A Word About Pregnancy Weight Gain

Dear Doctor,

I'm frustrated. No, that's too nice. I'm pissed off. 

At my 34-week appointment yesterday, I was told for, not for the first or second time, that you are "concerned" with my weight gain. That I am not "allowed" to gain any more weight, and that if I don't maintain until baby comes, I'm "in trouble."

A. What the fuck? What exactly will you do to me if I do, in fact, gain a dreaded pound or two?
B. I have gained 40 lbs.

They say, depending on your pre-pregnancy weight, a 25-35 lb gain is "healthy." So I guess I don't understand why alarms are going off that I've gained 5 lbs more than the recommended amount.

4 weeks pregnant

Let's look at Hayden Panettiere. Same height as me, same weight gain. Granted, I did not weigh 106 lbs pre-pregnancy (and I kinda doubt she did either). Is anyone jumping down her throat?

I have friends who have gained 60+ pounds during pregnancy. I even know women who have gained 90+ pounds. Did their doctors say a word? NOPE.

Obviously, the goal when pregnant is not to gain a ton of weight, but it's part of the process. Let's look at where some of the pounds go:
In an average pregnancy, weight gain is distributed as follows:
Baby -- 6-8 lbs.
Placenta -- 1-2 lbs.
Increased fluid volume -- 2-3 lbs.
Increased blood volume -- 3-4 lbs.
Amniotic fluid -- 2 lbs.
Enlarged uterus -- 2 lbs.
Enlarged breasts -- 1-2 lbs.
(I am confident my enlarged breasts are at least 5 lbs, and I'm not even kidding.)
Stored fat and protein (important for lactation) -- 6-8 lbs.
For shits and giggles, let's say I am on the high end of all of those numbers. That comes to 31 pounds. Which means I have 9 extra pounds floating around my body somewhere.

Am I crazy to think that's normal?!

10 weeks pregnant

Here's the other thing, doctor. I will be the first to admit that I have not been "perfect" in eating in my pregnancy. There have been days when I went over the 300 extra calories you're supposed to eat. There have been days (more than a few) when I gave in to my pizza or burger craving. I have eaten fast food, but I'm confident I can count on one hand the number of times that has happened in the past 34 weeks.


A typical day of eating for me looks like this:

Breakfast: Bagel and cream cheese or English muffin with peanut butter; fruit, orange juice. Coffee some days.
Lunch: Soup or salad, maybe a little of each. 
Sometimes a sandwich from Subway or Jimmy Johns, with chips.
Snacks: Fruits, veggies or yogurt
Dinner: Typical meals are tacos, pulled pork/chicken, or chicken stir-fry. Perhaps a chicken breast with a starch and vegetable.
Dessert: I am guilty of having a handful of candy in the evenings. Sometimes ice cream.

This menu? NOT THAT DIFFERENT FROM WHAT I ATE BEFORE I WAS PREGNANT. The major difference is that I eat more carbs that I did pre-pregnancy. For example, at dinner, if we have tacos, in the past I would just have a taco salad, whereas now, I go for the shells. If I have a burger, I eat the bun. Etc.
33 weeks, 6 days

I am also active. Up until about 30 weeks, I was at the gym about 4-5 times a week. Now, I only make 2-3, but on the days I don't, I make sure to at least walk for 30 minutes. I know for a fact this is more than MANY people can say, pregnant or not.

PLUS, dearest, doctor, you more than anyone should know that when you weigh yourself, any time you do so inconsistently, you're going to fluctuate. For example, most of my appointments with you are in the late afternoon, when I've had 2 liters of water, and at least two meals in the day. What I'm wearing is also a factor. It's fucking cold, and I'm wearing a bulky sweater and boots. How much I weigh is probably going to be different than if you weigh me first thing in the morning, naked. If you'd let me strip down, we probably wouldn't have this conversation. Case in point: The scale this morning before I stepped in the shower was a solid 5 lbs less than it was before I went to bed last night.

Bare belly at 34 weeks, 5 days. (My mirror is dirty).

Doc, I'm just frustrated because the last fucking thing I want to worry about at this point of my pregnancy is not gaining weight. I want to focus on the excitement of finishing our nursery. On the fact that we get to meet our sweet boy in 5-6 short weeks. I don't want to think about cutting out carbs and sweets. I will worry about that shit when I am trying to lose the baby weight, not grow a healthy human being.

In conclusion, doctor, while I appreciate your care and concern, what I'd really like to say is Fuck you and your opinion of my weight.

This PSA brought to you by pregnant women, everywhere.


  1. I think you look great! Everyone's body responds to pregnancy differently. I'm 28 weeks and my dr has yet to say a word about my weight. You are clearly making good choices, and that's all that matters. Also, I can about guarantee all that weight will fall off as soon as you start breast feeding! Again, you look awesome and you are making a child. Doctors can buzz off :)

  2. Thanks, Jackie! I appreciate it. Buzz off is a much nicer way to phrase what I want to tell them to do :) Congrats on your pregnancy!

  3. EAT THOSE TACO SHELLS, THAT CANDY AND BOWLS OF ICE CREAM! You being active will allow you to lose the weight. You don't have gestational diabetes so you should not worry about what the doctor says. They are probably worried that your concern when you have the baby is that you have to lose so much weight, but half of that will be gone when you leave the hospital. Fuck 'em and enjoy your last weeks! You look great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. FUCK 'EM is right, lady! Thank you for the kind words!

  4. I don't think that is much weight at all! You look fantastic.

    I know of a girl who gained about 40 kg (80 pounds?) and she was never told off. She was quite short too!

    Also, I love that you swear when you blog. More people need to and I need to stop filtering my swearing haha.

    1. Haha, thanks, Rhiannon. I think i recently started swearing because I realized there was no point in filtering. And in this case, I'm really pissed off. :)

  5. Rachel, you're doing great. You look great. Your scoot is obviously choosing to make a big deal out of something that isn't for some reason. And what is she really going to do if you put on a few more?? You can't not eat. And my nephew needs food! Also the fact that you are still making sure you are active is great- not a lot of pregnant (or not) people do that! Embrace and enjoy these last few weeks and eat an extra bowl of ice cream tonight ;) love you!

    1. Thanks, Natpack. I know I'm all good, doctors are just annoying. I'd rather give up the carbs than candy or ice cream :) :) Love you!

  6. So frustrating. Just finish growing that baby. The weight will figure itself out later.


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