So many women are worried about gaining weight during pregnancy. If you’ve never been pregnant before, then you’re probably stunned at how much bigger a lot of women get. Those of you that have given birth in the past will remember all-too-vividly how everyone exclaimed about how large you were. It’s actually kind of strange how it becomes acceptable to marvel at how big someone is when they’re pregnant. People have no qualms telling you you’re as big as a house or your belly looks huge. They think that, because there’s a baby in there, your feelings won’t be hurt.
Sadly, lots of women do feel bad about gaining weight during pregnancy. It’s a big issue, leading lots of soon-to-be mothers to take drastic measures. You might stop eating, exercise all the time, or do anything in your power to avoid gaining weight. Your stomach will still swell, but you want every other part of your body to look the same.
In reality, there are a few things to recognize. For one, different people respond in various ways. You may gain loads of weight during pregnancy, or you might not gain much at all. Secondly, gaining weight is perfectly normal and expected during this time. Lastly, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about! Adding on some extra pounds during pregnancy isn’t a bad thing, nor is it something to stress over. If you’re still not convinced, here are some important talking points:
You need to gain weight for the baby
The funny thing about this topic is that people forget you actually need to gain weight to support the growth of your baby. This doesn’t mean you should go overboard and get really big, but you shouldn’t worry if you start gaining some pounds.
Think about it, you need to consume enough food to satisfy your own daily needs, along with those of an extra human being. While this human is small – and growing every day – they still have energy demands. You need to consume enough calories to provide them with the energy they need to keep growing. This carries on after pregnancy as well – did you know you need an extra 500 calories in your diet to sustain breastfeeding? It’s true, and it helps your baby get the nutrients they need while feeding. This is why extreme diets after pregnancy aren’t considered one of the healthy ways to lose weight while breastfeeding. The same goes while you’re carrying; you can’t restrict your food intake as you’ll restrict the baby as well!
Does this mean you have to eat twice as much food? No, but you can and should eat more than usual. In fact, some studies have shown that women who don’t gain much weight during pregnancy are more prone to premature births or give birth to small babies. You should expect to add on over 20lbs at least, and you will feel safe in the knowledge that this extra weight is helping your baby.
Most of the weight goes away almost immediately after giving birth
Weighing scales can be so outrageously deceiving. You step on them and cringe in horror at the number staring back at you. It’s much higher than you’re used to, which instantly puts you in a bad mood. As just mentioned, you are going to gain weight. There’s no way of avoiding this, largely because you have something growing inside of you! Think about how much a baby weighs when it’s born – that weight is inside you while you’re carrying them. Granted, it starts off much smaller, but it will be a fair few pounds of added weight by the last month or so.
So, this weight instantly leaves you when you give birth. Not only that, but consider everything else that comes out at the same time. If you’ve given birth, you’ll know that various fluids and other things are expelled. It’s all part of the natural birthing process, but these things used to exist inside you. Therefore, you instantly lose more weight when they’re gone. Think about things like the placenta – that grew in your body while you were pregnant, and then it’s gone. You basically had an extra organ during your pregnancy, so it was bound to add an extra pound or so to the scales.
Put simply, you will lose a lot of weight by giving birth. When you stop and look at why you gain weight, you realize that most of it isn’t excess fat. As just mentioned, part of the weight comes from the baby, fluids, and placenta. Then, you have increased production of more bodily fluids to feed your baby, adding more weight. Also, consider some of the physical changes that happen when you’re pregnant. Your breasts increase in size, your hips widen, etc. Some of your weight gains come from existing bodily tissues expanding and getting bigger!
Consequently, a lot of the physical changes revert themselves when you give birth. It won’t happen instantly, but your pregnancy hormones level off in a week or so. As a result, you should see a reduction in weight without doing anything at all. So, there’s even less to be worried about as a lot of your gained weight leaves within weeks of giving birth.
Weight will always fluctuate
A lot of women forget that you’re pregnant for nine months of your life. If you only have one child, that’s a tiny amount of time compared to the rest of your life. Why is this important to remember? Well, you have to think that weight will always fluctuate. It may increase, but it can always come back down again. You could put on weight during those nine months, but that doesn’t mean it has to stay like that. You can easily lose the pounds you put on in the next weeks or months after pregnancy. Obviously, you’ll be busy, but there are still easy ways to do it.
All you have to do is follow a healthy diet and be as active as possible. If you can find the time, try to exercise 3-5 times per week. This can include home workouts, gym workouts, running – you name it. Hopefully, you have a supporting partner that will take care of the child for half an hour while you do this. Even if you physically can’t exercise, you can still go for walks. Push the baby in their stroller for thirty or sixty minutes – it still counts as being active. You’ll still burn calories and avoid gaining more weight. Over time, you will gradually lose the extra pounds and return to your previous weight.
This is the one thing a lot of us forget when we are pregnant. To be honest, it’s easy to understand. There’s so much going on – your hormones are flying about – so it’s hard to think logically. But, there’s no need to worry about gaining weight as you can always lose it again. You have many years and months to get back into shape; you’re not forced to be heavier forever!
The whole point of this post is to show you why gaining weight isn’t an issue for pregnant women. As discussed already, it’s actually a necessity. You need to gain some weight to support your growing baby and ensure they’re a healthy size when born. Most of the weight you gain is only temporary, so it leaves within a few weeks of giving birth. As for any excess, there’s no need to fret as you can lose that whenever you want!