Are you thinking about weight gain now that you're pregnant? Have you become preoccupied with tracking your weight? Has your midwife asked to weigh you at appointments?
It's a common question at this stage in pregnancy. What's normal weight gain? Am I gaining more weight than I should be? How will this affect me after pregnancy?
You will notice some changes in your body shape as your baby gets bigger.
A change in weight is expected, and NEEDED, during pregnancy - attempting to avoid this can increase your risk of lower birth weight, miscarriage and premature birth, as well as affecting your risk of anxiety and depression. If weight gain is something that is potentially triggering for you, please speak to someone who can help you manage your feelings about this and put a plan in place.
I started my pregnancy preoccupied with weight gain, weighing myself almost daily, looking for changes in my body in the mirror. It was made worse by looking at pictures of teeny tiny pregnant women on instagram, with petite baby bumps.
The first thing I did was to understand the physiology of what was happening to me. What changes could I expect and why.
Weight gain during pregnancy comes from not only your baby, but the placenta, amniotic fluid, fat & other nutrient stores, uterus and breast tissue, and an increased blood and fluid volume. There’s a lot going on that is vital to your baby’s healthy development, and your ability to have a safe birth, so see this helped me view the changes as a positive.
It was around this time that I discovered intuitive eating, and was working on the rejecting diet culture. Once I started accepting that weight, and particularly BMI, does not define health in the way we are led to believe, it was far easier to ditch the scales and focus on the present moment.
I began to seek out more diverse images of pregnant women and mothers, unfollowing anyone who focused on 'the perfect pregnant bod' or 'snapping back after birth'. This went hand in hand with finding the positive birth movement and hypnobirthing, but that's another story!
It wasn't always easy. People would comment on my pregnant body and what my bump looked like, and it was incredibly hard not to see this as both praise or criticism. People can't help themselves. As a society, we are exposed to so many messages that tell us thinner is better, so it's understandable that women especially feel the need to comment.
Rather than thinking about the amount of food I ate, or the calories or macros etc, I focused on including foods that made my body feel good, and that provided the nutrients I knew my baby needed to grow well.
That meant sometimes I ate takeaway pizza, other times I ate a bowl of salmon and rice, and yes I even ate big bars of chocolate.
And I enjoyed it all.
I listened to my body.
I ate when it felt hungry.
I chose foods when it needed something cold and sour or comforting and warm.
And I stopped when it felt satisfied.
If you would like support making pregnancy food choices that you actually ENJOY and feel nourished by, then let's chat.
Book a discovery call with me and let's make your pregnancy nutrition goals a reality.