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Embracing the Bump Without Stress: Weight Gain in Pregnancy

Hey there, mama-to-be! Congratulations on this incredible journey you're embarking on! Pregnancy is undoubtedly a roller-coaster ride filled with excitement, anticipation, and, sometimes also worries. One common concern is the infamous topic of weight gain. Let's see together embracing the bump is possible without the scale stress.

 

Pregnancy is like a symphony of changes, and your body is the orchestra. From a growing bump to those luscious locks and glowing skin, it's a miraculous process, and yes, some extra pounds come with the territory. Don't beat yourself up, a study found that only about one-third (a bit less than 32%) of women gained the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy and most women gained weight outside the recommendations (21% too little, 48% too much).


Pregnant woman on a scale

Focus on Health, Not Just Weight

Shift the focus from weight to overall health. Emphasize the importance of eating nutritious foods, staying physically active (as advised by the healthcare provider), and getting adequate rest. Are you energized? Feeling good? That's the real measure of success. Healthy habits contribute not only to the well-being of the mother but also to the proper development of the baby. Think colorful veggies, wholesome grains, and some occasional treats – because, let's face it, a bit of chocolate can do wonders for the soul. Instead of stressing about every calorie, try practicing mindful eating. Listen to those hunger cues, savor each bite, and stop when you're satisfied. Your body and your baby will thank you for it.



Pregnant woman eating healthy food

Body Image and Self-Esteem Support

Share the recommended guidelines provided by healthcare professionals, emphasizing that these are general ranges and may vary for each individual. Let's be real – body changes can mess with your head sometimes. It's okay to have days when you feel a bit off. Surround yourself with positive vibes – whether it's chatting with other moms-to-be, joining support groups, or simply indulging in some self-love practices like relaxation. You're creating life, and that's nothing short of amazing.


Pregnant woman exercising

Afraid of Stretch Marks?

Although there are many claims about what causes stretch marks and what might help, none of them have been confirmed in good-quality research. Whether or not women get stretch marks not only depends on how much weight they gain in total. Factors like how fast they gain weight can make a difference too. For instance, gaining a lot of weight very suddenly can cause more stretch marks than gaining weight gradually. But it's not clear whether stretch marks can be prevented by keeping your weight down.


Postpartum woman after caesarean birth

Postpartum: Time is Your Ally

You want to fit in your clothes again and the pregnancy clothes feel too loose now. I know it’s hard and frustrating, but give yourself and your body time. No need to add stress to this new situation. When your medical practitioner gives you the go to go back to exercising go for it if you feel like it. Take the time to adjust to this new life first, there’s no rush. Some say that it takes up to 2 even 7 years for your hormone levels and organs to go back to pre-baby state. Listen to your body needs and be thankful for what it has achieved. Too much, or too sudden, weight loss can have disadvantages too. For instance, if you go on a diet that is too strict or too one-sided after having a baby, it could reduce the quantity of your breast milk or the nutrients it contains. If you reduce your calories intake you may also feel energy loss.


Pregnancy (and motherhood) is a wild ride, and weight gain is just a small part of the adventure. But you don't have to be thin to be happy and healthy, and have a healthy baby. Embrace the bump, cherish the changes, and remember that you're not alone in this journey. Focus on nourishing your body and soul, enjoy the process, and let go of unnecessary scale stress. You're a superhero in the making!


 

Sources and references:

- 'Weight Gain During Pregnancy', Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion - June 13, 2022 https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternalinfanthealth/pregnancy-weight-gain.htm

- 'Pregnancy and birth: Weight gain in pregnancy', Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care - June 17, 2009 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279575/

- 'How Long Does It Really Take to Recover After Pregnancy and Birth?', by Karen Laing - August 12, 2015 https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/karen-laing/post-baby-body_b_8739254.html

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