33 Weeks: Worth The Weight

Weights (2)

A snippet from one of my pregnancy apps where I’ve been recording my weight at my doctor’s appointments : )

I have gained 17 pounds according to my doctors’ scale last week, but it’s probably closer to 20 if you count those first few weeks before my first appointment at 8 weeks. Since I don’t weigh myself at home, I don’t really have an official starting weight, but if you look at my 8 week photo, I don’t think I put on more than a couple of pounds, so I just subtracted 3 pounds from my 8 week weight to get a good start idea. Up ~20 total with 6 weeks to go. The normal range is 25-35, so I think I will end up right in the middle of that, or perhaps slightly less. [Gosh I should really shoot for a 26 pound gain!! How cool would that be!?]

As you see in the graph, I shot up a lot in the first trimester – above average – probably a combination of bloating and feeling so terrible and eating poorly. As soon as the second trimester hit, my weight gain slowed a lot. In fact, from weeks 16-20 I didn’t gain a single pound! I’m not sure how that happened. More vegetables, less cheese, I’d assume : ) As the baby has grown a lot more in the third trimester, I’ve gained about 3 pounds a month.

I really haven’t done anything differently with my diet. In fact, I’d say aside from a few isolated pockets of days and the temporary need for almonds at bedtime to sleep through the night, I have been LESS hungry than I was before I was pregnant!! I am 99% attributing this to a drastic reduction in exercise intensity. (And this makes me think twice about how much I was doing before too. Although I definitely miss the burn!)

I’ve definitely loosened up my diet a little bit – there is no need to cut back so much after a vacation or few days of overeating to balance it out because I don’t want to deprive the baby or feel hungry. But I’d say for the most part, my meals are only slightly bigger (or really if anything – they are smaller because of my stomach space reduction!) and I’m snacking either the same or less. I really imagined myself being famished throughout pregnancy like I was the days after a long run! But that hasn’t been the case.

I haven’t counted calories or anything to see where I’m ending up, but I would guess around 2,000-2,500 for a daily average. Considering in the third trimester calorie needs are ~450 additional, that makes sense. It’s all still a squiggly line if you listen to your hunger cues.

32 weeks-20

I’m always fascinated to see how the weight is piling on. I obviously haven’t gained 20 pounds of pure fat over these past 8ish months.

This site breaks it down as the following up delivery:

  • 7 – 9 pounds of baby
  • 2 pounds of placenta
  • 2 pounds of amniotic fluid
  • 4 – 5 pounds of increased blood volume
  • 2 pounds uterine enlargement
  • 3 – 4 pounds of fluid in maternal tissue
  • 1 pound of breast enlargement to prepare for breastfeeding
  • Any remaining pounds are a general deposit of fat required by the body for breastfeeding and energy stores

That’s 21 – 25 pounds worth of baby stuff with the rest as maternal fat stores (on D-day).

It’s pretty clear to me that I’ve put on some fat stores – in my arms and legs/hips/sides for sure. I’d guess my stomach too but it’s stretched so much it’s hard to tell! But I’m still curious to know what I’ve gained as pregnancy side effects/baby and what I’ve gained as fat. If I’m up about 20 pounds of baby etc. upon delivery, and gain close to 26, that’s about 6 pounds leftover of real fat (or possibly a little more) – and something that sounds totally manageable to take back off. But I guess I will just have to wait and see what happens! I’m in no rush at all to lose the weight, but I am hoping I will be back in most of my winter clothes by the winter (maternity can get me through the fall!) – contingent also on rib and hip structure changes!

IMG_0995 27 weeks (7) 28 weeks (2) 32 weeks-21

Whatever the gain ends up being, it’s been worth the weight : )



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Thank you, Thank you

The Little Turtle

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50 thoughts on “33 Weeks: Worth The Weight”

  1. I have not done so well in the weight gain department. I’ve gained 42lbs at 35 weeks! Yikes. I did eat terribly in the first trimester and have gotten better since but I think the damage had already been done. My dr. isn’t one that gets on you about your weight gain though he pretty much just says “it’s up to you to lose it!” and I don’t have GD or anything. I’m guessing by the time I deliver I’ll have about 25 – 30 lbs to lose of fat. I’ve lost weight before and kept it off though so I will definitely get back to exercising and tracking my food. I know what to do and will not keep the weight on so I’m not too worried.
    You’ve done great!! I bet you’ll be back in your clothes by Winter no prob 🙂

    1. I have heard of lots of stories of women who are on the small side before pregnancy gaining tons of weight and dropping it nearly overnight – sometimes it’s mostly water. Another example of everyone is different 🙂 I wouldn’t stress too much – just see where you stand after you’ve had a chance to heal postpartum.

      1. Reghan, I gained 35 -40 lbs and had a baby born at 34 weeks. Over 20 lbs came off in the first week, so I would say about 15 lbs was extra fat/ boob milk, etc. I’ve got to say, though, that breast feeding takes a lot out of me and the fat has slowly been coming off with a healthy diet and exercise 3 times a week. So your body knows what is best, sometimes you’ve got to gain more lbs. Don’t stress about weight gain, it will come off. Your body is an amazing thing providing everything for a baby. 🙂

        1. good to know! I have faith that as long as I don’t pig out on junk food (hehe) the weight will come off as it should. All the weight gain is worth it for the gift we get in the end!

      2. thanks I agree 🙂 I think some women just gain more weight for some reason..retain more water, have more fluid, bigger baby etc. Who really knows! Everyone really is different. The only thing I plan on doing immediately after is getting my eating under control and maybe walks with the baby. No rush to get back in shape!

        1. Thanks for these comments guys. I’m coming towards the end of my first trimester and have gained more than I should have. I’m really struggling to keep perspective on it all so these comments help. It’s stressing me out more than if should to be honest x

  2. My doctor said ’20 pounds- 25 tops’ …..I think he must have been used to people overeating or something and didn’t realize how seriously I’d take it. I am currently up 22 pounds at 35.5 weeks- with an appointment today, so we shall see what he says. I just want to scream “Seriously, Dr.- I’m doing my best!” ……You’re totally right, whatever the final number, it will be worth the weight!

    1. I don’t like when doctors are so strict about how much you should gain (also why 20-25 when average is usually 25-35??) I think it makes some women take is so seriously and restrict calories especially in the last trimester when baby should be packing on the pounds!! Don’t stress about it, you’re doing fine!

  3. I totally agree with your philosophy with food during pregnancy, there’s really no need to over eat as long as we eat healthy food. I’m almost 30 weeks and have gained less than 10, and I was at low weight to begin with. my doctor is not concerned at all and from the last appointment, I’m measuring exactly on track and the baby too, so I’m not concerned of not gaining the normal range of 25-35. in fact in other countries, the recommended weight gain is much less than that.

    I’ve also continued with my usual food intake, but with less appetite than before pregnant. everyone was telling me that I’d eat like crazy, but I never really experienced that hunger so far.

    as long as the baby is healthy, that’s all that matters, isnt it? 🙂

  4. i think my total weight gain was 23 lbs. as soon as i gave birth i looked back to my old self but within 24 hours my stomach had swelled up a little and looked like it did in the 2nd trimester. after a few days that swelling went away and it took about 4 weeks to fit into my old clothes. i credit ALL of this to nursing. in fact, while i was nursing, i got down to my lowest weight i’ve ever been as an adult. the hard part about that is that once i stopped nursing, it was hard to get back to my pre-baby eating habits and that’s when the weight started coming back. i now just have to work really hard to watch what i eat (it’s not as easy as it used to be) and make sure i workout when i can. it’s definitely harder with a toddler.

  5. I was the same way- I shot up quickly in the first trimester and then slowed waaaay down once I got into the last few months of pregnancy. Food gets so hard towards the end…especially when, ahem, other areas slow down too. 😉 You are so active and healthy that I am certain you will be back to your pre-pregnancy body in no time. And, you look fantastic right now!

  6. I actually gained like 40 lbs during my pregnancy (but being on the smaller side to begin with, they actually recommended 30-45 for me, so I was kind of ok with it. Plus it was mostly in the belly. I also took it all off within about 4 months so I’m ok with it now. But omg the thought of 40 lbs on my body is just insane.

  7. I think it’s good that you’re not obssessing about the weight. And, aiming to fit into your winter clothes is a manageable goal.

  8. It is fascinating to me how every woman gains and loses the weight differently. I gained about 25 lbs and now 14 weeks postpartum I am almost back to my prepregnancy weight. However, I have this awful belly that is taking FOREVER to go away. It is getting smaller and I know it will be gone eventually but man was I hoping to be one of those women whose stomach snapped back to size! And looking down at my son (who is napping on my chest) makes it all worth it!

  9. I think I’m up roughly 30 pounds. I didn’t gain a whole lot at the beginning and then two months ago I gained like 10 pounds in a month! I don’t eat as healthy as I wanted to or could, but I try to find a balance. I’m so happy I lost 30 pounds prior to getting pregnant, otherwise I’d be in bad shape. Other than the belly, I know the weight has collected around my hips and in my legs.

    I was just having a conversation with a lady the other day about how she gained 75 lbs with her first baby and was about 200 lbs at the end. Umm…I gained 30 lbs and am about there myself. I’m not stressed because we have two totally different body types, plus I’m taller. And I know it’s all going to come back off, so I’m not stressed about it.

    You’re doing great and look great!

  10. I gained between 35-40 (a lot of it at the end, actually…) and lost 25 lbs within 5 days. I was back to my prepregnancy weight within 2 months, though my stomach still looked totally different.
    I didn’t do anything except try to keep myself fed with good food, which can be difficult when it’s so busy. I think a lot of how your body deals with the weight is just luck, and a lot of what ended up on the scale for me was water weight. As long as you’re eating well and staying active, I really don’t think it matters at ALL what the scale says.
    I highly recommend stocking up on frozen meals, including some great snacks, because nursing makes you SO much more ravenous than pregnancy.

  11. What app are you using? I’m 19 weeks pregnant and have been trying to find something like this. You look great by the way!

    1. It’s called Happy Pregnancy (green woman logo). Not a great app, but I do like the weight tracker. The only app that has one with a graph like that.

  12. I started off my pregnancy a few pounds underweight and quickly gained 10 lbs in the first 14 weeks. I really didn’t change anything, but I think my body knew what it needed to do to sustain the pregnancy. I was fine with it until my dr said some not so nice things to me, even though I still looked completely normal and was still fitting into my normal clothes. After a few heart to heart talks with some girlfriends, I just let his comments go. My body has also leveled off and the weight gain has slowed down big time. I truly believe our bodies will do what they need to do!

  13. I really enjoy reading Baby KERF and I like your attitude about it all. I had no idea about the baby weight breakdown! I love the tidbits you find, though it does make me realize how clueless I am haha. I know you’ve said before that you haven’t read a ton of books on pregnancy, but I was wondering if there was one book you would recommend before conceiving? I feel like I don’t know anything and I usually love to research but I find it so overwhelming!

    1. I read “A Panic Free Pregnancy” right away and it really helped me relax and sort out what’s important and what’s not in my head.

  14. I think every”body” knows how much weight to gain. I gained about 20 lb total, did not restrict, exercised regularly and definitely indulged in my share of desserts and treats. I really think that we don’t have as much control over it as we think we do. We just need to trust that our bodies know what to do to keep the baby healthy and growing.

    1. I agree that we don’t have as much control over weight gain during pregnancy as we think we do, especially if we are active and eat to hunger. You just have to do your best and not stress over the weight gain, I’m so passionate about telling pregnant women this. Our culture kind of glorifies the fast weight loss post pregnancy, without noting how amazing a woman’s body is for nourishing a fetus to baby for months.

  15. It was a miracle I gained anything because for 6 months, I had the worst morning (all day) sickness. I tried prescription meds but they were nearly as bad as the sickness with all their side effects. Mother Nature and the human body is miraculous and the baby will take what it needs and you’re doing a great job, Kath!

  16. Very interesting! Truthfully, a big part of pregnancy that scares me is the weight gain, (because I lost 70+lbs in the past), but I know that if you can do it once you can do it again.

    Just curious – were you at your goal weight when you got pregnant? I know that I’ve given myself a # of lbs I’d like to lose before my husband and I start trying so I can hopefully make things a little bit easier on myself going in.

  17. I don’t know…the whole topic of pregnancy weight gain seems really obsessive to me. Pregnancy isn’t all about you and your weight gain. It’s supposed to be about the baby and creating a healthy environment for him/her. I think it’s sad that society places such a premium on gaining as little weight as possible when pregnant and losing it instantly, like women are just baby machine robots who pop kids out and go back to looking exactly the same as they used to. I’m not saying a person should go hog wild and eat a tub of ice cream every day, but to give so much thought to a topic seems a bit disordered. It’s important to be in a healthy weight range but it’s also important to be mentally healthy and not obsess over every pound gained and why.

    1. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with discussing it. Physical changes to the body are one of the biggest changes in pregnancy. It shouldn’t be taboo or considered selfish or make you less of a good mom to reflect on your self. So long as baby’s health is priority and the discussion isn’t about HOW to reduce weight or something weird.

    2. I thnk Kath is being a good example of a confident pregnant woman- showing a healthy pregnant lifestyle without stressing over weight. I love reading the updates here because they’re very educational for me, since I plan to have more children one day, and it helps to see some examples of a healthy diet/ exercise regimen for a pregnant woman. Sadly a lot of pregnant women feel bad about themselves at times, which is just a shame. I do agree that society places too much emphasis on pounds gained and lost during pregnancy, it’s a topic that comes up all the time around women I know. I also sort of feel like women need to exercise for reasons like health and enjoyment rather than losing that last bit of baby weight. It’s a mindset that needs to change in America.

    3. I feel very differently: Kath’s attitude throughout her pregnancy has been anything BUT obsessive – very balanced and entirely reasonable. While it’s natural to be body conscience w/any sort of weight gain, regardless of the source, she’s primarily viewing her bodily changes in a fascinated/analytical way (as in the breakdown of weight gain in this post.) Overall, her mindset seems to be “yes, I miss my old, lithe body, but I’ll just assess and deal with final outcome once my baby arrives and is thriving.” Good on you for awesome role modeling, Kath!

  18. With my two pregnancies I put on different amounts of weight (20kgs & 12kgs respectively). But both, once home from hospital, left me with a weight gain of about 6kgs (not sure what that is in pounds). I breasted both babies till they were 16 months old and found that my body held onto that fat (regardless of how well I ate or exercised) until I stopped feeding. Then the weight came off on its own. Being a fit woman, and with what they tell you about nursing, I honestly expected the weight to just come off until I spoke with a lactation consultant who informed me that some women hold onto their fat for milk production until they stop nursing.

  19. i gained 24 and 21 lbs with mine so very similar to you. With exclusive breastfeeing it was off in a month or two so I am sure you will be back in winter clothes no problem. And talk about hunger?? Long run hunger doesn’t hold a candle to breastfeeding hunger (especially around the 3-6 month mark)!

    1. yes breast feeding has left me more hungry. At 4 months, I’ve adjusted though, and have learned to eat bigger meals (with lots of complex carbs). WAY more hungry than when I was pregnant.

  20. I know weight distribution and fat gain isn’t that important to you (and shouldn’t be)., but one thing that I didn’t consider when I was pregnant with my third was muscle loss. I was extremely fit before I got pregnany and cut WAY back on my exercise. I didn’t gain that much weight, but after I had the baby I was shocked at the way my body looked (I just didn’t realize I lost so much muscle and replaced it with fat). I’m thankful muscle has memory! It only took 2-3 months to get it back.

  21. I’ve definitely been surprised by how difficult it is to take off weight post-pregnancy. I didn’t have a lot to take off, but the pounds that were left after the month or so post-birth have been STUBBORN!!! It’s not a big deal, and almost four months later, I feel like I’m pretty much back to my old self (with a bit of a poochier belly)…but it definitely makes me glad that I didn’t go crazy with the weight gain (ahem, Jessica Simpson!!).

  22. Sounds like you are right on track. I do think it is fascinating how our bodies work and know exactly what we need during/after pregnancy. I loved the feeling of trusting my body during pregnancy. It knows just what to do!!

    Your descriptions of your current hunger level remind me of my own pregnancy. I will say that breastfeeding has brought on a ravenous hunger and intense cravings that I never had during pregnancy! 🙂 Is there such thing as nursing cravings? Ha!

  23. Your attitude is perfect! My weight gain in my pregnancies (I have 4 boys!) have been nearly identical to yours, in fact. I gain the most rapidly at the beginning and then it evens out. I always gain about 25 lbs total. After I give birth I have about 10 lbs that ever so slowly comes off by the first birthday. My youngest is 9 months old and I have 3 lbs left. Keeping an attitude of overall health is key, in my opinion. Oh, but get ready for the breastfeeding hunger! It’s crazy!

  24. This is one of the things that I have loved most about BERF – it has helped me understand that it is very achievable and realistic to be healthy while pregnant.

    I had a very difficult pregnancy and unfortunately let go through food and gained 60 pounds, despite how I was living prior to pregnancy. These past months you have provided great examples on how to eat while pregnant (doesn’t change that much), how to keep moving during pregnancy, and how to embrace the cravings from time to time.

    I have worked sensibly hard to lose those 60 pounds, but plan to read back through the early days of BERF during my next pregnancy to help me maintain better focus the second time around.

  25. I agree with you in the fact that I didn’t have really any cravings or a drastic increase in my hunger while pregnant – however – good grief BF was a completely different story!! I was so hungry ALL THE TIME!!!! : ) that is what I really hit the almonds- they did seem to keep me going the longest.

  26. I was the same – not super hungry during pregnancy. But I tell you, breastfeeding leaves me FAMISHED! I am amazed at how much I eat. I recognize the calorie requirements for a third tri pregnant gal and a breastfeeding mama are technically about the same, but I think that nourishing a 6-month-old who gets 95% of his calories from breast milk (the rest from rice cereal) somehow is more taxing on my body that having him in utero was. It will be interesting to see how you feel.

  27. Totally agree with Ella! Nursing leaves me starving to the point of shaking whereas pregnancy had me usually really full. Enjoy these last couple of weeks!! Blessings!

  28. Hi Kath. I am going to order a copy of The Panic Free Pregnancy. Thanks for the tip!

    Have you read Thank You, Dr. Lamaze? I am pregnant with my first baby (13 weeks) and am reading it now. My mom read it when she was pregnant with me (31 years ago!) and recommended it to me. In spite of having to be induced 5 weeks early (The placenta became detached and I wasn’t growing) she went on to have a three-hour, drug-free labor which she remembers to be a very positive experience. (Her labor with my sister 5 years later lasted all of 90 minutes, and was also unmedicated.) The book was published in 1959 so much of it is outdated, but I am finding the author’s story to be very empowering and inspiring. 1959 may be over 60 years ago but the mechanics of childbirth have not changed!

    I don’t know if I’m strong enough to go completely drug-free, but I’m going to keep an open mind and give it my best shot! I know you are, too and I think this book is worth looking at for inspiration. : )

    You only have 5 weeks to go – You must be so excited! Best of luck!!!


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