I’m Sure it’s Water Rention, Not the Holidays…

So, I finally got my appointment with the OB yesterday after being rescheduled twice!  I was so happy to get the check-up, especially since I hadn’t been feeling the baby move much the last two days.

Turns out, I gained 8 lbs in 3 weeks!  Aack!  The doc insisted that it was water retention.  He was concerned that I’m showing 1+ edema and holding onto that much water.  To be honest with myself, though, I’ve just gotten a good appetite back and the heartburn under control in the last three weeks, and it was the holidays, so there was a lot of good food to make up for lost time. 🙂  I’m sure there’s more than water weight going on!

Although I passed my glucose tolerance test with flying colors and my blood pressure was completely normal, Dr. Breen was still fairly concerned about the water retention.  He doesn’t want to see more than 3 lbs gained in the next two weeks, and I have to say, I agree with him!  He decided to schedule me for a body assessment scan, which is the ultrasound they usually do right before the baby is born to check fetal position and weight and the location of the placenta (to see if a c-section is needed).  He’s having me do it early to be sure the umbilical cord blood pressure is not too high.  I really feel like everything is fine, but I’m not gonna pass up on another chance to see the baby!  So Troy and I are off to the Texas Perinatal Group tomorrow morning at 9am (where they do the specialized ultrasounds and where we did the genetic testing and anatomy scan).

In the meantime, I’m to cut out ALL possible salt.  I never realized how much salt my family ate until I married Troy.  He had been raised in a low-salt environment due to his dad’s heart problems, and he himself has high blood pressure.  He could barely stand my cooking at first, it was just too salty for him!  Eventually, I stopped adding salt from a shaker, then I stopped adding salt while cooking.  Now I hardly ever think about salt, and my parents’ cooking is way to salty for me!  It shocks me now when I see how much they add while cooking and again at the table!

Salt will cause me to retain extra water, and even though my blood pressure is fine, it can eventually cause it to skyrocket, leading to pre-ecclampsia.  A worst case-scenario would be full-blown ecclampsia, which would cause them to have to take the baby early.  The danger is not so much to the baby, but can cause maternal death.  I wanna keep this baby baking as long as it wants to!

So despite already being low-salt, now I’ve gotta take it to the next level for the next three months.  That’s not long, I can do it!  I’ve been AMAZED to discover how much salt is already in food and drinks!  Especially ‘instant’ and pre-prepared or boxed foods, and restaurant foods.  Dr. Breen says to just look for anything that says ‘heart healthy’ on it, and usually it will be low salt. 

If any of you healthy sorts have any advice on good low-salt foods, please let me know!  Snacks have been the hardest. I was shocked to see how much salt instant pudding has in it!  Jello doesn’t look too bad so I’m gonna stock up on that and yogurt and salt-free crackers.  I’ve got oatmeal and mini-wheat cereal for in the morning, and I’ll be eating a lot of broiled chicken and rice at night.  Fresh salads are good, too, although I need to buy a bottle of low-sodium dressing.  Ranch dressing and most condiments are really high on salt.  It’s everywhere!!


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kari
    Jan 06, 2011 @ 16:50:38

    Well congrats on passing the glucose test but the salt thing is a bummer. We’re planning to do baby led weaning for solids and babies are very, very sensitive to salt so I’ve been analyzing salt content in stuff too. All that prepackaged, processed, frozen stuff is basically all salt. Good luck finding some good salt-less things!! I hope someone has some good ideas for you.


    • iamstacey
      Jan 08, 2011 @ 01:42:40

      Hopefully we’ll find some great options at the grocery store this weekend. I hope I can make eating this way a permanent habit! 🙂 I’ll be keeping a close eye on my BP, too!


  2. athena
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 07:29:41

    yay for another ultrasound!! boo for the reason!! we eat very little salt in our vegan diet.. and pretty much everything is homemade so i can see EXACTLY what we’re eating. i guess my only actual advice would be SPICES not SALT! 😀 good luck! you can do it! bake baby bake!


    • iamstacey
      Jan 08, 2011 @ 01:41:20

      You’ve done such an amazing job with the vegan diet. Your little boy is a big, healthy kicker! 🙂 I think you’re right, for cooking, I’ll definitely reach for “powders” not “salts” or better yet, use actual garlic and herbs. I miss having a garden!


  3. Low Fat Lady
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 08:29:53

    Good luck with that test, I hope everything comes out ok. I LOVE salty snacks so that would be really hard for me.


    • iamstacey
      Jan 08, 2011 @ 01:39:36

      omg, me too! I’m really good about not adding salt to food or cooking with extra salt, but I crave salty snacks FAR more than sweets. I’d rather have chips or popcorn than chocolate any day!


  4. Pie
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 12:24:57

    Make sure to drink LOTS of water – it sounds counter-intuitive, but the more you drink, the less the swelling will be. I can tell (in my ankles!!) when I haven’t had enough water in a day.

    How’s your BP been? If you can, keep an eye on that too (can you do it at work?) because if pre-eclampsia is starting, BP will tell you more than the swelling.

    As for salad dressing, how about making your own? You’re right, prepared and processed foods are loaded with salt, so make your own! Salad dressing is soooo easy, I never buy it (it will taste like chemicals once you switch!). One to two parts vinegar (I like balsalmic and white wine vinegars, but there are all sorts), add a small quirt of dijon mustard, and honey if you like it sweeter, and mix it all up. Then add 2 to 3 parts olive oil, adding it slowly and whisking (I just use a fork) til it thickens a bit. Ta-da, a lovely vinaigrette! Then you can make it creamy by adding goat cheese, or greek yogurt or even sour cream. Or add some dried herbs. It is up to your taste.


    • iamstacey
      Jan 08, 2011 @ 01:38:01

      Thanks for the salad dressing recipe, Pie! I’m going to make it this weekend, and stock up on salad, too. I love just plain romaine lettuce mixed with spinach leaves. They’ll be great with the vinagrette!
      So far, my BP has been great! That’s a great suggestion, though – since I work at a doctor’s office, I might as well take advantage of it! I’ll get my BP taken at least twice a week from now on.
      I’d heard the same about drinking more water – the more you drink, the less your body tried to “save” – but I had forgotten about it!


  5. My Bumpy Journey
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 19:23:59

    yikes! I am a low salt person by nature- I just dont’ crave salt, and honestly- never use it. To the point that my salt shaker didn’t have salt in it b/c I never used it! I have actually had blood work that showed by sodium was low b/c of it. Just my taste for some reason. I don’t have any really good anti-sodium ideas…sorry. 😦
    I like Pies, idea of salad dressing! Yummy! Glad everything thing else is looking good though!


    • iamstacey
      Jan 08, 2011 @ 01:35:02

      I was so glad the glucose tolerance test went great and my blood pressure was good. We’re hitting the grocery store this weekend to find more low-salt options. It’s been eye-opening and I hope even after the pregnancy I’ll be able to cook better for Troy!


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