Is it Healthy to Lose Weight While Trying to Conceive?
I googled this question 500 times when I was trying to get pregnant with babies 3, 4 & 5. I love fitness (obviously) and have loved the goal of getting stronger, fitter and faster for as long as I can remember. For some people their doctors suggest they need to loose weight to get pregnant. This is particularly common for women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I on the other hand experienced something completely different in my journey while trying to conceive. During the months I was trying to get pregnant I felt like nobody could tell me what the deal was. Why hadn’t I had a period in 4.5 years? Nothing added up for me and that’s why I’m writing today. I’m hoping my story of hormone imbalance can encourage another Mom who is struggling to decide if it is healthy to lose weight while trying to conceive.
Do you have some periods? short periods? or no periods? I have birthed 5 babies and have had a total of 5 periods in 9 years. This is a super weird phenomenon I am sure very few people have experienced. I wanted baby number 3 shortly after baby number 2 (like the next day) but my body was in no shape for baby making. Was I underweight, stressed or sick? Nope, I was managing two young children (I thought everyone did this and still got periods, right?) and working out quite a bit, but I was a healthy weight for my height.
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why my body didn’t want to give me a baby. Eventually I tried fertility medications. This made me crazy and gave me a period 15 days after starting my cycle. My blood tests were wild. I had the Estrogen levels of an 11 girl and very clearly wasn’t ovulating.
So you want to know my secret fix for my hormonal catastrophe??? I took a holiday, over ate for a month, sat on my fanny, drank beers and gained 10 lbs. I know this is exactly the opposite of what you want to hear. I myself dreamt of a “fit pregnancy” where I looked toned and lean the whole time. I wanted to start off my pregnancies lean and be that petite, fit, expecting mom but this wasn’t in the cards for me. Instead I gained 10 lbs before the start of each pregnancy and had to stop running, lifting and everything else that was intense. My body perceived the “fit life” as “too stressful”. When I had a calorie deficit (even small) or went for intense trail runs it would negatively effect my hormones. As soon as I chilled out, ate a bunch of fries and let a few pounds slip back on I could feel myself ovulate again!
For some people they can easily conceive while losing weight and for others it may not be advised. I sought the help from a naturopath to help me along my fertility journey. We used different seeds and herbs such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, Chastree Berry and Vitamin b6. In God’s timing my cycle balanced out and I was able to have my little miracles. Each of our bodies are different and can tolerate varying amounts of stress. Losing weight while trying to conceive could work for some but may hurt your chances if your body is sensitive like mine. Thankfully I was able to figure out what worked for my body and I hope my experience can help you in your journey of trying to conceive.
Disclaimer- I am not a Doctor or Naturopath. Just a mom with experience making a whole bunch of babies. Please seek medical advice if you are struggling with infertility. I know this must feel like one of the hardest things in your life. I am praying for you dear friend.
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