A lot of people ask me about gaining weight during pregnancy. They want to know how I feel about it. Or what I think about it. And while I don’t love that this seems to be the number one issue women have with being pregnant, I’m going to make one post about it.
You have not seen me post a single weight on my weekly pregnancy updates. That is because it is NOT important for you to know or honestly, even for me to know. My goal with my posts is to update you on my mindset, my symptoms, my progress and to hopefully have you relate to or enjoy at least one part of them, maybe even laugh sometimes.
Because 10 months is a long time and what are you going to do? Spend it monitoring your weight like I did for over ten years? If I’m obsessed with the scale, how will I make sure to feed Chip brain healthy food like avocado, whole eggs, full fat dairy, grass fed meat? If I’m obsessed with the scale, how often will I listen to my body and provide workouts and activity for both of us that feel good and don’t do damage now or for the future?
If I’m obsessed with the scale, how will take time to just sit and play with chip while he kicks and moves and I rub my belly and we bond for minutes, even hours, at a time that I “could be doing something else?”
If I’m obsessed with the scale, how will I practice self care for myself which will make me the best able mother to my baby boy??
To me, these are my priorities during pregnancy. I would not trade these kicks to be x pounds lighter right now. I just wouldn’t. Sure, I’m uncomfortable. I’m itchy. I grunt when I move. I can’t bend over or squat the same. I hate sitting in chairs for too long. I hate standing for too long. I can’t see past my boobs. I get heartburn sometimes. I get sciatic pains once in a while. I pee a lot. Good sleep is hit or miss. But all of this is temporary. All of this comes with the territory. And guess what. SO DOES WEIGHT GAIN.
Because, google any articles and you will see a list of where some of your pregnancy pounds come from, beyond your baby. From extra blood, extra fluid, extra breast tissue. Can you control ANY OF THESE??? Nope. You can eat clean and still not control these or what your baby will take from you.
So I read an article yesterday how all these different things can add up to 30 pounds. And doctors are telling average weight women to gain no more than 30 pounds. Regardless of what’s physically healthy, I’m going to go with mental health for a quick minute because that’s what I’m concerned with around this topic.
If a doctor says to not gain more than 30 pounds, what do you do? What is your instinct?
Watch your weight, right? As it creeps up you’re going to want to try to control what you’re eating. Maybe restrict some things? Hopefully not deny your hunger but you might. Just like when your brain hears DIET, and don’t eat that, your brain wants you to eat everything in sight. It’s a trigger. Don’t gain more than 30 makes me feel like it’s impossible not to because all I’ll think about it what I’m eating, what workouts I can’t do like I used to, and how much weight am I gaining. Never will I be able to focus on moving myself to feel good, to do good for chip, to supplying well rounded nutrients to help chip grow and to keep me from being too depleted. How could I do that if I’m too busy watching calories and pounds?? Plus, it makes weight such a focus of your pregnancy, 10 months in your life where you get to grow a human!!! NOT CONTROL EVERY CALORIE OR POUND. And just listen to me. You will never control every pound you weigh so please stop trying during pregnancy especially.
Now picture this: doctors tell you, “YAY! Your pregnancy is such a special time in your life and so important for you and your baby. I want you to take the best care of yourself you can, physically and mentally. When it comes to your weight gain, ehhh staying under 50 pounds would be nice, but don’t focus on it. We will let you know if we need you to be concerned or address it.”
Instant relief? Did you just relax a little bit? Did you just get to enjoy your pregnancy a little more? Did you just take a food focus off the table? MOST LIKELY. Because that’s what mindset does. That’s what pressure does. And that’s what relief of pressure does. Gaining 25 or 45 pounds doesn’t change how healthy your pregnancy was. And while I understand it’s the doctors’ job to look out for you, in most cases, 10-15 pounds difference isn’t going to change the health of you and your baby. Sure, it’s a little more to lose after, but can we just worry about that when we get there? Pregnancy isn’t the time to concern yourself with what will happen after. Isn’t every mother’s top wish a healthy baby??? If you gain 30 or 45 pounds, your baby can still be healthy. And isn’t that what matters most?
And not for anything, but gaining TOO LITTLE weight is actually more detrimental than too much. This blog is not for moms with gestational diabetes to not pay attention to their food. But we all should try to eat well anyway.
So then they’ll tell you, well as long as you’re eating nutritious foods don’t worry about the weight gain. But let’s be honest, as pregnant women and all women, we don’t solely eat nutritious foods. We eat fun foods. We are nauseas and can only eat crackers. We are hungry and want more carbs with our meals. We are hormonal and want cereal and chocolate. It’s ok!!!
Given our society today, do we get concerned for the women who are controlling every morsel and possibly depriving their baby of nutrients and even if that baby gets what they need, what happens to mom after when she’s been sucked dry?
What I would love to see happen for pregnant women is the release of weight gain focus. The release of the pressure to control your weight gain and the relief of fear of what doctors will say if you gain 31 or 50 pounds. I’d love our mindset to be on taking care of ourselves and residing to the fact that we can not control our weight. What we can control is how much we focus on it and in turn, how we take care of ourselves. I also believe the more we focus on it, the more likely it is to backfire and make us eat more than we would if it was never an issue! (That’s how dieting sucks too, pregnant or not, that’s brain science.)
This journey requires us to be present, to be aware, and to keep our stress levels down as much as we can. We don’t need this weight stress during pregnancy. We don’t need to compare our weight gain to other pregnant women. We also don’t need a dozen donuts. But, if you aren’t hyper focused on your weight, I can pretty much guarantee a dozen donuts are going in your mouth any time soon.
So finally, do not follow me to check for how much weight I am gaining. Follow me for how I am taking care of us during this pregnancy.
I am gaining a growing boy, a changing body, and a love that feels like it weighs much much more than 30 pounds.