I am six months pregnant and it seems that everyone has something to say about my weight, what I am eating and how I look. It’s like people are obsessed with my size; especially the size of my belly! Why can’t they just ask me how I feel? Or if I am excited about becoming a mommy in just a short three months? If you have ever been pregnant or are currently pregnant, you may have experienced similar comments. Perhaps you’ve even been criticized for being too small.
I have a friend that just delivered a beautiful, healthy baby girl; coincidentally on my birthday. She shared with me that many people said she needed to gain weight and that she was “too small” throughout her pregnancy. What do these people know? If the mom-to-be is taking care of herself, eating well and getting ample nutrients then it’s none of their business. My friend is super conscious about what she puts in her body and the end result was proof that she wasn’t too small or too big. She was just right.
Personally, I have spent YEARS letting go of obsessive thinking surrounding my weight and body image. Once I became pregnant that shifted. At first you couldn’t tell I was pregnant. At about 16 weeks, I could notice a difference and my pants were getting snug. I was entering that “awkward phase” of pregnancy where you can tell that you are pregnant (and putting on weight), but others can’t. I wanted to wear a big sign that said “Hey, I’m not just chubby, I am pregnant!”
Eager to leave this awkward stage of pregnancy, I went shopping for clothes that fit my changing body. This was an uncomfortable experience for me. Nothing looked right. I felt big and you couldn’t see “my baby bump” yet. I was fearful you never would.
Here reinstated thoughts of weight gain and body image. How could it not? I was pregnant. Feelings of self-consciousness overwhelmed me as I tried on various loose-fitting outfits. Eventually I selected a few pieces that were comfortable.
It has been 10 weeks now since my first experience in a fitting room and things are progressing quite nicely. We decided to find out the gender at our 20 week appointment-we are having a boy! My husband and I couldn’t be happier. All of his organs, fingers and toes are in the right places and we are so grateful.
This is what’s important. Not a number on a scale or a tight and toned body. The health and well-being of our growing baby boy. Still, my pregnancy app kindly pointed out that my weight gain was “excessive” as I approached the 24 week mark. I tried not to let it phase me, but it did. To me, it said “you are failing”. Knowing better, I brushed it off and joked about the application’s hypocrisy with friends and family.
As I was heading home from a recent business trip to Toronto, the women behind the airport’s concession counter asked, “how far along are you”? To that, I answered, “I am six months”. She said, “wow you are a good size!” A good size? WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN!?!?!?!?
This is the third person over the past month that told me “I was a good size”. Do these people realize that I still workout five days a week, eat a predominantly plant-based diet and am taking the best care of myself that I can? I even gave up wine for Pete’s sake! The answer is no, they don’t.
We are humans and we sometimes say stupid things. I have to remember that as I embark on the final months of my pregnancy. I am the only one who knows how I feel and what I am doing to care for my growing baby and the body he calls home.
If I didn’t have to go on a scale again, I wouldn’t; but it is routine at each monthly visit to the OB/GYN. Therefore making pregnancy hyper-focused on weight. This can be tough for some women, especially if they struggled with their weight and body image in the past.
Turns out I survived the awkward stage of pregnancy and have a full blown “nice sized’ baby bump now. To all of you that are chomping at the bit to comment on a pregnant woman’s size, you may want to think twice. Most every woman has struggled with body image in some form and we all have our own story.