This is my keto pregnancy personal experience. To be more precise, this is the story about my experience of doing keto while pregnant two times!
In the moment of writing this I am 38 years old, and going through my third pregnancy, and second keto pregnancy.
During my first pregnancy, unfortunately, I wasn't aware about keto and all the benefits of this lifestyle. I was just trying to eat "balanced western diet", while in reality I was eating what I was craving for.
I was always slim and never had any issues with my body weight, but during my first non-keto pregnancy I gained 21 kg and a lot of that weight stayed until my second pregnancy.
KETO PREGNANCY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
LOW CARB DIET FOR GESTATIONAL DIABETES
My keto story begins in my second pregnancy, 4 years ago, when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. As I got my diagnosis of pregnancy diabetes early in my second pregnancy, I already knew a lot about keto. So, I was never even questioning whether I should start eating ketogenic food.
FAMILY KETO EXPERIENCE
At the moment I got my diagnosis, my husband was already on keto diet because he was suffering of a lot of health issues. He had a fantastic results with low carb and keto.
He had a high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, liver in a really bad shape with elevated enzymes, and his overall health and energy was very low. It was really sad watching him without energy. He used to come from work and he would just lie on the couch watching TV.
After few months on keto, his health tremendously improved and he felt great, lost weight, his liver was recovering and his energy was back.
So, he was actually the first person who introduced keto diet to me. He had a wonderful results, and he was a happy person again. After few months on keto, he was full of energy and cheerful person.
At the time of his transformation for better and fantastic experience with keto, I got my diagnosis.
As a registered nurse with master in nursing and years of medical education and clinical experience, I knew everything about pregnancy diabetes and classical diabetes diet.
Because I just had a living example of ketogenic diet transformation, and already learned a lot about keto, I decided to start keto diet to regulate my blood sugar.
STARTING KETO WHILE PREGNANT
When decided to start keto, I immediately started to read whatever I could find. Experiences of other pregnant women on keto, studies, books, articles, scientific papers, blogs, and literally everything!
High blood sugar can be devastating for fetal development, so I knew I have to regulate my blood sugar. At the same time, as a nurse with clinical experience and a very extensive education in nutrition, I knew that standard gestational diabetes diet is actually lacking nutrients. Especially nutrients that are crucial for a proper fetal development, like iron, zinc, choline, folate, etc.
From my own experience, women are always hungry on standard diabetic diet. That diet is quite low in calories and it contains extremely high amount of carbohydrates (sugar), despite the fact that the goal should be to regulate and reduce blood sugar.
That was my rationale behind the impulse to do the research and start keto. And, I started to study, to read and experiment. I tried standard pregnancy diabetes diet for few weeks, and my blood sugar was elevated, I was tired and hungry all the time.
KETO PREGNANCY FOOD
After few weeks of experimenting with standard gestational diabetes diet, I started with keto. I was eating eggs and bacon fried on lard with leafy green salad for breakfast. Sometimes some nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts), pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and yogurt as a snack. For lunch, I had cooked or baked meat, steak, fish or chicken meat with side dishes like steamed broccoli with butter, kale, fried cabbage, green salads and cauliflower mash.
For dinner I was making keto soups, stews, meat and veggies, rich salads with chicken or fish, avocado and a lot of olive oil... And, as you can guess, I stabilized my blood sugar, felt fantastic, nourished, full of energy and happy!
BENEFITS OF KETO LIFESTYLE
Besides regulating blood sugar, I also had some unexpected "side effects" of keto diet. Since I was a child I was suffering from pain in my neck, spine and joints and it was worse and worse with the years. After my first pregnancy my spine was totally damaged - degenerative changes all over my spine and joints with a horrible pain. I was visiting doctors and preparing myself for surgery that I won't be able to avoid.
In the meantime I was trying physiotherapy, ultrasound therapy and acupuncture without any improvement, it was only worse. I got a severe pain in my shoulder and there were visible degenerative changes with a lot of free fluid. I was writing about that on my Instagram account, you can visit for more details.
When starting keto, my only expectation was to keep my blood sugar on a normal level, I didn't expect that I will solve problems with my neck, spine and shoulder! However, all my problems were literally gone until the end of the pregnancy. That was my reason to continue with keto as a lifestyle after my pregnancy.
KETO WHILE BREASTFEEDING
My baby was developing fantastically, and I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She was born in term, healthy, with perfect size, and labor was wonderful. Now she is 3.5 years old, beautiful and smart girl.
I was on keto while breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months. When she started with solid food, I continue with breastfeeding for 10 months, until she decided to quit. I was surprised but she has just lost the interest for breastfeeding, even though I had a plenty of milk.
KETO DURING PREGNANCY SECOND TIME
When I found out for my third pregnancy, I was on keto for few years already, and it was just normal for me to continue. At the moment of writing, I enjoy in my third healthy pregnancy, feeling great and baby is developing perfectly. I plan to stay on keto, probably forever.
Here I share my keto recipes my whole family enjoys. We eat various healthy low carb meals, with a lot of meat, veggies and I make keto desserts often, too. We consider this as a lifestyle and just enjoying our sugar-free and mostly keto food.
WANT TO READ WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT KETOSIS IN PREGNANCY AND NUTRITIONAL FOOD FOR PREGNANCY?
If you wish to educate yourself about healthy and nourishing food in general, I highly recommend you to read a book Nourishing traditions. That's the book to read if you want to understand why the fats from animal and vegetable sources are providing building blocks for our cell membranes. Especially we shouldn't avoid healthy fats during the pregnancy to avoid deficiencies and have nourished body and healthy baby.
Another wonderful book, especially if you are also thinking about ketogenic diet for gestational diabetes is definitely a book of Lilly Nichols, Real Food for Gestational Diabetes. That book is full of great advices on how to regulate your blood sugar during pregnancy. Also, you can find a lot of information about ketosis during the pregnancy as a favor state during the normal pregnancy. There is also a lot of arguments why standard carbohydrate recommendations are wrong.
Lilly Nichols is writing a wonderful blog with a lot of information about a real food for pregnancy, supplements, etc.
If you are more into listening, check Dr.Berry channel on YouTube and listen his episode about keto during pregnancy.
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