Let’s talk about weight gain in pregnancy

Based on who you talk to and what you read the message re: appropriate weight gain in pregnancy can differ. The estimated appropriate weight gain at the end of pregnancy can range from 15-25 pounds to 25-35 pounds. Some will suggest a weight gain of 1 pound per week starting in the 2nd trimester. Other sources say that you don’t need any extra calories until the 3rd trimester. Most sources agree that the increase in calorie in-take only needs to be 300 extra calories per day (that’s a bowl of cereal with a banana).

Already, I’ve received the “you’re eating for two” comments on several occasions.ย  The impression that I get from this comment is that it’s OK to double up on my portions because I’m pregnant. I can’t help but respond by saying that I’m not really eating for two if one of us (me) is 100+ pounds and the other is only 1 pound ๐Ÿ™‚

I remember Jessica Simpson saying that she gave herself full liberty to eat whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted food with her first pregnancy. She shared that she regretted that afterwards as it was difficult to loose the weight after baby was born (but of course being a celeb, she got a weight loss deal and reached her weight loss goal. we all may not be that lucky!). I can’t remember where I read this, but I remember reading that gaining too much weight in pregnancy tends to set women up to struggle with their weight for the rest of their lives.


Society doesn’t tell me to be careful not to gain too much weight in pregnancy. No, the cultural message that I receive is that I can eat whatever I want, when I want it…because, well, because I’m pregnant! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve received the comment, “make sure you are eating a lot for the baby”, and I haven’t received a comment along the lines of, “make sure what you are eating is full of good nutrition for the baby”.

Confession: during this pregnancy, my eating hasn’t been as healthy as it was prior to pregnancy. I found raw veggies repulsive in the first trimester and carbs were appealing. There are certain aspects of pregnancy (i.e. food aversions) that can get in the way of healthy weight gain and nutritious eating. What I’ve been thinking about is not so much this reality but rather the cultural message of, “eat for two” and “eat whatever you want while you have the excuse”.

Pregnancy and weight gain. A dicey conversation! What do you think about the cultural message that it’s okay to eat what we want, whenever we want it because we are pregnant? Eating for two? Do you have a personal goal re: pregnancy weight gain or do you plan to just roll with it and see what happens? I’d LOVE to hear from you!

4 thoughts on “Let’s talk about weight gain in pregnancy”

  1. I told my midwife just today that I felt much less healthy with this pregnancy. I had a strong fast food aversion with my first pregnancy, but not this time! My boys will be 20 months apart and I gained 23lbs total with the first, 8lbs in the last month of pregnancy. This time I’ve gained 17lbs and it is only the 24th week!
    I did start out this pregnancy 25lbs lighter than I did the first pregnancy. Even at week 24 I haven’t reached my pre-pregnancy weight from the first pregnancy. With my first I also lost 10lbs during the first trimester as a result of nausea, morning sickness, and the previously mentioned fast food aversion. This time I didn’t loose any weight but also didn’t start gaining until about week 12.

    1. You raise a good point: sometimes food aversions can be a good thing (fast food). Mine surprised me as I used to eat raw veggies fairly often. In the first trimester, I could eat them cooked but not raw. Thanks for your comment!

  2. I’m kind of just rolling with it while keeping a semi-cautious eye on how much I eat. I don’t eat desserts, I’m a huge foodie though. My eating habits have not really changed besides actually finishing my plates now rather than always having a little left on it. I’ve gained 15lbs in 24ish weeks and expect to gain another 15-20 by the end. I don’t have a scale at home so I am not obsessing over it but I am keeping an eye on not over eating or eating too much junk, which is quite difficult to do when working full time and taking graduate courses! I’m a little scared of all the food this week for Christmas, but I have a lot of self control and am pretty good at not eating unless I actually feel hungry.

    1. While we have a scale at home, I never use it. I’ve made it a point to only weigh myself @ work and to do that 1x per week. I also don’t want to obsess over a number but rather focus on not over eating or eating too much junk. Good for you re: having a lot of self control! I find the free foods available at the holidays hard to resist. I do better when I’m @ home ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for your comment!

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