Family Friday (vol. 19): Is My FitBit Helping Me Have a Healthier Pregnancy?

18 weeks vs 22 weeks

First things first…I don’t always wear black and I don’t typically look as terrible as I do in the left image. But these are my two belly profile comparison photos of baby #2. And they’re already out-of-date as I am already at 24 weeks, 3 days.

Have I mentioned lately that this pregnancy is flying by? The third trimester is right around the corner. Bananas.

I am not going to rehash the tragedy that was my pregnancy with Shea, but in brief, I was riddled with back and sciatic nerve pain, as well as crippling carpal tunnel from week 13 on. With her, I was symptom-free of pregnancy in the first trimester (other than fatigue) and barely hanging on for dear life the remaining 27 weeks. I had no idea what to expect this time around.

I again dodged the dreaded morning sickness and coasted through my first trimester with just a few headaches. At 23 weeks, I got some back pain, seemingly out of no where. In hindsight, it may have been due to some lifting/moving in the nursery, but with the exception of just one day, I’ve carried on with an active lifestyle. That lifestyle includes a toddler and being competitive with myself and with friends on FitBit.

When I used my “Christmas Cash” (I’m 30, this shouldn’t be a thing. Spoiled!) to buy a FitBit, Mark declared it would be something I’d use for a week and then never use again. In fairness, he had reason to believe this because several years back, my parents got me a Jawbone UP. Sadly, it malfunctioned after a brief stint of use, and I never pursued replacing it.

Fast forward to present day and it seems everyone is wearing a FitBit or something of the like. My patients are able to report to me how many steps they average on a daily basis. It is nothing short of MOTIVATING.

While pregnant with Shea, I did have some restrictions. For example, my heart rate was asked to never exceed 140 bpm. When your blood volume goes up by 50% as it does in pregnancy, I’m sure my heart rate would often reach this threshold simply lugging in groceries or maneuvering a laundry basket up the stairs, but I was careful with it during exercise…which lead me to working out with a trainer during my pregnancy.

My trainer went from stretching exercises alone to quite a bit of core and balance training. I am not for a second going to say it wasn’t helpful in remaining fit-ish during my pregnancy, but I truly believe that I used this anaerobic exercise as a replacement for low/moderate intensity aerobic exercise. And thus, my weight suffered.

In fairness, my 40 lbs of weight gain with Shea was primarily water, placenta, and baby. I know this because all 40 lbs was off in 6 days and then the scale came to a complete standstill and it remained there until I got pregnant again. With my first pregnancy, 58% of my weight (/water) gain came in the 3rd trimester. No wonder I was barely surviving towards the end…

At 24 1/2 weeks, I’m up 7 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight and I do believe that I will not gain the 17 lbs I gained in the first 2 trimesters with Shea. Because of this, I feel that this pregnancy has been more fit and active and I truly, truly, truly thank my FitBit for that.

My goal each day is at least 10,000 steps – nothing crazy- and about 2 days a week I fall far short of that. These are my rest days. Otherwise, I am for a 3+ mile walk/jog, depending on what my body is telling me to do. I do have back pain but I have found that if I can push through some discomfort, I actually feel better when I’m moving. On the flip side, I’ve found that when I over-do it, I find myself in more discomfort and pain. It’s a fine line, but I’m striking the balance quite well most days.

It’ll be interesting to see how the next 15 weeks play out, but I know for me, my FitBit will keep me motivated towards continuing a pregnancy that is more fit than my last. 🙂

Be well,

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1 Comment

  1. martha
    May 25, 2016 / 2:14 pm

    I love my FitBit everyday . I love it and can not be without it to help track my steps. I had my Rotator Shoulder Surgery in March 4 of this year and I find that according to my Surgeon the Large Fraction was bigger than he expected along with the chattered ligaments to be reattached to my shoulder with 6 screws. I look forward to an everyday walk with my fitbit.

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