Pregnancy Weight Gain Fear

Updated on July 24, 2012
J.L. asks from Portland, OR
8 answers

I'm currently 21 weeks pregnant with my second. I can finally admit it to myself that I have a fear of weight gain even during pregnancy. I know I shouldn't feel this way. I'm afraid unconsciously I might be doing something that's harming my baby. I know some mothers out there can relate. How did you deal with your pregnancy weight gain and/or fear?

During my first pregnancy, I started at 118lb (5ft tall) and gained the a "healthy" 30 pounds total. My son was born at 8lb 2oz. I had severe morning sickness throughout the entire pregnancy but I only steadily gain. I admit I was counting calories. I kept indulgence and treats to the minimal and grazed on mainly fruits and vegetables. I expected much of the weight to shed after the pregnancy. Sadly I only dropped 10lb after birth. I dropped another 10 after four months but I realized that 20lb were all ME. I struggled to lose the last 10 despite the lack of sleep, healthy diet, and breastfeeding. After I stopped breastfeeding when my son turned one, I dietted and plateaued at 122, but I'm a full dress size bigger and stomach remained flabby.

This pregnancy, I'm not counting calories but I still keep my diet balanced and opt for healthier options. I started at 122 then dropped to 119 at the end of the first trimester. Oddly, my morning sickness was not as bad as the first pregnancy. I'm now at 126. I fear gaining weight but I also worry about my baby. My OB said my weight gain is on the lower end but baby is growing well. She said maybe I don't gain much during the beginning and will gain a ton near the end -- not exactly what I want to hear. I already feel pudgy and I think I'm just gaining weight, not gaining weight because I'm pregnant.

What can I do next?

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answers from Erie on

Think about what you want to model for your children: a mom who is so concerned about her weight that she can never be happy in the skin she's in, or a mom who lives a healthy lifestyle in general and doesn't worry about what other people think.
I was anorexic in high school, I always have to watch myself for "self defeating" thinking and behavior. I'm heavier now than I have been in a long time, and you know what? I still feel good. Sure I'd like to fit into a size 10 again, but I'm not going to stress out about it and let it ruin my life because I'm really a 14 (I'm 5'7" and can carry a bit of weight without looking "fat"). If I did, I would find myself back into old habits of starvation and extreme exercise. No way do I want to be back there again...

Remember, your weight is just a number. Wear clothes that fit well and are comfortable. Stay active, eat well, and remember, the kids don't care what size you are. Stand tall, look confident, and that will carry you further than a skinny frame.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I was the same way and for those who say "just remind yourself... blah blah blah..." It's not that easy when you have body image issues.

The BEST advice I received was from my OBGYN:
- It's not healthy to "eat for two" and only need to increase my calories by about 200 (healthy and balanced to start out with).
- Remain physically active (20-30 min walk every day)
- Get enough sleep
- EVERY pregancy and body is different, but the general "rule of thumb" is 10 months "up"...10 months "down"

How you "feel" may not even match what the scales says. Just stay healthy and remember that you WILL take it off after the baby. Just a warning... it's harder to drop the weight the second time, but you WILL do it! Be patient with yourself and listen to your doctors.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If you are eating right, eating healthy, etc., stop driving yourself crazy. I had gestational diabetes during my last trimester so I had to count calories and watch what I ate. I was never one of those people who thought "I can eat whatever I want and how much I want because I'm pregnant." If you don't think that way, you're ahead of the game.

Of course you feel pudgy - you're 4 months pregnant. Your body is retaining water and changing. Accept that your body will change. Confirm with your ob what your calorie count should be in the range of and go for the middle numbers. Our bodies do their own things sometimes, so don't beat yourself up because you can't get it all of. Metabolism, age, etc. can also be factors.

The dress size changed because your breasts and hips are different now and won't be the same. Your stomach area stretched. Because you gave birth to your beautiful boy and your body reflects that a bit. Don't blame yourself and beat yourself up for natural biological changes. Continue with your healthy lifestyle and know you are taking care of yourself and your family.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

When my husband heard me or a friend say, "Oh, I'll have seconds, I'm eating for two!" he always reminds us that that second one is the size of a gerbil. You really don't have to consume that many more calories - about 500 - but you need to remember one thing: quality over quantity! Many women in their 20's have very low body fat stores because they're always dieting, but that's also when many women become pregnant and baby needs a lot of fat for their internal organs and brain development! Be sure you're consuming at least 30% fat in your diet, and it only counts if it's healthy fats - avocados, almonds, flax seed, other nuts, extra virgin olive oil, fish, etc. Then focus on fresh fruits & veggies, and lean protein. This time of year is great for that.
Every body is different with pregnancy weight gain. Don't let your doctor or nurse pester you about weight gain if they agree that what you've been eating is fulfilling baby's nutritional requirements (as well as your own!). My sisters, mother and I compared our weight gains with all 15 of our total babies, and my older sister and I tied for most weight gained at 26 pounds. Meanwhile my close friend who is a tall stick-thin girl gained 38! Just keep the focus on baby's nutritional needs - read up on what those are and keep your stress level down. And EXERCISE!! You need to be building up flexibility, strength, and endurance for the task ahead of bringing that baby into this world! (Nobody just gets up and goes to run a marathon - nobody should just go deliver a baby without training either.)


answers from Sherman on

if you can, continue to breast feed that might help. i bf till 2. and she ate allot, so i was still burning an extra few hundred calories a day.

listen to your doc, and keep eating healthy stuff the baby needs. you will be fine.


answers from Dallas on

I was very concerned about this even though weight gain issues are not in my family. I didn't want to be the first one. I've never dieted and feared the weight gain. My Ob knew of my fears.

I am not one to sit down and have a big meal. I am a grazer. I made sure my mini meals were healthy and balanced. I exercised from day one up until my scheduled induction. I took a special class in pregnacy aerobics at the hospital and I walked daily.

I am 5'5" petite and I started at 116#. My top weight was about 138# which I felt was horrid. I never wore maternity clothes, I slept in my bra nightly for support, I did not breastfeed by choice.

2 weeks after baby, I was back in my jeans. The weight fell off almost immediately. I was walking as soon as I could after baby. This was 17 yrs ago. Right now I am still petite and my last weight check in was #119. I was blessed to keep the bigger perky boobs!!

Don't beat yourself up, you will do just fine. Keep balanced and exercise, but don't make the weight your focal point. Keep that baby as your focal point.


answers from Pocatello on

I have had 3 babies and I struggle with the weight gain every single time! I am just now 5 weeks pregnant again and I will admit weight gain is already on my mind! It is so hard! I know exactly how you feel! Like with my last baby my starting weight was 110 (I'm 5'3) my ending weight was 133. Which was great. I felt great that pregnancy BUT at 3 weeks after baby was born I was only down about 13 pounds. putting me at 120. I kept those last 10 pounds on for months and months! I didn't finally get back down to 110 until my baby was about 10 months old! It took so long. So this time I keep thinking I need to do even better than this last time. But then in the back of mind I keep thinking that 133 pounds at 9 month pregnant is still pretty small and I probably should be at least that again. It's just so hard! I guess I don't really have any advise.......I'm pretty much in the same boat as you. I just want you to know I feel your pain. Just try to relax and remember the weight gain if for a good thing..A baby!



answers from Pittsburgh on

I know it's scary and I struggled w/this, too.

You have to give yourself some serious grace and allow your body to do what it needs to do to support your baby. If you restrict your fat intake, for example, this will have an adverse effect on your baby's growth, esp that of his/her brain and cells. Do not eat low-fat or restrict yourself. Eat when you are hungry and eat efficiently. This means getting the most nutrition for your calories (ex: a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat vs a chocolate bar, a glass of milk instead of juice or soda, etc).

Get the focus off of fat by knowing that you are taking care of yourself and that you will have the opportunity to get yourself back in shape on the flip side. Doing yoga throughout my pregnancy not only prepared me for labor but it forced me to take time each day to get quiet, take my time, breathe deeply, stretch out and feel the STRENGTH in my body. It was glorious, even when I was exhausted. It helped me to appreciate what my body was doing, have patience with myself, and it also gave me the incentive to continue feeling well afterward by keeping up the exercise after the delivery.

I was very active through my pregnancies and my weight gain was well w/in the normal range, but I felt the same way. I was devastated to find cellulite on my thighs, even though I was working out. Then I read that my body was not needlessly putting on weight, it was also preparing for AFTER baby was born (nursing) by collecting fat to use for breastmilk. It was true, it went away when I was nursing. I had to be patient and trust the process.

Eating well and staying active were key - you'll feel so much better. I didn't even keep empty calorie snacks in the house so I wasn't tempted. Some of my go-to snacks were:

veggies and hummus
tortilla chips and salsa or guac
peanut butter sandwiches
Kashi oatmeal cookies (big enough to only need one) and milk
cheese and crackers w/mustard
granola bars
trail mix
goldfish and cranberries

Surround yourself with foods and activities that help you to feel confident in the way you are managing your pregnancy. Keep yourself strong and resolve to get it back once your new little one is settled in. You can do it!

Congrats on your new addition!

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