What is the fuss with weight gain? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 01-31-2011, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Can somebody please explain it to me?

During my first pregnancy I was not gaining any weight until I was 20+ weeks, I didn't actually loose any ether. At first appointment with MW (I switched from OB at 25wks) she fussed at me that I wasn't gaining weight. I started to gain about same time.

same thing happened with me this time around as well but my German MWs (seen them at 10 wks first time) have not said a single word about it.

Neither my mother nor my DH mothers gained over 8-10lb when they were pregnant with us. They were not dieting just kept eating as usuall. After giving birth both of them were several pound less than what they started the pregnancy at. I was 6lbs and DH was 8 and something and we both were perfectly healthy.

 

So my question is why so pregnant women get in trouble when they do not gain weight, even if they started pregnancy at healthy weight or slightly overweigh, take their prenatal vitamins, exsercise and baby is growing well?

I understand that extra weight is calculated for baby and placenta but neither of those weight 20lbs. And what is the big deal if part of baby weight comes out of mothers weigh at the end.

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#2 of 11 Old 01-31-2011, 07:11 AM
 
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It's a good question and one I've thought about quite a bit.

 

Based on statistics of the birthweight of babies and complications of pregnancy, labor/delivery, there are recommendations that are being refined all the time. I don't know your BMI but if you are underweight or of average weight a gain of more than 10 pounds is recommended based on the outcome statistics. I am obese, so 10 pound weight gain is fine and even encouraged rather than more.

 

I will try and find some info from pubmed for you.


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#3 of 11 Old 01-31-2011, 07:23 AM
 
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9610990

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy-weight-gain/PR00111

http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/yourbody_weightgain.html

 

The MOD website has the following listed:

Where you gain the weight

Blood
3 pounds
Breast
2 pounds
Womb
2 pounds
Baby
7.5 pounds
Placenta
1.5 pounds
Aminotic Fluid
2 pounds
Fat & Protein
7 pounds
Retained Water
4 pounds

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#4 of 11 Old 01-31-2011, 07:23 AM
 
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from my understanding weight gain in pregnancy is broke down like this:

 

baby: 6.5 to 9 lbs

placenta:1.5 lbs

amniotic fluid: 2 lbs

boobs: 1 to 3 lbs

uterus enlargement: 2 lbs

fat stores: 6 to 8 lbs

increased blood volume: 3 to 4 lbs

increased fluid volune: 2 to 3 lbs

 

now obviously all of these numbers will be give or take a few pounds, but to only gain 8 or 9 pounds the entire pregnancy? i mean really, im not sure its even possible to gain so little during pregnancy. not saying that your mother/mil are fibbing.. but unless you and your DH were 4lbs at birth and then they were just extremely small framed women that gained .5lbs in each area.. if that.. i dont see how it could happen?

 

i lost weight up until about 18weeks, then morning sickness started to taper off. i'm 5'9, normally 130, and in my second trimester alone i gained about 25lbs. in my third trimester i've only gained a couple. my midwives weren't concerned at all about the lack of weight gain in the first few trimesters.. but if we were still 32 weeks and i had only gained 5 lbs.. yeah.. there would be some serious concerns there


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#5 of 11 Old 01-31-2011, 08:01 AM
 
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lots of people lose fat stores and have a negative balance gain = they weigh less after they gave birth than when they started.

 

i was hoping to gain under 10 lbs, but i am already at 8 pounds and i'm 27 weeks.  don't think it's gonna happen!


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#6 of 11 Old 02-01-2011, 08:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geekgolightly View Post

lots of people lose fat stores and have a negative balance gain = they weigh less after they gave birth than when they started.

 

i was hoping to gain under 10 lbs, but i am already at 8 pounds and i'm 27 weeks.  don't think it's gonna happen!

 


I know someone that started off pregnancy very overweight, lost 15 pounds and still had a 9 pound baby. She did not restrict her diet at all and she made it a point to eat extremely healthy nourishing foods. This can and does happen. On the flip side there are women who restrict food and calories, lose weight and have extremely low birth weight babies.


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#7 of 11 Old 02-01-2011, 10:57 AM
 
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Personally, I believe the range of healthy weight gain is not nearly as strict as the normal "recommended" weight gain for pregnant women.  Usually, a woman of healthy weight is considered healthy if she gains around 25-35 lbs (depending who you're talking to).  More weight gain is expected from an underweight woman, and less is expected from an overweight woman. 

 

However, to me, those are just numbers.  I think that as long as the baby has healthy development and mom is feeling good, a "lower-than-average" weight gain is probably just fine.  Perhaps she didn't need quite as much extra fat as another woman, her breasts may not have grown much, etc.

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#8 of 11 Old 02-01-2011, 11:40 AM
 
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I'm not an expert or anything, but I believe we store hormones and yucky stuff in our fat, and that using that fat to grow a baby would release some of the undesirable things in our fat stores.  Right?  I didn't gain anything for the first many weeks, either, but I am overweight.  at 34w, I've gained 12 pounds.

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#9 of 11 Old 02-01-2011, 12:01 PM
 
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not to mention the fact that babies are made of more than just fat!


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#10 of 11 Old 02-01-2011, 06:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyss View Post

I'm not an expert or anything, but I believe we store hormones and yucky stuff in our fat, and that using that fat to grow a baby would release some of the undesirable things in our fat stores.  Right?  I didn't gain anything for the first many weeks, either, but I am overweight.  at 34w, I've gained 12 pounds.

 

Ha, well, you don't "use stored fat to grow a baby." Glucose (sugar in your blood) is the only 'fuel' a baby can use anyway. 


Fat really is just stored energy... like a gasoline can you carry around with you. When fat is broken down, one pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. & a calorie is nothing more than a unit of energy. So your body breaks down the fat, metabolizes it, and turns it into fuel you & baby both can use (glucose - actually ATP in the cells itself.)

 

I've never heard of anything negative coming from the metabolizing of fat stores like that. Maybe someone who's a registered dietician or biologist or something could expand on this - I'm a fitness instructor, & studying for my certs & own personal interest is where my above knowledge comes from (My Bachelor's degree is in marketing - so I have little university education on this stuff.)

 

All of that aside, my MW doesn't weigh her clients. She has a scale in the bathroom, but says, "You can weigh yourself if you want, either way is fine." I even felt guilty for having gained more than I thought I "should." (I'd gained like 18# at 20W - and I only gained 20# the whole time with my DS! I felt guilty because I HAD been eating more junk food & exercising less than I should have.) I told her the # & she said, "Well, do you not want me to write it down?" Ha! I said, "Nah, might as well put it in the file."

 

She said in The Netherlands they've stopped weighing PG women. I have serious doubts that paying attention to weight gain at all is an evidence-based practice...

 

ETA - thought I'd Google to see what comes up based on my last sentence.

The "Guide to effective care in pregnancy & childbirth" doesn't seem to state anything one way or another on monitoring weight or imposing guidelines. (Not that I found)

 

But Googling:

"pregnancy weight gain evidence"

I found this http://brainblogger.com/2010/10/28/maternal-weight-gain-puts-child-at-risk/

 

"The authors of the study, published in the The Lancet, analyzed the weight gain of more than 500,000 mothers in the United States who gave birth to more than 1.1 million infants over a period of 14 years. The authors reported that excessive weight gain during pregnancy increases not only the infant’s birth weight, but also the child’s risk of obesity later in life. Since the study analyzed multiple pregnancies of the same mothers, genetic factors were ruled out as confounders of the results."

 

Ah, OK, so it does make some sense to pay attention to it.

 

& it's been studied here:

http://www.iom.edu/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Women/PregWeightGain/WorkshopAgenda.pdf

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#11 of 11 Old 02-01-2011, 06:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyss View Post

I'm not an expert or anything, but I believe we store hormones and yucky stuff in our fat, and that using that fat to grow a baby would release some of the undesirable things in our fat stores.  Right?  I didn't gain anything for the first many weeks, either, but I am overweight.  at 34w, I've gained 12 pounds.

 

Ha, well, you don't "use stored fat to grow a baby." Glucose (sugar in your blood) is the only 'fuel' a baby can use anyway. 


Fat really is just stored energy... like a gasoline can you carry around with you. When fat is broken down, one pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. & a calorie is nothing more than a unit of energy. So your body breaks down the fat, metabolizes it, and turns it into fuel you & baby both can use (glucose - actually ATP in the cells itself.)

 

I've never heard of anything negative coming from the metabolizing of fat stores like that. Maybe someone who's a registered dietician or biologist or something could expand on this - I'm a fitness instructor, & studying for my certs & own personal interest is where my above knowledge comes from (My Bachelor's degree is in marketing - so I have little university education on this stuff.)

 

All of that aside, my MW doesn't weigh her clients. She has a scale in the bathroom, but says, "You can weigh yourself if you want, either way is fine." I even felt guilty for having gained more than I thought I "should." (I'd gained like 18# at 20W - and I only gained 20# the whole time with my DS! I felt guilty because I HAD been eating more junk food & exercising less than I should have.) I told her the # & she said, "Well, do you not want me to write it down?" Ha! I said, "Nah, might as well put it in the file."

 

She said in The Netherlands they've stopped weighing PG women. I have serious doubts that paying attention to weight gain at all is an evidence-based practice...


well, we do store things in our fat, some fat-soluble vitamins and hormones, but also some things that could be harmful to a baby if they are released into the mom's bloodstream, like certain drugs and toxines. but if those aren't present in the fat stores of the mom, then there's no harm coming directly from the fat stores. the issues is just making sure that mom is getting all the nutrition she and baby need, and that is glucose, but it's also protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. 

 

I think any weight gain can be good as long as it's a healthy weight gain, mom is getting all the nutrients she and baby need, it goes on at a constant rate (more or less) rather than spiking. with my first, I didn't gain anything until 20 weeks, then gained 40 lbs over the next 19 weeks. I started out on the small side, and didn't seem to need to put on much extra fat stores, as I barely gained anywhere other than my belly. this time I started putting on weight a bit earlier, and actually put some fat on my hips and thighs


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