How Much Weight Should You Gain During Pregnancy?

I was going to share a pregnancy update today but then decided to focus on a topic that I’ve wanted to address, apologize for and lastly celebrate – weight gain during pregnancy!

Baby Update

Baby is now the size of a cauliflower blossom, 4-6 lbs and 17-19 inches. His bones are hardening which I can now feel pretty easily at all times and allegedly he is keeping his eyes open while awake. Weird.

Weight Gained

To date, I’ve gained a total of about 22-23 lbs. I gained 3 lbs in 3 weeks according to my doctor which is normal for the third trimester. Since my last blog update at 31 weeks, I have pretty much stayed the same.

Based on your pre pregnancy weight, here is a breakdown of recommended weight gain:

  • 25-35 pounds if you were a healthy weight before pregnancy, with a BMI of 18.5-24.9.
  • 28-40 pounds if you were underweight before pregnancy with a BMI of less than 18.5.
  • 15-25 pounds if you were overweight before pregnancy with a BMI of 25-29.9.
  • 11-20 pounds if you were obese before pregnancy with a BMI of over 30.

According to Expecting Better however, if you were err on the side of caution regarding too much or too little, you probably want to go above the recommended amount. Studies have shown that babies whose moms gain too little have more complications that those whose moms go above.

Real quick – let’s just look at where the weight comes from. It’s not all fat, trust me.

  • 1.5 lbs. the placenta
  • 7 lbs. maternal stores of fat, protein, and other nutrients
  • 7.5 lbs. your average full-term baby
  • 2 lbs.  breast tissue (we know it feels like so much more!)
  • 4 lbs. increased fluid volume
  • 4 lbs. increased blood volume
  • 2 lbs. the uterus
  • 2 lbs. amniotic fluid

That’s a total of 30 lbs.

Comparing Pregnancies

As a member of January 2016 due date groups on Facebook and The Bump, I find it so interesting how people love to compare their weight gains with total strangers. People ask questions like, “I’ve only gained 10 lbs, is this normal?” without sharing any information as to whether they were underweight, overweight or whatever prior to getting knocked up.

There are women who publicly lament on these forums that they feel terrible for gaining “too much weight” and other women love to share that they’ve lost or only gained 5 lbs.  You can’t compare yourself to other women you do not know. You should be loving your body NOW more than ever. You are growing a freaking human being. Do you know how cool that is? It creeps me out to think there is an alien inside of my uterus.

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I share my weight on here because I know you guys are interested (based on clicks). You know what I started out at and I share what I eat and do for exercise. However, sharing how much weight you’ve gained or lost in a forum during pregnancy should mean shit unless there is context and even still people shouldn’t compare their own weight gain. If I had been unfortunate enough to have bad morning sickness, I would have gained so much more weight by now because I would have had to eat all my comfort foods and wouldn’t have been able to exercise. I get that we want to know what is normal and what is not but isn’t that what doctors and midwives are for????

#HashTag Can You Believe This Sexy Body Is Pregnant!?

Ok, so even still, I am guilty. Every pregnancy is different. I don’t want to compare myself but find that I totally still do it. I have a friend who is 10 weeks behind me and I see that she still isn’t showing at all in the pictures she posts on Instagram. With each weekly pregnancy update, I’m like, “Lady, stop bragging! I get it. You’re still thinner than 90% of America at 23 weeks pregnant.”

Then I look at my own Instagram feed from when I was 23 weeks and feel incredibly guilty for probably making someone else feel this way. I’m not perfect and while I was/am trying to share my progress, please do not compare your numbers or pictures to mine. I promise you, for every bump update I post – there are 10 angles that don’t make the cut. I’m not photoshopping myself thinner but I’m selectively choosing which picture has the best angle, the strongest jaw line, and least lazy eye. Also, in focus.

Bump Shot Pictures

This is a picture of a lady who gave birth 2 days later to a healthy baby boy. Seriously. Her name is also Sarah!

But more importantly, what sane grown woman has a phone case like this? Also – why did she feel the need to pose in lingerie? Am I supposed to do this? Six days after giving birth, of course she posted a picture or her near six pack abs.

I feel sorry for this lady, really I do. What low self esteem must you have to post pictures naked for social media as validation of your “sexy” pregnant body? It certainly wasn’t to make other people feel good about themselves but for self gratification, right? Right??? BUT WAIT! NO! Now I’m contributing to the whole “women tearing each other down” trend Taylor Swift so strongly opposes. I’m confused. Am I supposed to support this or be against it? I don’t even know anymore. For the first time in my life I actually applaud Kim Kardashian’s transparency when it comes to her pregnancy weight gain.

I’ve always looked forward to being pregnant and being able to “eat what I want.” When did it become a time when women would so publicly take pride in how little weight they gained? I’ve got will power that will be exercised as soon as this kid comes out, but until then, pass me the Whole Foods Oreos.

I Love Being Pregnant

A lot of people now ask me if I’m ready for the baby to come and truly I’m not. I love being pregnant for so many reasons, from the little kicks to the kind manners people have when they see me on a train or in the grocery store.

Most importantly, ever since college I’ve regularly categorized days as good or bad often based on my food decisions. Being pregnant, there are no bad days. Some have more sugar than others but I’ve never given myself such self love regardless of what I put into my body. I make healthy decisions but I do not restrict my diet in any way. We bought these on Saturday and they were gone by Tuesday. Insert emoji girl with her hands up.

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I do try to avoid processed foods (with the exception of seasonal or homemade cookies) and chemicals but calories to me are so not important because I find I am much more in tune these days with my hunger. I look at what is the most nutritious but also delicious. What brings me joy? Since my weight gain is on track with what is normal for my pre-baby body, I’m really looking forward to a holiday season without hating myself for having too much stuffing at Thanksgiving or too many cookies at the holiday party.

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Pre-pregnancy I would compare myself to other fitness bloggers/models/trainers and the past 8 months have been an amazing vacation from all that bullshit. I really hope I can continue to practice self compassion once LittleFit is here so that I can be a good role model especially if the next one is a girl.

Did you ever find yourself comparing your pregnancy body to others?  If you have never been pregnant, do you notice a change in perception towards what a healthy pregnancy should look like?

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