So, you're worried about pregnancy weight gain. Let me guess...
You had to buy new maternity jeans this week and it crushed your confidence.
Your significant other, who loves you no matter what, never imagined that your stomach would look "so big!"
Your lovely grandmother, who gave birth in the 1950s, recently patted your growing belly and reminded you, "You know, I only gained 15 pounds with my babies..."
Maybe you just stepped off of the scale, or completed a doctor's appointment, or bumped into a high school friend with the tiniest pregnancy belly of all time. No matter how you ended up at this blog post, I can relate.
Gaining pregnancy weight is HARD.
Yeah, you're growing for a good cause. Yes, you can likely shed the weight later. No, that doesn't necessarily make it easier right now.
Before you beat yourself up TOO much, do you know why you gain weight in pregnancy?
After reviewing the most current and authoritative studies regarding pregnancy weight gain, the American Pregnancy Association shared these general guidelines:
For women of average weight pre-pregnancy, the recommended weight gain bracket during pregnancy is 25-35 pounds.
Women who are underweight pre-pregnancy are encouraged to gain between 28-40 pounds.
For women who are overweight pre-pregnancy, recommended weight gain is around 15-25 pounds.
Women who are obese pre-pregnancy should aim for 11-20 pounds of weight gain.
WHERE IS ALL THAT WEIGHT COMING FROM?
That's a great question, and I think that the answer will relieve some stress. Let's say that you develop...*
7 1/2 pounds of BABY
1 1/2 pounds of PLACENTA
4 pounds of INCREASED FLUID VOLUME
2 pounds of UTERUS
2 pounds of BREAST TISSUE
4 pounds of INCREASED BLOOD VOLUME
7 pounds of MATERNAL FAT & NUTRIENT STORES
2 pounds of AMNIOTIC FLUID
30 easy pounds
*(This data was pulled from AmericanPregnancy.org. Your baby, placenta, and breasts may be bigger!)
You will gain weight, and you need to gain weight.
If your pregnancy diet is unbalanced and loaded with junk food, you will gain unhealthy weight. Ask your doctor, midwife, childbirth educator, or nutritionist how you can round out your diet for a healthier pregnancy.
If you're gaining weight but you're exercising effectively and following a healthy pregnancy nutrition program, don't stress! Remind yourself that they're important, totally temporary pounds, and enjoy your pregnancy!
Megan Hamzawi is a certified childbirth educator and doula. Her class is ideal for pregnant people and labor partners who prioritize individualized healthcare, informed consent, health-promoting nutritional choices, and active participation in the birth process.