The good old days of “you’re eating for two” have been replaced by prenatal Pilates and magazines dubbed “Fit Pregnancy,” featuring articles like: “Jog into your 7-month!” As if it wasn’t enough that we have to compare ourselves to supermodels and celebrities when we’re not pregnant, now we have to compare ourselves to the new generation of yoga-bending, quinoa-eating pregnant mommas-to-be! The problem is, that was just who I wanted to be with my second pregnancy.
I swore I would do it differently this time around. I envisioned myself continuing to eat vegan at least for the first trimester and going on my morning walks everyday! I would stay within my recommended pregnancy weight gain bracket to better allow myself to easily loose the baby weight after the birth! I would NOT allow myself to gain the 78 pounds that I did with Kysen after reaching the lowest weight I had been since college! Yes ladies, the pipe dreams were vivid and they lulled me into thinking this would all be easy.
After getting pregnant on our first try, right in the midst of the holiday season, and having a totally different experience than I’d had with my first, my best laid plans were engulfed in the flames of a tumultuous first trimester. With my first pregnancy I had NO morning sickness–I was very lucky then and very naive to think that “it can’t happen to me.” The never-ending morning sickness hit me hard and fast, and was all delightfully kicked off by a bout of gastroenteritis. I went into what my OBGYN lovingly refers to as “survival mode,” since eating was the only thing that temporarily made me feel better from the nausea. When I didn’t eat the nausea got worse, when I was hungry it was almost unbearable. And what did I want to eat? Well, just think the total opposite of a vegan diet! Vegetables made me sick and I insisted that everything I ate was covered with melted cheese! By the end of my 1st trimester I had gained 11 pounds. Then the self-loathing set in!
HOW MUCH WEIGHT SHOULD YOU GAIN DURING PREGNANCY?
I honestly feel bombarded my this convenient little ditty (of course being really bitter doesn’t help). My body obviously doesn’t care about what the medical community recommends for pregnancy weight gain. But here it is for your viewing pleasure:
- A woman of average weight before pregnancy should gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy.
- Underweight women should gain 28-40 pounds during pregnancy.
- Overweight women may need to gain only 15-25 pounds during pregnancy.
WHERE THE RECOMMENDED WEIGHT GOES:
This is the scientific justification that makes the junk up there make sense.
- Baby = 8 pounds
- Placenta = 2-3 pounds
- Amniotic Fluid = 2-3 pounds
- Breast Tissue = 2-3 pounds (Seriously? That’s it? They obviously haven’t seen mine!)
- Blood Supply = 4 pounds
- Fat Stores (for delivery & breastfeeding) = 5-9 pounds
- Uterus Increase = 2-5 pounds
- TOTAL = 25-35 pounds (How cute, barf!)
Who are they basing this off of? I am a six-foot person, there is no way my uterus weighs the same as a woman who is 5 foot 3 inches! My body is just plain bigger, so of course my blood supply is more than the average height woman. (Justify much?) Our ideal weights are based on our heights, shouldn’t this be adjusted as well? Can’t they make us a calculator that’s based on our height and frame?
THE TRUTH ABOUT NOT GAINING TOO MUCH WEIGHT DURING PREGNANCY:
The truth is, staying within the recommended weight range for pregnancy takes the same thing that maintaining your normal healthy weight does: a whole lot of WORK and DISCIPLINE. Controlling your portions and what you eat during pregnancy is especially challenging for me. There is no payoff, like when you’re not pregnant. Normally, if you eat less you loose weight, but when you’re pregnant and you don’t go crazy and eat everything you like you don’t loose anything! You keep gaining–just not as fast and not as much.
Unless you’re blessed with great genes, you are working hard at keeping a healthy weight during pregnancy. I honestly admire the dedication of such mommas, but I’ve realized I’m just not one of them. I also believe that bodies interpret being pregnancy differently, some retain water and pack on weight while others don’t. I’m guessing I can be found in the pack-on-the-weight category.
THROWING IN THE TOWEL:
After my 1st trimester I felt pretty bad about myself. The ideal that I had in my head before getting pregnant was unattainable. I wanted the perfect bump–you know where it is all bump and nothing more–just me with a bump! I had to come to terms that it’s going to be me covered with a layer of fat and then a bump. I’m done beating myself up for not meeting this ideal I had in my head. Some women are blessed with looking fabulous during pregnancy, and that’s just not me. My arms get fat, my legs gets fat, my face gets fat, and I just don’t feel my best. I’ve decided that I don’t have to be anything other than what makes me comfortable. I’m taking a stand! Honestly, I’m not buying the one-size-fits-all pregnancy weight gain guidelines anymore.
What did you expect to gain before you got pregnant? What did you end up weighing? Did you gain more than the recommended range? Are you feeling down about your pregnancy weight gain?
CHECK OUT THIS COMEDY ABOUT PREGNANCY:
Inspired by the perennial New York Times bestseller of the same name and the first book in a series that has sold over 32 million copies worldwide, WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING is a hilarious and heartfelt big screen comedy about five couples whose intertwined lives are turned upside down by the challenges of impending parenthood. The cast includes huge stars like Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Brooklyn Decker, and more!
Baby-crazy author and advocate Wendy (Elizabeth Banks), gets a taste of her own militant advice when pregnancy hormones ravage her body. Just like Kristen from MyMommaToldMe.com, Wendy discovers that some pre-conceived notions about pregnancy don’t always turn out to be reality! Check out this kaleidoscopic comedy, coming to a theater near you May 18th.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Lionsgate via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Lionsgate.