One thing I’ve been meaning to talk about for quite some time: Pregnancy weight gain.
I get a lot of questions about how I’ve kept my weight gain in check, and honestly, I think it’s important to talk about, because I don’t want to give the wrong impression.
My rule for eating is pretty much the same, pregnant or not: I listen to my body, and beyond that, I try not to think about it.
That means that if I want a cupcake or two, I eat them. It means that when I felt like candy was helping keep morning sickness at bay, I kept Laffy Taffy in a container next to my bed for three months. It means that, lately, I get up most nights for a bag of M&Ms around two-thirty in the morning.
No, I don’t eat junk food all the time. I make sure to eat tons of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and other nutritious foods — overall, I’ve probably made healthier choices since August than I did before getting pregnant. But it means that I listen to how my body feels: when I’m hungry, I eat. When I’m full, I stop. And beyond that, I try to put it out of my mind completely.
At the end of my first trimester, I was a little nervous about my weight gain. I was up 7 pounds, which is above the recommended guidelines for the first trimester pretty substantially. I tried not to freak out about it, but part of me was a little nervous that I was headed for a 50+ pound weight gain.
But at the same time, I was eating the way I always do: I hadn’t made big changes to my eating habits, but I was suddenly, quickly gaining weight.
It took some effort, but I forced myself to put it out of my mind. If I gained a few extra pounds, I’d probably lose them eventually, and it was hard to beat myself up for a little extra weight when I was just doing what I felt like my body needed.
And now, with the benefit of hindsight midway through the third trimester, I know for sure that gaining weight early on was exactly what my body needed. I’m so grateful that I gained a few extra pounds during the first trimester, because with heartburn and general lack of space inside my body, it’s harder and harder to put on weight as the weeks go by.
But if I’d gotten freaked out about the numbers on the scale at week 15, and tried to limit what I was eating? That could have been very dangerous, for the baby and for me.
Especially now that I’ve had the experience of being pregnant, I hate the magazines that scrutinize celebrities for gaining too much weight at this incredibly sensitive time. There have been many, many days in the last seven months when I’ve felt bloated or huge or just generally frumpy compared to my pre-pregnancy self, and I can’t imagine what it must be like to have that experience in the public eye.
Because here’s what it ultimately boils down to:
More so than any other point in your life, you have so little control over your weight during pregnancy. Your body is going to do what it needs to for you and the baby, and that is something you can’t (and shouldn’t) try to micro-manage.
So my pregnancy weight gain advice is this: Use these months as an opportunity to be in tune with your body, and to reward it for the amazing work that it’s doing every day. Focus on getting the nutrition that you and the baby need, but beyond that, don’t stress about it. Your pre-pregnancy jeans will be there, whether it takes you a month or a year to get back into them.
How far along? 30 Weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 19.5 pounds.
Maternity clothes? Pants, still mostly in my regular tops and dresses.
Stretch marks? Still no!
Symptoms: Heartburn, heartburn, heartburn. I take Zantac or Tums depending on the day, but it’s still not enough, sigh.
Sleep: Still pretty bad.
Best moment this week: Having my mom in town to prepare for the baby shower!
Worst moment of the week: I had a momentary freak-out when work got extremely busy, but I’m learning to just take things as they come and not worry so much about things I can’t control. It all got sorted out!
Have you told family and friends: Yes!
Miss Anything? Eating without being wildly uncomfortable afterwards.
Food cravings: Cupcakes, cake pops. Every. Single. Day.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.
Have you started to show yet: I am huge!
Labor Signs: Nope, but getting more and more sensitive to every ache and pain!
Belly Button in or out? In!
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!
Looking forward to: My baby shower TOMORROW!!!