I'm having a giant baby: No more fruit salad?

Aware of the risks of gestational diabetes, Roma Kojima talks to her OB/GYN about food choices...but when did fruit become the enemy?

Photo: iStockphoto

Photo: iStockphoto

Roma Kojima is a soon-to-be mom of a tiny, wriggly girl. Aside from growing a human, she works in business development at Rogers Media, loves to travel and cook, and obsesses about leather purses she can’t afford. Follow along as she shares her pregnancy journey.

At 35 weeks now and in the throes of what everyone helpfully calls The Home Stretch. I feel neither at home in my body, nor stretchy. Mostly I feel overcrowded, grumpy and in pain whenever this kid kicks me in the junk from the inside. But whatever, one month (ish) to go.

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I had my 32-week ultrasound recently. Much fun was had by all, especially when this little diva decided she wasn’t going to entertain any pictures and insisted on covering her face with her hands the entire time. They took all her measurements anyway and off I waddled to see a doctor. The doctor, not my regular OB/GYN, informed me quite enthusiastically that I was having a “Giant Baby.”

“What’s a Giant Baby?” I asked nervously.

“Oh, your baby is within the 94th percentile in size—we measure the size of the head (ouch says future-me), abdomen and femur. By our estimates, the average weight at this point should be around 3.75 lbs. Yours is around 5.4 lbs.”

I looked at my five-foot, four-inch-tall husband and I looked at myself—a towering five-foot-three. “Maybe she’s adopted?” Jokes aside, I would much rather she be bigger than too small.

“But wait,” the paranoid side of my brain said. “Doesn’t a bigger fetus often mean gestational diabetes?” I have a family history of diabetes and my mother suffered from GD during more than one pregnancy. They made me take the glucose-screening test much earlier than normal and luckily didn’t find any indication that I had it. So far.

Now I’ve managed to work out throughout my second and third trimesters and have been trying to eat healthfully: lots of protein, veggies and the like.  However, my one vice has been cold fruit salad. I crave it ever so—and I was treating myself to either a homemade or store-bought bowl about five times a week. Now granted, I know fruit has sugar in it, but I figured if there’s going to be a sugar craving, this wasn’t the worst solution.

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When I did see my regular OB/GYN last week, he took a look at the baby’s size measurements again and diplomatically suggested that at my 36-week ultrasound they would see where the baby’s weight was trending. If she’s still around the 94th or 95th percentile in size, we’ll have to sit down with the doctor and come up with some sort of Giant Baby birth plan. I’m not entirely surprised that her head is measuring bigger than average. My mother had to have an emergency C-section when giving birth to me because, at 8+lbs., I had managed to get my own giant head lodged in her pelvis and couldn’t migrate any further south.

I asked the doctor about my worries around late-onset gestational diabetes. While he didn’t think I was at risk, he did tell me that I have to watch what I eat because babies like this can tend to be “sugar monsters.” Very much affronted at the insinuation that I, a long-time healthy eating proponent, was stuffing my face with pastries and Tim Horton’s doughnuts, I indignantly informed him that the only dessert I was consuming on a regular basis was fruit salad.

“Why are you eating fruit salad?” he asked incredulously.

“What do you mean, why?” I was confused. “It’s fruit. Fruit is good. Right?”

“No—they’re all simple carbs. You have to eat more complex carbs.”

“OK, like what? Can you recommend some foods I should switch to?” He looked at me blankly. “Like…more veggies?”

“Yes! More vegetables. And other…complex carbs.”

Great. Super helpful. This doctor, who has spent a grand total of 30 minutes with me in the last nine months and never once asked about my eating habits or how I take care of my health, is making sweeping statements about my poor food choices. Also, it’s fruit. Granted, it has sugar in it, but he didn’t even ask which fruit I was eating. Or what the rest of my daily diet looked like.

Read more: Are bigger babies better?

Not to mention that Health Canada lists fruit within the category of complex carbs due to their insoluble fibre content. Needless to say, I am pissed off. I may be overreacting to his statement, but it has also caused my husband to nag me every time I so much as look in the general direction of a raspberry. I always thought that doctors were supposed to try to get a full picture of the situation before making declarations one way or another. Much as I love Canada’s socialized healthcare where everything is paid for, I also admit that I resent being treated like a number.

It could be worse: I could be in terrible shape or have little understanding of health management or, even scarier, have some severe medical condition that affects the health of my child-but I don’t. So I’m seen for maybe five minutes, and provided relatively useless, knee-jerk advice that doesn’t do much more than make me worry.

Plus it’s coming up on mango season, and, simple carbs or not, they’ll have to pry my Alphonso mangoes away from my cold, dead hands.

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