Wrapping my head around weight gain

This post is pretty wordy and I’m sorry for that but I have A LOT to say about this topic. Feel free to come back when I’m not so windy. 🙂

You should only gain 20 pounds.

Those words still ring in my ears. No, wait. They burn my pregnant ears.

Those were the words directly out of my doctor’s mouth. Those words were chains that were instantly thrown around myself and my heart.

As I sat in my first appointment with the doctor that will be delivering our baby (hopefully- fingers crossed) he told me that I should only gain 20 pounds from pre pregnancy weight.  This was week 15’ish–I had already gained about 8 pounds . By mid March around week 17-18’ish- I was up 10 pounds. And, I wasn’t even half way through my pregnancy!…… Not even half way through! TEN POUNDS!


Because I was already up 8’ish pounds when my doctor broke the “only 20 pound” news, I kind of felt like my doctor was scolding me. I felt like a little girl in school with the doctor shaking his finger at me— and secretly thinking in his head that I’m using my pregnancy as a chance to eat gallons of ice cream and pizza for dinner…. which I wasn’t!

“Only 20 pounds” were the chains that I had bound myself too. However, my clothes were still fitting at 15-17 weeks, getting a tad tight but still fitting, and not  a single person could tell that I had gained even a pound…… BUT I’M HALF WAY TO WHAT I’M SUPPOSED TO GAIN- and I’m not even half way through my pregnancy.

I was chined into those words….. “20 pounds”.

I freak out at this point in my pregnancy. For a lot of reasons…..

Reason #1- At my first appointment, he took away my work-out mo-jo. I’m not supposed get my heart rate over 140 bpm. (What?! I do that by powerwalking’ish?!?) So, that means that running/slow jogging (even a mile) is probably not going to work. (Side note- I can workout now! It’ great!)

Reason #2: I AM NOT eating for two, doctor! I’m eating healthy!!!! …Infact, I haven’t changed the way I eat, really. I am eating oatmeal for breakfast, salad for lunch with some cheese from protein, an apple as a snack, and a lean protein for supper. I pinky promise, doctor, I’m eating healthy!

As a girl that has had a pretty intense fight with an eating disorder- I felt like a part of me had died after my first appointment. I felt judged. That first appointment put me in a tailspin of emotions and I was, luckily, level headed enough to not let it throw me into any sort of regression due to my past. I just felt stuck. I felt like my doctor was telling me I was getting fat (because in my mind he was thinking I was eating bon-bons all day!) but that I couldn’t work out. His ‘doctors orders’ left me feeling torn with only a crack HUGE to fall in between.

After I left the appointment and several days after, I let info from many other moms soak in. My sister- amazing and beautiful (and tiny!)- gained more than 20 pounds in her first pregnancy, quite a bit more than 20 pounds, and she looked great! Absolutely stunning, even on the day she went into labor. She gave birth to my beautiful and healthy nephew and still came out looking like a queen. She is such a rockstar!

Fast forward to week 30’ish…..

Here’s the thing-  I’m up 18 pounds and I’m quickly approaching 20 pounds of weight gain. It scares me. Not becasue I think I’m getting fat but I feel judged by my doctor- like he doesn’t believe that I’m seriously eating healthy and exercising my little heart out. Like I’m lying. Has my doctor done anything to make me feel judged? No. It all comes from within.

Random people that know me will say that there is only a bump. “Gosh, you can hardly tell that you’re pregnant unless you look at your bump!” ……I just can’t wrap my head around this weight gain…….. Not because of the way I look or the way I’m going to look after baby, but because I have this thing with being ‘perfect’ and fitting into what is expected.  I was only supposed to gain about 20 pounds and I still have 10 weeks to go!! Ahhhh! What am I going to do?!?!

I know what I’m going to do- I’m going to eat healthfully when I’m hungry and exercise as much and my body and baby will allow. It is what’s best for me and my baby!

I still feel slightly bound by those chains that my doctor threw around me, even though he had no idea the effect that it would have on me. He tells me my weight gain is healthy and I’m doing great- in fact he stretches my appointments out a tad farther than the average pregnant woman- he is confident that I’m growing a healthy little bundle of joy—- Which I CAN NOT WAIT TO HOLD!!!! (and kiss, and cuddle, and let my family love on, and snuggle, and be in love with…..)

I just wish that I hadn’t let those chains of “only 20 pounds” get wrapped so tightly around my body– and my heart. I am truly doing what I feel is best for our little  blessing and my body. Only 9 more weeks of growing the little one in my tummy! Holy heavens! God is good! 🙂


27 responses to “Wrapping my head around weight gain

  1. You are so strong. I know how you feel. I’m not married yet (I’m only 17), but I can see how (when I am and am expecting) that if a doctor told me that I would feel restricted/judged/etc. I know you are doing your best. You are eating healthfully, moving your muscles, etc. Everything you do each and every day is for your little one inside of you. If you end up gaining a little more (or more than a little more) than 20 pounds, don’t let what the doctor said get to you. Everyone is different. Just like how your sister gained more than 20, and she was perfectly healthy. Stay strong, Julie. Keep doing what you’re doing — you are doing great. 🙂

  2. I’m not sure I like this guy… If I were you, I’d either tell him that he is making me uncomfortable or be looking for someone else. This guy seems completely oblivious of his brash attitude! I think that women gain more different times in their pregnancy and that it’s not usually a steady gain.

    I do like your attitude though! You need to do what you feel in your heart if right, especially if it means following your hunger cues!

  3. Is 20 lbs. the “norm”? For some reason I thought it was 30, but I really have no idea!

    Anyway, in all of the pictures you’ve shared, you look GREAT!

    Although I don’t plan on having kids anytime soon, I know I will definitely struggle with the whole weight gain aspect when I do. I think anyone who says they DON’T struggle with it in some respect aren’t being truthful!

  4. I’m shocked your doc told you only 20 pounds, when everything I’ve read (and been told by my midwife) is the “aim for” range is 25-35 for a woman of a healthy weight before pregnancy.
    I’m having the same struggle – good ol ED history – but not about my body changing, just about the number on the scale. It is like if I don’t know what the number is I feel fine because I know I am feeding myself and her all things healthy (with some treats thrown in, of course). But when I look at the number I am like WHAT?!? Where! Like you, I’m all belly in this pregnancy (yay!) and I don’t eat more than 200-300 over what I normally do.
    Anyway….have you seen other OB’s in your docs practice? His opinions seem to make you uncomfortable and it might be worth exploring your other options. His advice is pissing me off…but that is probably the preggo hormones 😉

  5. Just said a prayer for you and your sweet baby! Throw off those chains and do what is best for you and your little one! I’ll keep praying that you enjoy every single day of this pregnancy and that you won’t let something like this tarnish it for you…you’re so strong! Keep your head up and your heart joyful!

  6. Ok well I would say your doctor is wrong for telling a girl of a healthy weight only 20 pounds! I have had 2 babies in different states (so obviously different obs) and they told me 25-35 lbs. I actually gained 24 with my first and was scolded for not gaining enough but only 21 with my second and my OB said it was fine. Different doctors say different things (you will find this with pediatricians too! SO many conflicting views its hard to sort through it all). I would say anywhere between 20-40 honestly would be healthy. Anything under 20, you may need a couple more and anything over, you may have eaten a little more for 2 than you realized. But I also think womens bodies kind of gain what they want when pregnant, so if you eat healthy, you will gain what you need. I think some doctors say a low number since so many people really do take pregnancy as an excuse to eat way more than they need. So if you are at 30 weeks and 18 lbs and you gain roughly 1 lb a week on average from now out then you will be at 28 lbs which is totally PERFECT! Now breastfeeding I can tell you is truly eating for two! Pregnancy hunger doesnt hold a candle to breastfeeding hunger and its great 🙂

  7. healthhappinessandharmony

    As a girl who also struggled with an eating disorder I completely understand how this upset you. Being judged is the worst possible feeling, but keep doing as well as you are doing and stay stronf for you and your baby. You look beautiful!

  8. fitandfuninthird

    I can totally see how that would upset you…. but I think you have a good mindset now that you are reminding yourself that you are doing what’s best for you and your little one! I bet the most frustrating thing is wanting him to realize how healthy you actually are being! Whatever, your body is growing a baby…. 20 pounds or 50 pounds… it’s amazing!

  9. Hmmmm, my Dr’s told me between 25-35 lbs is normal weight gain for someone with my pre-pregnancy weight, which was 122lbs and 5’3″
    Don’t let the weight numbers get to you.
    You eat healthy and are making good food choices I am sure! Hang in there. Not too much longer.

  10. Meant to say that my total weight gain as of now is 29lbs at 36 weeks. I will have the offical weigh in this friday, so we shall see what the scale says!

  11. Ayy… I have no experience in this, but keep doing what you’re doing girl!!!!!!!!!!! You’re doing awesome!

  12. Oh my gosh only 9 more weeks?! That is crazy. And don’t even worry about the weight. Well, try not to. I have no idea what your doctor meant when he said you should only gain 20 pounds because who only gains 20 pounds when they get pregnant (says the 18 year old who doesn’t want children for another 10 years and knows nothing about pregnancy)? You are going to have a wonderful little boy/girl (killing me to not know!) and the weight won’t even be an issue because you’ll have baby. And if you’re eating healthy, which I know you are, the weight is probably just how your body handles pregnancy. Anyway, stay strong. It’s almost over with.

  13. OH my goodness!!! This sounds way more stressful than it should be :/. I know I’m a silly little high schooler and have like no idea what I am talking about with pregnancies and what not, but it just makes sense to me to just eat when you feel hungry because that probably means the baby is hungry too and not pay too much attention to the scale because everybody is different and the generic 20 pounds is probably not 20 pounds exactly! I feel like he should have given you a range instead!!

  14. Ignore it! I can’t believe he said that – every body and every baby is different and you should just eat whenever you’re hungry and whatever you’re hungry for, including indulgences, as long as you’re covering your bases with nutritious food, too. Ignore the scale – in fact, I’d say throw it away until after your baby is born. You don’t want to stunt its growth! My mom gained over 40 with each of us and lost it all after and her doctor said it was great – some people just have more fluids/bigger babies in there. Had she forced herself to stick to the 20lb rule, who knows what would have happened to my sisters and me! Stay strong and eat what you like 🙂

    Also, congrats on the baby almost being here!

  15. Wow! I can’t believe your doctor would say that. You’re being healthy and exercising. As someone who has had eating and exercising issues in the past being pregnant and has been difficult and I don’t enjoy seeing the changes in my body. I just focus on being healthy and I think I’m eating better now knowing I’m taking care of another person inside. Hang in there and focus on the goal at the end, a healthy baby.

  16. Oh girlie! That has GOT to be so tough–I hate numbers! They are just so easy to get obsessive over–LAME! You are GORGEOUS and you have a gorgeous and HEALTHY baby growing inside you–THAT is what is important. You are amazing and your honesty is so brave and helpful. You ROCK!

  17. Oh my goodness, I can’t believe your doctor said that! I thought that “the norm” was closer to 30 or 35 pounds, especially after reading blogs like Healthy Tipping Point, and Run Pretty (and mom told me too :)). 20 pounds seems like nothing! Don’t feel bad if you gain more — it’s for the baby!

  18. I think that’s kind of crazy – isn’t the norm at least 30 pounds? Especially since you’re NOWHERE near being overweight, I don’t see why gaining more than 20 pounds would be bad! You look gorgeous! Don’t let that doctor scare you into thinking you should restrict in any way right now – you’re growing a beautiful baby!

  19. Hey beautiful! I just want to say do not listen to your doctor, please! Every pound over 20 is good for baby – he/she is growing big and strong like they are meant to and no doctor can tell you otherwise. Keep up the fabulous eating and YAY that you can workout now! I’m already up 15+ lbs and I\’m at week 28. It’s kind of wonderful gaining weight naturally and in a healthy way while pregnant, love every baby bumpin’ pound that appears God bless you girl!

  20. ittybitsofbalance

    Oh wow, I think your doctor should be really careful who he says that kind of stuff to! If you were an obese woman who was looking for any excuse to eat more, I’m sure that “20 pound” rule wouldn’t be as defeating– but you’re a healthy woman! If anything, you should be trusted for knowing how to listen to your body and eat/exercise when you need to.

    Please don’t let what he said cause you to restrict– you make sure that growing bundle of joy gets some good healthy nourishment!!

  21. I’m so sorry your doctor treated you that way! It’s funny how people don’t even realize how their words can really trigger stress like that in another person. Don’t be bound to what he said– listen to your body. You look absolutely beautiful! 🙂

  22. Good for you for empowering yourself and focusing on what is important! I gained 29 lbs with my first pregnancy (and I am already about 25-30 lbs overweight) and my doctor said I was right on track…and after delivery, I was 5lbs heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight, so at least 24lbs was baby and fluid! Don’t stress!

  23. I think just doing what’s best for you is what you should go by. It’s unfortunate that your doctor would make you feel that way! My sister has gained more than 20 and less than 20 in pregnancies and both children have turned out happy, healthy and perfect!

  24. You are doing exactly what your supposed to do girl. Stay strong and focused on the baby not the weight. I cannot imagine the process of having a baby. I too sruggled with a severe E.D and still struggle with old thoughts (not actions) but I can imagine how incredibly hard that must be. You look beautiful, and I think you deserve a special baby treat now and again…dont be too hard on yourself…and get rid of the scale until 4 weeks after the baby. You dont wanna miss the cuddle, lovey, baby time trying to do too much afterwards. Mailing your package soon….eek! u excited? 🙂

  25. Oh hun relax, you sound so healthy its most likely what he tells every woman that walks in that office. Please do whats best for you and that little human your growing.

  26. Pingback: Week 29 & 30 | Spinach and Sprinkles

  27. wow that surprises me! I can see telling you to gain between 15-20 lbs if you were overweight pre-pregnancy but you weren’t. As a dietitian I can tell you that the aVERAGE weight gain of an AVERAGE weight female is between 25-35 lbs. I am in my 37th week and have gained ~30 lbs! People tell me ALL the time that i’m all belly (which I know I’m not) but my weight has slowed down, and so has my appetite. I can guarantee that by the time I deliver I will be at or just over 35 lbs. Hang in there…doctor’s don’t know JACK about this kind of thing and I speak from experience as a dietitian. IF you want REAL advice when it comes to nutrition…speak with a dietitian! ps. you look wonderful and TINY!!

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