Pregnancy and Weight Gain

Updated on December 28, 2009
R.W. asks from Herndon, VA
12 answers

Hi Moms,

I am 14 weeks pregnant with baby #3, and I am dreading what I am afraid will be the inevitable weight gain that comes with my pregnancies. A little background is that I was a fit 125 lbs when I got pregnant with #1. I put on 50 lbs with that pregnancy. I lost most of it by the time I got pregnant with #2, and put on 45-50 lbs that pregnancy. I would REALLY like to not put on so much weight this time (although I'm not off to a very good start so far). I don't eat much junk food at all, or sweets (maybe once a week). We eat pretty healthy. I don't work out diligently, but I'm known to go to the gym (the babysitting ladies know my kids names). I guess what I would like to know is if there is anyone out there who has similarly put on a lot of weight with one pregnancy (or two), and figured out a way to not do it again. The pregnancies themselves have been very different, one a girl, one a boy, so the only similarity is that I put on a ton of weight.

I know some people put on a little, some put on more, but 50 lbs each pregnancy is a lot and it takes me forever to get it off (even though I breastfeed for over a year each time - it doesn't help me lose weight!). I obviously love my children, but my self-esteem suffers a lot from it so I thought I would ask! Any similar experiences of maybe how to make this pregnancy different would be so appreciated!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Washington DC on

one thing that may help is focusing on the kind of calories you are eating; for pregnancy, you want a lot more protein than you need for regular life (80-100g/day), and then try to offset that with an increase in fiber as well. if you just focus on lean proteins and fiber, you really will stay full, you'll stay focused on your body's and your baby's actual needs, and the weight that you put on should be easier to get off. of course, different people's bodies react differently and some of us just end up a little more, um, altered after pregnancy. but if you make sure that the snacks are along the lines of a cup of yogurt or a bean salad (protein ~and~ fiber all in one!) or a piece of cheese and a piece of fruit, then you'll be well on your way. think of fruit-based sweets instead of other kinds of sweets when you want to indulge your sweet tooth.

also, don't be too afraid of fats, you need them to build your baby (particular his/her brain!), but make sure you're focused on vegetable-fats: olive oil instead of butter, eat all the beans and nuts you want (almonds are great b/c they have a lot of calcium and fiber, and are lower in fats than other nuts), that sort of thing.

eggs are also a great source of all kinds of nutrients, they're filling and (I think!) delicious. some nutritionists recommend one or two eggs a day every single day during pregnancy, from about the 4th month on.

anyway, I hope that helps. I know what you mean, it's so frustrating to balance the needs of our children with our own very real needs not to get completely overtaken by motherhood -- body and soul! :)



answers from Washington DC on

Talk to you ob/gyn. He or she should have a healthy diet for you.


answers from Washington DC on

Hi R.,

I could have written your letter! You sound exactly like me. (Except I stopped at #2!) I gained 50lbs in each pregnancy and had large babies. I ate sensibly (couldn't help it, junk food and grease made me nauseous), but didn't seem to have any control over the weight. You may not go to the gym very often, but you have two other children to look after and that's a workout in itself, esp. if your body is working on making another little person. Just eat nutritious food and take your vitamins knowing that you are making it possible for your baby to have the healthiest body s/he can have when s/he's born and that s/he'll have for the rest of his/her life. I also didn't lose weight when I breastfed. I'm still in the process of weaning (my youngest is 14 months), so am hoping it's just the hormones hanging on to this stubborn hip and thigh weight. That and not getting any younger seems to contribute to it being harder and harder to lose the weight. I'm finally at the age where a little extra weight makes me look a little younger! ha! Now, if I could just fit into my old jeans (and still be able to bend over)! Enjoy your pregnancy and please don't worry over something in which you have very little control. Good luck!



answers from Washington DC on

Congrats on #3!
It sounds like you already live a healthy lifestyle and you know what you need to do after your pregnancy to lose the weight. Every woman is different, as is every pregnancy. I know it sucks being "pregnant fat" but that is a fact of life, it happens. To everyone (that gets pregnant). It sounds like your body just needs to gain more weight when you are pregnant. You can either accept that as your normal and then work your butt off again after your baby is born, or try really hard not to gain as much this time. Walk or work out a little more, try did wonders for my 3rd pregnancy!!!, and really watch your caloric intake. You only really need an extra 500 calories a day when you are pregnant.
During my 3rd pregnancy I did all those things and I didn't gain as much as my first 2. I maintained my workout routine through my whole pregnancy, with modifications as I got bigger in the belly. I really loved the yoga, and it helps you breathe more efficiently during labor too! My yoga instructor helped me modify poses and I did the research myself on safe pregnancy poses for each trimester.
I felt healthier and looked better with my 3rd and after she was born I continued my routine and within 8 months I had lost all of my pregnancy weight AND more!

Just remember that you are a mommy and the weight that you gain is for your baby. If you have been able to lose the pregnancy weight then you'll be able to do it again. Enjoy being pregnant and getting all that attention, and don't stress over the weight gain so much.

Happy Holidays!



answers from Washington DC on

Ugh, baby weight! I totally understand where you are coming from. I gained 55 or 60 lbs w/ #1. Was NOT going to do that again w/ #2! A while after #1 was born & the weight was not coming off easily I got myself a gym membership & started going 3-5 times a week. I lost 20lbs of fat w/ 5 more to lose to get back to my prebaby weight when I became prego w/ #2. So, I kept going to the gym. Everyone said things to me like "oh, you'll be so busy w/ number 1 that it'll be hard to gain any weight" - WRONG! I set the goal of 25-30 lbs, a healthy weight gain for a pregnant woman, tried to focus on gaining a certain amount a week/meeting short term goals/less weight in the beginning & more each week towards the end. I went to the gym M/W/F for about 1 & 1/2 hrs at first, then 45min-1hr at the end. Stopped doing weight training/anything that could strain muscles or restrict oxygen to a certain area. Mainly did cardio (eliptical or treadmill.) Made sure to keep my heartrate at a healthy level. Exercising at a proper rate is actually beneficial, not stressful, for the baby b/c it increases oxygen flow in the body. I continued going until 4 days before #2 was born. It was GREAT! I had loads more energy which def. helped w/ #1. Plus it gave me a nice little break from #1 on those days, too. I was in better shape after the baby was born & managed the post-partem better. I was an inspiration to all the other women at the gym which was super for my self-esteem. Baby loved it - he'd always sleep b/c of all the rythym of the workout. Labor was good, too, had #2 in 10 minutes after I arrived at the hospital! Not exaggerating. One thing I did not do was count calories - with either pregnancy. Ate (healthily for the most part) what I wanted until I was full. If I was hungry again in an hour I ate again! A couple of delicious things that I ate most days:
Oatmeal(not instant) made w/ milk instead of water, add walnuts, flax seeds, blackberries & the best part... some dark chocolate chips for the sweet tooth. Yum. And filling & super healthy.
Eggs. All kinds. Mix some veggies in & some cheese, put some wheat germ in or on - delish & healthy, again.
Quinoa - a COMPLETE protien, yummy nutty flavor. Treat it like a grain/rice. Really good w/ cheese melted in & some sauteed veggies. Find it in the healthfood section.
So, I ended up gaining exactly 30lbs! Highkick! Both babies were healthy & average weights, #1 7lbs 12oz, #2 8lbs,6oz.
Good luck! You can do it!



answers from Washington DC on

Hi R.,
The same thing happened to me. I was 128lbs before #! and gained 42 then gained 50 with #2. I tried hard with the second to not gain too much weight and as you can see, it didn't work! My wise midwife explained it to me this way. "If you are truly eating sensibly then your body has a predetermined weight it needs to make a baby." I think she's right because both time I lost all the weight and without a lot of trouble. Maybe this is your situation too!
Good luck,



answers from Washington DC on

Doctors say putting on 30 pounds when pregnant is healthy. Your correct to say that 50 is a bit much. Perhaps this time with two kids to care for and keep you going you won't put on as much. Stay as active as you can. Maybe you can think of a fun active sport to do with your children. Perhaps this is just the way your body works. Breastfeeding burns 500 calories a day and it gives your baby the best nutrition. I'm glad you choose to do so.



answers from Washington DC on

I don't think that 45lbs is too much to gain, especially since you do it eating healthfully and you do exercise. This must be what your body needs to do to grow healthy babies and keep you healthy also. The fact that it takes you a long time to get it off also says that once you are done childbearing and you take the last of the weight off, it will be more likely to stay off when you are older. Talk to your ob, or even a nutritionist who specializes in pregnancy nutrition just to reassure yourself, but to me, you sound as if you are doing wonderfully.



answers from Washington DC on

Well, here's how mine went. With #1 gained 50-60 lbs, lost 40 of it before #2. With #2, overall, I gained 10 lbs. With #3, I gained about 15 lbs. #1 was 38 weeks, #2 34wks, and #3 was 36 weeks. I would just try to stay as active as possible and get in at least a 30 minute walk daily and do some strength training (other than lifting the the other 2) at least 2 times a week. Have fun and enjoy all of the fun that your kids bring you in the snow.



answers from Grand Forks on

I also am pregnant with number 3. I gained 55 with my daughter (first baby) and 45 with my son (second baby) I have actually lost 5 pounds (im only 6 weeks) with this one, eventhough i have been eating much more. How big were your babies? That can make a difference on how much your gaining. My kids were 10 and 9 pounds! I lost all the weight right away from my daughter, but I still had about 10 pounds on me from my second when I got pregnant with my third. Its harder each time to lose the weight, but if u eat right and exercise you should be fine. Self esteem is touchy and when your used to being trim and fit, it can be very difficult. I also was fit before i got pregnant. I just look at my children and my body image doesnt matter anymore.



answers from Washington DC on

Hi there

I also have 3 kids , with my first I gained 45lbs , my own fault , I literally ate what I wanted and when , at the end I had a 9lb 4oz boy. With #2 I gained 28lbs , I didn't limit what I ate but I was a bit more careful than with the first , plus I also went off of chocolate which was one of the main culprits of my weight gain with #1 , at the end of that I had an 8lb girl. With #3 I had lot's of nausea/sickness until week 16 , for 5 wks I lived on bread & toast as that was all I could keep down , plus I only got to week 34 when she was delivered (long story short ruptured appendix) , at that point I had gained 25lbs , so well on my way to gaining a similar amount to pregnancy #2 if not a little more , and she weighed 6lbs. I didn't go to the gym during any of my pregnancy's. So what I am trying to say is that you cannot really control how much you gain , all you can do is make healthy choices especially with snacks , try and do some exercise , even if it is a short walk , you need to keep in mind that the weight gained isn't fat , it's the weight of the baby , the extra water/blood also.

Try and enjoy your pregnancy without worrying too much





answers from San Diego on

Hi there, I am a specialist personal trainer in London & Surrey in the UK & hopefully can help with some answers! We trained Elly, a woman who, like you, was desperate to avoid the excess weight gain of her first pregnancy - see the ultraFit magazine piece which followed her pregnancy on the press pages here

Meanwhile here's some info which may help!

Every pregnancy (even for the same woman!) is different. Some women gain a lot of weight (3.5 stone / 50+ pounds / 23kg), while others gain very little (1 stone / 15 pounds / 7kg). The answer lies in your pre-pregnancy body weight. For example, if you are around 5′ 6″ / 168 cm tall & weigh 10 stone 7 lb / 147 pounds / 67 kg then a healthy weight gain for you might be between 25 to 35 pounds / about 2 stone (11 to 16kg).
You do need to remember, though, that while weight gain charts can be helpful guidelines, I strongly urge you not to get too hung up on them. Rather concentrate on taking good care of yourself! REMEMBER (& I know this is stating the obvious but many women do seem to forget!)…
Your pregnancy weight gain is made up of the following (with approximate weights):
• Your baby ! (6-8 lbs)
• Placenta (1.5 lbs)
• Amniotic fluid (2 lbs)
• Uterine enlargement (2 lbs)
• Maternal blood volume (3-4 lbs)
• Maternal breast tissue (1-2 lb)
• Maternal body fluid (4 lbs)
• Maternal fat stores (roughly 7 lbs)
Secondly, weight gain during pregnancy is HEALTHY! It means your baby is growing well. If you’re active, eating healthily & not taking your pregnancy for granted, your weight gain during pregnancy & your weight loss afterwards will NOT be an issue. Your body is resilient! It will bounce back if you treat it well. Remember (and trust!) that the extra weight WILL come off after you deliver your baby. If you’re active, you WILL get your pre-pregnancy body back… It’s only 40 weeks… so enjoy it!
If you feel you’ve already gained more than you should as a result of too little activity &/or overindulging, it’s never too late to turn over a new leaf! If you haven’t been exercising, start walking every day, & if you’ve been eating too much processed or take-away food, do your best to prepare & eat home-cooked meals with lots of vegetables!
It goes without saying that the foods that will make you gain unnecessary fat during pregnancy are the same foods that do you & your growing baby no good either.
So when someone offers you slices of cake or cookies telling you ‘Go on! You’re eating for two!’ – Your baby really doesn’t need those hydrogenated fats, sugar & empty calories any more than you do!
Actually, pregnancy is a great time to really start to think more carefully about what you are eating in terms of the nutrients you & your baby need. If you won’t change your eating habits for your own sake – at least do it for your baby’s! Remind yourself that there’s a little miracle going on in that bump… your body is an amazing, incredible machine, that is quite literally making a baby – brain, skeleton, nervous system, eyes, hair, every last bit of him or her is developing from scratch inside you!
Your body needs good fuel in order to do the best job it can – in the form of real, unprocessed, fresh food & plenty of good fats (Omega 3 & 6). If you choose your pregnancy foods with your baby’s development in mind, you won’t go far wrong & you won’t put on unnecessary weight!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches