to accept these compliments with a simple, "Thank you," I have responded to each woman with a variation of, "Well, with my diabetes, I have to eat a low carbohydrate diet, which helps with the pregnancy weight gain."  This is, of course, true.  However, as Dennis chimed in when he overheard one of these conversations, I've also been swimming three times a week throughout the pregnancy, so I'm sure that's a factor too.  

     

    The reaction I've received when I mention my dietary restrictions has been interesting.  Rather than sympathy, these women have generally said, "Oh, I wish I had that kind of discipline."  I sensed they were almost envious of my high-risk pregnancy and the level of care it required.  I think one person even used the term, "lucky."  

     

    So that I don't come off as some vain, overly body-conscious person, I should note that weight has been a struggle for me since my diagnosis with diabetes.  In my early teens I started to steadily gain weight as I adjusted to life with diabetes, insulin, and learning not to eat the entire contents of the refrigerator to treat a hypo!  In my post-college life, my weight has stayed fairly consistently in the low 140s with a enjoyable dip to the low 130s while breastfeeding.  Therefore, it's fun for me to be the "thin" one while I'm pregnant! 

     

    The irony of this situation is that my motivation for eating healthfully has nothing to do with my weight.  When I have "dieted" to lose weight, I've had little success, since clearly fitting into my skinny jeans is not motivation enough to skip the donuts at work.  With my pregnancies, my diet plan is completely aimed at keeping me and baby healthy. 

    If anything, the person whose weight I want to control isn't mine, but the baby's!  I'd love to have another healthy vaginal delivery, which means that the baby's size is an important factor in the birth plan. 

     

    We had the 28 week growth ultrasound last week and learned that the baby is at the 70% range for size.  That's not huge, but it was definitely a good reminder to keep my carbohydrate intake down.  As I told Dennis, whatever I eat for the next couple months will potentially equate to extra ounces I have to deal with at delivery!  Now that's motivation to skip dessert. 

     

    So, the goal is for baby to stay slim.  If these habits also keep my weight in check, that's just icing on the cake... the cake that I can't eat until the baby arrives!