Fluid Retention and Weight Gain

In addition to the counselor I mentioned in my last post, my OB/GYN also offers a nutritionist. She was fine with my vegan diet and said my blood work was the best she has seen in awhile. And my exercise routine was adequate. However, then she became concerned I gained 6 lbs before week 11. It is one more pound than normal, so a lectured ensued. I felt like she was accusing me of lying about my diet and exercise. Afterwards, I cried in my car. She made me feel like a horrible mom already for gaining one more pound than I should have. As a teenager I really struggled with my weight and worked really hard to get healthy. All my former fat insecurities just came flooding back.

14 weeks here, looking back I can totally see how bloated I was.
I told my husband about it that night, and he told me to ignore her. He said I am still beautiful and, more importantly, I am supposed to gain weight to make a baby. And it’s one pound. The appointment was in the afternoon so it could have just been from eating lunch and drinking water all day. I decided he was right. I just brushed it all off and continue what I was doing since the baby and I were both healthy.
At my 20 weeks appointment I had gained 7 more pounds, which the doctor said that was perfectly fine. The gain didn’t bother me, but I was just confused how I gained that much in 5 weeks. I did not think I was eating that much. My belly had really popped and I couldn’t eat much at all without it hurting.

The next week my lower back and hips really started to ache. Michael was very nice and bought me a prenatal massage. The message therapist told me I was retaining a lot fluid and toxins around my hips, which was probably causing all my discomfort. She worked the area well to get the fluids moving again. She also told me to up my water intake by at least 3 glasses.

Michael bought me a pink one so I’d stop stealing his.
Are you kidding me? I already drink 3 refills of my pink water bottle at work, plus one glass when I wake up, one with dinner, and some before bed! And I pee like 10 times day! How can I possibly drink more!/?!/!?
The day after the massage, a huge difference.
I am not all puffy and my belly looks reasonable for 21 weeks

When I got home after the massage, I peed for what felt like an eternity. And right after that, all my back/hip pain was gone. I realized that maybe she was right. For whatever reason I was retaining a lot of fluid. So I decided to give drinking more water a shot.

Over the next 3 days I upped my water intake to 5-6 refills of my water bottle at work. Saturday morning I weighed myself and was surprised to see I lost 3 pounds. I had not changed my caloric intake (we even ate out one night) or exercise, and I somehow lost weight. I weighed myself the next day and it was still the same. I had really only gained 11 pounds, not the confusing 14. I guess I really was retaining fluids!
So I asked my mom. She said that water really does flush out your system and helps you maintain a healthy weight. And that it’s a probably a very good thing I caught my water retention early. She worries that I will develop Toxemia or Preeclampsia like she did while pregnant.
 I am now 23 weeks, and still eating the required calories a day and getting my exercise. I have only gained one more pound. I am not concerned about not gaining a pound a week like I am supposed to. I think my body is still trying to get out all the excess fluid. From now on I will try to be more on track with it though.
23 weeks and feeling A LOT better.
No bloat and no crazy weight gain.
I am also in love with sweater from H &M.

What is the lesson from all this? DRINK WATER! AND DRINK LOTS OF IT!!!

I admit I did not drink that much water in my first trimester because I was so nauseous. I should have followed the advice I used to give my college friends when they drank too much and I was taking care of them all night, “Drink this cup of water, even if you throw it all up again. It’s better it was in you for a little bit than never at all.”

I also want to stressed that my fluid retention was minor and I had no other symptoms. If you are gaining weight quickly without a reasonable explanation, have swelling of the limps or face, difficulty breathing, or fainting often, you may have a serious medical condition like Preeclampsia and need medical attention right away.

Here are some links about the stuff I mentioned in the post:

Drink Enough Water, from WebMD, talks about the importance of drinking enough water all the time, not during pregnancy.

Drink Enough Water During Pregnancy, from What to Expect, explains why water is especially important while pregnant.

Symptoms of Fluid Retention, a link from Dr. Oz, explains what to look for if you think you are retaining fluid.

How to Minimize Water-Retention and Swelling, from Bable, things you can do during pregnancy to minimize fluid retention.

Lastly, info on Preeclampsia.


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