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44 Comments

  1. Sing it, sister! Great post – your health (blood pressure, etc.), your baby’s health, and how you’re feeling overall should be the real indicators of a healthy pregnancy…not necessarily weight gain. I will admit that I could clean up my diet A LOT during my current pregnancy, but after 3 months of feeling like I was going to throw up all the time from morning sickness while chasing my two other kids and working, I’m giving myself a break! Thanks for the great insight!

  2. Weight gain with all 3 of my pregnancies was different. My first pregnancy was the easiest, I didn’t crave too much,I didn’t throw everything up, I was able to move around and keep a job where I stood and moved around all day up until 3 days before delivery. I gained about 40 pounds total there. My second pregnancy was rough, I vomitted constantly and gained almost no weight the first half of the stretch, however when the nausea went away I ate everything in sight! I gained about 35 with her. My third pregnancy I actually lost weight. I was sick all the time and eventually put on bed rest (awful!). I started the pregnancy at 182 and weighed 169 right before she was born. Crazy huh? 3 completely different scenerios from the same mom. Thank you for your post, all them actually :-)

  3. Kirsten Oliphant says:

    I loved this! I have gained way more than the recommended with each pregnancy. The first was the hardest, as I was with a midwife who made me right down EVERYTHING I ate. The weeks I ate the best, I gained the SAME amount. It was so frustrating! I also exercised like mad. My midwife’s take? My body tends to pack it on during pregnancy. I never had high blood pressure and passed my gestational diabetes tests with flying colors. But everything made me feel like I was doing something wrong. It sucked! I loved this post and appreciate people talking about how there are differences in how pregnancy looks and feels.

  4. Angelina Clack says:

    Awesome read! First time pregnant and I got weighed yesterday and didn’t cringe for the first time. For a while I was freaking out. This was a great and reasonable address to the weight gain issue.

  5. JustHeather says:

    What you wrote (health, 35+, etc) was the same with me for both of my pregnancies. 48,4 lbs (22kg) both times. Most of the weight was “hidden”. ;) I lost all but 4 lbs before my 2nd pregnancy without trying.and I’m pretty sure I will lose it this time too, esp if I exercise more now after and leave the ice cream alone sometimes.

  6. Precisely Housewifely says:

    I’m in the same boat. I gained 19kgs with my first, 16kgs with my second and so far 16/17 with number 3 (I have 5 weeks left to go).

    With my second pregnancy my doc was on my case about the weight I was gaining, but no matter how hard I tried to watch my diet and exercise by hiking about in the mountains daily, I still gained the same amount. I finally ended up telling him that in my family we tend to gain more weight but it comes off easily afterward. He seemed a bit skeptical, but when I went to see him a month after giving birth, he humbly agreed with me that I was right after all. :)

    As long as the weight gain isn’t sudden (which could indicate something’s wrong) and the baby is at a healthy weight, I’d say go with your instincts. Our bodies tend to know what they need.

  7. jhawkgal4 says:

    I loved this so much. Seriously, if one more person looks at what I’m eating and says, “eating for two, eh?” I’m going to punch them in the throat. I’m 33 weeks with my second and have a toddler a couple months shy of two. I bring her to work with me 40 hours a week so no, I’m not going to the gym to do spin class. No, I’m not lifting weights. I consider it a friggin’ miracle when I manage to roll my exhausted-ass out of bed in the morning!
    I’ve had rough nausea and vomiting with both pregnancies and because of that have only gained minimal amounts of weight (surprising since I’ve always struggled with body image and weight). With my first I gained 10 total, and I’m up to 10 at this point with my second (and two months left to go). And you know what? Those stupid comments from people STILL bother me, even though I haven’t gained much. Because it’s MY pregnancy and no one else’s business! It boggles the mind why people find it okay to comment on a woman’s size just because she’s pregnant. For the love of Thor, just SHUT UP.
    Thank you for this brilliant blog post. I will be sharing it with all of my preggo friends!

  8. Yep, same here. I gained 50 with my first and second and am on track to do the same with my third as well. I do eat way too many cookies and not exercise, but I actually was really healthy with my first two, and it hasn’t made much of a difference. Thankfully my dr is smart enough not to say anything :)

  9. just so you know – weight gain doesn’t cause gestational diabetes – and its extremely offensive to a pregnant women who does have gestational diabetes to insinuate that she somehow caused it by eating too much. maybe do some research before you spout off…there are risk factors, and being overweight BEFORE pregnancy is a risk factor for gestational diabetes – but you can’t eat yourself into gestational diabetes.

  10. Mommyraerae says:

    I was overweight (237.4 lbs) before I got pregnant and at my 19 week appointment I was below my pre pregnancy weight. When I asked my doctor about some scary chest pain he said “Well what do you expect? You weighed twice what you should have when you got pregnant.” He was rude and dismissive about my concerns. Up to that point I had loved my pregnant body, everything was getting smaller while my belly expanded. After that I just wanted to hide.

  11. I gained 40-45# with most of my pregnancies. I’ve had 5. My second i actually only gained 30 and he was my smallest baby. I ate terribly with all of my pregnancies. Never really worked out either (besides chasing, dancing, playing with, picking up toddlers) Oh and that “Don’t you lose weight crazy fast with nursing? doesn’t apply to me. I hang on to 10-15# until my babies start taking solids. That’s more depressing i think. Lol!

  12. Really loved this article, probably one of the best pregnancy articles I’ve read! I’m 35 years old and 37 weeks pregnant with first child and first pregnancy after a miscarriage last year, oh and 35lbs heavier than before I fell pregnant!

  13. Thank you so much for this article. Being pregnant and surrounded by judgy in-laws, I’m glad to read what you wrote and stops me of feeling guilty. Lots of love from France

  14. I love this post! With my first daughter, my first OB made me feel so incredibly horrible about my weight gain as he only recommended 20lbs!>=/ I was at the gym 4-5 days a week, watching what I ate and I gained 40lbs. With my second daughter, I wasn’t able to exercise nearly as much as I wanted due to sciatica & varicosities and gained 40lbs. Now with my 3rd, having worse pain and feeling soo huge! But actually seem to pretty much on track w/my other pregnancies but still feel really down about myself. This kind of helped me put it into perspective to realize I probably shouldn’t be so hard on myself and I’m not the only one out there feeling this way. I have low blood pressure, no gestational diabetes & my babies are healthy! That’s all that matter, thanks!:)

  15. Thanks for this article. It’s making me feel batter about having the opposite problem. I am 26 weeks, and have actually lost weight from my pre-pregnancy weight. The doctor hasn’t said anything, but the nurse gives me dirty looks, especially because the baby is a low percentile right now.

  16. I know this article was written awhile ago, but it really resonated with me. I’m a FTM and 22 weeks along, and have already gained 20 pounds (!) I was really active up until a few weeks ago, when a short cervix landed me a whole ton of activity restrictions. Now I’m working primarily from home and on near bedrest to avoid pre-term labor, and am worried about gaining even more weight (among other worries!) I led a fairly balanced diet until now — treating myself when I wanted but trying to stick to veggies and lean proteins on the regular. Now I’m trying to be even more strict about my diet, but it’s hard. I’m curious where you netted out at the end of your pregnancy? Also LOL’d at the Oreos comment — I have not even had the chance to seriously indulge in that way during my pregnancy, and am still gaining weight like crazy!

    1. Excuse the question marks … it was supposed to be emojis lol … but I heart this post so much thanks for sharing

  17. I’m so glad I stumbled upon this post. I’m 38 weeks pregnant and have struggled through my entire pregnancy to keep my weight gain on track. I ran every day until I was 32 weeks (slowly, and not my normal distances, but still). After I had to stop because of pain in my pelvis, I walked every day instead. I tried to eat healthy, and in moderation, but I’ve been starving the entire time, and don’t think I’m binging. Through most of my pregnancy I was measuring high on the weight gain scale, but it’s tapered off now. I’m pretty convinced that there is nothing I could have done to stay in the 25-35 lb range. I’m about 40 lbs up at this point, and when I finally asked my dr. about it on my last visit she said she thinks a good portion of my recent gain is just water weight and it will come off. She’s not worrying about it, so why have I been for the last 9 months? I think I’ll be a little nicer to myself for my next pregnancy. Being pregnant is hard enough without us beating ourselves up about a temporary situation like a little extra weight gain!

  18. Thank you so much for writing this! I agree t hat experts shouldn’t make us pregnant women feel bad for indulging. I could really relate, like you I eat lots of fruits and veggies and lean proteins, I actually eat healthier than I ever have so I always justify satisfying my sweet craving. I’ve always been a tiny person 120lbs or less and have gained 40lbs in my first pregnancy. Had my 36 week check up today though and no concerns!

  19. Weight gain is an obsession of many expectant mothers. But, the good news is that your unborn baby is healthy and developing day by day. It is better to remember not to eat for 2 people. Just eat when you feel hungry and divide your meal into many sections. We are strong moms, right?

  20. I would rather hear the truth if I really needed to put down the oreos

  21. I love this, on my third pregnancy at week 21 and just realized I gained 20 lbs already, kind of shocked, but really have been eating better this pregnancy than my previous two and very little dessert. I work out 4-6 days a week and chase my kids. Going for a visit this Friday and get the ultrasound. Trusting I am doing great and trying not to stress, but it’s difficult.

    1. My first pregnancy in 2016-2017, I ran 2-3 miles three to four days a week, walked our fur baby twice a day for a mile each walk— indulged a little bit- but not too much- and gained close to 65 pounds.

      I am pregnant with our second child now, I run 5-8 miles twice a week and strength train— am eating much better (translation indulging less) and am only four pounds less than what I weighed with my first pregnancy.

      I totally appreciate the “guidelines” of 25-35lbs, and I appreciate the “challenges” that MAY arise from excessive weight gain— but I often wonder if some women are prone to more weight gain regardless of what they do (or maybe I am just not striking the right balance). But, If weight gain being beyond some women’s control is the case— then folks can be supportive of what pregnant women are enduring for the sake of continuing our species rather than judge them for gaining the weight.

  22. I couldn’t agree more with this. My first pregnancy I was in the middle of eating disorder recovery, trying to form a new relationship with food, and did not do well with pregnancy. I immediately quit smoking for the first time in about a decade, and worked with a dietitian who told me to eat what I felt like I could keep down and not track food or calories. I wish I’d taken different advice. With the combo of first trimester hunger and the removal of cigarettes, I put on 20 pounds in 3 months. I wasn’t allowed to see my weight, but after a mishap at the doctor’s office, I knew I was in trouble. I ended up gaining almost 90 pounds, I think. I don’t know my exact starting weight. I feel like no one helped advocate on my behalf because they were afraid I’d restrict. I think I was allowed to go too far the other way. In any case, I’m down about 25 pounds and pregnant with baby #2 and TERRIFIED. To add insult to my already large injury, everywhere tells me that I’m going to have a horribly complicated pregnancy. That I should aim to gain ZERO weight during my pregnancy. And that I shouldn’t have allowed myself to get pregnant in the first place.

    How’s a girl supposed to be excited when that is the resounding message? Why won’t anyone help me formulate a realistic diet plan now? Where are the doctors and nutritionists who can balance eating disorder recovery and prenatal nutrition to say, no don’t restrict, but yes here’s your suggested foods, and here’s a plan to follow? I’m ashamed to be pregnant. And that isn’t fair.

    1. Sarah Schoolcraft says:

      First of all, congratulations for quitting smoking! Second everytime you are pregnant, your body is building a human being, which is a miracle from God! So you can ignore those people who say you shouldn’t be pregnant. My husband and i are expecting our second set of twins and they will make #10 and 11 (number of kids). My pregnancies have all been slightly different, but my diet, exercise etc. doesn’t seem to change ther numbers on the scale too much. My point is, just enjoy the fact that you are carrying a miracle! And some people can’t even get pregnant. You are doing great! As Kelly said in the article, try to get in healthy foods (veggies and meat) and just have some sugar in the evening (and make sure to have water all day- water is pretty important).

  23. The first thing my midwife said when I reported being concerned about my weight which just skyrocketed now that I’m entering the 7th month after being so good, so balanced for the two first trimesters was: “no more treats, let’s eat soup at night, nice salads and cut all carbs (pasta, rice, bread, potato etc.)” all this while also saying “I’m not putting you on a diet” at the threshold of winter… It feels like a diet when all I ever snack on is almonds and nuts and hardly ever munching on them oreos :) I’m 5foot tall so the weight is quite visible and sensed on a physiological level. And this is my first baby boy so the experience is overall quite new! All this to say, your article cheered me up on a down “bad body image” day. Thank you!

  24. Sobriquet says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience, and for providing this chance for so many of us to share and encourage each other in the process! I was personally very affected by my weight gain for my first pregnancy. I gained 37 pounds despite my best efforts to watch my diet and exercise everyday (exercise was also a big part of my life even before pregnancy). It doesnt help that Asian women don’t generally tend to gain too much weight in pregnancy (except me, I guess), so I stood out like a sore thumb and EVERYONE felt it was their business to tell me how big I was, without considering how it affected my self esteem and more importantly my worries for the health of my baby. Im 8 weeks into my second pregnancy now and already feeling the worry that again my body will choose to pile on the pounds no matter what I do. Watching my diet but seriously sometimes what can you do when you feel hungry all the time? And feeling nauseated is so gross that you’d rather avoid it by eating frequently. Ugh. Hang in there, ladies!!!

  25. I found this website after a frustrating doctor’s appointment where she was very critical of my 40 pound weight gain at 36 weeks. I wish she had acted more like your doctor! She asked no questions about my lifestyle, and I’m medically in great condition too. Frustrating and did kind of make me wonder if I should be worried-feeling relieved after your account!

  26. Sarah Moore says:

    Reading this and the comments from other moms made me feel better. My OB has never said that I’m gaining too much weight, but at my 38 week appointment today it showed that I’ve gained 44lbs–honestly I don’t know what my pre-pregnancy weight was, but I’m guessing 125lbs. My main source of exercise was surfing and yoga prepregnancy, and I stopped surfing at 24 weeks (for obvious big belly reasons), and obviously had to stop doing a lot of the yoga poses and flows I depended on for strength and keeping trim. Now I walk 3km to 5 km a day or weather depending do 30 minutes on a stationary bike, plus mild yoga stretches in the evening. I’m vegetarian and I’m actually repulsed by junk food and any food made at a restaurant during this pregnancy. So honestly, maybe some of us are just predisposed to gain more! I’ve only noticed fluid as of this week in my wrists and legs, but an outside person wouldn’t be able to see it because I’m all belly. That being said, maybe baby is huge? We’ll see very soon!

  27. KRISTA ASP says:

    I appreciate your honesty about weight gain during pregnancy. I feel that there is a stigma (especially on social media sites such as Instagram) to have the perfect pregnancy body and then right after the baby is born to firm up to the weight you were before having the baby. I am happy that my little one is healthy and taking in the nutrients that I give to it each day. If that means I have a little extra baggage than before I became pregnant than so be it.

  28. Loved this post! I get so annoyed with my gynaecologist every time I get to see her. She makes this point about how I should not be “eating as much as my Husband” or “be sedentary” when I lug myself to a workplace 30 kms away, eat healthily, mostly home made food, and walk whenever the weather allows. Your post is bang on, and I read it every time I see my doctor, haha. She even had the nerve to say “oh we cannot see your baby clearly cause you grew too much, but I don’t want to make you sad by saying so”. Ah well.

  29. Thank you for this post! I was googling pregnancy weight gain because I’m a FTM and two different practitioners have now made me feel guilty because I’m gaining “too much” (~15 lbs at 24 weeks). However, I’m 39 years old, and people keep complimenting me on how good I look. My BP is actually LOW, and as for GD, I’ll know as soon as I have the the test next week. But I really don’t feel like I’ve been eating excessively in the least, and I can actually still see my hourglass figure, so I truly believe it’s mostly baby. Every woman is different. Thank you so much for helping alleviate the guilt I felt that I was doing something wrong!

  30. So happy I opened your blog! My ob told me last week that my weight gain has been too much since the beginning of my pregnancy and am only aloud to gain 1 lbs per week now.. this made me feel terrible and to doubt myself on so many level. I have never had issues with my weight before I am petite I weigh 107 before baby and now at 25 weeks I’m at 129 .. numbers are high for me I never weighed that in my life !! I’m gaining a good 3 pounds per week.. I eat well I do exercise and nothing changes! Happy to see I’m like everyone else ! Thanks for sharing all ??

  31. I love this!! There is so much pressure heaped on pregnant women from all sides it feels like and weight is no exception. I’ve had to listen to a bunch of people tell me how huge I am all pregnancy – I know this and I can’t help the way I’m carrying. I think like you say all we can do is try our best, come up with a plan hopefully with an understanding healthcare provider like you, had leave the rest to the universe! Some people just gain a lot of weight quickly with pregnancy I think and I’m one of those people possibly like you. There is far too much pressure heaped on women already!

  32. I love this! Thank you for posting this. I’ve been pregnant twice. The first time I most definitely over indulged and didn’t exercise and gained 40lbs. Guess what? My baby wasn’t huge, I had no complications & I lost the weight by 6 months after. Did it take some work? Sure, but it’s doable! The second pregnancy, I ate healthy & exercised. Guess what? I STILL gained 40lbs. I feel like your body just gains what it needs to gain. My doctors have never been concerned, but the people around me are a different story. I had to constantly hear about how little weight they gained and how bad it is that I gained 40lbs so this article was amazing to read!

  33. This is the single greatest post I’ve read about pregnancy weight gain. Thank you for your real words, I feel like the weight gain thing is presented in such an unhealthy way… Makes it very difficult for people like me who are prone to body image obsession and anxiety during pregnancy. You are an absolute star, thank you for what you do!!!

  34. Hi, I am 24 and I am 31 weeks pregnant I have gained about 40 pounds already. Some people ask me if I am having a twin and today someone commented that I might get a c section. I cried, it’s really embarrassing when I go shopping , people stare a lot. Sometimes I get very sad and I feel out of place and unattractive. I am however happy to get the chance to be my mom and he is my main priority.

  35. I love your discussion at the end. I agree, it’s so annoying to read those articles that are trying to be funny, but they are just patronizing.

  36. I’m a little overweight since third trimester hit. I actually have Hyperemesis graviderium so I was underweight for most of my pregnancy but suddenly during third trimester I shot above the average weight gain even though I’m not eating any different than I did prepregnancy. Is it just my body’s way of catching up? Also I’ve gotten basically no exercise. I have SPD and walking is almost impossible, I also have chronic bladder pain which is worse when I walk too. Nothing I can really do about it…

  37. My pregnant and emotional butt is about to cry because I LOVE this article!!! I have always been self conscious about my weight since I was like 11! I know what the heck! But getting older and gaining weight just came naturally to me. So when I got pregnant, it started off with me gaining 2-4 lbs every monthly checkup. But at the 20 week checkup I’d gained 20 pounds!! Out of nowhere! I feel the same, with the exception of the growing belly, but the scale was alarming. I asked many women how much they’d gained their total pregnancy thinking I’d get 20-25 lbs like the first searches on Google say, BUT everyone of them were from 50-60 pounds!! It made me feel so much better but still I kept reading the 20-25 lb stuff like HOW!?!
    Reading your story about spotting is the same thing that happened to me!!! I was spotting when I started working out in the first trimester. I still move around a bunch everyday so I really don’t find the need or have the excess of energy to do a workout. Oh well! I am so pleased with this article NORMALIZING women gaining healthy weight while pregnant! It’s a shame that the medical system places women in boxes, especially when we carry life, and cause us to stress out over normal things!

  38. Thank you so much for this. I have gained 40, and we are at 37 weeks. Baby girl and I are very healthy. You can’t tell I’ve gained that much weight. From behind, I do not look pregnant. She is measuring right on track. I gained a lot with my son as well. In retrospect, a lot of that was in my breasts, and I feel a little uh top heavy this time too. I felt so guilty with him though because I did not exercise (similar to you, I had two miscarriages previously and was terrified of doing ANYTHING to put him at risk). This time, he gives me plenty of exercise (he is almost 2 now). I still eat a bit much at times, but on the whole I eat healthier than I did with him. Yet the same amount of weight gain! Thankfully, after my son was born, I was back to pre-baby weight in a matter of 2 months. I dropped a lot more weight pretty quickly after that with breastfeeding. I had been in the middle of a weight loss journey when I got pregnant with him and was just about to my goal weight when we became pregnant with this little girl. So I don’t feel as bad about the weight gain now having started with a healthier weight, and I’m optimistic about getting my weight back to a healthy level postpartum. It’s just hard enough being a woman and being shamed about weight constantly without also being pregnant and having people shame you for somehow harming your baby with your weight as well.

  39. Thank you so much for this. This is my first baby after a miscarriage last year. I haven’t had spotting but I have been less hard on myself this time around because I think emotional wellbeing is just as important to the baby. And honestly calorie counting in pregnancy makes me so hangry when I am ravenous most of the time. I am 29 weeks and have gained 32 lbs so far but my breasts also grew two cup sizes in my first trimester. Like you, I don’t know where the weight is going. I fit into most of my old clothes still but have a round belly. I also have low blood pressure and had good results for the glucose tests. Baby is on track so, your article helped me breathe and say, “you’re okay”. Thank you for countering the snarky tone of many of those other articles, that just give women another reason to have self image issues. I really appreciate it and your perspective helped me a lot.