Body image during pregnancy

posted 3 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 2
Member
1945 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I don’t think you need to gain a lot of weight during pregnancy, outside of the human growing inside. And the added boobage.

“Eating for two” apparently means the equivalent of one banana in extra calories required per day. 

You can still exercise.

I’ve never been pregnant though so obviously I’ve never been through the cravings and whatnot making weight gain unstoppable. 

I have two friends who got skinnier during pregnancy, perfectly healthy babies.

Post # 3
Member
7778 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I think it is hard in a society that thinks thin is beautiful. But remember, pregnant doesn’t mean fat. There is a very specific purpose for the weight gain and it is necessary. Im 27 weeks and I’ve gained 7lbs so far and I’m still wearing my pre-preganancy jeans (with a baby belly hanging over of course )- but the rest of me hasn’t ballooned up. This is my third pregnancy though- so I do know how things can mostly bounce back.

Post # 4
Member
1407 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

So sad we live in a culture where this is an issue, and that your family pushed this idea on you. More than likely your body WILL NOT ever be quite the same. But even without a baby you will get old and change. That’s life. If it helps at all to put it in perspective, there are many of us bees who would have liked to get pregnant, but we weren’t able to conceive. 

Post # 5
Member
37 posts
Newbee

Pregnancy doesn’t automatically have to mean gaining a ton of weight, ballooning up like crazy, and forever destroying your pre-baby body. I was 5’4″ and 150 lbs pre-pregnancy (size 6-8). I didn’t really start showing until after 30 weeks, didn’t wear any maternity tops, and only wore maternity pants at the very end. Overall I gained 16 lbs and my daughter was born at a healthy 7 lbs 14 oz. I basically dropped all of the baby weight right after and only gained a little back thanks to my milk coming in and eating like crap for a few weeks (we went on a road trip to visit family). I’m working on toning up again now, but I don’t look like I’ve had a baby at all. I was back to my regular shape within a few weeks.

I grew up with a mom who was very critical of my appearance. She’d force me to diet in high school (I was not in any way overweight). I gained some weight in college and she constantly made rude comments about it. I dropped the weight years later and she’d still say nasty things about how I could get to an even lower weight because I had plenty of fat to lose (I was almost too skinny at that point). At 20 weeks pregnant, I only had a very tiny bump. My mom’s exact words were “You’re getting chubbier” and yes she knew I was pregnant. 

Just relax. Try to eat smart, get some exercise, and you’ll be fine.

Post # 6
Member
37 posts
Newbee

Yes you will gain weight and you may or may not get stretch marks but in the end it’s because you’ve been carrying a baby for 9 months, your body had changed a huge amount in those months. Weight can be lost with a good diet and exercise and you can get creams to make stretch marks look better. My baby is 3 months old now and he used to lay on one side of my tummy so one side now hangs lower than the other and I have tons of stretch marks. I don’t care about the stretch marks I already some on my hips anyway now just got more there and on my tummy, most people call them tiger stripes. But as much as I do honestly hate my stomach I’m gonna start exercising to make it better and just look at my baby when I feel bad and have cuddles and remember that it’s his fault but I wouldn’t change any of it cause I love him SO much.

Post # 7
Member
499 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I understand how you feel- I have found (at 16 weeks) the best self-confidence boost is exercising. I am still running and doing yoga and the surge of endorphins you get during and afterwards makes you proud of your body, regardless of the shape or size. Even just a brisk walk in some cute exercise clothes can make a world of difference! It feels great to know hat your body can do- grow a human being and do incredibly strong and athletic endeavours at the same time!

Post # 8
Member
3545 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 29th, 2016

lovepuppies978 :  I won’t be TTC for at least a year and I worry about the changes that my body will go through… But your little bundle of joy will totally be worth it! I don’t know anyone that would trade their child for their pre-pregnancy body. I hope that you’re able to come to terms with the fact that some weight gain and stretch marks just come with the territory, and that you shouldn’t feel shamed by them.

I understand how hard it is when you grew up with a certain pressure, because I myself struggled with body image issues and it took me a while to see that there was nothing wrong with my body and weight. If it’s any comfort, my sister really got into exercising and lifting after she had my niece and her body is amazing! Way more toned than I am and I’ve never had a child. So it’s not the end of the world if you do have some extra weight gain if you’re willing to work it off! 🙂 

Post # 9
Member
1200 posts
Bumble bee

I’ve had similar feelings. If you are starting at a normal weight, you’re typically supposed to gain 20-35 pounds throughout your pregnancy. You have very real caloric needs in the second and third trimesters–about 300 and 500 extra per day respectively. The weight that you gain is helping to sustain your baby and build up your stores for nursing after the baby is born. Breastfeeding burns a ton of calories–think about it, all of the weight that baby gains initially is from energy produced by your own body (assuming you choose to breastfeed or pump of course–not judging anybody’s decisions here!). They say to be patient with the weight loss too–if it takes 9 months to put it on, it could take some time to lose as well. But look at it this way–the day that your baby is born, you’ll instantly lose 10-15 pounds, and a lot of the water weight and blood volume weight comes down over the following weeks. That leaves most women who gain a healthy amount of weight with 10 or so pounds of “real” weight to lose, which is not such a scary hurdle. I am struggling with hating how my body looks too, but then I just think about the ways that I’m growing and sustaining my baby, and it helps 🙂

Post # 10
Member
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Like you, my mom has been kind of critical about my weight. Prepregnancy I was a size 4-6 (which made her happy) and I was usually able to maintain it, and she’s pretty quiet unless I gain. Anyway, I’m 34 +4 and I’ve gained 24 pounds so far. I can still wear my regular jeans if I wear a belly band with them but these days I stick to maternity jeans and leggings. I wear my regular shirts if they were flowy or long already (my arms haven’t gotten bigger either). I have stretch marks – most are light but they’re there. You kind of learn to live with your body changes, and trust me, you’ll even start to love them! A huge part of it I think is having support – my husband encourages me so much and tells me how beautiful I am and believe it or not, so does my mom. I’m not saying anyone should go out there and gain 100 pounds but you literally cannot control a lot of it – most of the weight I put on has been in these last few weeks because my baby is growing. Don’t spend your pregnancy worrying too much about your body. Embrace the wonderful things about it. I actually feel best when I wear a form fitting maternity dress, and I honestly wish I spent less of my first trimester worrying about how much I’d gain. We’re women and we’re doing the most amazing thing.. I like to focus on that part instead 😊

Post # 11
Member
222 posts
Helper bee

ladyvictoria :  I actually do know someone who regrets their baby because of her post-pregnancy body and it was a huge part of her divorce from her husband. There are women who sadly feel that way so it can happen.

lovepuppies978 :  your body will change, there’s no doubt about that. But having a baby was something you wanted and chose. You can’t have it both ways — being pregnant, a baby AND pre-pregnancy body. Something’s got to give, so my advice would be to live without regrets and keep on looking forward. After the baby is born do your pelvic exercises every day, put bio oil on your stretch marks and call it a day. All the best!

Post # 12
Member
3545 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 29th, 2016

pearla :  That’s very unfortunate and thankfully not the norm. I understand that some women experience post-partum depression, but if they regret their child in the long-term, then there are probably other factors at play and it probably isn’t just about their body changing… 

Post # 13
Member
4232 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom

I’m 24 weeks pregnant with baby #1. I totally get where you are coming from with the body image stuff. Right now, I feel like I just look fat. But I have to say, the more weight I’ve gained, the better I actually feel…maybe because I’m starting to ‘look’ pregnant, so my mentality and self image is changing. 

I find treating myself to some stylish maternity clothes and keeping my manicure fresh really helps me still feel pretty. As for afterwords, YES your body wont be quite the same again…but it is more than likely you’ll get it ‘close enough’ 🙂

Post # 14
Member
1952 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I felt the same way as you when I was pregnant. I was very slim pre pregnancy and was worried my body would be forever changed. I’m 16 months postpartum and happy to report I’m completely back to normal. I gained 35lbs during pregnancy and lost most of it by 6 weeks pp and all of it by 10-12 weeks. Breastfeeding helped and even though I had a hard time at first (baby had a tongue tie) I stuck with it and it paid off (for baby’s health and my vanity!) you can totally get back to normal if you don’t create bad habits while pregnant! One bad habit I created was not working out as much so I have lost quite a bit of leg and butt muscle. My arms are still strong from constantly carrying around my butterball. But my stomach is completely flat and I even still have abs. You can and will get back to your pre pregnancy body! 

Post # 15
Member
237 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I get it! I’m into my third trimester now and it just isn’t that fun. I think that every body and woman is different- you don’t really know how much you will show, where you will gain and when it will happen. 

I have had a wonderful pregnancy. I have only gained about 12lbs, I stay active- although I go to the gym only 3 days/wk instead of 4-5 like I used to but it is still hard. 

I have found my biggest adjustment to be dealing with my physical limitations moreso than my appearance. I expect weight gain and a bump as a pregnant woman. It’s the more short of breath, more modifications during my workouts, harder to pick things up that is hard. I am an independent, very stubborn person that doesn’t like to feel like I need help or can’t do something and I get pretty disheartened and feel judged by other “able bodied” people. I think I didn’t really realize the physical toll that carrying a little life could take on my body. 

Hugs to you! Wishing you a happy, healthy pregnancy. 

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