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Hunger 
6th-Feb-2014 01:47 pm [weight]
Belle Hush
I'm 20w1d and the past two days I have been starving, which gives me a lot of anxiety, because...

I've got a BMI of 39 and was losing weight at a good pace before becoming pregnant. This is my second child and with my first I did gain 15 lbs during pregnancy, all of which were gone the day after delivery, and I do remember having a lot of stress about how much to eat and whether I was eating too much. Both times, my midwives told me that my goal should be to "gain no weight" at all during pregnancy, which is why I was very stressed about that 15lbs last time.

At 20w1d I have gained 1.5 pounds total, which I think is pretty good, but I've done that by tracking everything I'm eating and keeping my exercise up. I don't think I'm limiting my calories, as I allow myself 2900 calories a day, and extra on days I exercise. And I've been feeling great.

But yesterday and today I have had this hunger I simply cannot stop. It doesn't matter what foods I choose or how often I eat or how much I eat, I am still hungry. Granted, this is only the second day, but yesterday I did not exercise and I ate 3300 calories. I thought "hey it's one day and I am hungry so maybe the baby needs this."

But now that it's day two I am getting worried that I am eating too much or inappropriately interpreting signals as hunger that aren't really hunger. I've upped my water, which only gave me heartburn to add to my hunger.

I know hunger and pregnancy are normal and this is a time when the baby is growing quickly, but my question is, is it okay to, as an obese person, give into the hunger? To what degree should I eat to fill the hunger, and to what degree should I say "the baby is healthy I don't need this second lunch, even if I am starving"? Everything on-line about obesity and weight in pregnancy talks about limiting calories and reducing weight gain, which sends me the message that this is what I should be doing, ignoring the hunger and limiting calories. But I'm seriously hungry to the point of pain/nausea.
Comments 
6th-Feb-2014 08:08 pm (UTC)
I'm a big believer in listening to your body when pregnant. Regardless of size, if you're feeling strong hunger pains after you've upped your water, then I would listen to that. Maybe try to fill up with lean protein (chicken comes to mind). I had points in my pregnancy too where suddenly it was like I couldn't get enough to eat. I wouldn't stress about feeling guilty and instead listen to your hunger cues and fill up with healthy snacks.
6th-Feb-2014 08:10 pm (UTC)
Yup. If not eating is making you sick, eat.

I had to up my protein like crazy when I was pregnant. I did at lot of peanut butter sandwiches and handfuls of nuts.
6th-Feb-2014 09:36 pm (UTC)
This is pretty much what I eat too (well, not peanut butter but almond butter). I made a personal daily protein intake record on Monday with 162 grams! But suddenly the high protein snacks are not working any more.
6th-Feb-2014 09:31 pm (UTC)
This. Eat healthy, but EAT.
7th-Feb-2014 02:02 am (UTC)
Agree with this completely.
6th-Feb-2014 08:11 pm (UTC)
If you are hungry to the point of nausea, eat! It's likely your baby is having a little growth spurt and things will settle back down soon. Try to eat high protein foods that will stick with you.

I am considered obese, too, but I eat if I'm hungry. I gained 25 lbs with #1 and had lost more than that two weeks later. This is #2 and I am trying to eat well, but I am not going to stress about weight gain.

6th-Feb-2014 09:48 pm (UTC)
Ugh even gaining 15# with my first my midwives would try all sorts of scare tactics about how obese mothers have more complications and the more they gain the more complications they have and if I put on even a pound more I would probably need a C-section and all sorts of stuff that made me literally afraid to eat food while I was pregnant. This time I keep telling myself "I did fine last time, no need to be afraid of food", and my midwives have said nothing about my weight, but it's all still there in my mind telling me not to eat. With my health professionals, birth books, and the internet continually stressing the importance of not gaining too much weight when you start out obese, it's very difficult for me to take a relaxed view of it. With my last pregnancy I was put through-- and passed by quite a good margin-- the one hour glucose test three times, like they couldn't believe I didn't have GD. And in the end I had no complications at all, after they had been telling me all along that I would have complications due to my size and 15# weight gain. It made me angry that I'd been so scared for months.
7th-Feb-2014 12:25 am (UTC)
Your midwives gave you terrible advice.

Eat. Choose quality foods, but please eat!

I was obese for both my pregnancies. I started both pregnancies at around the 250lb mark. Gained 65lbs my first (lost it all after) and 22lbs with my second - he's 3 months now, and I've also list all that weight. My doctor didn't mention my weight to me once. The myth that fat automatically equals unhealthy or risky is total bullshit.
7th-Feb-2014 10:15 am (UTC)
This, so much!

I'm not a fan of people who use pregnancy as an excuse to really double their body weight because they just snack on unhealthy fast food all the time, but this is very different. There should be no advice to not gain weight, because it's ridiculous... a weight gain of 22 lbs during pregnancy is totally average, and more is also fine! 15 isn't much for a whole pregnancy, and counting calories and watching fat to the point where you're going hungry is crazy and not healthy. You need strength for pregancy, birth and caring for an infant, and that includes physical and mental health, with minimized stress.
Many women lose some if not all of the weight gained during pregnancy again during nursing time. Neither pregnancy nor nursing period are times to aim for calculated weight loss, though.

True, some adipose women don't gain a lot during pregnancy, but some do. Same for thinner people - some gain loads, others don't. When you're hungry, your body - no matter what the BMI says - is sending you clear clues (some cravings like pica aside, although some items like chalk might even count as clue). keypike's doctor obviously was a good one, and I'm actually a bit shocked that in your case (OP) the midwives are the ones telling you such nonsense.
7th-Feb-2014 02:14 am (UTC)
Gah! As if pregnant women didn't have enough to stress about :P

I hope you found some new midwives :(
6th-Feb-2014 09:08 pm (UTC)
eat if you're hungry, but be mindful of what you eat. if lunch #1 is a big mac and fries, and lunch #2 is a pizza with extra cheese, you're going to gain weight you don't need. If lunch #1 is a chicken breast with some salad and lunch #2 is lentil soup and toast that's very different. I'm a big believer in listening to your body, but that craving for french fries and gravy can probably be satiated by something with more food value. I'd worry less about weight gain and more about making those calories count and have food value.
6th-Feb-2014 09:33 pm (UTC)
I feel that I make mostly good food choices (I'm certainly not eating at McDonald's or anything-- most of it is homemade "whole" foods, though not necessarily low fat since I do believe in healthy dietary fats). Usually for me a high protein or high omega fat snack would stop most hunger and now it just isn't, so it makes me question my choice to then add another snack to that because where does it end?
7th-Feb-2014 12:01 pm (UTC)
I think it's only a problem when you eat out of boredom or pure appetite. When you feel hungry, don't feel guilty to add a meal or snack! You sound like making good food choices, so don't feel bad about it.
7th-Feb-2014 08:56 pm (UTC)
I know that you've been put through a lot of shame and fear about it, and that makes it so difficult to trust yourself. But here is what I think: I think it ends when you feel comfortably full, or at least not Hungry. If one protein-y snack isn't cutting it, it's because your body needs more - maybe even some carbs and/or fat for energy. It's okay to need that. Your body is not lying to you, it's telling you what it needs. You're growing a human, it sometimes takes a lot of energy to make that happen! It's okay to eat food, and it's okay not to starve. Even if you gain a bit. Truly. And I hope you can find a midwife or doctor that will treat you like you deserve to not be starving all the time. <3
8th-Feb-2014 01:49 am (UTC)
calories are food value. the latter isn't very filling, but the former can be at relatively small portions.
6th-Feb-2014 10:32 pm (UTC)
Listen to your body. Eat. Try to eat healthy though.
6th-Feb-2014 11:24 pm (UTC)
It was about 20w I got insanely hungry for a few days/a week with each of my kiddos. Growth spurt? It will pass :)
7th-Feb-2014 05:42 am (UTC)
EAT! When I was pregnant, I ate a ton of food during the day, and I'd still wake up in the middle of the night to eat and go back to bed. I would not be afraid to gain 15 lbs again, especially since you had no issues before. I don't think it's reasonable to gain NO weight. I only gained 12 lbs. by the end of my pregnancy, and while my belly was huge, the rest of me was noticeably thinner. Babies, placentas, blood and fluid are heavy. Even if *your* body doesn't gain a pound, your baby will be gaining and contributing to your overall weight. As long as you are eating healthy foods and staying active (and it sounds like you are), I would eat when you are hungry.
7th-Feb-2014 12:17 pm (UTC)
We learned in class that baby plus placenta plus uterus and amniotic fluid etc. will alone make a sum of 15 to 24 lbs. :-o
10th-Feb-2014 05:16 pm (UTC)
I don't think anyone should suffer that much in pregnancy...

But do try to eat higher protein/lower carb which may help you feel less hungry.
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