Weight Gain During Pregnancy

“Please step in the scale.”

The aforementioned words terrify me.

God, I actually can’t wait to not hear those words once month/twice a month/and soon to be once a week.

For when I do hear them, fear rushes through me as if I were back at Weight Watchers meetings. Those WW receptionists, oh those WW receptionists…they guarded my most treasured secrets. They could tell if I went to the gym or not, drank enough water, or actually stuck to my plan. One would hear “great job this week” if you lost. If not, they would keep their eyes down, and hand you back your weight tracker. Or, worst of all, one would hear the words that would make even Voldemort himself shutter upon hearing: “did you expect to gain this week?” Yeah, tell me that’s not an ego killer. Whenever I heard those five little ugly words crammed together in a sentence, my gut would sink, and I’d reprimand myself during the entire half hour meeting.

So as to avoid any more self-flagellation, I eventually left Weight Watchers, and stopped stepping on a scale. I stopped caring about weight in terms of my numerical value. I cared more about how I felt, how I looked, and if I were eating wholesome foods. Even when I landed a job on television, I decided not to diet. (Yes, I know. Rebel, right?) I mean, I did care about my weight, but I thought the best idea was to just make better choices.

Like Bethenny Frankel says, “taste everything and eat nothing.” So, amidst friends and family reminding me that the camera would add ten pounds, I decided to make more dinners at home, and visit the gym more often. Not dieting or counting each bite was liberating. I felt free, and I was happy with the way I looked. I almost think not checking my weight on a regular basis made it easier for me.

After finding out I was pregnant, I diligently attended my monthly doctors appointments and I, understandably, had to step on the scale each outing. In the beginning, it didn’t bother me much at all. I gained very little, and one month I even lost weight. I wasn’t trying, and to be honest, I probably was eating a little more than I normally would have. My WW nightmare was a long way away.

Then, the second trimeter started, and over one month I gained 5.8 pounds. I was shocked, but knew that this was normal. After the new year I gained 15 more pounds, and since, at each consequtive doctors appointment, I’ve seen the scale creep up. It was at this point that I started to relive my WW anxiety. Then it happened. Yup, it. That awkward moment when things got real. At my most recent checkup, I passed my comfortable weight gain limit. My doctor assured me that I am fine, and to keep up with the exercise over the next few weeks. But I knew there was more to it. Suddenly, I started seeing things, making connections, and piecing the puzzle together like Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock. (Yes, I still believe in Sherlock)

I’d seen it, and the worst part was that I knew it. I’d drifted from my pregnancy diet – which is supposed to be chock full of green vegetables, protein, and dairy. The required two hard boiled eggs per day turned incredibly boring. What’s more is that I’ve hated kale, spinach, broccoli and every other possible “good for you veggie” this entire pregnancy. Evil had won. Moriarty handed me the candy and I just capitulated. Over the past few weeks, I have most certainly slacked, and have had my fair share of carbs, sweets, and pat myself on the back whenever I made a healthy choice – like peaches on my waffles. (Did I mention the syrup on top of them? No? Well, lets just keep that a secret between you and I, shall we?)

Well, this carb loving mom-to-be sure did learn a lesson. A very valuable lesson:

Just because I’m growing a tiny baby, does not mean that I can become the carb monster who vanquishes pasta and/or destroys all bread or candy within a twenty five mile radius. Much to my surprise, babies are not made on ciabatta and Reese’s pieces alone. They actually require these strange substances known as protein and calcium. Who knew?

So to combat my inner carb-zilla, I have begun tracking my eating habits on My Fitness Pal (free website, and amazing iPhone/iPad app) so that I can hold myself accountable. I adjusted the settings so that it reflected my new weight, and so that it knows I do not intend on losing any pounds. If I were to stay the same, or gain a few more, I’ll be fine. Honestly. But I don’t think I’ll be happy with myself if I gain another fifteen pounds over my last month.

The funny thing is that, at this point, Itty Bitty’s main job is to get fat. During pregnancy, babies organs and bones are created, and they start to get super long. The last couple months of incubation are spent getting stronger, lungs becoming more efficient, and their skinny long bodies starting to deposit that adorable squishy baby fat we have all come to love. My job, is to put down the pizza and (3) (ok, maybe 4) (fine, 5) cupcakes, and make sure that the squishyness stays more on my Itty Bitty, and less on me.

Getting rounder, bigger, and fuller is part of being pregnant. I understand this, and am not going to beat myself up by any means because I have to step on the scale. I also know that a diet full of late night chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, Skittles, and Felinni’s pizza isn’t good for me or my baby. Luckily, I have a few weeks to change things up, and get back on a wholesome track.

And it’s good to be reminded that some weight gain is good during pregnancy. There’s a lot going on in our bodies at this time and despite our inner hated for it, we actually need to gain the weight. For example, here is an approximate breakdown of the weight gain while being pregnant:

  • Baby- 7.5lbs
  • Placenta- 1.5lbs
  • Amniotic fluid- 2lbs
  • Uterine enlargement- 2lbs
  • Maternal breast tissue- 2lbs
  • Maternal blood volume- 4lbs
  • Fluids in maternal tissue- 4 lbs
  • Maternal fat stores- 7lb

My baby doesn’t weigh 7.5 pounds (yet) but I assume that many of the other numerical values are pretty true. That breakdown already accounts for thirty pounds! Thirty pounds that a healthy, average mother, is supposed to gain. I’m not going to lie, I’ve already gone over this. My maternal fat stores are probably a bit higher, thanks to my recent sweet and carb loving habits. Well, habit is probably putting lightly. More like obsession.

I succeed best when I do not look at the scale, so, going forward, I’m taking a new approach. I’ll be eating well, getting in my exercise, and when my doctor asks me to, “please step on the scale,” I’ll ask to have my hubby to track the weight. Not me. No sir. All set darlin’. Because if the doctor isn’t alarmed, then neither am I. As long as I feel good, and am being good to my tiny baby and myself, then I’m on the right track. Otherwise carb-zilla is gonna come roaring back and, that, my dear reader, is good for no one within a twenty five mile radius.

What is your current guilt food, whether you are pregnant or not? Mine are the cheap bags of jellybeans at CVS. Easter Candy is the death of me!



  1. Easter candy is my nemesis. Go away Mini Eggs!!!

    Also, you look great! And if you are feeling great too, then that is what is most important. Your doctor isn't concerned, so try not to be! I know that's hard! I went through it too. I was especially concerned because I went into pregnancy overweight, but my doctor was not worried about my weight gain, so I tried not to be either.

    Good job holding yourself accountable with MyFitnessPal. Keeping track is probably the best way to stay on track like you want through the rest of your pregnancy!! Good luck!! 🙂

  2. I used babyfit.com during all three of my pregnancies…and after. It kept me in check and made sure my babies were getting the right amount of nutrients. It's hard though…sometimes pregnant mommy just wants what she wants. The key is not to overindulge.I was a raisinette fanatic.

  3. You look absolutely radiant! Keep enjoying all the Felinni's and cupcakes! Not to say I did it correctly, but I gained 50 pounds with each pregnancy… actually, 60 with my daughter Audrey and she was 6 weeks early. Yikes. I didn't eat a lot of junk, I just ate A LOT and loved the freedom of it. I lost all the weight… not easy, but chasing after a baby/toddler has its benefits. Love this post!

  4. I used the trick: if it's not there, I can't eat it. You are beautiful mama, and sometimes you NEED some syrup with those other-wise healthy breakfasts. Have no fear- with your consciousness about what you eat, you are bound to have one healthy babe and be a healthy, fit mama post-pregnancy, too 🙂

  5. You're a wise woman! It's not the veering off track here and there that matter so much as the recognizing it and adjusting. Besides, we all need to enjoy a treat!

    Don't be hard on yourself after your cutie is born either! Keep the scale tucked away and keep using your good judgement!

  6. That is exactly why I stopped doing WW a few years ago, too. It was helpful to lose weight, but I began to dread the remarks from the ladies when I weighed in. You look beautiful, but I totally get it that you don't want to know what you weigh from here on out. 🙂 I think I'll be the same way when I get pregnant.

  7. You look unbelievable. What a great figure! I really want to lose 5 pounds but with Easter and birthdays, it is impossible!
    I loved being pregnant and I was one of the rare lucky ones who lost the weight pretty quickly. HOwever, my shape has never been the same!
    You look fantastic!

  8. I came home with Oreos, soda, and nachos ingredients for supper last night. I'm right there with you!! I've had the same thoughts as you, but I have the advantage of experience. I know that breastfeeding will take care of these extra 10 pounds or so. I have 7 weeks left so I'm not worried. But it would be nice to not have to work so hard to lose them. 🙂

  9. Getting on that scale every month is just not cool. I mean seriously. I'm know I am not eating as much or as well as I did with my first pregnancy so hopefully I won't gain as much. You look great!

  10. I agree – not fun at all! However, I stepped on it today, and I hadn't gone up. Granted it was one week, but I stopped eating jelly beans every day – so I think that helped!

  11. Aw thanks Melissa! I figure most of it will go away, but as you said – shape may change. And to be honest, I'll be okay with that! I'll wear my new hips like a badge of pride

  12. Thanks 🙂 I'm actually having a shower this weekend, with lovely lemon cupcakes — so I will have to dig in a bit! I'm hoping running after a little one will help it all come off!

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