Pregnancy & Weight Gain Worries
Hi There 🙂
Did you have a good weekend? Mine was great! Pretty low key, which is nice.
For my post today I wanted to talk about pregnancy and body image….
I’ve gotten many many emails from readers about pregnancy, weight gain, and exercise. All from ladies who want to have a child some day… and from ladies who are pregnant themselves.
Having gone through this myself, I ‘d thought I’d shed some light on the topic.
One of the biggest fears I had when I wanted to get pregnant was how much weight I would gain. Obviously a healthy baby was the number one priority… but the question of wondering what it would do to my body was always there.
If a woman tells you they’re not worried about gaining too much weight… they’re lying.
Here are some common thoughts that can pop up in our head:
How much weight will I gain?
How big will my butt get?
Will I get my old body back?
I want a baby but I feel like I need to lose weight first…
Here’s the deal… pregnancy changes your body. It changes your body in ways that are out of your control. For Type-A control freaks like myself… this can be tough. What I came to realize was that pregnancy itself was preparing me for motherhood.
I remember the day I found out I was pregnant like it was yesterday. I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. We had been trying for so many months that I thought the test was wrong. I quickly drove to the drug store and purchased four more pregnancy tests all different brands. I then proceeded to take test after test. After four positive results… I knew it was true 🙂
One of the things I was concerned about was exercise. I practiced Bikram yoga three times per week and ran an average of 30 miles per week. After talking with my doctor… we both decided that practicing yoga in a 110 degree room was not a good idea. So… I gave my beloved Bikram yoga up for the pregnancy. Next was my running. I’ve been running long distance since I was 17 years old. My doc said if my body was already use to it, it was okay. As long as my heart rate didn’t get too high.
I cut my 6 mile runs to 4 miles and I walked any hills that were in my route. As my body changed, so did my exercise routine. I started doing the elliptical more and found my runs turning into runs/walks. I exercised an average of 4 days per week. As my workouts changed, so did my body. My butt did get bigger… and yes… it bothered me. Let’s be real here… what woman would be screaming for joy that their butt got bigger?!?
I took all the changes in stride. What opened my eyes was a little scare we call pre-term labor. At 5 1/2 months, they put me in the high-risk category due to my small frame. I was given orders. The only exercise I was to do was walking. No more than 30 minutes at a time. All I cared about was having a healthy baby. I remember telling my husband that I didn’t care how big my butt got… or how much weight I gained… All I wanted was give birth to a healthy baby.
This is what I mean when I say pregnancy was preparing me for motherhood. I was putting my needs aside for my unborn child.
I learned so much about body image when I was pregnant.
I realized that having a positive body image of myself is not about what I looked like, but how I felt about myself. This was crucial in my pregnancy since there are body changes that were out of my control. It was also helpful to understand why my body was going through these changes.
In today’s weight obsessed society it is so easy for us to fall into the trap of feeling negative about our body image during pregnancy. Self esteem and respect during pregnancy are as much the result of our feelings toward ourself as they are the way our body looks.
Here are some tips that I found helpful for body image during pregnancy:
- Remember that you are carrying the miracle of life within you. No matter how much weight you gain, whether you have acne or not and regardless of the stretch marks pregnancy brings, your body is changing in a remarkable way because you are helping nurture and welcome a new life into the world.
- No matter what you think of your body, your baby absolutely adores you. Your baby is nestled deep inside your warm womb. Nothing could make a person happier than that close, intense feeling.
- Your body is changing to provide your baby the support he or she needs to grow into a healthy newborn. If your body wasn’t capable of changing and expanding there is no way you could support the life within.
- Pregnancy weight gain is a normal and natural process. Your weight gain is as much the result of your increasing metabolism and caloric needs as it is your expanding uterus. As you put on weight you help shield your baby from disease and provide a warm and nurturing home.
- Exercise during pregnancy can help improve your body image and help you feel better about your changing shape.
- Most women’s breasts grow and expand in addition to their bellies. Enjoy this newfound fertility symptom and revel in your womanly shape.
- Most women give off a unique glow during pregnancy. This is the one time in life people will remark on your beauty regardless of how much effort you put into your appearance.
I always made sure to take time to pamper myself during my pregnancy. I got several relaxing pregnancy massages, indulged in some super cute maternity outfits, and got regular pedicures & manicures.
It the end… I gained just the right amount of weight for my body frame and gave birth to a very healthy baby girl.
After she was born, I slowly incorporated exercise back into my life. My body did change… my body is different. I weigh what I did pre-pregnancy… but the funny part is my clothes are big. So, my body did change. I’m the same weight, but my body changed shape. The thing is… I’m totally okay with that. My body grew another human being inside of me. The miracle of life was worth every change 🙂
Question of the Day?
What are your thoughts on gaining weight during pregnancy?