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Pregnancy Weight Gain Fears

Jul23

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Hi Amy!

I’m a fairly new reader to your blog. When I told my friend that I was expecting, she linked me to AlphaMom, and not only have I enjoyed it, but I’ve learned a lot too, so thank you for all your hard work! My question today may be one that you have answered in the past – I tried to do a search of your previous Smackdown posts, but admit I lost steam after about the third page (only because I have to click on every column and that gets too distracting…), so I apologize in advance if this is an issue that has been tackled before. As always there’s a bit of a back story, before the actual question!

Before I got pregnant, I worked very hard at losing weight, and with a lot of help, dedication, and supervision, lost about 60 pounds in a year. I was only about halfway to my target weight loss, but I was totally jazzed, and I was feeling really great about my body for the first time in a long while. When I found out that my husband and I were going to become parents, I of course put the diet plan on hiatus, and stopped concentrating on the weight loss, as I want the baby to be a healthy little boy or girl. And I have to say that the information I learned during my weight loss journey has really helped me, so I know that I am eating a healthy diet, and providing good nutrients to both my body and the little jellybean’s.

During my first month, I wasn’t sick at all (I know, I am hated by much of womankind), but I lost my appetite, and had to force myself to eat, and as a result, lost almost 10 pounds, which had me worried, as I was concerned that I was starving my baby. The appetite came back though, and I put those 10 pounds back on (which I was fine with, it put me back where I started), and have since pretty much maintained the same weight. I’m at 18 weeks now, and I have gained two pounds, but I have hit the point where I AM ALWAYS HUNGRY, and I know that I am going to start to see the results of this on the scale. I have actually caught myself sitting there debating whether or not I should really eat something, telling myself “You know, you DID just eat a yogurt 45 minutes ago” before I give myself a mental slap and go eat some dried fruit or some cheese and crackers.

My question to you, and your wise readers is this: how do you deal with pregnancy weight gain? As I write this I am beginning to feel like I’m sounding slightly neurotic, but I figure this has to be an issue that many of your readers deal with, no? I want a healthy child, and I am not going to stint on a healthy diet, and I know that weight gain comes with the territory. But I have to admit, my heart sinks a little bit every day that I get on the scale and those numbers creep up. It’s not a body image issue – I’m actually still very happy with how I look (I can’t wait to get a baby bump, it seems to be taking for-freakin’-ever to show up!), but as the numbers go up I can’t help but think ahead to how much more I will have to lose after the baby is born. So how do we deal? Do I just stop stepping on the scale (although I admit that worries me – I don’t want to get to my midwife appointment and discover that I’ve put on 30 pounds in a month). Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

Sincerely,
Anonymous (because I couldn’t come up with a catchy or witty name to call myself)

We have covered this topic before, but hey, at this point (as the Smackdown column is over six years old!) I’d be surprised if we’ve left ANY topic completely uncovered. And this is one that deserves the occasional rerun.

Before we begin, let’s review the pregnancy weight breakdown, using a “typical” full-term gain of 31 pounds:

12 pounds: Maternal stores (fat, protein, Cheezits, etc.)
4 pounds: Increased fluid volume, aka water weight, aka blooooaaaat
2 pounds: IN YOUR BRA
2 pounds: Uterus
2 pounds: Amniotic fluid
1.5 pounds: Mmmmmplacenta
7.5 pounds: Baby! (“HA!” says the woman who birthed a 10-pounder.)

So a two-pound gain at 18 weeks means you haven’t really put those 10 pounds you lost in the first trimester back on. I mean, you did, but not in the way you’re worried about (i.e. 10 pounds directly on your ass). You crept back up to your starting weight thanks to all those baby-related accessories (uterus, placenta, fluid, etc.), NOT because you ate a yogurt 45 minutes ago and are now craving a pan of brownies.

It’s perfectly normal to feel uneasy-to-neurotic about the weight gain, though. Nobody wants to gain “too much” and yet then there’s all the crazy pressure to eat the “perfect” pregnancy diet (not too much, not too little, with every bite being organic and healthy and to not succumb to the pan of brownies because zomg your baby will be born with flippers if you do).

Listen to your body and your appetite, not the scale. Your body is hungry because you are growing a human being, not because you’re weak-willed or eating your feelings. (I needed regular, near-constant snacks too while pregnant, otherwise my blood sugar would go beserk and I’d black out while trying to stand up from the couch.) And if you need further reassurance that pregnancy weight gain doesn’t necessary translate directly into postpartum weight loss, there’s this: I gained the most weight with Noah. At my six-week checkup, I’d lost every pound without even trying. I gained the LEAST weight with Ike. I had to FIGHT to gain weight with Ike. Most visits showed a weight loss, up until the very end of the third trimester, when I finally ended up with a 12-pound gain. At yet at 14-months postpartum, I’ve lost NONE OF IT. (Thanks, aging metabolism!)

So. Put your home scale AWAY. Stop weighing yourself. Ask your midwife if you can face away from the numbers at your appointments, and that she not tell you the specifics. Unless your midwife has a concern about your weight (a too-sudden gain or loss), take her silence to mean that whatever number she’s writing down is perfectly acceptable. (You won’t gain 30 pounds in a week, no matter how much you eat. I mean, if you DID, it would be because of something medical going on, not from an extra afternoon snack or three.) And don’t take the scale out at home until at least six weeks or so after giving birth.

There are a ton of pregnancy diet and cookbooks out there, though I found most of them to be neurosis-aiding, not helping. They mostly upped my paranoia that I wasn’t eating enough of the “right” foods and eating too many of the “wrong” foods. Especially since I was already prone to MAJOR food aversions for almost the entire nine months of each of my pregnancies, so I could usually only tolerate a limited number of things. If you took away burritos and Indian food and told me to eat chicken and fish (the low-mercury varieties, natch) and salads…well, I probably would have barfed on you and ordered up some Paneer Makhni anyway.

So the best advice I can give is to 1) stop with the scale and 2) start with the instinctual eating. If you’re hungry, you’re hungry. Don’t argue with yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re craving chocolate/salt/entire cans of black olives or whatever. And then — and this is the tricky part — try to ALSO not beat yourself up for feeling how you’re feeling about the scale and weight and food. We’ve all been there. We’ve all had to figure out our own way through the mixed-bag of pregnancy emotions. As long as those emotions aren’t keeping you from the fridge (i.e. disordered eating, calorie restriction/purging and the like), you will be fine and so will your baby, no matter what the scale says at 40 weeks.

 

About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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28 Responses to “Pregnancy Weight Gain Fears”

  1. Britt Jul 23 at 12:08 pm Reply Reply

    I totally second Amalah’s advice that you put away the scale. Weight gain during pregnancy is a funny thing. You’ll often find that it happens in spurts, even though THE BOOKS tell you that you should gain a nice, steady pound per week. Almost everyone I know (myself included) had a spurt between their 20 week and 24 week appointment, and freaked out that they were going to continuing gaining at that rate. (None of us did.) You’ll also have major flucuations in water retention depending on the day and time of day you get weighed, and that is just not something you need to be worrying about. As hard as it is, this is one of those times where you just need to trust that your body knows what it’s doing. Keep focusing on nutrition, and let your body do what it needs to do to grow that baby. And don’t beat yourself up if you feel weird at times about your growing shape. You are by no means required to feel like a goddess for every moment of these nine months! I will say that regular exercise helped me feel better about my body during pregnancy. Nothing fancy, just getting a little endorphin high was enough to make me feel more content about the changes.

  2. Jess Jul 23 at 12:28 pm Reply Reply

    I agree with Amy…to a point. To my knowledge, Amy hasn’t ever lost a significant (30+ lbs) amount of weight, aside from pregnancy-related gain and loss.

    I lost 40 lbs in the 2 years following college. I kept it off for 5 years, then got pregnant. And I will tell you: you are not being neurotic or paranoid. Well, maybe, a little. But in the 5 years I kept my weight off, I was constantly hungry. CONSTANTLY. And I learned to manage and live with it. Part of the way I lived with it was by realizing that my body’s hunger signals are completely f-ed up, probably for the rest of my life, so I have to use my brain to decide when to eat, instead of my stomach.

    Yes, please, during pregnancy eat a little more than you were when you were losing weight. If you’re a calorie-counter, you need to eat enough calories to maintain, plus about 300-500 extra per day. But coming off a significant weight loss right into a pregnancy – I don’t think you should eat whenever you’re hungry, even if you’re sticking to healthy choices. Cut yourself some extra slack, and don’t let your blood sugar go wonky enough that you’re light-headed, like Amy said, but use your brain. It will be harder to lose the weight the second time, so please moderate just to make your life easier afterwards.

    For my first pregnancy, I did what I said above – moderate, eat a little more, never get to the staaaaarving point, but maybe keep myself hungry when possible. I gained 25 lbs, lost 15 within the first 6 weeks, and then lost the other 10 when I stopped nursing (OMG, the hunger from nursing….whole other story).

    With my second pregnancy, I was a little less….vigilant. I gained 35 lbs, and then completely forgot to keep myself just a little bit hungry postpartum, and I’m at the 2 year mark right now having only lost 10 lbs. So I’m facing a 20 lbs battle and since I’m older it’ll be harder.

    Your body will give the baby what it needs first. Your midwife will tell you if you are losing weight, which you should not be doing. But if you are overweight, you don’t need the standard 30 lbs weight gain to support a pregnancy, and weight gain typically accelerates as a pregnancy goes on. You’ll most likely gain more during month 9 than you did in month 5 or 6.

  3. Lindsey Jul 23 at 12:32 pm Reply Reply

    LW seems to have learned a very disciplined and healthy approach to her diet. I bet her body and baby will be fine if she keeps doing what she’s doing. 

  4. Melissa Jul 23 at 12:56 pm Reply Reply

    Have you looked at the concept of Health at Every Size? (HAES?) Google it and see what it’s about, because it’s a MUCH more balanced and sanity saving way of tackling how to own a body and feel it deserves love and good health regardless of current, future, or past sizes.

    And congratulations!

  5. Stephanie Jul 23 at 1:19 pm Reply Reply

    For whatever reason, I gained a LOT of weight with both my pregnancies – I didn’t have any morning sickness, so that probably didn’t help. With the first, I gained 55, lost 30 pounds in a week (hello, water weight and an almost 10 pound baby!) and had lost all but 10 by 5 months post-partum (I didn’t get back to my pre-pregnancy weight until I stopped nursing at almost a year).
    I’m now 4 months post-partum with my second. I gained 48 pounds this time, and so far, I have again lost all but 10. It’s coming off a little slower this time, but I had a c-section, so I couldn’t exercise until about 7 weeks post-partum. The point is, I think your body will gain what it gains. That doesn’t mean you just eat whatever you feel like, because believe me, I passed up on a lot of things (and never ate in the middle of the night, despite waking up starving).

  6. Jenn Jul 23 at 1:20 pm Reply Reply

    There is some info missing from OP’s post. From what I can gather, she is still about 60lbs from a healthy weight. Given that fact, she is at higher risk for gestational diabetes and other complications. In the case of being overweight, it is OK not to gain as much weight, and OK to be aware of weight gain. With my first pregnancy, my doctor was alright with the fact that I didn’t gain anything until my last trimester, because I had plenty of maternal stores to spare (I was probably close to OP’s weight).
    My best advice would be to talk to your doctor and keep eating healthy foods. Just keep an eye on your blood sugar and your body’s signals.

  7. Jenifer Jul 23 at 2:12 pm Reply Reply

    Don’t forget to take time to enjoy and pamper your new body. Walking, pedicures, pre-natal yoga, massage. You deserve it all! All bodies are lovely and deserved to be loved.

  8. tasterspoon Jul 23 at 2:45 pm Reply Reply

    Major sympathy…and four tips that have nothing to do with how to gain weight correctly but might help your sanity a little.

    1. Wrap your mind around letting go.
    Before my first baby I had never been overweight, but I did watch the scale and tried to keep things under control. Being pregnant was really hard for me – a HUGE mental hurdle to just let my body take over. To be clear, it took over anyway – I was exercising religiously and trying to eat well, but I was putting on a lb a week even from the very beginning when I was sick daily and the baby was the size of a sesame seed, speeding up to 2 lbs a week thereafter. But what knocked me for a loop was that, even when the doctor suggested I rein it in, I COULDN’T STOP IT. I’d never felt so out of touch with my own body. It bothered me a lot. You may experience this, too, and it might be VERY hard, when you’ve come this far with what must be incredible determination and self-control, to let go (and maybe feel like your efforts are going down the drain?). But the whole miracle of pregnancy is that your body knows what it’s doing. I mean, actually *building a human being* on its own? My god, just get out of its way! I kept trying to tell myself that. So much is out of your hands (which is a good thing) and you’ll be less stressed if you can accept this better than I did.

    Just as a comparison, my second pregnancy is entirely different but equally out of my hands. I was really sick in the beginning and lost weight to the point my OB wanted to intervene so the baby wouldn’t lose out, then I started gaining 70′s textbook-slowly; then I gained six pounds in two weeks (?!) and my OB said ‘ahem’; then it was a pound a week. BUT NONE of these fluctuations was the result of any excess or restraint on my part. Each week I eat just as much fruit/ cheese/ salad/ pie as the week before and I haven’t exercised at all this time around. That said…

    2. Exercise if you can. It might reassure you that you’re keeping yourself *healthy* even if the scale becomes meaningless.
    3. Get yourself some cute maternity clothes. Last time I tried to cheap out with large shirts and loose pants and billowy knit dresses and felt frumpy and balloony the whole time. This time I got a hand-me-down box of Japanese Weekend and well-fitting jeans and other cute maternity-specific outfits and I look great, even as I enter the whale phase. Maybe no one else cares whether a pregnant woman is stylish, but it has been a huge plus for my mental health this time.
    4. Cut yourself some slack post-pregnancy. My weight didn’t ‘drop off’ afterwards as people had promised. Nursing-ravenous like Jess said, and tired, and also, you know, OLDER – I got within 5 lbs of my pre weight by a year later with attentive eating and moderate exercise, and decided to stop trying for a while, figuring my baby probably prefers a pillowier mom. You have a lifetime to claw your way back. Enjoy being a mom.

    • tass Jun 10 at 4:24 pm Reply Reply

      Thank you! I’m 10 weeks in and losing my mind over weight gain. for someone who was in such control of every pound, i feel helpless and sometimes disgusted at myself. but you reply was exactly what i needed to read, so thank you!

  9. Olivia Jul 23 at 3:17 pm Reply Reply

    As a woman who is about 100 lbs overweight*, I gained just over 30 lbs both times I was pregnant and lost all but 4 lbs by 6 weeks postpartum. I ate like I typically do, just a bit more, exercised during the first pregnancy and not at all during my second. *shrug* you really can’t tell how your body may or may not store any pregnancy weight gain so please take it easy on yourself. If you do not lose all the weight right away, keep in mind many women find they will hold on to a few pounds until they stop breastfeeding.

    *I also never got gestational diabetes or any other complications.

  10. Karen Jul 23 at 4:29 pm Reply Reply

    Just want to throw in my two cents specifically regarding OP’s concerns about the baby getting good nutrition… I think it’s important to remember that if baby survival was super-sensitive to major fluctuations in mom’s nutrient intake, then humans would not have survived. If, over the course of a week, you manage to down even a little bit of: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and/or good fats, and keep heavily processed food with yucky chemicals (I am looking at you Doritos that I craved during my pregnancy!) to a minimum, then I think you are doing pretty well as far as the baby is concerned.

  11. Stephanie Jul 23 at 5:18 pm Reply Reply

    I have a 3.5 week old right now and a history of an eating disorder, and I was freaked out about weight gain during pregnancy.  Every appointment I was doing the math, thinking, “OK, I’ve gained x lbs so far, if I continue at that rate I’ll gain y lbs total.”  I asked my midwives enough times that they suggested I stop looking at the scale in their office, and I put away our scale at home at the same time.  It was the best thing I did for my mental health.  I found out afterwards that I ended up gaining 35 lbs total, way below the projections I had my head midway through the pregnancy, so things definitely did not stay linear.  And 20 lbs of it dropped off within the first two weeks with birth and the aftermath.  Best of luck to you during your pregnancy.  

  12. A Jul 23 at 6:44 pm Reply Reply

    I’m a believer in following your preggo cravings (as long as it’s edible food). While it’s always a good thing, pregnant or not, to eat healthy…I think cravings/hunger during pregnancy is a way for your baby and your body telling you that you need a particular nutrient. Moderation is key!

    Prior (and after) to my pregnancy, I was lactose intolerant – I craved and was able to drink milk without consequence – which I indulged in a handmade vanilla milkshake almost every day of my pregnancy. I had just assumed my baby and body needed the calcium and vitamin d. Same thing with red meat for iron (not everyday, but once or twice per week…icky chicken/pork). I am of average size and I did gain about 40 ish pounds, to deliver a nine pound baby…my dr never insinuated that I gained too much – ideal is not ideal for everyone as everyone is a different size and shape, the goal is healthy momma, healthy baby – talk to your dr for support.

    Don’t stress yourself, if you have a craving or get hungry, eat. If you’ve just eaten and are hungry – perhaps have a glass of water, see how that feels, then work your way up (try some veggies/fruit, pb on apple slices, whatever floats your boat!)

    (My beautiful lil guy is 19 months, I nurse and I’m working off the last 5 lbs ;0) )

  13. Shanelle Jul 23 at 7:50 pm Reply Reply

    Can I just second the not looking at the scale thing. As a recovering bulimic, it is what made me sane. You don’t need to know every fluctuation in your body because your body isn’t really your own if you are trying to grow a healthy baby. Just trust your midwife/ob to tell you if you are going to far… and register for more baby stuff….perhaps buy adorable baby outfits. It helps.

  14. jill Jul 23 at 9:29 pm Reply Reply

    I know how you feel – I lost weight just prior to getting pregnant the first time, and my next three pregnancies all happened right after I had lost the weight again from the last pregnancies. I joked to my husband the other day that I feel like I’m gaining and losing the same 25 lbs over and over again . . . because I am gaining and losing the same 25 lbs over and over again.

    Take care of yourself. Eat what seems best and keeps you strong and healthy. Exercise to keep up your muscle mass. Worry about the rest after your baby is born.

    Personally, my body always fears a famine in the first year post-partum and I find weight really hard to budge. It usually takes me almost 2 yrs to get back to close to my pre-pregnancy weight. But I get there. And a lot of it is by taking care of myself and doing what I can when I feel up to it, not by pusing too hard too fast, or by starving myself. Pregnancy and early post-partum are times when you need to be gentle with yourself.

    So be gentle with yourself. You can pick up where you left off after your hormones have re-settled on the other side of pregnancy and birth.

  15. Autumn Jul 23 at 11:38 pm Reply Reply

    I am you, just with an 11 month old.  I was a good 75 lbs overweight when I got pregnant, and prior to that I had really just started trying to get my but in a healthier lifestyle place.  I wasn’t really trying to get pregnant, but not preventing either. . .
    I had pretty bad evening sickness, so I lost 15 lbs the first trimester, and I was never very hungry in the evenings my whole pregnancy.  I focused on nutrition, making sure I had super healthy breakfasts and lunches with lots of produce so If I was craving junkier stuff in the evenings it didn’t matter as much.  I wound up delivering 3 weeks early, and weighing exactly what I did when I conceived.  Then got mad when I came home after delivering a 7 pound kid to lose 5 lbs.  But the 2 lbs loss daily from fluids for the next 10 days was Awesome!  

    I didn’t put the scale away.  I weighed myself every morning, and said over the course of 2 weeks I should average out a 1 lb gain.  Maybe not the healthiest plan, but it helped me to track if I was having a few too many treats and could use an extra walk.  Cause I know I had/have plenty of “maternal fat stores”

  16. Jen Jul 24 at 8:50 am Reply Reply

    In most cases, your body is going to do what it needs to do, so if you have already learned how to eat healthy and the difference between free for all binging vs. eating when you’re hungry, then go for it and eat. (on binging: You will have weird cravings, you will feel like going all out on a plate of brownies – it’s okay once in a while. Some people overdo it but since you were already on a weight loss journey prior to becoming pregnant I think you’ll be okay..oh, and it will happen postpartum if you’re a nursing mother). And weight gain doesn’t mean much for postpartum loss. Many friends of mined gained 70+ pounds and lost it all in the first few months of nursing. I on the other hand gained only about 12-15 pounds with both pregnancies and just can’t seem to lose the weight. In fact, I gained 12 pounds with this pregnancy, came home from the hospital and was only 3 pounds lighter. Not entirely sure how that’s possible given, you know, the weight of the BABY that came out of me. Sigh. But I probably need those pounds to produce milk, you know? So, trust your body.

  17. -k- Jul 24 at 2:44 pm Reply Reply

    My $0.02, for whatever it’s worth: I’m 32 weeks along now, was also losing weight when I got pregnant, and have not weighed myself once for the entire pregnancy. If being at peace with not weighing is within the realm of possibility for you, I wholeheartedly endorse it. Like Amalah said, you will be hungry, and you *need* to pay attention to that- but you also know if you’re generally on track, and you truly don’t need a scale number to tell you that you’re making decent choices overall. (I say overall because I think aiming for perfection, in this case in the form of No Brownies Ever, is a recipe for frustration.) YMMV, but this approach has really worked for me- obviously I can’t report numbers, but whatever I’ve gained has been slow, steady, normal.

    One thing I’ll toss out there just in case it comes up for you is that for the majority of the pregnancy I felt extraordinarily good about my body- it’s one time in life when the extra roundness is celebrated *and* diets are absolutely off-limits, and that can be blissful. More recently, I’ve had a few :\ moments, related to two third tri developments: feeling (being!) bigger, and feeling less physically capable. On the first count, I’ll echo someone else’s suggestion to get yourself clothes that fit- some of my mid-pregnancy stuff just doesn’t work, and I’m trying to soldier on with really poorly-fitting bras, and it’s just not the way to go. On the second count: aches and pains related to the baby’s growth can really affect your mobility, and this, in turn, can affect the way you see yourself. I’m not sure there’s much to be done aside from trying to prepare yourself for it mentally, because the physical limitations imposed by many pregnancies are just something that most of us are lucky enough to not be used to.

    Two last suggestions, and I’ll shut up:
    1) Find a chiro certified in caring for pregnant women (http://icpa4kids.org/Find-a-Chiropractor/) and GO. Earlier if you have an insurance plan that will allow it, but definitely in your third tri even if you need to put money aside for it. Caring for your body in this particular way, even if you never go to a chiropractor again, can make a world of difference in your quality of life when your bones start running away from one another.
    2) If you’re not reading already, http://www.wellroundedmama.blogspot.com/ has a ton of great information on plus-size pregnancy, and does a great job of addressing some common misunderstandings (some of which, incidentally, have been repeated in this comments section).

    Congrats on the pregnancy- enjoy it! :)

  18. AmyRenee Jul 25 at 10:26 pm Reply Reply

    I am with you on being overweight before pregnancy, starting to lose weight and then getting pregnant. Its hard to change your mindset from losing to maintaining or slowly gaining. One thing to think about: you mentioned being hungry an hour after eating yogurt – does that happen often, especially after eating something thats mostly carb-y? You should mention it to your doctor if so, being overweight to start put you at a higher risk for gestational diabetes, and one of the symptoms is having your blood sugar spike and then crash after eating carb-y things. Not trying to scare you, I’m not a doctor, but just something to be aware of. They may want to test you for gestational diabetes earlier than usual if you have other symptoms as well. Personally, 4 things helped me:
    1) Planning for 1-2 healthy, substantial balanced snacks a day. Not just a yogurt, but a mix of protein, fats, fiber and a little bit of carbs (preferrably whole grain or fruit/veggie as opposed to sugar/flour). Acknowledge that you are going to want a snack or two, and plan accordingly so you don’t find yourself making a 2:00 vending machine run or pantry raid every day. This may mean you want to make your lunches or dinners a little smaller, you’ll have to be the judge of that.
    2) Like Jess, I recognize that my hunger signals are all messed up. So when I start to feel hungry (and not for a specific craving, just hungry) I go through the checklist: am I thirsty? bored? tired? just in the mood to munch? am I hungry enough to eat an apple or veggies? If not, then I’m probably not really hungry and I need to find something else to distract myself.
    3) Acknowledge your cravings and deal with them, but do it smartly. When I craved chocolate pudding but told myself that was a bad choice, I found myself eating fruit, then yogurt, then hummus with carrots, then drinking a glass of milk, then still eating the darn pudding at midnight. On days when I just let myself eat a small serving of pudding, I got it out of my system. But do it mindfully – not in front of the computer while not paying attention – stop what you are doing and ENJOY the pudding or whatever. And eating it from a small, pretty bowl with a tiny spoon helps make it last longer too.
    4) Get some moderate exercise, like walking or swimming. I personally love water walking and water aerobics – when you feel like a waddling elephant on land, all of that melts off when you get in the pool, and you feel like your normal weight again. Its also easy on the joints, and you can generally make it as much or as little of a workout as you want.
    Good luck to you, and remember – if you lost the weight once, you can do it again after then baby is born. It will probably take time and perseverance, but you will eventually do it!

  19. Sarah Jul 26 at 5:31 pm Reply Reply

    I’ve had four babies, and gained thirty pounds each time except the first, when I delivered at thirty six weeks, had a five pound baby, and had already gained forty pounds. I think the difference was that I craved spicy, but instead of cooking it, I just went to Taco Bell or Chipotle or whatever spicy takeout place was the closest. I went… a LOT. And I think that probably contributed to the extra ten pounds and the water weight, which took a few months to shed.
    In each other pregnancy I still listened to my body and my cravings, but I DID restrict the amount of fast food I let myself eat. I’m certain you’re already very aware of the extra calories and salt in takeout, since you’ve already lost so much weight (congrats!) but just a reminder that though I DO agree with listening to your body and your cravings, I do think you should modify them a bit if what you’re craving is just plain bad for you and you’re wanting it twice a day (french fries, anyone?) So the other three pregnancies, I just learned to COOK spicier, instead of eating enormous burritos every day.

  20. Allison Jul 26 at 8:22 pm Reply Reply

    I lost about 40 pounds a few years before I got pregnant. I gained about 60 during my pregnancy. Yes, 60. And I am now 5 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight with a 9 month old. I did not follow a strict diet or exercise at all, and it still came off. So don’t do what I did and gain 60 pounds, but have faith that it WILL come back off, and if anything you are already ahead of the game because you have already figured out what you need to do for your body to lose weight once before.

  21. Hez Jul 27 at 10:24 am Reply Reply

    Congratulations on becoming a Mom…and on losing 60 pounds! What an accomplishment! I was overweight before my son was born…He’s almost three now. The last year I’ve had a similar loss…about 55lbs…with about 50 more to go. I’m not preggo, but planning for soon if the stars align. I think you “get” what works for you…you’ll find right mix for you and your baby…and on the positive side…all the great benefits you’ve felt from your weight loss…they’ll stay with you! Realistically, you’ll end your pregnancy 30 pounds lighter than you started at when you began your weight loss journey. That’s a huge success…focus on the positive…you’re not starting your pregancy 60 pounds ago…keep up with the healthy attitude and enjoy all the crazy parts of becoming a mom!!! Lots of hugs your way!!!

  22. Lauren @ T&G Jul 30 at 10:35 am Reply Reply

    My situation is slightly different, but I can totally relate. I became pregnant two months after I got married which ended a year long struggle that ended in 20 lb weight loss. I still wanted to lose about 15 more lbs to get to a very lean/fit look, but I was looking better than I ever had since high school. 

    Right now, I am 32 weeks and have gained 35 lbs… and it stresses me THE EFF OUT. I have always had to fight to not constantly gain weight, meaning that I had to be on a restrictive diet to merely maintain whatever weight I was at. Being hungry was just a part of life. 

    But now that I have a baby inside of me, I have no idea how to always eat when I am hungry. I’ve never let myself do that before, and while I don’t want to be a whale, it seems like fetal neglect to not eat when my body is starving. 

    I really have no answers other than to just take it in stride and drink as much water as possible. Drinking water will not only decrease your hunger in some cases but it will also fight against extra water retention. And while it’s annoying that you may have to lose the same weight all over again, hey, you have already proven that you are awesome and totally capable of doing it! And if you’re interested, following the Paleo Diet allowed my body to lose weight like never before in my entire life. 

  23. amymvr Aug 04 at 2:07 pm Reply Reply

    Firat of all congratulations on your weight loss and your pregnancy!  I lost 30 pounds when my daughter was 4 (from 185 to 155) and have kept it off for 3 years.  Not nearly the same achievement as yours, but I am now pregnant, just into second trimester,  and about 8 pounds up, so  I understand how you feel!  I think what you need to take into account is that it sounds like you still have some weight to lose to be in a healthy range.  I have been looking at info about weight gain during pregnancy, and there are many websites that say that if you are overweight, it is OK to only gain only 15-20 pounds, and some even mention that your doctor may want you to lose weight during pregnancy if you are overweight enough that it poses risk factors.  Talk to your midwife and explain the whole situation.  She will not let you endager your child.  I can’t really get behind the “hide the scale” thing myself, but if it works for you, go for it.

  24. Tami Mar 28 at 4:16 pm Reply Reply

    Ok so I realize this is way after the original post but. If I’m reading it someone else probably is too right?

    My story is complicated and should prove that no matter what happens to your weight – you can come back. I lost about 20 lbs before getting pregnant with #1. I was still 20 lbs away from my ‘goal’ I gained normally for the first 6 months then I started gaining insane amounts but was doing nothing differentlt. I was still eating healthy and exercising moderately but was gaining upwards of 4lbs per week. I brought it up time and time again to my dr who was useless. I eventually switched dr’s and was diagnosed with PIH and put on strict bedrest. I don’t actually know how much I weighed in at when I arrived at the hospital to have my baby but I know that at 2 weesks postpartum I was a whopping 265lbs (5’6″) There is no feeling in the world like what I felt when I saw those numbers. I worked my butt off and nursed until my daughter was 9 mo old. I lost about 105 lbs before getting pregnant again. I am currently 17 weeks and have gained 4 lbs. Do I freak out about weight gain? YES. I have an awesome dr this time from the beginning so I know as long as she is happy with my progress I should be too. I try only to weigh myself once in awhile. The moral of the story is even if you gain 100+ lbs it can still come off. You will be ok and so will the baby. Love yourselves as you would want your daughter to love herself. <3

  25. Ace Mar 31 at 2:15 am Reply Reply

    Before my first pregnancy I had lost at least 20 pounds. I say at least because I was too depressed to weigh myself at my heaviest. I was in the process of getting fit when I found out I was pregnant. All day sickness kicked my butt and I couldn’t handle getting out of bed much at all. I gained 17 pounds in the first 14 weeks. I gained a total of 55 pounds no matter how hard I tried to reign it in. I was pretty freaked out to say the least.
    But then the baby came. I was down 20 pounds at 1 week postpartum. I was at my prepregnancy weight by 5 months without working hard to achieve it. I breastfed and returned more to my normal eating patterns and enjoyed some mild exercise. Then I lost more weight. I ended up losing about 62 or 63 pounds. In fact I was too thin to feel well for a while and had to give up all but the lightest exercise to maintain my weight. My theory is that our bodies are going to do what they are going to do. Try to be sensible. But if that thing is the only thing keeping you from feeling ill, have at it. I’m on my second pregnancy (started it thinner than last time and have gained about 9 pounds in 14 weeks) and am feeling a lot less freaked. My body will do what it will do. I just need to listen to it and be as sensuble as I reasonably can. I just don’t want to end up quite as skinny this time!

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