I am ashamed to say but I am over 30 BMI – this puts my pregnancy as high risk so when I was offered the chance to see a dietitian specialist I jumped at the chance.
When I was younger I was skinny – it was easy to do as I was always off doing one sport or another. I was burning so many calories and too busy to eat snack food so I never had to diet. After my head injuries my life changed – with each injury and year my health got worse so I could do less and less sporting activities. Last year I was struggling to even walk across a room – it is not surprising then that in the last 10 years I have gone from a size 8 to a size 16 and reached an unhealthy BMI of 33.
When you can hardly do anything food becomes a comfort. Many could try to point to baking being a down fall but ironically I hardly ate any of my bakes and would have to push myself to walk and stand more than other days or weeks. My other cooking activities though, learning to make an amazing Mac and Cheese or home-made bread.
My biggest downfall after my inability to keep up my old sporting life, is that fact that I am a supertaster. With all my extra taste buds I struggle with bitter veg, spicy food or well most food in general. Turning to old school cooking as really helped but it still doesn’t help getting over the struggle of eating key foods. Since getting pregnant my issues with food has increased – I now am left running from the room at the smell of pizza or spinach, two things I loved before. Even the smell of chicken has me fleeing a room and this is my normal go to meat to keep up my protein.
At my first midwife appointment, after finding out I had a BMI over 30 I was offered the chance to see a specialist so I couldn’t help but jump at the chance. I want the help to be healthier both for myself and for bump so every little bit of help I can get will help. Set for just after New Years, my appointment was hidden in the streets of Hanover – somewhere I have never ventured to before. Based in a child and pregnancy care community centre I turned up to find brightly coloured walls and useful leaflets or magazines everywhere. Having missed the bus I had taken a taxi so turned up early so rummaged through everything I could find that appeared useful. The staff were so sweet, polite and seemed to know a lot of useful information.
As I sat in the waiting room, killing the 20 minutes of time before my appointment, I saw the hubbub of activity as pregnant women or mothers with their children came and went from various appointments or groups. It was clear that services like this had a huge impact as every lady thanked the staff or beamed with happy stories from their time there that day.
Time seemed to fly unlike in most waiting rooms and quickly it was my appointment as a very smiley lady came through the door announcing my name. Through the doors it was rabbit warren – I could finally understand why and how so many ladies and their children had disappeared through here. Doors to halls and rooms lead off in every direction and soon after squirreling down corridors and up some stairs we came to a warm office.
I had no clue what this appointment would involve – I have never had to go to a Dietitian before so I was very nervous. I think the lady was used to seeing this so started “So tell me about you and your health history.” When I blurted out “this is going to be long and confusing” she chuckled and said she had heard that a lot before. The next 10 minutes was me giving a very brief background to my health problems as I talked at my normal “I’m nervous” stupidly fast speed. When I finally took a breath and stopped I got the normal reaction I get from all health professionals of ” Wow that is complex… I wasn’t expecting all of that!” and “You really have been let down by gaps in the health system.”
The only surprising reaction was when I started talking again about the decision to try for a baby due to always wanting kids, being told it could help my head problems and that I was warned about fertility issues in the summer, was how she finished my sentence. I was explaining how pregnancy has been shown to help improve or cure head injury issues only for her to finish that it was due to the brain rewiring. This was followed by her experience of seeing others experience this for various brain related issues. For me this was a huge relief. Despite meeting a lot of health professionals, here was someone who had seen this work again and again. I think she saw the utter relief from this and that I had relaxed so talk turned to my current food problems, measuring my weight and pregnancy tablets I had been taking.
Again and again she was reassuring of what things I was doing right but also on how to try to improve my current bad habits. Over and over she gave useful information in the short time we had. For me the most useful was a graph on weight gain through pregnancy. In all of the books it has been just written in such a way that was confusing but here was a clear graph and direction of what sort of weight gain I should aim for throughout the whole pregnancy than just at key points. Most books have a paragraph of weight gain, often stating “don’t eat for two” and this is the final amount of weight that you should gain. Leaving that appointment I had food ideas, direction, a clear guide throughout the whole pregnancy and directions of where to get more vital information that would be of help.
While it will be a month and a half before my next appointment, this hour session gave me so much information that will help guide me until then. It was great to have reassurance that the weight loss I had seen over the last 6 weeks was safe and how to help with the current aversions until they will hopefully disappear in the second trimester.
Have you seen a dietitian? Did you find them helpful? What food tips do you have in pregnancy? I would love to hear from you so leave a comment below!