Letting My Pregnancy Weight Gain Fears Go

pregnancyweightgain_sizedI’ve been obsessing about my number — the bigger-than-ever number that I saw on the scale during my doctor’s appointment last Friday.


I’ve shared my changing-body panic with my mom friends, my colorist, my mom, my therapist, my husband, my co-worker Cathy — basically everyone who’s made the mistake of asking me how I’m feeling. And here’s the really shameful part: My weight gain of 11 pounds is completely normal for where I am in my pregnancy, according to my ob-gyn.


So what the hell is my problem? Why am I inventing things to freak out about?

I’ve been through enough therapy (all of us high-strung New Yorkers have) to know there’s a deeper issue here. It’s not really about the number on the scale, it’s about the fact that I wasn’t happy with my body before I got pregnant, and the uncontrollable changes of pregnancy have just added to my insecurities.

I went into this pregnancy 10 pounds heavier than normal. I had been pregnant last summer and packed on those pounds pretty much immediately; eating constantly was the only way I could curb the all-day morning sickness. Then I had a miscarriage at 10 weeks and to my shock, the D&C that I had to have didn’t make those pounds disappear (I had somehow convinced myself it was “baby weight.”)

I gave myself a month to wallow in misery (read: self-medicate with red wine) while I waited for my ob-gyn to clear me to exercise again. Plan was to ditch the weight and then get pregnant again….but I got pregnant before that happened. In fact, I discovered I was expecting just hours after joining a new gym. And then morning sickness hit again, and I spent 8 weeks on the couch sipping gingerale and eating whatever would settle my stomach…not working out and essentially donating money to the gym.

Working out and weight gain were the last things on my mind at that point. I was pregnant again! What a blessing! Please, God, please let this baby be healthy. Then, 24 weeks in, I saw that scary number on the scale last Friday…

Back when I was pregnant with Mason, the number on the scale didn’t get big (only seven pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight) because I spent my entire pregnancy deathly ill (I was hospitalized twice). I also worried endlessly about my lack of weight gain, which is so ironic given my neurosis this time around.

So, after a weekend of obsessing, I’ve decided to let it go. Who cares if my number is bigger than what I’m comfortable with? It’s supposed to be; I’m pregnant. Suck it up, sister! It’s time to start being a little more like Drew Barrymore, who had such a refreshing take on her pregnancy weight gain (and she looked gorgeous, by the way).

Instead of channeling all of my energy into worrying about what the scale says, I’m going to shift my attention back to what I need to do to stay healthy for the 15 weeks left in this pregnancy. I’m going to eat healthfully, walk, do Pilates, and indulge in a treat from time to time. I’m going to deliver my baby, recover, and then worry about shedding the baby weight. After all, this is probably my last pregnancy; I might as well enjoy it. Why worry the time away?

Did you ever obsess about your weight gain when you were pregnant?