You have likely heard that every woman is different, and every pregnancy is different. But don’t take our word for it — read what fit mom ambassador, Rachel, has to say about the differences between her first and second pregnancies in terms of weight gain.
I am a mom to a beautiful little girl who was born in November 2011. I am currently pregnant with Baby no.2 who should join our family around mid-October. I have been a blogger on Emily Reviews for a little over a year now. We do mostly products review and I love to introduce our readers to green products, health-promoting products, baby/kids products, and all kinds of innovative products. You can follow us on Emily Reviews, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest.
When it comes to pregnancy and weight gain, everybody is different, or rather, every body is different. No one knows exactly how their body will react to this new and marvelous adventure and I feel this can sometimes become a taboo subject even between moms or moms-to-be. There also is an expectation that we should all gain only a few pounds and of course be back in our skinny jeans the month after we give birth.
Based on my personal experience, I can tell you that each pregnancy can be different. First of all, I want to say – and I’m sure all of you know – that weight gain is totally normal. As long as you eat healthy, stay active, and discuss your weight gain with your health care professional, there is no reason get overly stressed by how many pounds you gain. The reason I chose to discuss this topic with you is precisely because I think it’s important to have realistic expectations about what your body is going through.
So here is my story. I have always had to be careful about my weight. I love to eat and even though I try my best to make healthy choices, I’m not perfect and I love ice cream way too much for my own good… Based on that fact, I was totally expecting to have to be extra careful when I became pregnant for the first time in February 2011.
To my amazement though, my weight gain was very slow and steady throughout my entire pregnancy and by the time I gave birth in November 2011, I had gained only 14 lbs. I had minimal body aches, no swelling, lots of energy. I didn’t even make extra efforts not to gain weight (it is obviously not recommended to diet while pregnant). I gave birth to a beautiful 8 lbs 3 oz baby girl and was basically back to my pre-pregnancy weight in about 2 weeks. Now I’m not a super hero: it’s just the way my body reacted to pregnancy and birth with little to no control on my part.
Now fast forward a couple years and I found myself pregnant again in January 2013. Of course, my first thought was that this was a second pregnancy and that I would probably show sooner, gain a few more pounds. I was ready for it but in the back of my mind, I expected my body to react in more or less the same way it did two years ago. Little did I know it had a plan of its own… Not only did I show a lot sooner, my weight gain was also very different. Instead of a slow steady increase, this time around I gain pounds in clusters. Sometimes I don’t gain an ounce in 2 weeks and the following week I step on the scale and find that I suddenly gained 3-4 pounds. I had already gained 14 pounds (as much as I did in my entire first pregnancy) by week 20. I am now 32 weeks pregnant and I have gained 23 lbs. I will probably gain another 5-10 pounds before I give birth.
What’s different? Well, I think I’ve been eating as much and as healthy as I did last time. But I have a toddler who needs a lot of my time and attention so I don’t have as much time to dedicate to exercising and cooking. I don’t rest as much as I would like. My body aches more. My big belly gets in the way.
Other than not having as much time to cook and exercise, one of the main reasons I can think of to explain this difference is that my pre-pregnancy weight for Baby no.2 was about 10 lbs less than my pre-pregnancy weight for Baby no.1. I guess my body is trying to stock up a few more pounds in preparation for the birth, breastfeeding, etc.
To be honest, I don’t really care about the number I see on the scale, as long as my midwife tells me it’s okay. I’m not even worried about losing the weight afterwards. I know it’ll take time and effort but there’s not point freaking out about it now. All I can do is continue to eat healthy and stay active. I’m just overwhelmed by how different both pregnancies have been particularly in terms of weight gain. I’m sure I’m not the only one in this situation but I don’t personally know anyone who’s had a similar experience which is why I wanted to share mine with you.
Pregnancy is such a special experience. It’s a demanding time for the body of course but I rather focus my energy on how to stay healthy and prepare myself for the birth instead of worrying about the number I see on the scale. As I said before, if your health care professional and you are okay with the way your body changes during pregnancy, whether you’re gaining 15 lbs or 50 lbs, I would strongly urge you to cherish and trust your body since it’s what is making it all possible!
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Please welcome Alyssa, our latest For Two Fitness Ambassador! Alyssa is the mom of two young girls, and is excited to have number 3 on the way. She keeps fit during pregnancy and postnatal times by walking, practicing yoga, and doing low impact strength training. Alyssa has run a number of half marathons, and is looking forward to participating in one in 2019. Please follow Alyssa on her website.