Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"You'll have to eat about every hour"

I met with the nutritionist at our MFM clinic this morning. I knew my weight was not increasing quickly enough, so I expected to be told firmly that I had to eat more. I am 9 1/2 weeks now, and have gained around 3 pounds. I know this is not enough, and that they'd encourage me to get the scale moving in the right direction.

We talked a bit about my weight before pregnancy and my eating habits. She said for someone like me, who was very "calorie conscious" and ate fewer than 2,000 calories a day, it would take a shift in thinking to be able to eat close to 4,000 required by a triplet pregnancy. I agree, but it also takes the cooperation of my stomach which feels full rather quickly and is easily turned off. I am supposed to gain somewhere between 58-70 pounds, but she said for my frame and size before pregnancy, 50 is a more reasonable goal. Each doctor and nurse have emphasized the need for early and adequate weight gain (as does Barbara Luke's book that I've mentioned) and shows that babies whose mothers gain more, earlier have better birth weights and fewer health problems at birth. This is a huge motivation!

We talked about some of the challenges I have right now:

1. I don't eat much meat, and no beef or pork at all. This makes it harder to get the recommended 200 grams of protein per day.

2. I feel extremely nauseous about half the time, and do not feel like eating then.

3. Many foods, cooking smells and scents make me sick. Cooking is not really an option right now.

So, she helped me devise a meal plan and I need to try to stick to it, even when I don't feel good. If I do feel extremely sick, all the more reason to eat extremely high calorie foods when I can, since I will eat less when nauseated. She said someone who started "a little behind" should really eat every hour (!!!) or so. She had many good tips:

1. No more water. Make every sip count, and have calories. Juice, milk, smoothies, or lemonade. Nothing diet.

2. Shoot for three meals with three snacks. A snack, however is not 1/2 an apple, but more like a mini-meal.

3. Eat fast food to get extra calories, and take out. She gave me the list of highest calorie restaurant entree's which she either gives to people who need to lose or gain. Example, a Starbucks blueberry muffin has 500 calories. That is A LOT and would help me meet my goal. A slice of Costco pizza has 800 calories. Can you believe that?

4. Must start drinking protein shakes at night and eating protein bars. The babies need some protein in there!

5. She told me to use to track my calorie intake. I started and with all my extra efforts today, I've only eaten 900 calories. GRRR. I had such a big lunch, I don't feel like eating at all until dinner.

6. Eat fat-dense foods like nuts, butter, avocado and cheese.

Had someone told me six months ago that I could eat whatever and whenever I wanted, I would've been thrilled, but once you start trying to do it... it loses its appeal rather quickly. I am sure once the nausea passes, it will be easier, but right now, it is a battle. I may have to start posting my weight gain so you all can encourage (read: harass) me into packing it on. It is like reverse Over Eaters Anonymous!

So there you have it. This seems like an impossible goal, but I want those babies to grow and be as heavy and healthy at birth. They said you can't really gain too much for a triplet pregnancy, and it will serve all of us very well. I know not every clinic advocates a plan like this one, but it makes sense to me, and there is a lot of research backing it up.

Listen up, A, B and C! Mommy is stuffing her face (out of lots of love) for you up here, so grow big and strong!


  1. So... Gram wants to know where I should take you for dinner tonight! Or pick up take-out for us? I'm so proud of you for taking such good care of yourself and the babies, and for doing so much to help them grow and be healthy - even when it's not all that fun. You're the best mommy I know.

  2. Sounds like you're going to be hitting the drive-thru quite a bit! It's interesting that they encourage you to eat tons of calories that aren't super-nutritious -- fun but sort of counter-intuitive. :)

    Keeping my fingers crossed that you have enough non-queasy moments to stuff your face!

  3. It also helps to keep high-protein, high-calorie granola bars--the kind with lots of good fruit and nuts inside--beside the bed for when you wake up hungry during the night. Like you, I don't ordinarily eat red meat or pork, but occasionally when I was pregnant with the boys I'd crave a burger and go for it. I started drinking Boost and Ensure shakes too for the extra calories and protein. Good luck! Sounds like you have an excellent game plan in place. :)

  4. Wow! That's a side of it you just don't normall hear. And it's so strange to be TOLD to eat fast-food. They don't care if the calories are healthy ones or not? Just as long as they are calories??? Amazing. I'm learning a lot!

  5. What an interesting appt when a health professional tells you to eat takeout and fast food. It makes me feel less guilty for all those chicken nugget from McDonald's cravings I had my first trimester. I know it sounds good in theory, but eating that much can be hard. I get full so fast now and feel bloated and huge after dinner. I think it will be easier for you once the naseousness has passed. Good luck! Where are you eating out tonight?

  6. WOW!! It sounds like fun to me right now..since after the egg retrieval I was craving a burger and now chinese....but it does sound like a job especially when you are used to eating healthy!! Good luck!! I know you can do it:)

  7. I'm pregnant with twins and I find this information really interesting. I read Dr. Luke's book and I've gained about 13 lbs and I'm at 18 weeks. It probably isn't enough, but I am eating a lot. I go for my Level II ultrasound with the peri on Friday and I'll be interested to see if he has anything to say about my weight gain.

    As other comments have mentioned - it seems like the goal is to get protein and fat to help the babies grow. Fat is good for growth and I think that is where the high calorie fast food comes in. Dr. Luke's book actually recommends eating a Snickers bar every day -- who knew...
    I assume that they figure we will still manage to get a lot of our nutrients with all of those calories and the ones we don't get come from the vitamins.

  8. Its amazing that they said no more water..
    Eeep I would definatly still be drinking alot of water... maybe adding some cordial?
    I dunno.

    In theory stuffing your face is easy, but I feel for you having to this now.
    But I know even though your starting slowly you will do a GREAT Job at getting the babies weights up.

  9. I'll volunteer for a Cafe Ladro run every day! Maybe a couple of those huge cinammon rolls? Because I am such a trouper, I will volunteer to match you pound for pound. I know...taking one for the team... Jen

  10. 4,000 calories a DAY? Wow.

    Keep eating, girl! I hope the nausea lets up soon.

  11. So let's plan some lunch trips out! Your babies (all 4 of them including big A) are so lucky to have such a dedicated Mommy! You will do great and def. call if you need some cheering on-I'm always happy to eat along with you! ;)

  12. I hear ya, sister. With no meat intake at all and still an aversion to most sweets, the twin protein and calorie count is flat-out impossible for me.

    Though lots of foods are still unappetizing, my nausea got much better after Week 10; hopefully yours will improve soon.

    Good luck!!

  13. you've got a challenge there, then :)
    I know how you feel though, on numerous occasions during pregnancy I had to remind myself to eat more 'for the baby', because, like you, I can go long on little myself :) Those are some great tips from the nutritionist though, it'll just take some learning to use them! Good luck, I'm sure it'll all be just fine!

  14. One of the only ways I can eat meat right now is in burger form. Load it up with cheese and mayo and other deliciousness. Like extra pickles. I also like the starbucks chocolate banana vivano - it was a lifesaver when my morning sickness ruled the whole day. I'm lactose intolerant so had it with soy. mmm

  15. Thanks for the inspiration to get off my duff (and the internet) and get a snack. Fitday has a pregnancy companion site- Some of the articles and recipes are helpful. I, too, have found the extra eating to be the hardest part of a multiples pregnancy.

  16. Oh, I hear you. Eating for 4 is really hard with nausea, food aversions and when you can't cook because the smells just make it worse. I'm there too. I'm reading all of the MFM and nutritionist advice you received with great interest as I'll be going for my first consult at the perinatologist tomorrow. I'll post over the weekend. Together, you and I can do this triplet thing. Bring on 33+ weeks.

    If you don't mind, could you post the babies' lengths at 9 weeks? I'm 8wk4d now and would love to compare. Okay, now that you've read this, go eat something! :D

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