Tracking Pregnancy and Baby Growth
metabolism | ovulatory cycle & pregnancy
Erica Forzani tracks her blood glucose levels, physical dimensions, weight, resting metabolic rate, activity, blood pressure and diet throughout her pregnancy to argue many pregnancy and breastfeeding myths.
Fitbit | Runkeeper | Withings Scale
We want to share our data, tracking, and pregnancy and baby growth. So our story is that I was a relatively healthy person before I got the news of pregnancy. I had a very healthy lifestyle, though my hemoglobin was at the level of six, which was borderline Type II diabetes.
So after this news many questions came to our minds, because should a pregnant woman eat for two? Can a pregnant woman manage to return to the initial weight easily? Can glucose level change during pregnancy? Am I at risk of gestation of diabetes? Can blood pressure levels change during pregnancy too?
Other questions that came with a busy schedule and we know if we work very hard it’s very difficult to vision 100% breastfeeding on a baby, and how the milk production goes throughout the day, so you make sure your baby is getting what she or he needs.
So we started to measure physical dimensions, weight, resting metabolic rate, activity, blood glucose, blood pressure, and diet throughout the pregnancy, 40 weeks. Every Saturday morning before breakfast all those measurements were done.
Here, the physical dimensions you can see the very bottom was the most sensitive measure at the beginning and at the end of the pregnancy. The hip remains relatively constant, and then in terms of weight what we suffer is the decreasing weight due to the nausea at the first trimester, but then we recover and overall I had about 20 pounds which is a healthy weight gain.
With respect to resting metabolic rate, we found that my metabolic rate actually dropped from around 1600 to around 1100, and this was in coincident with loss of weight that I had, and also loss of muscle mass that I had at the beginning of the pregnancy. So this is quite interesting because we will expect that creating a new life would generate more metabolic rate, right.
The other thing we measured was activity. My activity I’m not good at keeping activity trackers, though I do it with my phone and Withing’s apps that have the accelerometer and I could track all my steps during pregnancy passively. And I track with Runkeeper, my runs to work that were done initially two or three times a week and then went down to one time a week. And you can see that the speed decreased with heart rate together.
So we tried to keep activity as much high as we could. I was biking to work every day to keep moving, but of course the pregnancy has impact in what you do.
Regarding glucose levels we learned that before pregnancy I was at 96 in average, and during pregnancy was pretty good in the 80 levels, so it was 16mg distributed lesser. And blood pressure and resting heart rate was relatively constant throughout the whole pregnancy, so that time it was pretty good to.
And finally with diet, I track with the My Fitness Pal app and I use as a nutrition goal the calories given by the breast device was measuring my metabolic rate. So it was personalized calorie intake role to gain half a pound per week in average.
So a reference I have my friend Fang, who also measured one year before me her pregnancy and her behavior was different. And you can see here her metabolic rate went from 1200 to 16-1800, so she actually increased metabolic rate, that fluctuated with flu and other things but in general it was higher.
In coincidence I had my buddy, Ashley, that got pregnant at the same time as me. We were one day difference in due day, so we did it together and we tracked together our weight and our metabolic rates too, together with activity, and diet.
And you can see in the middle, Ashley’s metabolic rate was pretty constant while mine was decreasing and Fang, the first month was increasing so everyone got unique patterns.
Okay, the big moment came and we track the birth with this Full Term app which was very good. I could communicate with David and you can see he was very elations. We had our baby at home with the help of the mid-wife and there the security cameras got the big moment. Everything was super good, and we were very glad to bring the baby.
So once we had the baby, the question was okay, how we can sustain 100% breastfeeding with such a difficult life. So we decided to measure the volume of milk production and the new production rate for several days, and different times of the day to find whether there was a circadian rhythm of milk production rate. You can see its pretty constant, and throughout the days the milk production also remained constant at about one ounce per hour. So that allowed us to make plans and have a very good schedule for the baby being fed when you know, she goes to the child center and so on.
So all these measurements of course helped pregnancy, helped me to recover very quickly the weight. One month after having the baby, I could recover my original weight, because I track carefully the calories I was eating based on the metabolic rate.
And I learned that a pregnant woman not necessary should be eating for two. You must measure your metabolic rate to get your personalized calorie intake. I could manage to get my initial weight by you know, tracking the calories. And the glucose levels not always produced gestational diabetes if you’re at risk. If you’re actually having the baby it may help you to decrease the glucose levels because you have a new life that is consuming your glucose.
And with breastfeeding, the fact of measuring the volume and the production rate helped a lot. And now the bay is six months old, and tomorrow is seven months old, and she has been fed almost 100% and thanks to all these measurements we did and we think that we are relatively healthy and that we learned a lot for us and for others to our friends.