When I was 8 months pregnant with my first child, my husband frequently took me to the Chuck-a-Rama all-you-can-eat buffet. He thought it was hilarious how much I could eat, and I was in heaven. Chocolate pudding on the same plate as french-fries and pasta? It was a pregnant woman’s dream.
Sure, I gained weight while I was pregnant (as did my husband), but I figured it was the one time in my life where that was completely OK. So when I see pregnant women talking about staying thin during pregnancy, it worries me.
That obsession with weight during pregnancy has caught the attention of doctors, including Dr. Nancy Snyderman, who said on the ‘Today’ show this week that moms who don’t eat during pregnancy to stay thin are “starving” their babies.
“We have become cuckoo about hating our bodies, and this self-loathing … pregnancy should be nine months of root beer floats and bliss, and deal with it afterwards. I think this is an Upper East Side, white girl, obnoxious problem,” Snyderman said on ‘Today.’
I agree. I am particularly upset by weight-obsessed pregnant women because I had no control over my weight while I was pregnant. I lost 20 pounds within a few weeks, couldn’t digest any food and ended up surviving on IVs for the first 16 weeks of my pregnancy. I worried the entire time that my child was deprived of essential nutrients to fuel her physical and mental growth. I cried at every doctor’s appointment as my weight dropped.
So to see women choosing to limit calories or bragging about their minimal weight gain during pregnancy makes me sad. Now, I’m not saying women should go on crazy eating binges; I’m just saying no woman should feel guilty about gaining appropriate pregnancy weight.
At some point, I think women need to realize that getting pregnant is not a “hip” thing to do, or that it’s even about the mother. It’s about sacrifice, and one thing we lay on the altar is our bodies.
Skinny jeans will wait. Your body will bounce back. The most important body is that little one in utero counting on you to survive.
Any advice for weight-obsessed moms-to-be? How did you deal with weight gain during pregnancy?
Erin Stewart is a regular blogger for Deseret News. From stretch marks to the latest news for moms, Stewart discusses it all while her 4-year-old daughter crams Mr. Potato Head pieces in her little sister’s nose.