12 Dec How to deal with pregnancy and IVF weight-gain.

Story

“I’m 44 years old, I gave birth about 4 months ago and now I’m 15 kilos above what I used to be. I’d like you to give me an opinion. I had a gastric band placed a few years ago, and it’s still in place. I don’t breastfeed for the last month or so. When I had the band placed, I was 94 kilos and in one year I dropped down to 57. I stayed on that weight until I got pregnant through IVF. Thank you for your time.”

Answer

Thank you for contacting me.

During pregnancy, weight-gain is normal. On top of that, IVF often results in some weight-gain prior to conception.

The weight you put on during your pregnancy usually takes 4-12 months to go away, but it can take longer in some cases. When it does, then it may mean that there is something stopping you from losing the extra kilos, so let’s see what we can do about that.

1) First of all, you should contact the doctor that was in charge of your gastric band and ask for their opinion. Remember that any advice I give you comes second. You should first focus on your doctor’s suggestions and then look at mine.

Once you do that, you can try some of the following:

2) A strict, weight-loss diet is not usually encouraged. You need a lot of nutrients and restricting what you eat won’t help you with that. Try following a balanced diet, containing fruits and vegetables (daily), white meat and fish 2-3 times a week, red meat 1-2 times a week (mainly beef, since lamb has a lot of fat. You can try pork too if you eat it. With all red meats make sure to cut off the visible fat), pulses 3-4 times a week.

3) Try to go back to the volume of food you used to it before pregnancy. During pregnancy, you needed approximately an extra 300 calories, so you might have increased the amount you eat. Now, you don’t need these calories anymore, that’s why you should go back to your old consumption.

4) If you and your baby want to, you can continue breastfeeding for another 1-2 months. Not only does it make your baby healthier, but there is a lot of evidence to suggest that breastfeeding can help you lose weight, due to increased energy requirements.

5) The first months of pregnancy can be really tiring. Whenever you can ask someone for a bit of help, try to take a break to rest or sleep a bit. Fatigue and stress can increase your susceptibility to binge-eating, and resting can help you avoid that, indirectly helping you lose, or at least maintain, your weight.

6) Physical exercise. If you want to hit the gym or get some instruments at home, that’s great. But, if you’re not into that, there are other ways to exercise. Try taking your baby out for a walk in its stroller, for example. The calories you’ll burn will help you achieve weight-loss. In general, anything that gets you moving can help you with that.

Thank you for contacting me. I hope I have been helpful.

KC