Tuesday, July 3, 2012

It's not about the numbers!

People ask me if I've experienced a lot of the usual irritants pregnant people often experience...things like people giving their unwanted "two cents" on the name you've picked out for the child or random strangers wishing to touch your belly. The truth is, I haven't had a lot of those kinds of things.

What I HAVE had? Anxiety about my weight, occasioned by comments from people who have never been pregnant or things I've read online about pregnancy weight gain or mother's who lost the baby weight five minutes after giving birth.

About three months in, I was told I should see a nutritionist, because I was 5 lbs over the recommended weight gain for how many weeks I was along. That pissed me off. Before getting preggers, on any given week, I might be 5 lbs over or under my "normal" weight. It's called fluctuation. And it's pretty normal, people.

And the other day, I stumbled across this post. I was irritated again. The woman writing this post means well. And she's right on the money about a lot of things, I'll hasten to say. Still, the tone just seemed a little...well,...braggy. Every body is different and every woman sees a different number on the scale end of term.

OB's and gynocologists say a woman should ideally gain 25-35 lbs during her pregnancy. But guess what? Those numbers reflect JUST fundus, baby, waters, placenta. Nothing else. Basically, a woman is expected to grow a belly and not put on a single pound anywhere else during the whole 9 months. Which is unrealistic. Ideal? Okay, sure. Maintaining a healthy weight and not gaining excess weight is ideal whether you're pregnant or not. But everybody fluctuates. And pregnant women are battling a lot of extra hormones, which do make it a little more difficult.

I've continued to exercise and eat a healthy and balanced diet (for the most part) thus far into my pregnancy. Do I exercise every day? Nope. Should I? Probably. Do I sometimes splurge with something sweet? Yes. Is that okay? Absolutely! I think there needs to be a balance. And the way some women talk about it, it's clear that the number on the scale is all too important--distracting even. When you're counting (like the author of the post above is) not only the number of lbs you're gaining/losing, but the number of days it's taking you to get those numbers on one side or the other of some imagined ideal, there's something off balance.  

Yeah, I hope I lose the pounds and get back to my pre-pregnancy weight (about 10lbs below that, actually) quickly. Doesn't every pregnant lady? But I'm not going to obsess about it. And I'm certainly not going to be throwing myself into Crossfit classes and strict diet regiments days after giving birth. I'm pretty sure I'll be too busy with the new little human that has become part of our family.

Okay. Rant over. Carry on.


  1. I agree, obsession over this is a mistake. And honestly, counter productive. How are we supposed to be healthy when we're stressing out over food and fitness? ;)

  2. Exactly. Besides, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that skimping on caloric intake and obsessing about weight can be very detrimental to moms and babies alike. Underweight babies are reportedly at higher risk for developmental issues. I think it's probably safe to say that a few extra lbs end of term is better than a few lbs under the recommendations.

  3. This whole aspect of pregnancy thoroughly annoyed me as well. In the end, it was going to be my own unique experience.

    I highly doubt you need to see a nutritionist, although this is coming from the person who skipped all her maternity checkups, drank copious amounts of coffee, and continued exercising daily up until the last minute. And my kid is incredibly healthy.

    Breastfeeding always makes the weight come off faster. The main thing I did, though, was pilates workout videos. Mari Winsor can do the trick, I'll swear by it.

  4. Oh Lauren, I love that you just skipped your prenatals! I am also breaking all the rules, it seems. I drink coffee every morning. And drink the occasional glass of wine here and there as well. I am exercising--but I'm not awesome like you are. Mine is very low intensity stuff, like yoga and low-impact cardio. And I'm sporadica about it. Need to be better.

  5. I'm already WAY over my "normal" weight :) I hate when those judge after the "rules" have been given. I mean, for my first pregnancy, I was losing so much weight they threatened to put me in the hospital if I lost another pound... that was the first trimester. By the time she was born I had gained a total of 60 pounds. The doctor told me to stop and I said, "I can't, I don't know why but I drink water and gain a flippin pound!" She was only 7 pounds too. Then I lost about 35 or 40 of those pounds.

  6. Erica, your story is like countless others I've heard. Our bodies have a mind of their own, I swear. I've gained about 30 lbs so far. I'm 27 weeks along and have been told I'll most likely gain another 10-12 lbs before D-day!



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