WLS and Pregnancy – 2nd Trimester

Steph Wagner

September 8, 2015

Weight Loss Surgery and Pregnancy - The Second Trimester

OH sweet relief.

I have been SO thankful to have lived in the second trimester these recent months. After quite the run for my money in the first trimester, round two felt {almost} like a breeze.

Sure it’s been a little more difficult to get comfortable for sleep and yes I run out of gas much faster these days…but hands down I’d take my hardest day of the second trimester to my best day the first! I sure hope you’ve been feeling well and certainly hope it only gets better for you!

The best part about the second trimester? You can start focusing on healthy living once again. For me, I was able to get back in the kitchen. Ahem, slowly but surely. It started with chicken avocado burgers and a face mask….



But it was a victory nonetheless!

If you had asked me even a few years ago about how I would eat during pregnancy, I think I would have told you all the things I was going to eat. I was going to “take a break” from my normal health-filled diet and let myself have the things I always say not too. The closer I got to starting a family, and friends around me were having babies, I started thinking to myself….I don’t think that’s going to end so well. My OBGYN put it perfectly when she said “this is the time you should be at your healthiest!” And I knew she was right. If anything, it wasn’t time to take a break, it was time to take all the tools and habits I’d built in the past several years and really make them count. Make a plan. Make lunch and snacks. Get in water. Stick to exercise. Say “no thank you” to junk.

And that’s why making my first meal at home was such a victory. The second trimester has allowed me to start making somewhat of a meal plan to start focusing on a healthy pregnancy. I kept “trying” to start a healthy meal plan in the first trimester but some days were better than others! This time around, I was starting to gain momentum and stay more consistent.

In my family, we grow healthy and large babies. Which is an amazing blessing. But does mean we have more c-sections in the family. If this is your second pregnancy, you may have had a c-section already. Having a healthy sized baby does increase the chances of a c-section, but sometimes a c-section is necessary for other reasons too! For me, I’m focusing on a healthy weight-gain in pregnancy, to the best of my ability, for both our baby’s health and my own. I’m hopeful it will allow me to have a vaginal delivery but above all else I’ve prayed for a healthy baby girl no matter her method of arrival :)

When I went in for a prenatal visit at 21 weeks, my doctor said my weight gain was on course BUT to keep in mind the most weight was going to come at the second half of my pregnancy. I asked her lots of questions and was able to get some very helpful points from her:

– Weight gain above 35 lbs increases chances of c-section (I was at 14 lbs gained….I hesitate to tell you that NOT because I mind sharing it but because I don’t want you to compare yourself to me. We are different bodies. We are different people. But this shows you I had a window of less than 20 pounds left to gain to fall under the 35 lb mark)

– A “goal” for me was to keep weight gain to .25 to .5 pound per week each week EXCEPT weeks 25-30 when I would likely gain the most…6 to 8 pounds in that 5 week window

– She recommended spreading carbs out through the day but intake less carbs at night. (This helped me because I know I need more carbs but didn’t think about easing up at night)

I was very thankful for some numbers, but with some hesitancies.

I’ve focused so much of my past 7 years to getting away from weighing myself, counting grams/calories/etc and focusing on building a healthy relationship with food. I realized that pregnancy was going to require I track things more closely. Why?

Because there is such a fine line between restricting too much….and allowing too much. And I’m not so good with “grey areas.”

After some research I found that 100-150 grams of carbohydrates is an adequate range for pregnancy without going too high and increasing rate of weight gain. Take this lightly as you know whether  you need to gain a little bit more than me and be on the higher end of that scale or gain a smaller amount and stay on the lower end. So…I put pen to paper and made a plan.

Breakfast= protein + 20 grams carbs (ex: I’ve been having plain Greek yogurt and 1 cup whole grain cereal)

Snack=  protein + 15 grams carbs (ex: I’ve been having a protein bar)

Lunch= protein + 25 grams carbs (ex: I made taco salads with beans and corn)

Snack= protein + 15 grams carbs (ex: I’ve been having 2 cheese sticks and a fruit)

Dinner= protein + veggies (one of the many dinners on this website!)

Snack (if needed) – protein based snack (I’ve been having cottage cheese and tomatoes/cucumbers)


That’s 80 grams for those of you who counted :) I tracked my food in MyFitnessPal and with this basic plan of action, my carbs fall in about the 100-150 range. Why? Because carbs come in different areas including the veggies, even cottage cheese or salad dressing.

On the weekends I let myself splurge on one really worth it item (thank you to Sheridan’s Frozen Custard in Kansas City for last weekends well worth it splurge!) but still avoid the donuts at the office and the cravings in the middle of the week. Thankfully I’ve learned how to say no to those things far before pregnancy that it’s not nearly as difficult as it used to be.

Once a week I weigh myself and put it in my phone. Then I walk away and wipe that number from my brain – the best that I can. I don’t let it define me and I rub my pregnant belly in love focusing more on her than on her mother’s weight gain. She’s worth every stinkin’ ounce.

Whether you are a post-op patient or not, I believe a similar approach is very appropriate. Post-op patients will have smaller portion sizes than myself and that’s just fine. Still focus on your 3 meals per day focused on lean protein. Add in 2-3 snacks with healthy sources of carbohydrates such as fruit, protein bars, beans or edamame. Make a plan, pack your food and keep all those healthy habits you built in your surgical journey. Of course, always follow your doctors recommendations – my blogs are not meant to be medical advice but rather a good resource of encouragement in your journey to making your pregnancy as healthy as you can.

Oh yeah, Exercise…

Plus! The joy of second trimester! You can {hopefully} start getting in some consistent exercise!

I recommend walking – for sure. And then think of what your most enjoyable form of exercise is and do it two times a week. That’s not a professional recommendation…that’s a personal one. I wear my FitBit Charge HR and do my best to get 10,000 steps 5 days a week. I also add in 2 days per week of Jazzercise because I’ve always loved it and it’s easy to modify it for pregnancy.

But some days you feel like this and you don’t make your workout….



But you did that get blog written!!! ;)

I hope that wasn’t too much of a “drinking water from a fire house” situation for you. Pregnancy is different for all of us…even from one pregnancy to the next (or so I hear) so take this information, filter it and put your own spin on it.

At the end of the day…if you are:

1) Staying hydrated

2) Taking your vitamins

3) Making healthy food choices

4) Moving your body

…..then you’re having a healthy pregnancy! Way to go Momma!


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Other blogs on Weight-Loss Surgery & Pregnancy

Weight-Loss Surgery & Pregnancy 101

Weight-Loss Surgery & Pregnancy – 1st Trimester

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