At a recent party, an acquaintance asked me if I thought his pregnant wife was gaining too much weight.
“I mean, she’s only in her first trimester and she must be up 15 pounds. Should I say something?”
In the moment, I stuttered through something about how pregnancy weight gain isn’t linear and this doesn’t necessarily mean she’s going to gain an inappropriate amount of weight during the whole pregnancy. I said it would take a tremendous weight gain to put the fetus in harm’s way.
The conversation moved on, but even after I went home, I kept thinking of what I should have said to him. I should have been clearer and more forceful in my message, which is:
“No! Do not tell a pregnant woman she is gaining too much weight unless you are her obstetrician and it is medically necessary. Your job is to tell her she’s beautiful and ask if you can do anything to make her more comfortable.”
I also gained a disproportionate amount of weight in the first few weeks of my second pregnancy, so I really felt for this guy’s wife (whom I don’t know well). I figured out that the food that best keep my morning sickness at bay were the Goldfish crackers I pilfered from my toddler. I ate those little orange salt bombs ‘round the clock. I slept with a bag of Goldfish on my bedside table so that if I woke up nauseated in the night, I could eat a few to settle my stomach.
In my eighth week of pregnancy, I stepped on the scale and freaked out when I saw how much weight I had gained. It was double what I had gained in the whole first trimester with my first baby. I panicked when I calculated how much weight I would potentially gain if I kept up the same pace. Quickly realizing that those little smiling crackers were the culprits, I put them away for good. In a few weeks, the nausea finally retreated and my weight gain slowed. I ended up gaining the same amount of weight—to the pound—in both pregnancies.
So, guy at the party, your wife may be going through something similar so please back off. Let her doctor be the one to comment (or not) on her weight gain. How about giving her a foot rub instead?
Do you think it’s ever OK for a husband to comment on his wife’s weight gain?