Pregnancy body image and weight gain question

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Jem, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jun 4, 2010

    I had a dream last night I was pregnant, most probably caused by recent Facebook picture postings of several friend's babies. It's baby mania among our circle right now, although everyone is long distance.

    Anyhow, the dream was incredibly real. It really stuck with me, even through the morning. The thing that bothered me the most was the bump. In the dream it felt so awkward. Even after waking up, I was thinking about it while getting ready, driving, etc.

    Dh and I are going to start trying to conceive this fall, and I'm wondering how you all handled the body image and weight gain aspect of pregnancy. I totally understand it's a natural process, and you want to put on some weight for a healthy baby. But I also know that a healthy pregnancy should only be around a 10 pound weight gain, right? I'm sure that's easier said than done.

    Any antidotes would be appreciated-what was it like for you? (Does this even make sense?)
     
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  3. Crzy_ArtTeacher

    Crzy_ArtTeacher Comrade

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    As a 39 week pregnant woman I feel like I have a good idea of what you're talking about. I've always been a slender woman, on the short side at 5'3 and around 115 pounds and lower at some points. The recommended weight gain is not 10 pounds, it is more like 25-35 for an average to underweight woman, and a bit less for overweight woman.

    At the beginning I actually lost a couple of pounds, but as my second trimester progressed I found out at the doctors that I had gained 14 pounds in four weeks. I cried on my way home that day. The numbers on the scale kept getting higher, I allowed myself that one breakdown moment, then got over it. I gained on the higher side but it was mostly in my belly and boobs and I'm constantly told I don't look like about about to deliver. It's really a unique and unpredictable experience from one woman to another.
     
  4. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Trust me, it seems a whole lot worse...maybe that's not the right word...strange...when you are not pregnant, or at least showing. You look at women who are very obviously pregnant and think how in the world can she even get out of bed? But truly, it's not that bad. You gradually grow into your belly, and it is actually quite fun to see the changes your body goes through in a relatively short period of time. The last few weeks are awkward and uncomfortable, but by that time you have other things to think about! I always found it nice to not worry about sucking in my tummy while I was pregnant. You feel proud to show it off!

    Now, 2 weeks after having my son, I am not liking having to worry about my tummy again! I think after you have the baby there is a period of almost mourning for what was there...strange, I know. You have a baby sitting in front of you, but it's weird that just a few minutes, hours, days ago, he was inside of you. It's a weird sensation.

    As far as weight gain, yes, there are guidelines, but I didn't pay much attention to them. I netted 4 pounds gained during this last pregnancy. I weigh less right now than I did before I conceived, actually a lot less. But I also REALLY paid attention to what I was eating (partially due to gestational diabetes, partially due to wanting to do the right thing for the bean!) Many women gain a lot of water weight, which can really add to your pounds. If you are healthy, eating right, taking vitamins, and getting appropriate exercise, you could gain anywhere from 10-50 pounds safely. It is not good to obsess over the scale while pregnant though (not saying you would or anything, just a general comment). I'm not gonna lie, it's not easy when you do step on the scale to see yourself weigh more than you ever have, but you really have to let it roll off and not worry about it. Well, I say don't worry about it, but of course you don't want to sit around eating bon bons and drinking soda all day...but I know you well enough to know you wouldn't do that!

    You'll be an excellent mom, Jem! Your mind is racing with all these questions, but God really does perform some miracles during the whole process, and just kinda lets you know what to do and what not to do, what's right and what's not right. You already have the instinct, otherwise you wouldn't be such a good teacher (and bonus-I really believe that being a parent makes you an even better teacher!). Plus, you have the world's greatest parents right here on this site to ask all those questions to!!! :D
     
  5. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    Jun 4, 2010

    10 pounds? Lol...man that would have been nice. Some ppl only gain that much, and have healthy babies...but it's not what doctors recommend. I gained 45 with twins...they are 6 weeks and I have 10 pounds left to lose. Some lose faster with breastfeeding...which is what I'm doing.
    Just eat healthy foods. I craved fruit...lots of it. Indulge in ice cream or what you like from time to time...or everyday if you like. Light exercise is great if your pregnancy is going well , and doctor says ok. I was on bedrest most of mine.
    It gets uncomfortable towards the end...but it's only a short time.
     
  6. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I'm so glad I have you guys. You make me feel so much better.

    This is all good to know. My stomach has always been the thinnest part of me-never have to suck in-it's just very small. My hips are another story. ;) I guess because I've never had to worry about my stomach when thinking about body image, it's hard to imagine that being the part that will expand the most!

    I also read in a book today (2.5 hours sucked into pregnancy books at Borders) that your arms can get bigger. Yeesh. I've become extremely self-conscious about them anyhow and have working specifically on them at the gym. I guess I just worry that after almost 8 months of working to tone up, I'm going to loose it all.

    And I understand that having a baby is not about body image. But seeing as all I have to do at this point is think ahead, it's front and center in my mind. That and dh is on a business trip and I have no one to talk to right now... ;)
     
  7. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    The most important thing to remember, and probably the hardest with your first baby, is that the best thing you get out of the whole thing is an adorable little precious baby! Yep, you can get stretch marks, and mood swings, and wider hips, and a bigger tummy, and possible scars, and hemorroids :eek: (don't freak out, I didn't and don't personally know anyone who did get them), and a lot of other not so fun things, but the best thing is, you get a wonderful baby. It just makes all the other "gifts" not matter so much!

    And, I've never heard of the arm thing, but I'm sure it's possible.
     
  8. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    But just imagine how toned they could be after 8 months of carrying a baby and all their 'stuff' everywhere! ;)
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jem, where on earth did you hear that???

    I gained only 21 pounds with each of my pregnancies, and that was on the low side. I'm fairly thin to begin with, so I guess that's what my metabolism did with the pregnancy... I pretty much ate everything in town while pregnant. (With Kira, my dad was dying, so I'm sure that stress contributed.) I also lost all my pregnancy weight within a few weeks without any effort at all.

    Figure and 8 or 9 pound baby, plus all the fluids in the amniotic sac, plus all the other weight you need to keep the baby healthy-- 10 pounds sounds to me as though you're starving the baby. Talk to a good OB-GYN before you think about limiting yourself to anywhere near 10 pounds, OK?

    As far as body image goes, it wasn't an issue for me. Aside from that 10 pounds I would love to lose, it's never been something that concerned me at all (well, until my Heffalump issues). I am who I am, and when I look in the mirror, it's to see whether I look as well as I can. As you can probably tell from my other posts, I'm fairly practical; I don't spend lots of time wishing that my life or my looks were different than they were. I look for freelance work instead of buying lottery tickets, if that analogy makes any sense.

    Don't overthink this.

    My pregnancies were totally uneventful-- and I had the girls when I was 42 and 45 respectively. Aside from morning sickness for the first trimester, there was absolutely nothing to report-- none of the nightmare issues that make for good girl talk.
     
  10. MsMar

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    Since you are already on the slim side a 10 pound gain would NOT be healthy. Figure on 20-30 for a healthy weight gain. As far as body image I actually loved how I looked pregnant. And as far as getting back into your pre-pregnancy weight, with both children it took me less than 3 months to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Other than my stretch marks (made mainly by by 2nd pregnancy when I gained about 40 pounds as opposed to my first when I gained 23-25) I have no visible marks of pregnancy.

    I also was pretty fit when I got pregnant with #1. I continued working out 3-4 times per week until about 2 weeks before my due date. I know fitness is big for you, there's no reason you can't do it during your pregnancy if you're having a pregnancy without complications.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 5, 2010

    Here's what the Mayo clinc says:
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy-weight-gain/pr00111

    "
    Pre-pregnancy weight Recommended weight gain
    Underweight (BMI less than 18.5) 28 to 40 pounds (about 13 to 18 kilograms)
    Normal weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9) 25 to 35 pounds (about 11 to 16 kilograms)
    Overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9) 15 to 25 pounds (about 7 to 11 kilograms)
    Obese (BMI 30 or greater) 11 to 20 pounds (about 5 to 9 kilograms)


    If you're carrying twins or multiples, you'll likely need to gain more weight. Again, work with your health care provider to determine what's right for you. "
     
  12. Jem

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    Alice, I have no idea where I got that number. Didn't mean to make people go 'whoah!' ! ;) I'm just starting to learn about all of this, so these stories and facts are great. I started a book last night that talks about this, and it's very interesting. I have to get to an appointment so I can't write more, but I'll be back later. I'm ashamed to even think/write about this, because it feels like this shouldn't even be a thought with pregnancy-you're having a child! It's a blessed event! And it is. I just worry a bit. And I'm NOT one to really think about how I look. I haven't been on a scale in three weeks since my last workout weigh-in and don't plan on looking at my weight until the end of the summer. I never wear make-up, and usually just pull my hair back. I'm very happy with how I look, I just strive to do the best I can at the gym and push myself to goals gently (with lots of oreos along the way...). I don't know why this is such a sticking point in my head right now. I'm sure after reading a few more stories and finishing this book, I'll be fine. I just need to think it out right now.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm not sure what you mean by 'antidotes', Jem...an antidote to how you are feeling or an antidote to weight gain? Truthfully, I loved my 'bump'...never even thought about it as weight gain, just as my sweet babies. You need to get to a healthy place in your head about this before you even think of getting pregnant...
     
  14. MuggleBug

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    As long as you maintain healthy eating and keep up exercise throughout your entire pregnancy, you'll be fine. Don't use it as an excuse to pig out ("eat for two" - you're only supposed to consume maybe an extra 300 calories a day) or be lazy (though admittedly exercise can be touch when you're so tired and lacking energy!) and you shouldn't gain too much. If you plan on breastfeeding for awhile, you're likely to drop the weight pretty quickly anyway. And you can also exercise with baby - go for walks and such.
     
  15. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    The "bump" is looked at very differently when you know your baby is in their, and you won't look at it that way when you are actually pregnant. There will be milestones that make you cry or feel bad, like a previous poster mentioned (gaining 14 lbs). If you are normally a thin woman, you are very likely to lose the weight shortly after you have the baby. My recommendation is that you focus on is reading how to limit stretch marks. My second pregnancy made it clear that no matter how fit I get, a two piece will never be in my wardrobe... ever. LOL Everyday that I spend with my son, makes it completely ok with me. Plus Ruben is so sweet that he calls them badges of honor that only mother can pull off.

    BTW, my second son was 10lbs 5.9 oz, so I def had to gain more than 10 lbs. :)
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Of course, I didn't gain an ounce with Brian :)

    Jem, your post did raise some concerns... I'm not the only one who was reallly concerned to see that you thought a 10 pound weight gain was sufficient. As I'm sure you understand, the overriding concern needs to be the health of the baby, not the appearance of the mom to be.

    And once you have kids, you'll be amazed at how much you focus on the things that really matter, and how the other stuff just isn't even on the radar.
     
  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I gained 15 pounds with each of my two--lower than my doctor would have wanted. I did have gestational diabetes during both pregnancies, so needed to be very aware of my diet--I couldn't eat fruit or drink milk during the last month with Lauren. The others are right, the scale is really unimportant when you have that little bundle of pure bliss in your arms.
     
  18. Jem

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    Regarding the 10 pounds thing-I'm just starting to research this whole pregnancy situation. I have no idea on any facts-thi is really the first book I've read on it, and I asked the question before cracking the cover. So that was a complete guess out of the air without any facts or anything backing it up. I totally understand gaining weight for the health of the baby. It's not about the weight. I was really wanting to know how people felt about their bodies while pregnant.

    Remember-all those who have answered have been through this!! I don't know ANYTHING yet. What seems obvious to you hasn't even occurred to me yet! ;)
     
  19. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    The fact that you are doing research before embarking on the journey is a good thing! You will be prepared to give your baby the best start in life. So, keep asking questions!
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    As I said, I loved my baby tummy...as did my dh. Pregnancy is a wonderful time for most expectant parents...months of wishing, dreaming, planning and hoping. It's a time to take care of yourself and your baby, stay healthy and make choices that will benefit your child.
    I was back in my pre-pregnancy clothes within 3 weeks with both of my children(first son was 9 pounds and change, second son was just under 9 pounds...so I definitely gained more than 10 pounds although it was mostly all 'bump', not overall weight gain) Many pregnant mommies look great in 2 pieces and there is no reason to not be proud of your stretch marks...you earned them! There are many great two piece suits and tankinis which are modest, cover up stretch marks if that's a concern and look great...
     
  21. Crzy_ArtTeacher

    Crzy_ArtTeacher Comrade

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    CzaCza to add to that thought, that pregnant woman look great in two pieces. I just experienced it this weekend, it's Much harder to find a suit that fits your body at this stage. I think it's beautiful, and I felt fine baring my body, minus one little perk of pregnancy. My breasts are now enormous and I felt very uncomfortable trying to fit them in a 'pre-pregnancy' top, they were borderline vulgar :eek: Needless to say I added a tank top on top.

    It's come to a point in time now where I can't even remember what I looked like before I was pregnant, and I do have to say I look forward to the days where I can see my feet again, or not lose my breath when bending over to tie my shoes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
  22. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    :) good luck baby making Jem!

    With my girls I gained 19 pounds with the first then 29 with the second ang **gasp** nearly 70 with the third

    Being pregnant changed my body forever. I will never be super thin again, I fear, but I have something better than thin - I have three pefectly healthy children :)

    There are plenty of ways to stay healthy throughout your pregnancy and ways to maintain a healthy weight while still providing enough for your baby.
     
  23. Pisces_Fish

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    You know Jem, it's funny. Whenever I have a dream about being pregnant it's a wonderful feeling! I feel beautiful, sexy, and just...happy. It's hard to explain. I actually have them frequently, and I enjoy being pregnant in my dreams :) Anyone else feel this way?
     
  24. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    There is something so beautiful about that bump that I think can't be explained in words. Only the mother and father to be can feel that level of beauty... if that makes sense.

    czacza, there is no doubt some two pieces that I could pull off, but I'm okay with not trying. I feel good in the one pieces, plus they contain my big boobs better I've found. LOL. Every change that my body went through was sooo well worth it for me. :)
     
  25. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jem... I was one of those that gained weight (sorry don't remember right off hand how much), but when you looked at me people didn't go WHOA!!! LOL!!!

    After #2 my nurse had a trainee with her & they came in to "check on me." The older nurse said, "Yup, this momma was all baby," because my belly went down pretty quickly!!! LOL!!!

    I will agree keeping an eye on stuff you eat & make sure you do exercise within your docs guidelines. I didn't do anything to stressful, but I did try to make sure I took a nice walk at the end of my day!!!
     
  26. TampaTeacher2Be

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    Jun 7, 2010

    Jem,

    I think it is totally normal to be freaked out by the thought of pregnancy. I myself am completely freaked out - not so much of the weight gain, but the actual process of giving birth. That terrifies me! :eek:hmy:
     
  27. Jem

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    Well, I just found out last night that one of my best friends is pregnant. So I guess I now have a 'real' person to get advice from! Hahah. Again, she's long distance, but I'm sure she'll be sending out lots of e-mails. Funny thing is she got engaged, then we got engaged a few months later. They had their wedding, we had our a month later. We'll see if the trend continues. ;)
     

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