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Pregnancy Chronicles: 2nd Trimester

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Well y’all, I have finished my second trimester! Only 9 more weeks until we get to meet our baby!! We opted not to find out the gender this time (3rd baby and we have a boy & a girl already). The nursery is finished…thank goodness because “nesting” is just not in my vocabulary right now.

This pregnancy has been flying by! It’s been a really pleasant and successful trimester, if I dare say. I have been getting SO many questions across social media from ladies about how I’ve maintained keto during my pregnancy so I hope I can answer a lot of your questions in this post.

Disclosure: the following post is solely a document of my personal experience of pregnancy on my keto journey. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not a medical professional and cannot answer medical questions. Please consult a doctor before becoming pregnant or if you have questions about eating keto while pregnant.

R E – C A P

You can read about my 1st trimester experience here. If you’ve followed me on Instagram or read my first trimester post, you know I all but quit eating keto for a brief time. My morning sickness would not allow me to keep all of the yummy keto foods down (TMI but y’all asked for it!) and I made the conscious choice to eat healthy as much as possible but not worry about eating keto. In fact, I ate quite a bit of Taco Bell and Chick-Fil-A for a while. However, giving into my cravings slowly started leading to more bad food choices. I recognized my behaviors and nipped it in butt. We’ll dive into the specifics shortly!


W H A T ‘ S  C H A N G E D  M E D I C A L L Y 

Other than my growing belly, not too much has changed medically speaking. I have had a fairly easy pregnancy without hiccups or high risk factors. My morning sickness subsided around the 12 or 13 week mark and I’ve felt very normal and energetic during my second trimester. There’s nothing major to report that had an effect on me, the baby, or keto! Woo hoo!


W E I G H T  M A N A G E M E N T

If you’ve never had a baby, let me explain that each trimester is roughly 12-14 weeks long. In my first trimester, I gained about 11lbs. I wasn’t overly concerned with that number because as I’ve previously mentioned, I wasn’t really eating low carb at all and weight gain is to be expected (duh!) during pregnancy.

By the 22/23 week mark, I was up to 22ish pounds gained. Considering that the recommended weight gain for an ENTIRE pregnancy is between 25-30lbs, I wasn’t happy with this number. I don’t have any medical issues that were contributing to this weight gain. It was all what I was eating and lack of exercise. I also turned 30 that week (eek!)…

At that point, I was feeling great as far as energy and morning sickness goes (meaning, I didn’t have any) so I decided to jump back into my keto and low carb ways. To be perfectly honest, I was really underwhelmed by carby foods and genuinely missed my keto and low carb foods. My body was begging for a change.

As of today, I’m 28 weeks along, and I have successfully been able to maintain a ZERO LB weight gain in the last 5ish weeks. I haven’t been tracking my weight in My Fitness Pal so I can’t give exact dates, but that is close enough. My cumulative weight gain is 24lbs and my doctor is perfectly happy/okay with that number. 

I can also say that my weight gain has been concentrated in my belly. My face is a little puffy and I do have some swelling, but overall, I haven’t gained a bunch of weight elsewhere. In fact, many of my pre-pregnancy clothes still fit. I kept some of my clothes from before I lost any weight (at my highest weight) and I am able to use a few of those tops like maternity tops because they are so loose (most are actually too big but they’re not costing me anything). My workout clothes are still my normal ones from before baby. That makes me (and my bank account!) super happy!!

At 23 weeks I committed to eating 95% keto and really watching my scale. The fear of having a bunch of extra weight to lose after my baby is born terrifies me so I’ve been very diligent and proactive.The other 5% of the time, I indulge those baby cravings guilt free. Okay, maybe a little guilt, but who cares, I’ve got a human kicking me in the ribs every 10 minutes! 😉


E X E R C I S E 

The gym. Man, I never thought I’d say this in my entire life but I MISSED GOING TO THE GYM!!! Y’all, that’s a huge NSV for me! I stopped going at about the 8-10 week mark because I was getting SUPER nauseated, feeling faint, and just couldn’t make it through a workout.

Unfortunately, even though I started feeling better around 15 weeks, I didn’t go back to the gym. I was lazy and out of the habit. It’s crazy how fast our habits can change for the worse! It was also wintery, snowy, and blah outside which didn’t help encourage me either.

But as I mentioned before, about 5 weeks ago I decided to get serious again. I started going back to the gym regularly. Some weeks it was only 2 days, some weeks 4. My point is, I incorporated a light workout regularly with my healthy keto eating.

I typically just do cardio for 30 or 40 minutes. I’ll walk on the treadmill at a 3mph speed (pretty slow for me) or I’ll ride the bike at a higher resistance level. The bigger the baby gets, the harder it is to complete these without having to pee my pants because of all the pressure on my bladder but that’s just par for the course. Sometimes I will stop, run to the potty, and get right back to it.

Once or twice a week I’ll also go down and use the weight machines. I definitely don’t overdo it down there because I have had preterm labor and  a NICU baby before so I don’t want to induce anything this time. But, I do a few reps with manageable weights to keep my arm muscles happy. Some days I’ll do thighs and hip flexors because those are always problem spots post delivery for me.

I can 100% attribute my lack of weight gain the past month to exercise. Yes, I’ve eaten better, but getting my butt off the couch and moving has really helped. I feel so much better and I KNOW it will help me with delivery and recovery.

Having had a riskier delivery with my second baby, I did consult my doctor about exercise in my third trimester because although I feel great, I want to be 100% safe. She said that there is ZERO connection between moderate exercise and preterm labor. In fact, she said that if I was exercising regularly before pregnancy, that I am even more safe to do so until delivery. It is even encouraged. This may be a no brainer for some, but it came as a sigh of relief for me.

So, as soon as I finish writing this post, my booty is off to the gym!


M A C R O S 

The most frequent question ladies ask me is about macros. They want to know how I’ve adjusted them during my pregnancy. Here’s my answer…I DON’T TRACK THEM.

Unless you are very overweight at the beginning of your pregnancy, trying to lose weight is not advised. (Again, I’m not a medical professional. This is my opinion and the opinion of my doctor) You need to eat to support your growing baby. It’s as simple as that. I don’t beat myself up if I eat more than my husband at dinner because he doesn’t have a coconut swimming around in his tummy sucking up all of his nutrients.

Even though I am eating keto again, I am not tracking macros at all. This is called “lazy keto”. I eat low carb until I’m satiated. Some days I feel more ravenous than others. Some days I can go until noon without eating. But if I’m hungry, I eat. I just keep it low or zero carb.


G L U C O S E  S C R E E N I N G

Man, was I dreading this. I had done a little research and found that it is common for women who follow a low carb or ketogenic diet to fail their 1-hour glucose screening test. No!!! Talk about anxiety!

That drink is awful enough, to have to do it twice is just torture! Thankfully, I passed mine. The normal range is between 50-140 and mine was 113. Phew! With that being said, the side effects of the test were so much worse than in my previous pregnancies. If you’ve never taken a glucose test before, it is basically an extremely concentrated sugary drink that you have to chug in 5 minutes and then let it absorb into your bloodstream for 1 hour. It taste like a thick, syrupy, extra sugary gatorade. Yuck!!!

I’ll break down how my body reacted to all that sugar after not having it for so long:

-Immediately after consumption, I was trying not to puke. All that sugar hitting my stomach was no bueno!

-30 minutes after drinking it I had a killer headache. I was beginning to feel light headed also.

-1 hour after drinking my headache had worsened. When I stood up to go have my blood drawn, I felt very faint and dizzy. This lasted for quite a while too. I was very jittery and shaky also.

-When my test was over, I immediately ate. I did eat some bread (a biscuit to be specific) because I thought it might help absorb all the stuff I drank (similar to alcohol). I ate a chicken biscuit from Chick-Fil-A and the chicken patty off of a chicken sandwich (no bread with that one). It helped with the jitters and faint feeling. I also drank some water and sipped a Coke Zero.

-2 hours after consumption, I still had a bad headache. I was also getting extremely tired. Perhaps I was crashing from the sugar but it was the most miserable feeling.

-By the end of the day, I was still SO tired. I slept like a baby after eating a low carb dinner.

-The next morning (which is actually the day I’m writing this post) I felt like I had a sugar hangover.

So to sum that all up: the test sucks. I passed. I felt like crap.


E A T I N G 

I’ve touched on what I’ve eaten this trimester a few times already. The first half was not keto at all. I ate potatoes, bread, and some sweet stuff but I didn’t overdo it.

Since resuming keto a month or so ago, I eat everything you see on my blog. The recipes I post are things I really do feed my family! You can follow me on Instagram (@keto_in_pearls) to see what I eat day to day.


G O A L S 

I am having a scheduled c-section on May 3rd so I have roughly 9 weeks left in my pregnancy. My plan is continue working out as much as possible and I am going to stay “lazy keto”.  I hope to gain no more than 10lbs during this time. The baby will gain significant weight and the placenta will get bigger so weight gain is inevitable. I just hope to manage it the best I can!  If you have any questions that I haven’t addressed in these posts, feel free to email me! I’m happy to try and answer them or point you in the right direction! I know how hard it is to go from a weight loss state of mind to a weight gain state of mind!

Next time I write one of these posts, I’ll have a little snuggly baby sitting with me! Until then…keep calm and keto on!