On Gaining Weight While Being Pregnant

I’ve written and re-written this post so many times. I’m not sure if it will be conveyed the way I hope, but please keep in mind I am eternally grateful I was able to get pregnant, have a great pregnancy, and deliver a healthy baby girl. I will never take that for granted. These are just my thoughts I’ve had about gaining weight while being pregnant that I do think others have had them as well.
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Gaining weight while being pregnant can be a hard subject to talk about. It's incredibly important, but it can be incredibly difficult to see your body changing so much.

The truth is, it was hard for me to gain weight during pregnancy. Not hard as if it was hard to do.  It was hard that it was happening.

Before getting pregnant, I didn’t understand women who thought this. In fact, I know many times I would tell Aaron that I just didn’t understand how anyone had a hard time gaining weight since they were growing a baby and needed to get larger.

Then I got pregnant, and I watched my clothes get tight, my belly get huge, the scale go up. I had a hard time every single time I went to the doctor and had to be weighed. Do not get me wrong. I gained a good amount of weight for carrying a baby. Weight was never a worry from the doctor’s perspective. I’m just being honest and saying it wasn’t an easy thing to handle.

22 vs 40 weeks

What’s harder than I thought, though, is after I delivered her, I still had a bunch of weight. I read that you’d look about 6 months pregnant after. I bought larger comfy pants. I bought tops that would cover it. I thought I’d be ok. But truth is, I wasn’t. The first week or two, I was. I know that I did bounce back very quickly, but it’s not my old body. I know my body will never be my old body since I had my beautiful daughter. But, it’s still hard to not have my jeans fit right.

Maybe this didn’t make sense to you. I’m sure if you haven’t had a child, you will not understand. I know I didn’t, and that’s ok! I would NEVER trade my daughter for anything right now or my body. It was able to push out Annabelle. It was able to bounce back and have me feeling good a couple weeks after delivery. It was able to carry her to term. It was able to have me up and running two and a half weeks after delivery. It has done amazing things. I just didn’t think I’d have a problem with looking in the mirror and still seeing flab. Obviously it took 9 months to happen that way, so it shouldn’t come off super quick. I have a journey ahead and have been working at it.

I know the flab will go away, the muffin top will disappear, and I’ll comfortably fit in my clothes again. I know it will happen in time, and that I need to be patient. I never thought I had self confidence issues prior to being pregnant, so I didn’t expect to feel this way at all. Somehow, it did, and there are times it’s harder than others. In the end, I guess it was just hard as a first timer. Next time, I will know what to expect while pregnant, and after. It doesn’t change my feelings towards Annabelle or being pregnant again. Just sharing this as a way for others who are going through it or may go through it in time, that it’s ok to feel that way. Your body is bringing you a beautiful gift- and I’ll never take that for granted!

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Comments

  1. I don’t want to be overly critical but I am going to let you know that I will no longer be reading your blog after this post. Some things are better left unsaid, no matter how you try to qualify or justify them.

    • This comment is unnecessary. This is clearly an issue many women deal with and will deal with. It especially makes sense that a woman who runs a fitness blog will have a hard time dealing with body changes during pregnancy. I appreciate Heather’s honesty and willingness to talk about something she’s struggling with. This is clearly a blog post about experiencing new things and working towards goals while appreciating what you have. Keep up the good work, Heather!

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      I’m sorry you feel that way. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I respect yours. There are many out there who relate, and that’s why I wrote this post. If I would have read someone else’s when I was pregnant or post partum, It would have made me feel a bit less like it was only me thinking it. I hope you have a good day.

      • Personally, I respect your honesty and love the post. At 34 weeks pregnant, I agree that it’s a struggle, especially for athletic or thinner individuals. Keep up the good work and continue to encourage yourself <3 it's all worth it for the baby

    • Yes some things are better left unsaid. You should follow your own advice.

    • Lynda – I too feel this comment was hurtful. If you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say it.

  2. Going through it now, I totally get this. And I don’t think you need to feel bad or feel like you’re being ungrateful either. In my personal opinion…pregnancy is the most selfless thing you can do. Lol. Women literally change their selves to create another human. Physically and emotionally. It’s in no way easy! I have the same fears about what my body will be like after pregnancy. I struggle with it all the time. I’m just doing my best to eat as well as I can (even though I do splurge more than normal) and stay active to know I did all I could to mitigate any extra uncomfortability I will have with my body later.
    Alysia at Slim Sanity recently posted…Creamy Greek Yogurt Spinach DipMy Profile

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      Thanks exactly what I did and you will be fine after. I wrote this in December and I’m much more at peace with myself now. Comments from below are also so reassuring. If my body doesn’t return to how it was, oh well. I have a beautiful daughter to replace it with and to look at, snuggle with, and remind myself of God’s perfect gift. Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re amazing <3

  3. I appreciate your honesty with this. Things to think about that I hope will help:
    What if your “extra” weight never goes away? What if your weight never is the same as pre-pregnancy again? What tells you you’re healthy – what does ‘healthy’ mean? When your daughter critiques herself one day, what do you hope her definition of healthy is?
    I propose these questions because I think it’s important to remember that while you certainly may end up weighing the same as you did before pregnancy, your body will never be the same, and hopefully you can see that as only a beautiful thing. Your body grew a human being! I mean, that’s nothing short of incredible! That’s a gift! I pray that you’ll get to a place where you’ll be healthy, beautiful, and confident because of how you feel, as a result of how you treat yourself (physically and mentally) instead of a number or a reflection you see in the mirror that’s different than in the past. <3

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      What fantastic questions! So many I didn’t really think about. I should have really said this post has been in drafts since the beginning of December, when I was only about 6 weeks post partum. I’ve come a long way and while I do think about it when some pants don’t fit, it’s not consuming my mind ever. When these thoughts pop in, they are quickly dismissed by a smile Annabelle gives me, or just a reminder of all my body went through. If I never return to my weight (I don’t even know what it was or what I weigh right now), my muffin top remains, and my body looks different, I am 100% ok with it. My body IS different than before I had her. It grew a human, and pushed one out. I really appreciate your comment. I hope you are doing well <3

  4. I totally get you and I have the same feelings! And I also think you have the right to feel the way you do and write about it. I know we will feel better in our new bodies when time passes. Exercising and eating healthy will help! It’s just takes time and we need to patient with ourselves! ♡ Greetings from Finland! -Karoliina

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      Oh Karoliina thanks for commenting! You are so right and you know exactly how I’m feeling. It will take time and if it never happens, oh well!

  5. This is so brave of you, and you know that I totally support you. We live in a time and a society where we have been taught on the one hand that pregnancy is so beautiful, but on the other hand, that we should bounce back, and quickly. That we should still look a certain way, feel a certain way. We get so many conflicting messages, and if we don’t feel the way that we are told to feel, we can feel like we are letting someone or something down. It is no reflection of the love that you have for your child.
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Hungry Root Copycat Sriracha Peanut Sauce (Gluten Free, Vegan)My Profile

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      YESSS! You are absolutely right. My love for Annabelle will not change whether I fit into my clothes comfortably or have some extra weight. Aaron’s love for me doesn’t change either. Society is definitely a contributing factor to this, as is hearing when others fit into their clothes 1 week post partum. That’s great for some, and for others, things are different. Thanks for your love <3

  6. Super harsh comment up top, so I’m going to offer my support. I’ve never had a baby, but based on conversations with my mommy friends, I think what you’re feeling is totally normal. Your body has gone through HUGE changes in a very short amount of time and as much as you might know in your mind that a bit of extra weight isn’t a big deal and that it was certainly worth it, you’re HUMAN. We don’t always look at ourselves and our bodies objectively. If we did, we’d probably be a lot less hard on ourselves. Hang in there, girl, you’re doing just fine.
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs For Food recently posted…Watching the snow melt {WIAW}My Profile

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      You’re amazing. Thanks for your super sweet comment! It is just what I needed to hear. We are human, and we have flaws. If I’m flawed because I would like my clothes to fit comfortably (which, btw, I should just lay off the cookies…) then so be it. It doesn’t change my love for Annabelle at all!

  7. I rarely comment on blogs, but I needed to tell you, I appreciate your honesty. Truth is, you can’t look like a teenager forever. My kids are in their 20’s and it is still hard to look in the mirror to see I am not that 20 year old anymore (although I still feel like it). Whether it is weight, gray hair, or wrinkles. Things will change. You just have to go with it – and not fight it! I think you look great.

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      Thanks for commenting! You are absolutely right, and I do find myself reminding myself that I’m not a teenager. actually, I just went through all my clothes and got rid of so many because they weren’t mom status, anymore, ha. Things change as we get older, and it can be hard to embrace at first, but I think with time it gets easier. Thanks for your support <3

  8. I appreciate your honesty in this post so much, especially since this is a touchy subject. You might get some backlash on this (like the comments up top), but I can understand where you’re coming from. Since you were so into fitness and that was your job before getting pregnant, I think it’s completely reasonable and understandable that you would feel uncomfortable gaining weight. Whether or not we like to admit it, a lot of us put value in how we look, especially if it’s part of our identity (since you’re a healthy living blogger AND worked at a gym, this is probably a HUGE part of yours!). I don’t think it’s a bad thing or shows that you’re a bad mother to want to fit back in your clothes and get rid of a muffin top.

    It’s hard to 100% get your feelings conveyed correctly in a blog post, but I can see where you’re coming from. Then again, I’m not a mother so I might not see things the same way as others, but I wanted to share my 2 cents!
    Gretchen | Gretchruns recently posted…WIAW : Running on Whole30 EditionMy Profile

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      I knew not everyone would agree, and that’s ok. I wanted to be honest as this was hard for me to understand. I think a lot if comparison and knowing so many others who were pregnant at the same time, too. We definitely do value how we look. I know I feel better about myself when I have make up on and hair done than when I’m in pjs and hair a mess. It’s just who we are. I appreciate your 2 cents. Have a great day! <3

  9. As I get older, I notice that nothing ever stays the same, no matter how hard you try to not let it change. Just remember, you are not defined by a weight. No one loves you any less for extra pounds. Not to say you should not try to get back to where you were if it makes you feel good. I’m sure you will… but just offer yourself as much grace as you would your best friend. xoxo
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…10 Tricks for Anyone to Take Better PhotosMy Profile

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      What an amazing thing to say! “Offer yourself as much grace as you would your best friend.” I know I”m not being that kind but you are absolutely right! I would be so reassuring (and am!) to friends, and would remind them of what you said, so why am I not doing that to myself! Thank you <3

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      Forgot to say, I have no idea how much I gained or what my weight is right now, ha. I don’t own a scale, which is actually pretty nice 😉

  10. Oh friend I am right there with you! It’s definitely been an adjustment trying to figure out my new body and how things fit so differently. Just last night I was thinking how unhappy I was with my stomach and unattractive I feel like it is. But then I just have to remember that it GREW A HUMAN BEING and a little pudge is nothing compared to that 🙂
    Sarah @ Sweet Miles recently posted…Quick Healthy Snacking While Breastfeeding/Pumping at WorkMy Profile

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      YESS! I should have included more saying I am becoming more ok with it. I first wrote this post at the beginning of December- so not even 2 months in. If things never go back, that’s ok, because I have Annabelle. You’re doing amazing, girl!

  11. So proud of you for being honest! Obviously I’ve never been in your position, but I absolutely understand that it’s not an easy thing to deal with and I know you’re not alone. I’ve read other posts from others saying similar things. <3
    Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…Hawaii Part 1My Profile

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      Thank you so much <3 I was really nervous to put this up, but it's comments like yours that remind me I am not alone. PS SOOOO jealous of Hawaii! Ahh it looks like such a fantastic time!

  12. I never comment on blogs, but wanted to say thank you for writing this. I’m 8.5 months pregnant and have struggled with this throughout my pregnancy. In fact, I just got overly emotional about this exact thing last night. Before getting pregnant, I was in the best shape of my life, feeling confident, healthy and strong! It’s hard to watch your body change while being pregnant and much of it is out of your control. It’s comforting to know that others are okay with being honest about the hard parts of pregnancy. Trying to remind myself that my body is strong in different ways these days. Thank you!

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      Your body is doing such an amazing thing. You have given up your body to care for another human being, and that’s so extremely important! I know you would never take that back, but I completely understand how hard it is. Looking back, I was definitely in my best shape of my life before getting pregnant, too. I know I can get back to that, and you will too! I will say that remaining fit and staying healthy during pregnancy has really helped. I didn’t share pictures but the majority of the weight came off and the muscles came back quickly from a fit pregnancy. Keep doing what you’re doing! Thank you so much for your comment. Let me know when you have your baby! Send me an email with pictures 🙂

  13. Going through pregnancy is the biggest change you can experience both physically and mentally! I don’t think you are saying anything that women can’t relate to on some levels. For the most part, I really did love my pregnancy body and was okay with the weight I gained, but I also had my days when I missed my pre-pregnancy body. No, our bodies will never be the same, but just try to give yourself a little time, much grace, and a whole lot of love. We have healthy happy babies and that means so much more than having our pre-baby body back! Just be the healthiest version of you for your sweet baby girl! xo

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      You are absolutely spot on. My body will never be the same, but how can I expect it to because it had a baby in it! If I never return to how I looked before I had her, it wouldn’t change anything.

  14. Ignore the rude comments (as hard as it can be) — you’re brave for being so honest!

    I was surprised that I didn’t have an issue with the weight gain — I did choose to stand on the scale backwards at every doctor’s appointment so I never knew an exact number — but I was surprised by how my hips widened after giving birth. It makes sense, I pushed out an almost 8 pound baby fairly quickly, but I just didn’t think that they would get wider and this is probably my new shape! It’s not a bad thing, just something I have to get used to.
    Emily @ Perfection Isn’t Happy recently posted…Amelia Grace: Five Months OldMy Profile

  15. Thank you for sharing and opening up! I wrote a similar post about 8 weeks postpartum, although while i put on the pounds during pregnancy I was mostly fine with it and felt like it was just a normal part of growing a human. Another commenter hit it on the head saying we are expected to gain weight while pregnant but then also expected to bounce back so fast. I didn’t bounce back at all naturally. I’ve been working to get my body back and although I’m still 14 pounds away from my pre pregnancy weight I feel soooo much better just for eating healthy and exercising!

    Thanks again for sharing!
    Nicole recently posted…My Breastfeeding JourneyMy Profile

  16. Thank you for being so honest, Heather! I read your blog daily and it makes me want to read it more -not possible obviously haha, but I think so many women can relate to this post. There is so much out there right now about loving your body and being okay with where you are at… Which is all fine and dandy to a certain point. We SHOULD love our bodies and ourselves but it’s also okay to want to lose weight at the same time. It’s normal to want to look good and have our clothes fit! I think you look great for just having a baby. Even though I am mostly back to normal (I’m actually a bit smaller than I was pre pregnancy I think… Maybe due to nursing?), I think I may forever get easily bloated! The skin just seems to stretch easier now.

    Longest comment ever but I just wanted to let you know you’re supported and it’s a-okay to have these thoughts!
    Becky @ Olives n Wine recently posted…TodayMy Profile

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      aw, thanks, Becky! It’s really hard to get such conflicting statements. On one hand, being larger and curvy is the next best thing. Then on the other hand, you should be back to pre pregnancy like yesterday. I think if it’s a healthy mindset, it’s totally fine to want to get back to where you were! I thought breastfeeding would really help drop some weight, but I don’t know. I have nothing to compare it too, haha. I think it’s the sweet tooth that’s killing me. Working on that one… ha

  17. I can only imagine what it must be like to have your body change so drastically and have no control over it. I watched my best friend experience a very similar attitude to yours throughout her pregnancy. She was overjoyed to be pregnant, but was still sad seeing her body change. I think you look absolutely amazing!! It seems like you have done a really good job of keeping everything in balance and you seriously look like your pre-baby self to me.

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      Thank you, thank you, thank you! I appreciate your kind words, and the compliment 😉 Haha. Tell your friend I’m there with her and here if she ever wants to chat 🙂

  18. Thank you so much for your vulnerability. I can not say just how precious it is to me that my dear mommy sacrificed so much of herself for her children, and she is so joyful, kind, and serving. Moms are a treasure. You are a treasure, and your little ones will SO treasure the sacrifices you have made. This kind of thing does make me want to read your blog more, because your honesty is refreshing and encouraging. <3
    Emily recently posted…Recovery Series IV: Defined by LoveMy Profile

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      Thank you so much, Emily! I really appreciate that. Moms do sacrifice a lot but we wouldn’t trade it for anything!

  19. Great post! I completely agree. When I was pregnant Swede I was really surprised how difficult it was emotionally to gain so much weight. And then I was surprised again to feel the same way when I was pregnant with Abel. I had thought it would be easier the 2nd time but unfortunately not for me! The weight is coming off slower too… It’s all worth it, but I wish I’d appreciated how great my body was back in my early 20s!!!
    Kelly @ Noodle to the Rescue recently posted…Currently – January 2016My Profile

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      I look back and get mad at myself for ever thinking I didn’t look good before pregnancy and for thinking negatively about my body. I know I won’t have that body again, haha! I’m sorry to hear it was the same for Abel, but I understand. I am sure I’ll feel that way too when I have baby #2!

  20. I hardly ever comment on blogs. But this post really touched me. I struggled with gaining weight with both my pregnancies. I think that’s normal. After my second, I’m still 7 pounds heavier, which doesn’t seem like much, but my clothes don’t fit yet, which is frustrating. I obviously love my kids, but I do think it’s hard to watch yourself change. Vthank you for this post

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      YESS! Glad you can relate! I don’t actually know how much heavier I am than pre pregnancy. I didn’t really know my weight then, ha, and I don’t own a scale to know now! But my clothes don’t fit great, and that’s what I’m going by! We’ll get there!

  21. I just saw your comment on a recent Fitnessista post and jumped over to check your blog out. This is the first post I’ve read and I hope to read more!

    I had three boys in four years, and wow. The body change thing is legit. As I sorted through comments I saw some great questions about what if the weight never goes away. The weight will go away, but the way it leaves won’t leave you looking the same if that makes sense. I’m working hard to finally get the remaining weight off and I can clearly see my body doesn’t look the same at all. Not in a bad way though! My hips are wider, etc. Even as I lose the weight, clothes that fit previously (as in after each pregnancy!). My wardrobe is still in flux.

    And yeah, societal pressure is ridiculous! I was not super fit immediately prior to pregnancy and then having my boys meant I was too tired to do much about it besides eat right and try to sleep. People will say I’m making excuses. I say I waited until I could set my self up for success. 😉 Because now that they’re 5,3, and 1 it’s easier to get out of the house to work out! God Bless and take your time getting back to it. As if I need to say that. I have a suspicion you know more about fitness than I do!

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      I definitely understand what you are saying! I don’t think my hips will be returning to how they were, ha! Maybe they will but not too sure. Thank you for your sweet comment! I am sure you look amazing, too! I know it will be a process, and I have to be ok with it (and I am!). Just takes some getting used to 🙂

  22. Oh feath! I don’t know who that completely rude person is up top but I don’t have a child and can completely see how I would feel this way after being pregnant one day. You’ve always worked hard doing things you enjoy to be fit and have seen it benefit your body physically. Of course it’s going to be hard a) not having your same routines to do those things as consistently bc you have a beautiful baby girl that you’d rather take care of and spend time with which leads to b) you’re physical appearance taking a backseat and changing at a slower pace than you’re used to (which by the way you look great) . I give you all the credit in the world and know I can talk to you when I’m sure this will be me one day! Love you!

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      I’ll be here for you and will completely understand any feelings you have! I don’t think it’s wrong to think like this, as you also work hard on your body! Things change, for the best reason, but it still can take time to get used to!

  23. Hi!
    I just found your blog and I love it! Our daughter is 9 months old and I can completely relate to you. As a personal trainer I worried what clients would think as my pregnancy weight increased but constantly reminded myself that it is natural and healthy. Although I didn’t put on lots of weight, now that I went through this process I can relate to how our bodies change. My hips a different since having two kids but it is a reminder of the incredible lives I produced. I continue to run and train and am now loving my new body.

    I can’t understand the harsh comments above and hope you don’t take then personally.

    I look forward to following you regularly and watching Annabella grow

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      Aww, thanks Lindsey! I know it can be really hard to be ok with it, but since sharing that post, I’ve definitely been more ok and accepting of my body! Just need to remind myself of all it went through 🙂 I didn’t take the comments personally. I knew my opinion isn’t everyones 🙂

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