Secrets to a Healthy Pregnancy

As of my 37-week appointment, I have put on approximately 20 lbs, up from my pre-pregnancy weight. The recommended amount of weight gain for someone with a normal range BMI is 25-35 lbs. So how I have kept a healthy weight throughout my pregnancy?

1. Genetics

I wish that I could boast about how I'm a healthy-eating, exercising machine and that is the sole reason for my less-than-excessive weight gain, but alas, I have mostly genetics to thank. Every woman's body is different and reacts to pregnancy differently. For me, I was blessed with a mother who weighs about 100 lbs soaking wet. I won't for a second pretend that this has nothing to do with my success in putting on a healthy weight.

My Grandma and super cute, pregnant Mama (with me in her belly!)

2. Healthy Snacking

From day one, my appetite has been thrown off so much by this pregnancy. I'm a pretty healthy person, but I do struggle to get enough protein in my diet because I just don't like meat, beans or dairy very much. Well, my body knew what I needed and all I want to eat these days is MEAT. Not only that, but my taste buds have effectively rejected anything remotely healthy throughout the last 9 months. I brought a salad to lunch one day and gagged through eating it. Not pleasant.

My key to ensuring that I'm still getting the fruits and veggies I need has been healthy snacking. Especially toward the end, I haven't been able to eat big meals anyway, so I throw a handful of snacks into my work bag and just munch throughout the day. 

Some of my favorites are: yogurt, unsweetened applesauce, Fiber bars, and bananas.

3. Maintaining my Pre-Pregnancy Activity Level

I admit, after I ran my Quarter Marathon at 7 weeks, I totally stopped running. I wasn't feeling super fantastic and I had achieved my goal of finishing the race, so the motivation to continue just wasn't there. That being said, I also didn't immediately plop my butt on the couch for the next 7ish months. Throughout my pregnancy, while I haven't followed any particular exercise regimen, I've maintained my pre-pregnancy activity level. 

I continued working in my employer's community garden through November. I always opt to take the stairs versus the elevator and if I have the option, I always choose to walk rather than drive. One of my favorite things to do on the weekends is to make the 1+ mile walk into town and pay a visit to the library, farmers market or our local candy shop (remind me what I said about healthy snacking???). My in-laws also live about a mile away, so on warm nights, I would sometimes opt to pay them a visit for the sake of getting some physical activity in.

After finishing my first Quarter Marathon at 7 weeks pregnant.

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I realize that none of my tips are particularly exciting. However, I feel like a lot of women use pregnancy as an excuse to lay on the couch and indulge their inner junk food demons. Labor is an intense physical process and I've tried to make sure I didn't slack off too much and make delivery any more difficult than it already is. A healthy Mama makes for a healthy baby and my experience has taught me, when it comes to pregnancy weight gain, it's simple: eat your veggies and get off your butt!

How did you stay healthy through pregnancy?


  1. Yes! And I didn't realize this until my SECOND baby. With my first pregnancy I felt like I was totally justified in eating ice cream all day long...and I gained sooooo much unnecessary weight! I reigned myself in the next time and it made a huge difference.

  2. These are great tips!! I walked through both my pregnancies and it helped so much when it came to pushing!!!! I had tried to keep running but vomiting every time after kind of took the joy out of running.... But walking did the trick! And I ate similar healthy snacks! Hummus and peanut butter with apples or carrots or pretzels was another favorite in addition to what you listed!! Good luck on labor! I'm praying all goes smoothly for you and your little guy.

  3. OK - I think my earlier comment didn't show up...so let me say it again. YOU have GREAT genes! I love this photo of your grandma and mommy. My best genes must have come from my Nana Deer. While we never discussed pregnancy, I had a patient in 1974 (Nanny Collins) who said, "You have great hips - child birth will be no problem for you!" I was 18 and said, "Thanks...I think." But she was right...5 pregnancies, 5 healthy births. I think I was made to have babies! Kaity B. Stuckert - you have been a GREAT example of pregnancy...working up to THE final day...healthy, adorable; your DIL and I cannot wait to great Baby Pep! So excited for you and Chuck! Love, MS

  4. that's great that you've put on a healthy amount of weight and staying active sounds super helpful. hope i can be as healthy as you when it's my turn!