I always said I would never post my bare belly during pregnancy. Until I got pregnant. And felt something I never knew. It isn’t my belly. It’s my baby. And I love knowing he is in there.
This was a post I never got to post before my baby. But I feel it goes along with my blog for this week, so without further ado…
To all body conscious soon to be moms, pregnant now or not.
It’s natural to wonder what your body will do while you’re pregnant. And what it will be like after. And it’s completely understandable why we typically watch the scale all during pregnancy. And even more understandable why our body confidence comes and goes throughout pregnancy as well.
But as I was sitting on my couch, not working out, letting Colton sleep on my chest, deleting emails, I paused. I saw a subject line that read, “HOW YOUR HUSBAND CAN HELP YOU HAVE A BETTER PREGNANCY.”
Ok, so this email is a from a fitness girl who specializes in preventing excessive pregnancy weight gain and, as in some emails I’ve seen, even weight LOSS during pregnancy. Maybe you are getting pissed now…
I rarely agree with any of these emails yet I have not unsubscribed for this reason. They are ammo for my posts and blogs because I can’t believe this is the info we allow ourselves to consume and sometimes even subscribe to.
So I opened the email, and I was kind of seeing where she was coming from. Preaching to embrace pregnancy instead of resisting it, and I am on board with that mindset as much as possible, but ladies, there may be times you are anything BUT embracing pregnancy. And it’s not that you don’t embrace the pregnancy and what’s growing, but the symptoms are not always loved. That’s ok!
So, then I kept reading. It was all about how she only gained 20 pounds during her pregnancies and how fast she lost the weight after. It proceeded to say how she vowed she wouldn’t gain “too much” weight and be a tired, miserable bitch that guys complained about. That it was just a CHOICE.
It sounds great. But it isn’t always that simple. And while I agree with keeping your mindset as positive as possible, I disagree with trying to pick a number to limit your weight gain to. Because I’ve said it before, it really is not in your control. Your choices are in your control but the number on the scale… IS NOT.
And I don’t want women thinking they should have a goal weight during pregnancy. If there is one sure way to ruin the miracle of pregnancy, it is exactly that. Go and pick a max weight and see how much you enjoy your glowing pregnancy days. You won’t. And that’s something you CAN control. You can control it by never trying to control it. Because you’ll lose. Because you can’t control the increase in blood volume needed to House your baby. You can’t control how much and when you gain your amniotic fluid for your baby to grow in. You can’t control how much water you will retain and when and where. You can’t control how much your baby weighs. And so HOW COULD YOU CONTROL HOW MUCH WEIGHT YOU GAIN?!?
You have one job. Nourish yourself so your baby can take what they need to grow healthy and strong which, when we are truly honest with ourselves and not in our social media bubble, it all we really wish for. You will be pregnant and cry over news stories of a mother with terminal cervical cancer leaving a one year old behind. You will cry over a tv show where someone loses a baby, and even worse, we will all cry over someone we know struggling to get pregnant, suffering miscarriages, or dealing with their baby’s health issues.
So WHY are we so scared of gaining weight when we are pregnant? No, excessive weight gain isn’t healthy for mom or baby. But generally, if you make healthy choices the majority of your pregnancy, that isn’t what you need to worry about.
Restricting your food, your calories, YOUR CARBS, can all backfire. And I promise when you think of the bundle of joy that is coming to you, that is relying on YOU, you will kick yourself if your pregnancy weight gain is front and center in your life. It just doesn’t matter.
And as a reminder, so much of your weight gain is baby and fluid, so it’s coming no matter what. Eat your pizza or eat your salad, your body still knows what it has to do to grow this baby.
I never posted my weight in all my pregnancy posts. But I will tell you it came in chunks. One month I’d gain, one month not so much. And the final weeks? Fluctuated around the same number up and down. And that was with Halloween, thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years all in the last ten weeks.
You want pregnancy body advice? Live a healthy lifestyle before, during and after, though it may look different at different times. Have your habits in place and keep them up as much as possible. You’re going to want more carbs during your pregnancy. Eat them. Many carbs contain folate, which is essential for the neural tube development in your baby and to avoid defects. Are some pregnancy pounds worth defects from restricting your calories or carbs?
I think we all know that answer but we may forget it when we are living in fear of pregnancy weight gain. I think we all forget it when we see emails and social media posts about a woman who only gained x amount and can help you only gain that too. Guess what? SHE CAN’T. I CAN’T EITHER.
I can help you shift your mindset around weight gain and body changes during pregnancy. I can help you create good habits when trying to conceive or even thinking about it. I can help you adjust your activity but stay consistent during pregnancy. And I can help you ease back into your activity after recovering from the greatest feat you’ll ever accomplish.
But I cannot and will not promote that I can limit your weight gain to a certain amount. Oh and I absolutely won’t promote losing weight while pregnant. The only thing you can do is evaluate your choices and continue to make the best ones you can. Every body is different. Every pregnancy is different. And no one can pick a number for you. Not. Even. You.
So I’m writing this as a word of caution as to what you subscribe to. Literally subscribing to emails and also mentally subscribing to. What are you letting fill your thoughts each day? Who is influencing you?
Pregnant or not. Having kids or not.
We are inundated with so many messages today that we really should start to be more specific about which ones we truly pay attention to.
And as for the email that said how husbands can help? She said her husband loved her pregnant and as long as you stay healthy and fit, they have no reason not to.
Excuse me while I punch something.
If that’s what has to happen for him to love you, you should check why you are with him. And if that’s the message this email gives, maybe she should refer counselors for women trying to please their husbands by manipulating their bodies or lawyer contacts for their future divorce. Holy shit.
Ladies- Take care of yourself. Even if it means working out AND eating bagels. Do what makes YOU feel good but know that not everyday will feel wonderful.
But the day you bring that baby into this world? The extra pounds won’t matter. And when you look at their face? You’ll regret spending any time consumed with your weight gain.
Email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org to work together.