Comparison and Pregnancy Weight Gain

27 weeks pregnant

Before I got pregnant, I always hoped that I’d be able to run during pregnancy. To me, running has always been the easiest way (and my favorite way) to stay in shape.  But the year before my pregnancy, I kind of fell out of love with running.  And for the first time in the eight years of my running history, I consistently did not want to run.  That, coupled with some unhealthy eating left me weighing about nine pounds above my happy weight the six months or so before I got pregnant.  I know some of you tall gals think that nine pounds is no big deal, but when you’re just under 5’2″, this extra weight is noticeable and not just to me.

What’s funny, in an interesting way, is the first few weeks before my pregnancy and the first few weeks of my pregnancy, I naturally started eating healthier and being more active via walking.  It wasn’t a conscious effort, just a change in what I wanted to eat and how I wanted to move.  I stopped beating myself up over not running and decided to take walks.  I walked and I walked and I walked.  I craved healthy fats and fairly healthy foods. And I lost weight.

I lost weight during my trip to Belgium and I lost weight during Christmas at my in-law’s house, which is completely unbelievable with all the amazing food I experienced at both places.  And thankfully, I got down to a more comfortable weight before engaging in the pregnancy weight gain.  So that’s my story pre-pregnancy and in the very early stages of pregnancy.

I find myself now at 27 weeks of pregnancy — that’s 6 months and 3 weeks — very pleased with the weight I have gained and the level of fitness I have maintained.  But on my way to mommy-hood, I’ve noticed a lot of judgment and comparison between women.  We women tend to analyze every piece of making, carrying, and birthing a baby to make the right choice for ourselves, so it’s easy to sometimes wonder how anyone else could have possibly come to a different decision “if they had done their homework”.  I think this is natural when you’ve been very thoughtful about your own choices. But for Pete’s sake, don’t say that to them!

And similarly, it’s really easy to compare ourselves and I’ve done that myself, knowing friends that have ran their entire pregnancy or have only gained X amount of pounds, etc.   It’s hard to keep in mind that everyone’s body is completely different and everyone doesn’t always have the healthiest habits when it comes to pregnancy — being unhealthy can mean not eating enough just as much as eating too much.  I’m not saying that if you gained very little during pregnancy you weren’t healthy; people have all kinds of factors that cause and inhibit weight gain and no one really knows what your body needs except your body. I’m just saying that before anyone compares themselves to another person, they should be aware that they don’t know the whole story of what’s going on with that person.

And this is true when it comes to all scenarios when you fall into the comparison trap.

P.S. I talked to my nurse about the “right amount to gain” the last time I was being weighed and she said as long as I was moving in the positive direction on the scale, I was fine.  There is no “right amount” to gain.

And then there’s this elderly couple who I’ve known my whole life that ask me every time I see them about how I’m managing my weight during pregnancy.  Thank goodness they’re pushing 90, else I would say something to the extent of, “None of your business”.

What is it with being pregnant and all of sudden people feeling like you should be comfortable with talking about your weight?  But, I’ve had it easy!

I have so many friends who have heard comments like:
- Are you sure you’re not having twins?
- You look like you’re about to pop!
- You look like you could go any minute!
- You’re enormous!

I mean, wow.  I’m pretty sure I would cry or say something unladylike.

There are some people who will never understand how hurtful their comments can be, but there’s another group (fellow moms and mommies-to-be) that know exactly how it feels.  So at the very least, the comparison traps, the hurtful comments, and the judgement have to stop with us.

If you’re in the “I feel like I’ve gained too much weight” camp, keep your chin up.  I think inspirational stories about women getting their body back can be really powerful.
So check these out:
Fit Mommy Success Stories
Laura Lost 81 Pounds Post-Baby
Weight Loss Success Story: Mama Laughlin
Weight Loss Story via Mama’s Weeds

If I blow up like a balloon before the end of August, I’ll be looking for some inspiration myself.

That is all. Thank you for reading my rant.

22 Responses to Comparison and Pregnancy Weight Gain

  1. Angie Campbell

    You are absolutely perfect and don’t let anyone tell you different! EVERYONE is different and I think it’s truly more about how you feel than how you look! Just wait until the baby comes and you start getting questions like, “how old is he? Is he walking yet? Is he doing this or this or this?” People compare WAY too much and just like preggos, babes are ALL different and do things in their own time.

    • Thanks Angie! I’ve been really lucky that no one has said anything negative to met yet, but I feel like I’m poised to hear it any minute now after talking to friends about this very thing.

  2. Emily

    Amen! And older generations are the worst!!! They say the most awful things .

    • Why is that? Btw — you should go back and read the comment beside yours from Christine if you want to laugh and then feel guilty about laughing at old people.

  3. To the old people: “Fine thanks. How’s the managing not dying thing going?”
    Just kidding. Sort of.

  4. Kelly Boggs

    You are so right! What is it about pregnancy that makes strangers think they can openly talk about your food choices, boobs, weight, digestive issues and weight? Then after the baby everyone wants to know about your hooha – especially if you had a big baby! Chill people!! I don’t know you!

  5. You are so right about people being rude. I actually just hit my due date today (and am still pregnant). I gained ALL of my weight in my belly and I am very short as well. I am still swimming and doing P90x so I have been proud of being able to stay in shape. And yet, I have gotten all of the comments you describe. Two particularly vile older women argued with me loudly about whether I was sure that I wasn’t having twins. This was at a very formal awards banquet. I had worked so hard to find something to fit my pregnant belly and all of these women could focus on was how huge my belly was. Yet all of my husband’s men friends commented to him later how good I looked pregnant while women could only criticize. It’s so sad.
    Keep your head up. Ignore those comments if you get them. Enjoy being pregnant. :) Good luck to you!

  6. Christina

    The most unbelievable comment I got during my pregnancy was when I announced that I was pregnant to my coworkers (in other words, I was barely showing at this point, or so I thought!) An older woman in my office says “I knew you were pregnant! Your backside is getting bigger!” (or something to that effect) I think I cried in the ladies room that very day! I can laugh about it now, but it was SO not funny at the time. And I think you look absolutely beautiful!

    • Oh no! You should have said, “yeah, well then what’s your excuse?” haha. People are awful. Scroll through the comments and you’ll see a common theme — old ladies are mean.

  7. lauren

    you look fabulous! and you’re right, folks are critical (especially old folks), but sometimes you have to meet them where they are – i agree with the comment above, “how’s the managing not dying….”

    We’re prepping ourselves for a lot of tact-less comments as we’re adopting from another country. Not only will people gossip about us/can they have babies?/can they not? but also our child will be a completely different race & culture than us. I’ve been prepping, reading, and praying to have patience with ignorance!

  8. You look adorable. Pregnancy suits you and you have the right attitude. Obviously, everyone is different and bodies seem to know what they are doing…they have been doing this baby thing since the beginning of time.

  9. I really think that {some} people have NO idea how insensitive they are being when they tell you how HUGE you are. My intern would pretty tell me every day she couldn’t BELIEVE how big I was at the end of my last pregnancy. (seriously, one day she saw me and shouted, “YOU LOOK HUGE!!!”) I finally had to tell her that while I know she was just surprised that I could get that big, it didn’t help my self-esteem. Lol.

    I do agree that you just can’t compare. Everyone is different and everyone has a different metabolism! I really don’t think it’s about what you gain, but how you treat your body while pregnant. If you are active and (relatively) healthy – you are going to loose that weight sooner than you think! You look great, btw. How you are you already 27w?? It’s going by so fast!

  10. Danielle

    This couldn’t have come at a better time. I am 26 1/2 weeks and I have already gained 25 pounds. I feel so bad about myself and its really difficult not to get in that comparison trap. My aunty over the weekend said ” You are getting SO BIG”. It just is not something you want to hear when you have no option but seeing the scale go up

    • Danielle

      Oh and there was also someone else at the party who is due in about 3 weeks and we have the same size belly, so this prompted everyone to ask me if I’m sure I’m not having twins since I am so much bigger than her! grrrrrrr

  11. I’m a little late to the game, but I loooove this post. I get things on both ends of the spectrum – comments like “are you sure there’s actually two babies in there?” to “oh my gosh, I hope you make it to September!!!”. I have received comments from people as well because I am gaining on the waaay lower side with twins, but my girls are gaining and are actually above the average fetal weight and size at 24 weeks. My doctor has never said anything about my weight gain – I think I’m doing juuuuust fine.

    • Me too! I haven’t gained very much (especially considering the average weight gain by the 3rd trimester), but it’s funny how some people say things like “oh you’re already showing!” Hmmm, wonder when I’m supposed to start showing? Congratulations on twins! How exciting!

  12. Great post, and very true! It’s easy to compare yourself when pregnant, but it’s just soooooo different for everyone. Gotta keep that in mind… haha :)

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