One topic that can be both confusing and agonizing for pregnant women is the topic of weight gain. Not only do doctors and midwives sometimes differ on the advice that they dole out regarding how much gain to aim for, they differ in how they handle situations where their patients gain too much weight or do not gain enough weight. Now, consider that all of your friends and family have different opinions and experiences with the topic of pregnancy weight gain which they are all too happy to share with you whether you like it or not. Top it all off with your own personal “body story”, the ideas and beliefs that you have carried with you throughout your life regarding weight, your own history of ups and downs. All of these things taken together can make the very mention of weight gain send you into panic mode.
As someone who has been through two pregnancies, I have had two different experiences with pregnancy weight gain. As a result of these two experiences, my advice to you is to pay attention to what your prenatal care provider says regarding weight gain, but balance their advice with your own gut feelings about your body. If you are hungry, eat. If your stomach is unsettled, eat what you know you can keep down. Aim for a balance of nutritious foods and occasional treats, and do exercise that feels good if your care provider says that it is safe.
The bottom line is that you are the one experiencing your pregnancy, and growing your baby. While others are entitled to their opinions, if you are receiving regular prenatal care and doing the best that you can with the recommendations that your care provider has made regarding weight gain or if your opinion differs even from your care provider and you have done independent research that has provided you with a safe course of action, you are doing great. As for the seemingly endless string of advice that you receive, a very useful phrase to deploy is “oh, that’s interesting” and leave it at that.
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