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HELP! How do I prevent gaining more weight during pregnancy?

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 

I'm 5 feet tall with a very small bone structure, and when I'm my most fit and feel the best, I am about 95 pounds.  Prior to pregnancy, I was not in my optimal shape and I was 98 pounds. I am getting married 3 months after my baby is due and do not want to gain more than about 15- 20 pounds (I have friends that are healthy and did it and their babies are healthy, so it's not too little).


I was still 98 pounds by week 8.  Between week 8 and week 13, I put on 9 pounds! During this time, we had family weddings out of town and family visitors, a sick puppy, an apartment move, so my sleep, excersize and eating schedule was completely awry. I was not getting proper sleep, eating large meals and eating much more sweets and garbage that usual.  Additionally, I was getting mixed signals about how to treat my exersize regimen, so was not working out to full capacity and was very naseas and had a lot of morning sickness, that made me constantly eat to wean the nasea.  For the past week, I have been getting back to a normal regimen, am the naseau is going away.  I am settled in the home and have no more visitors or weddings and plan to get more quality sleep and a more balanced diet. I am hoping to lose all of the fat I gained and remain at 107 pounds until the end of the second trimester.  Do you think if I am dilligent, I can remain 107 pounds through 2nd trimester and end the pregnancy at 113 pounds, having only gained 15 pounds? On an average day, I am eating between 1800 - 2000 calories a day, with working out for about 1.5 hours - balanced with strength and cardio.


I am really, really worried and simply cannot gain more than the 15-18 pounds in the pregancy. Can someone please assure me that this is still possible??Any advice would be more appreciated.


Thank you!

post #2 of 48
Generally speaking, if you are of average weight/build, you're supposed to gain between 25 and 35 pounds. Everyone is different and some people naturally gain more or less, but ithink that ACTIVELY trying to only gain 15 pounds could be very unhealthy for your baby. You can focus on losing weight after baby comes.
post #3 of 48

Average height women eating healthy and staying active gain 30 to 35 lbs in avg. You're small so I'd aim for 20ish but watch the habits not the scale. It will come off, you'll reset to your norm quite easily. I started dropping pounds like crazy without effort after my 3rd son was born by eating a grain free diet, high fat and moderate protein, no processed stuff. Before pregnancy I was slightly overweight, now I weigh what I did when I was 13, low normal BMI, good muscles, and a very motherly hourglass shape now. Keep in mind you might get a permenant bust increase, I sure did with my first child (B to DD!). No reason you can't keep a diet similar in pregnancy to be sure you get your nutrients without empty carbs and inflammatory bloating stuff.


Oh and since you're into exercise, I want to point out frequent cardio training can have some negative effects. Low level cardio like walking for miles or tons of slow swimming, plus some challenging strength training (done only very carefully in pregnancy, know your limits) seem to have great results. Lots of jogging and whatnot increases stress hormones.

Edited by JamieCatheryn - 9/14/13 at 8:11am
post #4 of 48

I think you need to speak to your health care provider about this. I am seeing several concerning things in your post.

post #5 of 48
I think it's gonna be really hard for you to only gain 15 lbs and honestly not great for you or your baby. I know this is not what you want to hear, but if you try for this goal it's going to be really stressful for you. Stress is not good during pregnancy. You need to give your body what it needs.

My midwife told me the healthiest outcomes are from 25 to 35 lb weight gain. Trust me, it's gonna FALL OFF after you have the baby. You may not gain that much, but the last thing you need to be doing is denying your body what it needs.

Eat right and exercise moderately. Everything will work out fine. <3
post #6 of 48
Please ask your OB or midwife for a referral to a mental health professional so you can begin treatment for your disordered relationship with food and exercise before the baby is harmed in utero.
post #7 of 48

25-35 lbs is average and for good reason. Here's a little breakdown of where the weight should go: fetus 7,5#, placenta 1.5#, amniotic fluid #2, uterus #2, breasts 1#, blood 3#, water 3.5#, fat 7.5#. You HAVE to gain the correct amount of weight in pregnancy to keep your baby healthy. You can see from the chart though that the majority weight gained in pregnancy is not fat. When you deliver you'll instantly lose a good bit of weight and the rest will fall off quickly enough. I gained 35# with my daughter and was in my old jeans two weeks after delivery with no diet or exercise. Do you plan to breastfeed? If you do then you'll definitely need to get help because you have to maintain decent weight and health for milk production. You definitely need to see a professional about this. Your ob can do a lot to help you and needs to be aware of this to keep an eye on your baby's health. Please get help for your baby's sake. This pregnancy is not the time to be concerned about your weight and looking good for your wedding.

post #8 of 48
Some women don't gain a lot during pregnancy and that's fine if they are eating a healthy diet. Most women, however, pack on a lot of weight. I'm a very slim woman (5'7" and 110lbs) normally and I gain a crazy amount of weight during my pregnancies. This is my third pregnancy and 27 weeks and have gained at least 30 lbs. I also have no appetite at all. I'm eating less than I did before the pregnancy and the weight is still coming on. Your body is preprogrammed to gain a certain amount during your pregnancies. Eat a reasonable diet without a lot of junk and let nature take it's course. Trust me, the weight usually falls off after the baby is born, especially if you were slim to begin with.
post #9 of 48
I really don't think this is about weight so much as control. My advice is to let it go. Eat when you are hungry. Make healthy choices when you can and don't berate yourself when you don't. Keep your body moving, it will help you and your baby feel good. Do not strain yourself through excessive exercise and do not restrict your calories - those things will be much worse for you and your baby in the long run than being a little heavier than you wanted to be on your wedding day. Talk to your doctor honestly about how you are feeling and stop comparing yourself to your friends. I think you need someone you trust to have a realistic conversation with you. You asked if it is possible to gain no more weight at all until the end of the second trimester. Sure, anything is possible. But what I don't see you asking is whether it is possible to do that in a healthy way. And in my opinion, the answer is no.
post #10 of 48

I feel this is an issue you definitely need to discuss with your health-care provider and possibly also with a therapist who specializes in eating disorders.


I'd also work on considering what your true motivations are - if your motivation is to look good for your wedding, perhaps instead of stressing over this now, you could reschedule/delay the wedding. I can promise that a three-month old is going to change a lot more in your life than simply your waist line.


If your concern is truly more about your health, then speaking with your doctor or midwife may help alleviate your concerns. Typical weight gain in pregnancy is around 25 to 35 pounds. While it is certainly possible to have a healthy baby with less weight gain, and some of your friends may have done so, it shouldn't be a target to limit weight gain below these numbers. Basically, if a healthy pregnancy progresses normally and weight gain falls under 25 pounds, that is OK; but taking measures to lose/reduce gain to actively keep weight gain below these limits is not.

post #11 of 48
I'm going to say first off, that I am 27, almost 28, weeks, and I have gained about 4 pounds. I don't expect to gain much more, as this is consistent with what I gained in my last pregnancy. How did I do this? I didn't really. I eat when I am hungry, I eat slowly, and I eat until I am full. I try to eat foods that are high in nutrition (especially folic acid, iron, protein, Vitamin D, calcium, and Vitamin C), and don't worry much at all about whether they are high in "bad" things. I track calories, but I willingly go over my goal if I am still hungry. I drink mostly water, plus one cup of coffee every morning. I don't exercise as much as I did before I got pregnant, but I try to stay active.

I know other women who are as far along as I am, were in better shape than I was at the start of pregnancy, follow the same basic rules as me, and have gained more like 20 pounds. The lesson here? If you give your body what it needs, then it is going to gain as much weight as it needs to properly sustain you and your baby. And THAT should be your goal, no matter what the number ends up being. (Yes, some bodies are going to need less, but some are going to need more. Don't try to force your body to do differently than what it needs!) If you focus on getting good nutrition and staying active, then you are going to get much better results (not gain-wise, but HEALTH-wise) than if you deprive yourself or if you stuff yourself. And after the baby is born, it is going to be easier to get back to a healthy weight, because your body will have sustained the good health necessary to do that.
post #12 of 48
PS, here's a breakdown of the average pregnancy weight gain. Note that MOST of the weight is NOT fat! This is from WebMD:

Where Does the Extra Weight Go During Pregnancy?

Baby: 8 pounds
Placenta: 2-3 pounds
Amniotic fluid: 2-3 pounds
Breast tissue: 2-3 pounds
Blood supply: 4 pounds
Stored fat for delivery and breastfeeding: 5-9 pounds
Larger uterus: 2-5 pounds
Total: 25-35 pounds
post #13 of 48
Originally Posted by squiggles View Post

Generally speaking, if you are of average weight/build, you're supposed to gain between 25 and 35 pounds. Everyone is different and some people naturally gain more or less, but ithink that ACTIVELY trying to only gain 15 pounds could be very unhealthy for your baby. You can focus on losing weight after baby comes.



Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post

Please ask your OB or midwife for a referral to a mental health professional so you can begin treatment for your disordered relationship with food and exercise before the baby is harmed in utero.


This and this. Have you had problems with eating/weight issues in the past? 

Near the end of pregnancy you may gain at least 1/2-1 pound per week. Trying to restrict how much weight you gain could be very bad for your baby and yourself. Quit paying attention to the number (it is totally normal to gain at least 35 pounds in pregnancy), and pay attention to eating a good amount of fat and protein, eat real, clean food, stay active but don't overdo it (were you exercising as much pre-pregnancy as you are now?), and don't worry so much. If you can't not worry, then ask for recommendations for a mental health professional who can help.
post #14 of 48
Thread Starter 

Hi fellow mothers,


Thank you for all of your feedback and concern.  I would first like to say that I do not have an eating disorder and have always been in decent shape. When you are petite, a few pounds seem like much more. I have been speaking to my doctor and many other people and it is not an issue.  I have friends with similar frames that gained 15- 20 pounds in their entire pregnancy and their babies are healthy. Both my mother and my grandmother have similar frames and gained that as well.  When I said I wanted to remain the same weight in the second trimester, I don't think my comment was received the way I meant it. What I meant was, since I have gained about 10 pounds now and I'm in week 14, if my health regimen now balances out since I am more active and not eating unhealthily (for the most part), perhaps, the excess weight will drop as the baby grows. I am not dieting and eat pizza, and cheese and bread all of the time. I eat what I want, when I want and am not anorexic or anything. I am simply trying to be mindful of excess weight gain that is potentially unncessary, versus the needed excess weight.

I would appreciate constructive comments that can be helpful, if you understand my perspective. If not, that is okay.

Thank you.

post #15 of 48
I think if you are that small and have such a good metabolism you are probably not gonna gain much in your second trimester. That's usually the time when weight gain slows a lot. I would definitely not try and lose weight at any point. In your third tri expect to gain about 1/2 to 1 lb a week, more or less. Since you're so petite it's all gonna come off after baby, pretty quickly.
post #16 of 48
I understand not wanting to gain a ton of weight over pregnancy. However, I also know that focusing on your weight takes focus off of your health. That's because reading a number on a scale is much, much easier than relinquishing control and focusing on solid diet and safe activities. My first pregnancy, I worked out throughout and ate well, and I gained about 22 lbs. My second, I was sick as a dog and didn't work out at all, and I only gained 12. That time, I started a bit higher, so my ending weight for each pregnancy was about the same thing regardless of what I did or didn't do.

The thing is, your body will do what it needs to do to grow a healthy baby, even in spite of what we do. I'll eat ice cream for a day and lose 2 pounds and then have a bowl of soup and gain 3. There's no rhyme or reason to it, and trying to understand or control it will be frustrating and just distracting from your real goal of keeping you both healthy.

So, is it possible? Maybe. Is it healthy? For some people. Is it a good goal to have? Nope.
post #17 of 48

With the additional perspective, I'd say that if you do become concerned that your weight-gain is becoming excessive, I'd simply begin replacing some of the more "optional" items in your diet - pizza, bread, cheese, etc. - with vegetables and proteins such as chicken or fish. But even despite the petite size, I also wouldn't be concerned with gaining a bit more than that "optimal" amount.


With my first pregnancy, I was obese to begin with and my body clung to weight and I gained "all over." I have seriously looked back at a photo of myself at 39 weeks and if I didn't know exactly when the photo was taken, I don't even think I could have identified myself as pregnant in the photo (at a friend's party, not specifically a "pregnancy" shot, but still, at 39 weeks, I would have hoped that ANY photo of me would have made it painfully apparent that I was pregnant). I gained around 30 to 35 pounds, and felt like I could barely eat. What I did eat was mostly meats and veggies, I had very little sugar for the majority of my pregnancy because anything vaguely sweet made me violently ill for around 6 to 7 months. I had lost all of those 35 pounds by around two weeks after delivery - I actually had the opposite problem of most women, and brought clothes that were too big for me after the delivery. I was back into pre-pregnancy clothes just as soon as my uterus stopped aching too much to wear "normal" clothes.


I had dropped an additional 20 pounds or so from my first pre-pregnancy weight when I became pregnant with #2, with weight fluctuations between 180 and 185 when I became pregnant (still overweight) . Now, at 20 weeks, I have gained under 7 pounds with this pregnancy and it looks like I'll be really pushing it to get around a 20- to 25-pound gain. Not only that, but this time around I crave red meats and feel like I eat enough to feed me and a teenage boy. Midwives aren't concerned as baby's development is still great and they say I'm just burning it off with all the extra exercise of chasing a toddler. I'm actually carrying the weight only in the lower belly and have gone over a month earlier in pregnancy without seeing any gain. But I do see the "shift" as my body moves weight from other areas to the baby. If my losses after birth are consistent in this pregnancy, as well as the extended loss, then I'll be in a healthy range for BMI within a year or so of the birth!


All this to say - I think to some extent we have to simply manage lightly and trust that our bodies will do/gain what is needed for our little growing ones!

post #18 of 48

Mind over matter. Don't listen to people telling you you "should" gain 25-35 pounds while pregnant. It's true that your body will gain what it needs to do support a healthy pregnancy and you should absolutely be doing everything you can to keep yourself and baby healthy by eating enough nutrient dense food and staying active (and if you're having ED type issues with doing that then see a professional).... but it's absolutely possible to keep your weight gain to a minimum. 


my goal for this pregnancy was under 23 pounds.


My weight gain went like this:


start weight: 135 at 5'7, very fit


8 weeks- 135

12 weeks- 137

14 weeks- 139

16 weeks- 142

20 weeks- 145

26 weeks- 154 (9 pounds gained in second trimester in a month and a half, I was traveling and did not have access to health food store or gym, I think it would have been a lot less if it were not for this!!)

34 weeks- 155


I have pretty much maintained my weight for the last 2 months, without trying. I eat when I am hungry (which is not that much except for in the morning because I am so full of baby) and I walk at least 3 miles a day. I've heard it's very common for weight loss to stall out at a certain point because the energy you are exerting just moving around and pumping all the extra blood, all the extra work your body is doing later on-- is hard to match with calories- especially because you can't eat much.


So this brings my total weight gain to 20 pounds at 34 weeks, with 3-5 weeks left to go- and I really doubt that I will gain any more. Weight gain is NOT CONSISTENT the whole pregnancy, some weeks you'll gain more, some you won't gain at all- I freaked that at 4 months I had already gained 7 pounds, considering the baby weighed like 12oz at that time, but most of the weight gain early on/midway through is infrastructure building and there is nothing you can do about that- you're going to double blood volume- which is like 4 pounds, you're going to retain extra water, which you will sweat and pee out easily after birth. Your uterus and placenta and amniotic fluid and boobs and baby all weigh a lot too-- so it's not YOU gaining weight. it's the baby and its life support systems.

post #19 of 48

Hey OP, 


I know bone structure matters and some people are genetically petite. I did calculate your pre-pregnancy BMI, 5 ft and 98lb,and your BMI was 19.1. If your weight was 95lb, your BMI would be 18.6. That's normal but for sure on the low end, so a healthcare provider might generally say you should gain closer to 35 than 25lb.


"I am really, really worried and simply cannot gain more than the 15-18 pounds in the pregancy. Can someone please assure me that this is still possible??Any advice would be more appreciated."


Yes. It is possible. And these are the consequences of very low weight gain in pregnancy:


"Very" preterm birth   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16477257

Intrauterine growth restriction http://jn.nutrition.org/content/129/5/988.full

Damaging baby's growing organs, especially kidneys and liver, and making the baby more likely to develop diabetes and heart disease later in life http://bmb.oxfordjournals.org/content/60/1/69.full


One aspect of pregnancy that can be REALLY hard to deal with is the rapid change the body goes through. Everything gets rounder. Keep talking with supportive people. And I know for a fact that there are beautiful wedding dresses for pregnant women out there.

post #20 of 48

My experience was in line with Ananas numbers - I gained about a pound a week in the last 6 weeks of pregnancy, and it was a hell of a head trip to suddenly weigh more then my husband.  And then I dropped the weight really fast, but nothing looked the same.


Really?  I'd stay off the scale, and buy a wedding dress six weeks before the wedding.

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