Wife, Mummy, Nurse: Ways I Have Maintained a Healthier Pregnancy with Baby #2

24 April 2014

Ways I Have Maintained a Healthier Pregnancy with Baby #2

This pregnancy with Lil' J has been different than my pregnancy with Charis. So far at this point in my pregnancy, I have gained less than 25 lbs; when pregnant with Charis, I had gained 35+ lbs. My swelling this time is VERY minimal to non-existent. There are many contributing factors that led to a higher gain with Charis than with our son.

1. I am now eating more vegetables and fruit. I participated in the 30 Day Salad Swap with Fresh Express. The idea is you swap one meal a day with a salad; I still include healthy fats and protein with my salad, but I make an effort to eat more vegetables.

A meal where we had salad, instead of bread/pasta.
Dark meat chicken was served on the side,
along with grapes.
I worked full time, night shift as a RN in CCU when pregnant with Charis. At work, I would often get a large iced mocha and a bag of Cheetos during the night. Vegetables and fruit were seldom eaten. Then I'd go home and be so exhausted, I'd eat 2-3 bowls of cereal before crashing in bed. When I'd wake up, I'd eat another bowl of cereal since I was so tired and going into work again that night.

2. Receiving the Slow Cooker Clean Eating meal plan from eMeals once a week. The clean eating plan uses natural ingredients. Plus, it's convenient since the guess work is taken out for me. I'm given a shopping list that I just take to the store and buy the ingredients that the recipes call for. This has seriously helped me during my third trimester exhaustion, when I want to rest late afternoon instead of slaving away in the kitchen. Though I don't use every single recipe they send out during the week, I usually pick 1-2 meals from the meal plan.

"Chipotle Peach Chicken Wings"
{I substituted boneless chicken thighs for wings.}

3. Increase in walking. My goal is to take Charis to the park at least 2-3 times per week and walk. Afterwards, she enjoys playing on the playground equipment while I drink 1-2 liters of water.

Some of the benefits of walking while pregnant include:
  • Helps with a quicker, easier labor {a general rule-not a guarantee}
  • Keeps your body fit
  • Helps burn calories, which prevents excessive weight gain
  • Helps speed up postpartum recovery
  • Helps keep the digestive system moving 

4. God's goodness. I was pretty miserable during Charis's pregnancy. Looking back, a large part of it was because my eating habits were NOT good. I ate a lot of processed, pre-packaged foods, instead of making things from scratch. This pregnancy, I have been able to stay at home which has given me greater freedom to work out and cook healthy meals for my family.

I do want to add a few things: I have NOT been trying to lose weight at all. Pregnancy is not the time to worry about keeping your figure. If you're pregnant, remember a baby is growing inside you. I do not even step on the scale at home, since I have little reason to. The biggest difference with this pregnancy is I have been eating much better.


  1. Way to go on having a healthier pregnancy. When I was pregnant I gained so much weight and now I am working on taking it off.

    Michelle F.

  2. It looks like you are doing everything in your power to have a healthy pregnancy. I'm not pregnant, but had a baby last year. Nevertheless, I'd like to adopt some of the best practices that you have outlined in order to be healthier. I especially love the salad idea. Wishing you a smooth delivery! -Michelle S.

  3. I just entered my 3rd trimester. I am trying to eat more fruits and veggies, but I love bread too much. I have been drinking more water also. Early in my pregnancy, I couldn't stomach plain water very well. I do not walk as I should. I just feel so achy and with a 4 year old and 2 year old it's really hard. :-(

  4. I'm not pregnant but I've been increasing my vegetables and doing more walking and yoga. I cannot even begin to tell you how healthier I feel these days :) Lovely post.

  5. It's great that you are trying to make better choices and get in exercise. A lot of women think they don't have to because they are eating for 2

  6. It's so important to live a healthy lifestyle while pregnant and breastfeeding! Thanks for sharing

  7. These are great tips. It's so hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle when pregnant. I know I was too sick and exhausted to exercise and the only foods i was eating weren't always the healthiest. Thanks for linking up!

  8. As someone that also works nights at the hospital, I totally understand the struggles you've had. These are some great tips that seem pretty easy to do!

  9. Here from the Live Well Link-Up! I think that's great. I definitely did the same with my second pregnancy. Gained less weight, stayed more active and ate better. I think the first pregnancy really gives you an idea of what to expect the second time around, plus you're chasing another kiddo so that helps too! :) Great post