I Gain A Lot Of Weight While Pregnant, And IDGAF Anymore
Pregnancy can make you feel like a walking neon sign. The unwanted belly rubs, intrusive assumptions, and curious glares are all frustrating. Yet of all the pregnancy-related annoyances, there is one that ranks supreme. That thing? Inquires about my weight. I gain a lot of weight while pregnant, and the number of comments I hear from everyone is enough to make me scream.
At any given moment, pregnant women are asked a million weight-related questions. Some of those questions leave me feeling insecure. “Wow, you really look pregnant now” and “Oh my goodness, are you due any day now” are on that list.
Others, like “Oh, I couldn’t even tell you were pregnant at first” are more discreet but are still weight-related.
Since this is my second rodeo, I’ve had my fair share of pregnancy-related inquiries. And I have to wonder: why in the world is everyone so freaking obsessed with pregnant women’s size?
From the moment you become pregnant, it seems your body size is up for public discussion. Everyone everywhere wants to know where your weight has gone, what you have been eating, and if it is the reason you look so big or so small. And we can’t forget the questions on what your plans are for returning back to your pre-pregnancy weight once you give birth.
Last time I checked, none of these folks asking me questions are doing anything to help me manage my diet or my children. (Well, except maybe my mom.)
So why does it matter so much whether or not I’ve gained weight, and how big or small I am afterward? And more importantly, what makes people think that it is any of their freaking business?
Going through pregnancy twice taught me that pregnancy is a time of literal and metaphorical growth for me. To put it bluntly, I gain a shit ton of weight during pregnancy.
From the moment conception occurs, I seem to put on an instant 6 pounds. From that day forward, the numbers on the scale will continue to multiply weekly, if not daily, until I give birth. All in, my pregnancy weight gain is around 40-60 pounds.
During my first pregnancy, I let others’ opinions stress me out about how much weight I gained.
Each appointment involved my doctors making comments about my weight gain, as well as being impressed with my blood pressure, cholesterol, and my glucose numbers. I blow all the way up during pregnancy, but it doesn’t mean that I’m unhealthy. And a weight was lifted off my shoulders when they informed me that the only thing I was really at risk for was not returning to my pre-pregnancy size.
Did it suck gaining so much weight? Heck yes! But was I in bad health? Nah.
Our society often assigns value based on size and weight. Of course, returning to my pre-pregnancy weight would be nice. But what would be even better would be to give birth and raise my two children without the emotional or mental turmoil associated with low self-esteem related to nonsense weight standards.
It would also be great to have the bonus element of spending my hours cherishing my children’s milestones instead of obsessing about going to the gym like I did the first time.
Pregnancy is one of many life experiences that clearly illustrate the way we associate health with weight. And in a time this delicate, when new mothers are adjusting to the demands of new motherhood, we can’t afford to make these assumptions anymore.
Read any mom forum, and you will see pregnant women begin obsessing about postpartum weight loss before they even make it through the first trimester.
It isn’t healthy, and it’s got to change. I made the mistake of falling into this trap the first time. This second go-round, I’m going to take the weight I gained and worry about it at a later time. Or maybe not worry about it at all.
Because I know there are plenty of women like me who gain a bunch of weight during pregnancy. And I’ve decided I’m not stressing anymore.
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