Pregnancy can be a beautiful thing, after all you are growing a new life inside you. You feel it kick, move and literally see it grow over the course of nine months. Pregnancy however can be a challenging time for many women as they watch their bodies change in ways they weren’t expecting. Pregnancy weight gain is one big reason that moms begin to feel bad during this time. Everyone carries each pregnancy different and gains a varying amount of weight. While working yesterday I had a patient ask when my baby was due. When I told her, she looked shocked and said “really! Are you sure it is only one.” I wanted to slap her or make some snide comment back about pregnancy being my excuse and ask her what hers was.
Instead I bit my tongue, smiled politely and said “Yes, I’m sure there is only one.” Inside I was fuming and a little upset thinking that I was this grotesque beast who couldn’t control what I shoved in my mouth. Why do people think that just because I am harboring another human being in me it gives them the right to comment or pass judgement on my size? Furthermore, why was I letting this stranger make me feel bad about the way I looked? I went home that evening irritated and upset and told my boyfriend what the woman had said. He quickly told me I was beautiful and that although I may feel giant I didn’t look that way at all. I felt better but it got me thinking about what the recommendations for a healthy weight gain during pregnancy are and wondering how other people felt about their bodies while pregnant.
Doctor’s give guidelines about how much weight is “ideal” depending on how much you weigh prior to becoming pregnant.Sometimes, not everyone fits in this perfect little chart that the doctor’s set forth and if the woman and her doctor have an open conversation about what is healthy for that person that should be acceptable. Most importantly all anyone wants in the end is a healthy baby and a healthy mom.
Currently I am 27 weeks pregnant and have gained about 15 pounds which is hard to actually share with others. I was slightly overweight prior to becoming pregnant and according to the chart I have already gained more then half of what I should. Yes, sometimes I indulge in things that aren’t considered healthy but I try to balance out the poor diet choices with more healthier options. It seems that no matter how little or how much weight you gain, someone is going to judge your pregnant body and the health of your baby. Take for instance some of the mamas on Instagram that I follow who are athletes and barely look pregnant even at 9 months. They are shamed saying that they haven’t gained any weight and they are putting the health of their baby at risk. Then there are others who look bigger when they are pregnant and people make those comments about “must be more then one” or “lay off the cheeseburgers.” No matter what someone is going to judge and we as pregnant mamas should stop caring what everyone else thinks.
This is my second pregnancy and I know that things can “pop” more with subsequent pregnancies but I should never be made to feel bad about how I look especially from complete strangers. It is hard to share some of these photos knowing that people will potentially make comments or judge my growing belly but frankly, it really isn’t anyone’s damn business (except my doctor’s) how much weight I have or haven’t gained. My baby is healthy and weighing in at 2 pounds and 5 oz (66% percentile) so far and I can only hope that she continues to gain weight and I deliver a healthy, happy baby!