Nov 30, 2011

Pregnancy Weight Gain… Who is to blame?

Please let me preface this by saying I am sorry if I offend or upset you. This is purely my opinion and my own observations of myself and other pregnant women. I understand each one of us is different and genetics play a role. BUT! I am posting this in hopes that I will save you a few unnecessary and unwanted pounds with my harsh words and tough love. Remember a healthy pregnancy is your number one priority...

I have spent the last near eight months worrying and at times obsessing over my “pregnancy weight gain.” Around month 4, I came to grips with the realization that I was going to gain weight, and a fair bit of it too. Through it all, I always tried to stay mindful of my friends’ pregnancy advice, “it is easier to keep it off, than to loose it later.” Now that I am nearing the end I have some advice too… If you eat like a gluttonous pig, you will be a gluttonous pig! I’m sorry I know that sounds off for me, the all accepting and understanding, but there is a fine, no fat line, between healthy eating and gluttonous unhealthy take-advantage-of-your-pregnancy eating, and then acting all confused and crying about it.

I am tired of hearing, “oh it’s the one time in your life to eat what ever you want,” and “oh, you are so lucky you get to eat as much as you want!” Ok, no…. The reality is, I do not want to deliver and find myself 80 pounds from my pre pregnancy weight. This goal keeps me staying mindful of my cravings, nutritional choices and portion size.

I realize that some cravings are your body saying "we need this," and some cravings are your ass saying, "mmmmm, I totally would love to eat that!" Now, I just ask myself, "is it healthy and beneficial in any way shape or form or not?" Don’t get me wrong, I have definitely given into my cravings…. Dairy Queen Blizzards, french fries, large sweet teas from McDonalds (I love those damn things and will not give them up. I now get half sweet half regular to cut some of the sugar out.) everything bagels with cream cheese, pizza, nachos… It all still boils down to everything in moderation.

When I look in the mirror and see my back fat and thunder thighs I know it is in part due to pregnancy and in part giving into my cravings. I own it, I don’t run around making excuses or blaming my pregnancy. I just know when I deliver I will be farther away from my ideal weight with every extra bite of pure naughtiness I eat.

The choice is up to me…eat a low fat yogurt instead of a big bowl of ice cream, baked Chips instead of fried, Low fat cheese and crackers instead of nachos…. Sometimes I choose the later, but I try not to give into the next craving… If I give into every other craving, at the most, I will be half the chub right?

I have no one to blame but myself for making poor eating choices. And well, don’t hate me, but so do you! I certainly have read and understand that it is much harder for some to keep off the extra pounds and fight the cravings than others. But, hiding behind that and just throwing up your hands in surrender is not doing you or your baby any good. There are two choices… Own it and start making better choices today, or blame your pregnancy and keep eating until you need a new wardrobe post pregnancy too!

Below is a break down of the necessary weight gain and some helpful hints I have picked up along the way….

Here is an approximate breakdown of your *necessary weight gain: 

§ Baby: 7-9 pounds (4 Kilos)
§ Placenta: 1-2 pounds (.91 Kilos)
§ Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds (.91 Kilos)
§ Uterus: 2 pounds (.91 Kilos)
§ Maternal breast tissue: 2 pounds (.91 Kilos)
§ Maternal blood : 4 pounds (1.8 Kilos)
§ Fluids in maternal tissue: 4 pounds (1.8 Kilos)
§ Maternal fat and nutrient stores: 7 pounds (3.2 Kilos)
*Source APA

Helpful hints

  1. Just say NO! If the craving is just plain unhealthy and crazy, I try to avoid giving into it… until I am ready to kill someone for Tumbleweed Queso! That is how I decipher if the craving is fleeting or full-on. If low fat cheese and crackers will keep me from attacking the cheese dip, crisis adverted. If after I eat, I still want the Queso, I tell myself tomorrow. If I still want it tomorrow, I get a small order and enjoy it guiltless.

  1. Everything in moderation- You absolutely have to give in, reward yourself and enjoy food, just not 4 plates of it.

  1. Eat the size you want to be-I have used this since high school. If you want to wear a size small… order a size small.

  1. Enjoy every freaking bite-Savor each bite… when you stop savoring it, put it away for later…

  1. Create a Mantra to stay accountable- “It is easier to keep it off now, than to loose it later.” “Good choices go to my baby, bad choices go to my butt.”

  1. Keep healthy snacks close by- Whatever that may be… I know there are preggies out there that loved fruit and veggies before pregnancy but cannot even look at them now… so get baked crackers and chips, “100 calorie packs,” low fat pudding. There is something out there for every craving… you just have to look for it.

  1. Don’t set yourself up for failure-Pregnant or not, it is most important that you set realistic attainable goals. I would love to walk a mile a day and only eat healthy low fat snacks and meals… not gonna happen, no freaking way! I park far away from the door and take the stairs when available. I, as a rule, have no more than one naughty choice a day. Some days that is the very best I can do. Always keep in mind, one day at a time. Don’t let yesterday ruin today, move on…

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit


  1. In my pregnancy I am not having cravings. This should be great because I could eat as healthfully as I would like except...pregnancy has totally changed what I can eat.

    Normally I am a healthy eater, I'm a chemical free farmer for crying out loud! Luckily I still love most vegetables, but thanks to baby I cannot eat fruit, meat, yogurt (or any milk products except hard cheese), and I've been eating gluten otherwise Ketones show up in my urine. *I do not have celiacs but an intolerance and normally I am gluten free. One thing I do know about gluten is I will gain weight no matter what if I eat it, it is an auto-immune response in my body and has nothing to do with how much or what type I eat. And I rarely go out to eat but it has been nice not to have to worry about gluten especially since pregnancy has its own list of what foods to avoid. I miss lox!

    Worst of all, baby loves simple carbohydrates. The medical advice I got when they first found ketones and then protein in my urine was to eat more refined foods and sugar.

    One thing that has helped slow my weight gain down is taking a probiotic, it is beneficial bacteria like you would find in yogurt (if I could eat it). It decreased my weekly gain by half.

    Lastly, I log all the food I eat (which is supposed to help keep the pounds off) and I've been doing this for a year. Before I got pregnant I noticed a trend with my monthly hormone cycle and weight loss/gain, that I would start by losing a little weight, then I would lose a lot of weight, then I would gain some back and my calories and activity and food choices were not widely different from week to week. When I got pregnant my husband swore up and down that my mood swings were still following my cycle so I wonder if my weight gain was as well. In my first trimester I gained and lost so I didn't actually put on any weight.

  2. Thank you for your comment Food Pixie! I certainly had you in mind when I wrote this. I know you have been struggling with all of the dietary changes you have had to deal with during your pregnancy. I cannot imagine my life without fruit and dairy. I also cannot imagine what it is like to go through life having to be so intune with every ingredient and the genetic make-up of the food that passes your lips... and now urine!

    All the very best to you! You are in the home stretch now....

  3. I am wondering where I will be on my weight later in pregnancy. So far I had gained like a pound in the first 7 weeks and later on now I have lost 6 pounds. It leaves me wondering if the baby gets enough. I am a plus size girl with weight to lose and my food choices epicly sucked prior to pregnancy partly due to my hubby hating green veggies and my lazy ass not wanting to cook every night. Now I am more food conscience. I think I might have had my first food craving and it was a pork bbq sandwich, which doesn't surprise me because I love barbecue, it's definitely a southern thing. :) However, cheese and beef or chicken suck horribly. PB&J or nutella sandwiches have become my only ally. I am eating more fruit now than I did since my childhood. I have cut out soda too, but trying to cut down on the caffiene from my beloved McDonald's Mocha Frappe to gas station cappuccinos has been hard. I must have always been around the preggy liars or motherhood liars, no one ever talks about the bloating, or how their pants did not want to fit in the first 6 weeks of pregnancy because of it. Or Belching, I have yet to meet another woman who just uncontrollably belches without warning, thankfully they are not loud but where the crap to they come from? Let's talk about the breasts, women actually did talk about their breasts being sore. Mine got sore during my time of the month and thought it would be the equivalent...fat chance in hell, they cranked that shit up to 11. Constipation, this is a dirty word in itself I am 26 and never dealt with that until I got pregnant. Now I am counting the days between my BM and getting crankier by the day. A simple but necessary body function to be denied during pregnancy. How about the gag reflex, I can't even brush my teeth without getting the gag reflex and quickly rinsing my mouth out to I can throw up what little is in my stomach, hell even a cough made me gag and run to the bathroom. Most post preggies talk about the food they craved and that it was soooo satisfying and nothing else would do....still waiting for that miracle. I got stuck with the food aversions....most meat and cheese. That is like two major food groups. I hate freaking milk and despise drinking it. I live in the bible belt in the South, and don't get me wrong I am a christian girl.... but I swear they were too proud to tell the whole freaking truth. I can literally hear them say..."you'll love it when you get pregnant" or "I enjoyed my pregnancy the entire time" or "I never got morning sickness" I want to say screw you to a few of them and call the rest of them liars. It is like they knowingly lie about all that stuff so you can walk into pregnancy thinking it's no big deal and then they devilishly grin while you are head down in the toilet bowl. I swear....half the women in the world are evil and piss me off at this point...and the people who are like "oh just wait till you have one". I really want to slap the taste out of their mouth. I have had more time around babies and toddlers than they have. Or the women that are asking if I will breastfeed. I do not feel like I need to answer this question. These are my breasts and I don't feel like they need to know where my child's food source comes from. Also, I might be burned at the stake for not breastfeeding because all non breastfeeding mothers will burn in hell in their eyes or you are not good enough of a mother. I have honestly not put a lot of thought into it yet and why is someone else worried about me breastfeeding when I am just at the edge of the first trimester. I know all about babies, I just had no fucking clue how it felt to get pregnant. Originally I was hoping for two babies but if I can make it through this pregnancy, my darling may be an only child. Women were intended to survive pregnancy, right?