Molly Mathews

My name is Molly. I have been married for 5 years and have two children. A 10 year old step-son, a 2 year old daughter and I am currently 26 weeks pregnant with a boy! I live in the town I grew up in and have a large family that I see often. We all live close to each other right now and I hope it stays that way as we draw a lot of support from one another. I have been a nurse for 6 years, mostly in the emergency department, and I love my job. Since young childhood I dreamed of being a nurse and a mom and here I am both! I couldn't have imagined how difficult the journey would be but neither could I have fathomed the Joy that would come from both. Becoming a mom has made me into a better person in many ways and a bit of a crazy worry wart in other ways! Having support from other moms who have been there before or are there with you makes all the difference in the world!


End of Pregnancy Weight Gain

I’ll start by admitting that I had gotten pretty proud of myself throughout this pregnancy. I have eaten a fairly healthy diet and I have done moderate exercise six days a week (I’m not going to talk about the chocolate though!). I know I wasn’t being “super healthy”, but it seemed to be working as I was only gaining the recommended amount of weight. I was glad to know that I wasn’t packing on any extra pounds or “eating for two.”

Now fast forward to the last four weeks of pregnancy. Starting around week 36, the weight started packing on. Each week the number on the scale was way higher than I expected even though I was still exercising and eating what I believed to be a healthy diet. I started noticing that my face was fuller and my toes were so round they looked like they might explode.

On top of that, my ankles had completely disappeared. I started to get nervous – was this preeclampsia? So I spoke with my doctor about it and he assured me it was not preeclampsia since my protein levels were good and my blood pressure was perfect. So then I just simply got discouraged; how can I be working hard to have a healthy pregnancy and be gaining this much weight so quickly?

My doctor told me it was swelling and probably came from too much sodium in my diet. He gave me a handout on sodium and told me to cut it back to 2000 mg a day. I went home and started looking at all of my food labels and realized I really do not consume that much sodium, but I consciously made an effort to cut it down.

However, after some research, I found that this type of swelling at the end of pregnancy is normal and most likely water weight. Apparently the swelling can be increased when standing for long periods of time, when you have “long” days of activity (uh…I have a toddler, need I say more?), and in the summertime heat. Check, check, and check.
So what are the recommendations for addressing this swelling you might ask?

1. Rest with your feet elevated (probably not going to happen with a 2 year old in the house)
2. Minimize outdoor time when it is hot (again, not going to happen with a 2 year old to entertain)
3. Drink water which helps flush the body (ok I can do this one!)

My real take away from this is not to be discouraged with the weight gain; it will come off. I will stop worrying about that and focus on doing the small things that I can do to avoid any more water retention. If you are coming up on your third trimester, go ahead and start researching what you can do to stay comfortable for the end of your pregnancy – especially in this heat!

Did anyone else struggle with this late pregnancy swelling? Any helpful tips?

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