This weekend I was partaking in every pregnant woman’s favorite past time: hanging out with Google.  I’ve become a master Google-er over this pregnancy (my rules: avoid the forums, avoid the comments, seriously avoid anything that says trigger” ). This time was a little different though. After putting in my query I scrolled down the page and saw a blog post…. that I wrote. On page one of the search results was great advice and an answer to my question that was WRITTEN BY MYSELF.

That really happened. And was a pretty good sign that while I know a lot about the prenatal period, it’s a whole different thing to experience it myself. I’m feeling pretty calm about this pregnancy, but I still spend time every week wondering if what I’m feeling is normal.

Finding my own advice when Google-ing got me thinking that maybe it’s time to revisit some of the advice I’ve given clients over the years. I’ve done a good job of following my own advice in terms of exercises (past clients will be happy to know I’m doing lots of squats, lunges and wall sits!), but I could stand to take some of my own advice about some of the other body “stuff” that accompanies pregnancy.

So, without further ado, two pieces of advice I’ve given to hundreds of pregnant women that I need to take myself this week:

20-28 week weight gain

My experience: After much nausea, I’m starting to feel better. This means I’ve been eating more normally, and I’ve suddenly started putting on weight. I stepped on the scale this weekend and realized I was up 3 lbs from the week before…and immediately took to Google.

My advice: I’ve written about pregnancy and weight gain before (this is the post that came up in my Google-ing adventure above), specifically about how most women gain the bulk of their weight between 20-28 weeks. A significant jump in weight is totally normal during this time, as is suddenly feeling like your belly has really grown overnight. It’s common for a woman to gain 10 lbs in one month during this period- and it doesn’t mean she’ll gain 10 lbs the next month. As I’m a little over 23 weeks (and also finally eating normally) this weight gain is a good sign- baby is growing. A spike in weight gain one week doesn’t mean I’m going to wake up having gained 100 lbs this pregnancy.

On showing/not showing

My experience: I’ve spent time this pregnancy wondering if my belly was too big or too small. I was bloated in the first trimester (Google search: why does my stomach look so big 12 weeks) and then took longer than I expected to show (Google search: don’t look pregnant 18 weeks). One of the funny things about starting to attend lots of Oh Baby! Fitness classes is also that I’m suddenly around other women the same number of weeks as I am- and it’s hard not to compare. And it’s not the kind of comparisons that happens when not pregnant- it has high stakes. When comparing how much I’m showing, I worry “Is my pregnancy healthy? Will my baby be a normal size?”

My advice: There are so many factors that influence when a person shows- what pregnancy # it is for the woman, bloating/constipation, baby position, abdominal strength, and uterus/fetus size and position. Showing early or being bigger doesn’t mean a big baby, just as showing later doesn’t mean an underweight baby. If your doctor says your measuring appropriately (they’ll do this with a fundal height measurement) then you are good to go. Try not to compare yourself with other pregnant women, and trust that your body is doing exactly what it should to grow a healthy baby.

I should probably post that last sentence part up on my computer screen and read it aloud when the urge to Google comes calling. Instead I’ll stick to my wall sits and squats, and try to remember that feeling out of control is probably the biggest sign that I’m having a normal, healthy pregnancy.

What advice do you have to give me about the 2nd trimester? Any advice you’d go back and give yourself?

-Kathleen, co-owner Oh Baby! Fitness

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One thought on “Taking my own advice: body image and weight gain in pregnancy

  • August 30, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Relax and enjoy your pregnancy as much as you can. There’s something so special about experiencing it all for the first time


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