taking care of me FOR me

My friends hate me.

Actually, what they hate is that whenever I get pregnant, I lose weight.

No really.  I do.

It’s because I am by far the most healthiest when I am pregnant.

With Eddie, the minute I found out he was in there baking, I became incredibly self-conscious about what I was putting in my body since, you know, it was going in HIS body too. {and truth be told, after losing two pregnancies, I was hyper-sensitive about keeping Eddie in there at all costs}.

Either way, I only gained 19 pounds when I was pregnant with Eddie.

With Charlie I gained ZERO pounds.  Actually, I gained some weight in my 2nd tri, but it came off in my third.  I gave birth two pounds below my weight when I conceived the little Bird.

People were astounded.

My friends proclaimed their hate for me.

And then everyone wanted to know how I did it.

nine months pregnant with Eddie…less than 20 lbs gained

1. I took my prenatal vitamins.  EVERY DAY.  Seriously.  I am convinced that by taking them I warded off a lot of cravings since cravings are generally from the lack of something (side note: have you heard of the pregnant women who crave weirdo non-food stuff like dirt and cigarette butts?  I recently read that is from a lack of vitamin or nutrient too, so another reason to take your prenatals!)

2. With Eddie I exercised, even if it was just walking, until I absolutely could not anymore due to the ridiculous amount/frequency of Braxton Hicks.

3. With Charlie, I switched my diet (and most of Cort & Eddie’s diets) to real food.  That meant if man-made chemical crap had to be added to it to make it edible for human consumption?  We did NOT eat it.  No more veggie oil or “fat free” or “non-fat” crap.  More fresh food and organic food and olive oil. In fact, I learned a TON about DHA and how Charlie depended on ME to have the “good fat” to make his brain better (smarter).  Well, fake foods have the “bad fats”, and eating REAL food helped make sure my Charlie Bird was getting what he needed to be a smarty pants some day.

I guess throwing up constantly my first trimester and having the stomach capacity of a pea helps to not pack on the pounds too.

But really, I ate quite well during pregnancy.

90% of the time if I craved sweets when I was pregnant with Eddie, I nommed on fresh fruit.

nine months pregnant with Charlie & down 2 pounds.

With Charlie, I didn’t do as well always choosing fruit, but since 85% of what I was eating was “real”, when I did have a treat (my poison was peanut butter m&ms), it wasn’t frequent and I didn’t binge on them (see the note about a stomach the size of a pea).

My doctor was never worried about my weight loss or lack of gaining.  Let’s face it, I started off with more than I needed, so losing some…as long as the baby was growing…was not a bad thing.

So that is what I did.

And after both babies were born I kept up with my prenatal vitamins.

Ok…confession?  After Charlie I let mine run out.


This is when my friends no longer hated me.

Because this is also when my hair started falling out in CLUMPS (I know hair falls out anyway, but it was so much worse than after Eddie), my acne got wonky, and my weight blew up.

When I restarted taking vitamins, I took the BrainStrong Prenatals.  With the folic acid and biotin in them, my hair loss slowed down and my nail growth kicked it up a notch. (plus it is loaded with DHA. I am totally taking these during my next pregnancy, yo.)

I started feeling less tired and grouchy.

(note: this also coincided with  my antidepressant med increase since it was thought both the increase in ADs and taking a vitamin would help.  It totally did).

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that I need to take care of myself as well when it’s just me in this body as I do when I am sharing my body with someone else.

I need to learn to take care of me for ME.

And so with the new school year starting, I am getting back on a real food kick with my breakfast, snacks, and lunch for sure, and hopefully with the dinners we prepare too.

I am going to try to ditch soda (again) and replace it with water, water, WATER.

My latte and frapaccino intake will decrease so I won’t have all that nasty fat being added to my midsection 3-4 times a week.

And I will continue to take a prenatal vitamin and my meds.  Not because I am looking to get pregnant any time soon (Oh LORD no), but because even my doc tells me that prenatals are really the best women’s vitamin out there because they have the most good “stuff”.\

Eventually I will work exercise into the schedule, but first I need to start small and manageable.

So there.  My start to taking better care of ME.

What do you do to take care of YOU?  Do you still take vitamins?  Did you (or do you) take prenatal vitamins while pregnant?  Let’s talk about health here, friends.


I was compensated by SITS and BrainStrong for this post as well as provided a free sample of BrainStrong Prenatal Vitamins.  All opinions and stories are my own.


  1. I am so lousy at taking vitamins. But I’m trying. And now, I am trying even harder. I read how awesome omega-3 from fish oil is for unborn and breastfeeding babies, so I’m taking one of those every meal.The good news is, when you take a vitamin every meal, taking vitamins becomes a habit.

    The best choice my family made was purchasing a community agriculture share. We receive a box of fruits and veggies weekly. It has become a (fun) challenge to try to figure out how to up most of this fresh foods. Because of this we are eating a lot of vegetarian, real food meals.

    • YES to Omega-3’s!!

      Ooo! Eddie and I want to start a small garden next summer for things like strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, and beans 🙂

  2. I didn’t take prenatal vitamins with any of my pregnancies. Not for lack of trying, just inability to keep them down. I would literally get it swallowed and up it would come. With my 3rd I lost weight as well, but because my gall bladder went berserk. I need to get off my coffee and butt and get to it. I need to lose weight. majorly.

    • I had to find just the right time of day to take my prenatals with Charlie because I was SOOOO sick. I was even on Zofran for the puking. It was so bad. I found if I took the with my dinner (after taking Zofran), they stayed down.

      I also need to lose weight. It’s ridiculous what I let happen to myself in the name of “giving myself grace” after baby. Really I just gave myself permission to SIT and EAT. Boo!

  3. I hate taking vitamins! I hate taking pills of any kind. I did not gain a lot of weight with any of my pregnancies, losing all of it right after birth. Sadly, my weight is from sad eating. Anywhoo… I’m still breastfeeding and desperately need to take my vitamins. It’s great for my daughter and myself. I take a meal replacement for breakfast which has equal to a lot of the same vitamins, except folic acid. We eat most real foods. I cook nightly and I try to keep the bad stuff out of the house because I know I’ll eat them.

    • Oh sad eating…I do that. I think that is where my weight comes from too because when I feel depressed or anxious, I just eat snacks. No good. I need to get back to only real food snacks in the house!

  4. I had the same luck as you and dropped below my pre-pregnancy weight after delivery. I always tell people my trick is water and walking! Also, like you, I consumed massive amounts of fruit, took my prenatals and only ate full-fat foods (i.e. never low-fat anything). I won’t lie – I had my fair share of Taco Bell and DQ, but I tried to balance it out at some point in the day and didn’t make it a daily habit.

    You go girl!

    • I had C-sections and I am afraid I used my “recovery” as a way to eat crap foods that I hadn’t been able to eat pregnant. No good. I need to get back to my healthy routine!

  5. My doctor recommended I continue with the prenatal vitamins at my 6 week postpartum check – said it wasn’t just good for me, it was good for the baby because I’m breastfeeding. I confess, I stopped taking them after I finished the supply he gave me. I need to get back on them!

    Also, water, yes, I need to drink more water.

    • Oh my goodness I need to start drinking more water. while I was pregnant I drank ONLY water with the exception of ONE cup of coffee in the morning. I need to do that again.

  6. I still take my prenatal vitamins too. I remember reading somewhere that every woman capable of getting pregnant should take them cuz they are so good and well, I like to pretend they keep me healthy. Though, I will also say that just a couple of weeks ago I made sure to start taking them daily along with B12 and I have seen an increase in energy. 😉

    • YES! I think I saw that same thing about taking prenatals if you are capable of having babies. I have heard good things about B12. I might have to look into it.

  7. About a year ago I started with the “real” food thing. Less processed, less chemicals, less artificial. It took awhile to really get in the swing of it, but now when I do make something processed…like kraft mac n cheese – had it just last night because it was an off day and was just too tired for anything else – I can actually taste the chemicals.

    Good for you. Remember that taking care of yourself really is doing it for your kids. They’re going to want you around for their babies. That’s what I always tell myself when I start to fall off the wagon or don’t want to go for that run today.

    • YES! The other day I finished Eddie’s crackers and cheese thingy that he didn’t finish at lunch and I was like, “YUCK! How can people call this CHEESE? it’s sooo gross!” I totally used to LOVE that stuff.

      And you are right…I have to convince myself that taking care of me now is STILL doing it for my kids.

  8. I ate so well when I was pregnant too. I need to eat that well again.

    • me too. but man, food just tastes so much better now that I am not pregnant. And my stomach capacity is, well, larger. ahem.

  9. Jessica Moyer-Groeneveld says:

    I commend you for taking your health back! Once we moved over to Germany I put on close to 100 pounds, yeah you heard that right. So far I’ve lost 20 pounds. It’s always a struggle for your health these days. The food companies make everything look soooo good when in fact it’s all bad for you. I use the website sparkpeople.com (FREE) and I track my weight, what I eat each day, and my exercise each day. You can also keep track of your body’s measurements! :). I am sending my best GO Mrs. Sluiter I can from Colorado! My next health goal is to lose 10 pounds and to begin running again.

  10. I’m 24 weeks pregnant and I’ve only gained about 6 pound total. I total attribute it to taking my prenatal vitamins, eating lots of fruits and veggies, and lots of walking. I of course indulge in the occasional bowl of ice cream or chocolate, but I try to eat mostly real/whole foods with plenty of the good fats in them.

  11. I commend you for making changes in your life. It’s hard and as we age, it gets even harder, but it is so important. Take it day by day, meal by meal, snack by snack, step by step. Go easy on yourself and in time, you will see results! I guarantee it.

    I find an hour a day to do some sort of exercise. I have to! It’s like air to me, plus I have never been on a diet so if I want to continue to eat and drink the way I do, I have to workout. Plus, I just feel better about myself.

    I take prenatals because we are [STILL] trying to conceive, fish oil and a probiotic and I cut out diet soda February 2011 and try to drink as much water as possible. I flavor it using Mio Liquid drops.

    Best of luck to you my friend!

    • Thanks, you. Yes…little by little. I am doing yoga a couple times a week now too & I ADORE doing yoga, so I am excited. Group fitness or walking are really what work best for me as motivators. Because I love to do it once I get in a schedule.

  12. Yes. Please take care of you for you.

    Because THIS friend here loves you.


    • Will do, friend. I have to stay healthy for those who care about me…and I need to be one of those people who cares about me 🙂

  13. I’ve been taking prenatals (on and off) in preparation for pregnancy. I also take extra folic acid.. extra calcium and extra magnesium… All in an effort to prepare my body for pregnancy.. which hopefully will happen before the end of this year (we start trying next month). I found that prenatals have the best effect on my frizz mop of hair, my nails and my skin, in general, than any other multivitamin I’ve taken. My problem is consistency.. I’m working on that tho!

    • I find that I can be pretty consistent, as long as I find a time that works well. For me it’s bedtime. I take ALL my once a day meds at bedtime. I’ve been doing it since college with my birth control, so now that I have different meds, bedtime just fits. And I do love prenatals better than any other vitamin too. I can tell they have the “good stuff” in them! ha!

      Good luck TTC! Baby dust to you!

  14. “I am totally taking these during my next pregnancy, yo.” Is that a hint?

    PS. I loved prenatal vitamins but with my second they made me sick so I had to take flinstones. She’s still smart but I did put on 10 more pounds than with my first. I always thought it was a second baby thing but maybe not…

  15. I took prenatal vitamins until after my son turned two! I asked my OBGYN if it was OK to take them indefinitely, and she practically shouted an excited YES! In fact, your post has inspired me to start up with them again when my current bottle of non-prenatals runs out. Why not! I’ll just have to hide them to avoid any “you’re trying?!” comments.

  16. i started the prenatal vitamins when we started “trying” and throughout that year and through my IVF stuff too. i still take them, but not as religiously as i should.
    I gained 20lbs total with Avery and was 5lbs below pre-preg weight at my 6 weeks post-partum check up. i’m a big girl so only got a few of the “i hate you” comments.
    but then I managed to gain 20lbs after returning to work – too much sitting and snack access.
    started My Fitness Pal this morning. My back has been out for 3 days and I know 99% of those problems will go away when I lose some weight. plus we’re getting to the point where Avery will mostly eat what we eat and I want that to be real food as much as possible.
    so i’m doing it for ME, but I’m also doing it for my family so I can stick around as long as possible


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