Trendwatch: How to be "Skinny Pregnant"

by Charlotte on October 19, 2009 · 66 comments

Thanks to Laura for the pic!

It was awkward. And I have no one to blame but myself. There I was, surrounded by several of my good friends who took me out to remind me that I am actually a person and not just a non-exercising baby incubator, when this happened:

Friend: Oh you look so adorable! You’re all belly!
Me: Oh no, really I’ve gained a ton of weight.
Friend 2: No! You look fabulous! Your face isn’t puffy at all.
Me: It just looks that way because I straightened my hair. Trust me, it’s puffy.
Friend 3: But your legs look great! Exactly how they do non-preggo!
Me: No, no, you’re just distracted by my huuuuge belly. Once this is gone then you’ll see how massive my thighs and hips have gotten!
Friend: (smacking me sharply and yelling) SHUT UP!

Actually she didn’t smack me. They’re all way too nice for that kind of Scarlett O’Hara dramatics (which is probably why we’re friends) but they should have. I even annoyed myself. Many women, myself included, have a hard time accepting a compliment with a simple “thank you.” (“What? Oh no, my hair isn’t fabulous at all! And by the way I wear colored contacts, I have Spanx on underneath this dress and my house looks like it was cleaned by blind orcs with Lego diarrhea.”) Not only does this tendency not go away with pregnancy but it seems to get worse. Why is this?

Because pregnancy makes even a normally confident gal insecure. And the rest of us who are normally insecure? Self-esteem havoc.

It shouldn’t be this way. After all, we are performing a normal and some might even say necessary biological function. So why, after millenia of gestating and birthing, are women suddenly freaking out? I blame this:

Khloe Kardashian, famous for being the sister of a sex-tape star, recently got married and, natch, immediately had to field questions about future babies. She responded to the weirdly intrusive queries by saying,

“I want to be a skinny pregnant person, like how my sister Kourtney looks so cute pregnant. I can’t be a house [after] I just lost weight.” She adds, “Well, I am always fat no matter how much weight I lose. It’s like I can never have a good body. But I have a really strong sense of self-esteem.” (Charlotte’s note: Sure you do, sweetie! That’s why you and your strong self-esteem just launched a dubious diet aid!)

It’s not just Khloe. It’s Sarah Michelle Gellar’s “stunning post-baby body just 1 month after birth!” It’s Lisa Loeb (remember her??) “showing off her tiny baby bump.” It’s Trista Sutter’s “Bikini Bod [only six months] after Baby Number Two!” Don’t even get me started about Ellen Pompeo. At least Heidi Klum was honest about “exploding” at the end of her pregnancies – even if she is famous for losing all that baby weight and more in time to walk the Victoria’s Secret fashion show mere weeks after giving birth. And those are just the top stories from this past week.

Ladies, in case you missed the memo, not only are you expected to be a MILF both while gestating and not (bring on the hawt pregnant chicks in bikinis!) but now you are also expected to be “skinny pregnant.” This means of course that you gain exactly the weight of the baby plus the placenta and amniotic fluid and not one ounce more. Your hips should not widen. Your butt should not expand. Your arms must remain perfectly defined. And your cheeks, while they should “glow,” should not be round.

There was a reason that Mary, of immaculate conception fame, was described by her bible biographers as being “heavy” or “great” with child. Skinny Pregnant is an oxymoron!

And yet, weirdly, I have internalized this message as much as anyone. I hate to admit it but I do feel really fat. And it depresses me. Enter Claire Mysko and Magali Amadei, the authors of Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat?, with their sensible girlfriend advice on how to be a healthy pregnant woman in our skinny pregnant girl culture. I got this book in the mail not one moment too soon and read the whole thing in one afternoon. My only complaint was that there wasn’t more of it! When I finished I wanted to run after them and fling myself around their ankles crying, “Don’t leave me alone in this!” This book has tips on everything from how to deal with pregnancy weight gain when you have a history of eating disorders to snarky retorts for nosy people who insist on asking you ridiculous questions like “How quickly do you plan on losing the baby weight?” (Answer: I plan on losing it in one week! Sadly, in the immortal words of Winona Ryder, reality bites.) I think I just found my new favorite baby shower gift.

I know I’m not the only pregnant woman who struggles with body image issues. Lisa of Workout Mommy – due just a few weeks after me (read: I will pluck my nosehairs with baby nail clippers if you have your baby first, girl!) – recently wrote a very poignant post about her pregnant body image issues and the help she also found in this book.

What do you guys think about the pressure to be thin, even while pregnant? If you have had kids, how did you manage your fears about your body changing? If you haven’t had kids, does the fear of getting fat hold you back?

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Merry October 19, 2009 at 3:34 am

See, that's where being fat already is an advantage. When Dorothy L. Sayers got pregnant, nobody noticed.

(Which is just as well, since she was having a baby out of wedlock back in the days when This Was Frowned Upon, but still!)

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The Wettstein Family October 19, 2009 at 3:38 am

I was skinny pregnant with my first, so, naturally I expected it with my second, I was wrong. I think the spreading of my hips will keep me at a size eight no matter how much weight I lose. My hips could be sticking out of my skin like knives and I'd still be a size eight. I'll never be skinny pregnant again with these hips! No matter how Skinny pregnant you are, you always feel like you cause an earthquake when you walk. No one understands it until they go through it.

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M October 19, 2009 at 3:52 am

"The blind orcs with lego diarrhoea" was probably the best line I have ever seen written on this blog. I laughed so hard that milk literally came out of my nose! I just thought of these giant orcs walking around my apartment leaving a trail of legos behind them. teeeheee.

I will add that I can completely see where you're coming from. I am completely unaware of what being pregnant feels like, but it does freak me out to think that I will have a large bump instead of a tummy- to the point where I would think of adopting rather than getting pregnant. And this is a common sentiment amongst girls my age. We all want to be 'skinny' pregnant if/when we decide to have kids. It's scary to think that you will never be a size (xyz) again, or that your feet will be a size bigger forever.

Yet another unrealistic demand being placed on women, but its even more harmful, because it could potentially hurt the baby if the mother doesn't eat enough (in an attempt to be skinny pregnant). It is a messed up world out there…

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Georgie K. Buttons October 19, 2009 at 4:35 am

Does the fear of getting fat keep me from wanting kids? Um, HECK no! I mean, look at me now. You can't really, which is a good thing, but it's not going to matter much. Besides that, kids are amazing. And, for a few years, they won't really care what I look like.

And I agree with M. The blind orcs line was a keeper.

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azusmom October 19, 2009 at 5:02 am

Ditto on the blind orcs!

This whole "skinny pregnant" thing is INSANE!!!!!Guess what, Hollywood (and Kardashians)! Women are SUPPOSED to gain weight when we're pregnant! It's called having a healthy baby, duh! And since it takes us 9 (closer to 10) months to gain it, it's gonna take AT LEAST that long to lose it. And even when we do lose the weight, it's distributed differently, so we're not gonna look the same.

There was a time, long ago, when age was respected, scars were a badge of honor, and stretchmarks and loose skin were signs of motherhood and something to be proud of. We need to reclaim our bodies and our lives, scars, stretchmarks, fat, varicose veins, cellulite, and all.

It was during my second pregnancy that I learned not to respond to the rude, intrusive questions and remarks. Let me tell ya, when you respond with a blank stare, they lose that pompous, self-righteous smirk pretty damn quickly.

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Lc14503 October 22, 2012 at 9:42 pm

I’d just make the tiny correction that women are supposed to gain as much as they gain. I’ve always been very thin (5’8″, 115 lbs) and received much ridicule when I gained little and slowly and only in my stomach with my pregnancy. Ppl said downright cruel things about my baby’s health. Of course, my doctor wasn’t worried bc I was healthy, and I had a perfectly healthy and larger than average baby. No one should feel badly about what their body does while pregnant if they follow their doctor’s advice. Bodies are meant to vary. If someone is different from you, that isn’t a judgment of you, and of someone blatantly judges you for being different naturally from them, they’re wrong.

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Kitty October 19, 2009 at 5:40 am

as i glide through my 9th year of disordered eating/body image issues, i can tell you there was nothing sweeter than the relief i felt whilst pregnant with both my sons.

no more obsessive dieting and extreme workouts, no starving no binge eating.

just three square meals, snacks when required and all i cared about was expelling a healthy, robust infant.

the moment AFTER expulsion? pure hell. though i lost 15 kilos in four months and really do look better at 35 with two children than i ever did in my 20's.

still. i'm not thin ENOUGH. that is my brain-wrinkle. it's never, ever enough.

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Melissa October 19, 2009 at 6:08 am

I think the pressure to be "skinny pregnant" is ridiculous – as if pregnant women need more stress! That being said, I think (at least for me) it's darn near impossible to NOT feel fat when I develop that oh-so-graceful 3rd tri waddle, or when I feel like a turtle on its back trying when trying to heave myself out of bed in the middle of the night for that 4th bathroom trip. Or when I look down at my ankles in the shower only to realize that they are definitely looking thicker than they were a few months ago. Or when I can no longer squeeze my hips into maternity jeans that DID fit earlier in the pregnancy…sigh. It IS depressing, if I let myself think about it too often. But I guess my way of dealing with it is taking an "oh well, I'll deal with the extra weight later" attitude. Plus during pregnancy my brain seems to go into crazy near-OCD nesting mode so that always distracts me. ;)

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matmos October 19, 2009 at 8:03 am

I am not skinny, normally. Neither am I fat. I am a plain old average, middle of the road, healthy weight. And I am fine with that.

Now I am 8 months pregnant. My weight gain is on target according to the OB but to me… I feel fat. The belly, it is huge. The love handles match. The butt, it is bigger. I know these things are because there is a super healthy baby inside and the extra padding is needed to support breastfeeding. But I still feel super huge and it is hard in prenatal yoga not to compare my size to the other women with similar due date (a comparison which is not super flattering… but then I wasn't small to begin with).

I know intellectually that I am a perfectly fine weight for where I am. But unlike in my nonpregnant life, it is hard not to feel self-conscious about it.

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Crabby McSlacker October 19, 2009 at 11:50 am

I love that you are so honest about the impact these stupid celebrity "skinny pregnant" stories haveon even the brightest, most sensible women. Our conscious minds may try to reject all the idiotic body image stuff we get from media, yet we're still vulnerable to the brain-washing.

It seems like pregnancy is hard enough to deal with without having to worry about what the tiny-brained hollywood folks think!

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Kimberly October 19, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Before becoming pregnant, I was terrified at the thought of gaining the necessary amount of weight to have a healthy pregnancy. I was fearful that the increasing number on the scale would somehow trigger a relapse in my eating disorder. Thankfully, that has NOT happened. Yes, there are still days where I feel upset/unhappy with the number that I see on the scale. But those are the days that I remind myself of the amazing thing my body is doing – growing another human being. And I know that once the pregnancy is over, and my daughter is here, I can go back to my normal healthy eating and workout routine. And if my body does not get exactly to where it was before – that's okay. I'm getting a baby girl out of the deal, and that's way more important than the number on the scale.

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Jody - Fit at 51 October 19, 2009 at 12:30 pm

I have never been pregnant but I hear your words! I see all this crap on TV about the stars & how quickly they lost the weight OR how big or small they are when pregnant. I think it is crazy & ridiculous to make women feel they have to do anything more than be healthy & do what is best for them when they are pregnant! And all the BS lose the pounds overnight stuff. Jeez! On top of they have time, trainers chefs & the like!

And yes, as a non pregnant women, the fears of my now changing body does scare me & how it will look when I am 60 & so forth. Being 52 next month, it all does scare me cause I am a fitness crazy & don't want to face the inevitable slower times that will come… & the body I can only do so much for…

Too much pressure for all us women!

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Dr. J October 19, 2009 at 12:32 pm

I've seen a large range of size changes during the preggy trip! All of the babies turned out great! What the ex-pregger does after the delivery is what separates the "men from the boys" :-)

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Charlotte October 19, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Merry – Your comments never fail to crack me up! Of course there are worse things than being called a fat preggo…

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Charlotte October 19, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Wettstein Fam – It's been the opposite experience for me. I gained the most weight with my first and then less with the subsequent 3. I totally know what you mean about those hips. Things just never settle out to where they used to be, even if you lose the weight.

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Charlotte October 19, 2009 at 12:37 pm

M – good point about the pregorexia! And if it makes you feel better, my shoe size hasn't changed (although everything else has) so maybe you'll dodge that one too? :)

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Charlotte October 19, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Georgie – You are SO right: Kids are awesome!! I def. don't want to forget why I'm doing this in the first place!

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Charlotte October 19, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Azusmom – Wow I should use LOTR allusions more often, lol! ANd I love everything you wrote. You are one of the most sensible mommies I know and it's even better because your sensibility is born of experience.

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Charlotte October 19, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Kitty – I'm so glad that you are one of the ones who has a remission of her ED (both in body and in my mind it sounds like!) during pregnancy. I can't say I'm quite that lucky although it does get better. You are right about the post-partum period being hell though.

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Charlotte October 19, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Melissa – The "turtle on its back" comparison is SO appropriate! Totally made me giggle:)

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Charlotte October 19, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Matmos – I totally do the same thing in comparing myself to other preggos. I always want to know the other woman's due date which is sad because it only makes me feel like crap even though my baby is healthy and that is what I should be focusing on!

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Charlotte October 19, 2009 at 12:50 pm

"Tiny brained hollywood folks" – too true, Crabby!! I suppose it goes with the tiny waists…

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Charlotte October 19, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Kimberly – I need to reread your comment like a mantra every day!

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Charlotte October 19, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Jody – Too true about pregnancy being only one of several normal life stages that we women are supposed to totally freak about!

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Darcy Franklin October 19, 2009 at 1:24 pm

I gained a healthy 30 pounds with each pregnancy. I felt sexy. We are pregnant for such a small fraction of our lives that we need to enjoy it.

Why do so many people buy into Hollywood bullshit? Really? Who cares about them. They all have their own problems, most likely worse than ours.

I enjoyed healthy pregnancies. I ate healthy and when I was hungry. I enjoyed a glass of wine when I wanted to. I exercised but listened to my body. It was a time to try new things (I learned to knit during my first pregnancy, which kept my hands out of the snack jar).

Embrace your bodies and what they can do. They are amazing as long as you take care of them, and that does not mean starving them!

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Gena October 19, 2009 at 1:54 pm

I can say, since I've never been pregnant, that I'd be happy to be healthy while pregnant, and who cares if I gain weight. BUT! I know that I'll be singing a different tune when I actually am pregnant.

Whenever I gain any weight, even just a couple of pounds, my face puffs up. And I don't like it. I'm nervous that pregnancy will push away all the good self esteem I have built and make me a neurotic mess. Well, more than I currently am, anyway.

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Chelsea October 19, 2009 at 1:55 pm

I have nothing to add as I've never been pregnant, but I laughed out loud at the line about your house being cleaned by blind orcs with leggo diarrhea.

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Geosomin October 19, 2009 at 2:52 pm

Wow…although I do have a slight fear that if I do have kids I won't be able to lose the weight I gain afterwards, I have seen a lot friends freak out after a baby.

I have friends who had completely different pregnancies – one "skinny all bellY" and another where they puffed up with water like a crazy ass ballon animal. Thankfully they had healthy attitudes, as it took them months to put it on, so they gave themselves a year to get it off…and it worked. Friends who went crazy trying to lost weight too fast after invariably hurt themselves or didn't lose the weight fast enough for themselves and gave up.
I hope if I get round to the whole being round thing, I can approach it in a healthy way. I know I'd spend a lot of it feeling huge…I have enough trouble taking a compliment now…:)

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KUrunner October 19, 2009 at 3:22 pm

I do the same thing! I'm only 24 weeks along, but I've had people tell me that I've lost weight in my thighs and toned up my arms. My first response is always, "I've gained 20 lbs. My legs look smaller because my butt is so big." I have to remember that I have the third trimester coming up and I will long to be the size I am now when I start swelling up. But, baby is measuring perfect so I'm really trying to not focus on the scale. (Trying being the key word.)

I can't read pregnancy forums because I get really annoyed with all the women who are 6 months pregnant and complain that they are so fat and have already gained 5 lbs.

Not gaining enough weight is one of the biggest factors of preterm labor and low birthweight babies. I hate to think of all the women out there that put their babies at risk because they are worried about getting fat.

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Regular Cinderella October 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm

I haven't seen you in…oh, about forever, but I have it on good authority that you look fabulous!

I have trouble accepting compliments as they come, too. "Thanks, but I still have a long way to go." "Thanks, but THIS [pinching random flab] just won't go away!" "Thanks, but…" I'm trying to seperate those words in my vocabulary and never use them together again. Now, I smile, say, "Thank you, I've been working really hard," and offer a big, (usually sweaty) hug. :-)

When I was pregnant 8 years ago, I wasn't worried about my body image. I knew I was heavy, but I didn't obsess about it. 6 years ago, however, when I wanted to get pregnant again, I decided to wait because I had more weight to lose. A year or so after that, it became apparent that I wasn't losing weight, so I decided to just get pregnant and deal with the weight loss later…well, that never happened, and then I was diagnosed with PCOS and wasn't able to get pregnant.

I've lost enough weight now that my doctor took me off the meds I was taking for PCOS and I'm hoping that I'll be able to get pregnant some time next year…I'd like to say that it will be such a blessing to have another baby that I won't worry about my weight and my body image, but I can't make those promises now. I guess I will just have to see when…and if I get there.

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Karen October 19, 2009 at 5:42 pm

I don't have children and I have to admit that the threat of ballooning up is PART of the reason I'm in no rush to have babies just yet (in addition to being rather young [25 years old], being newly married, financial concerns and the fear my husband and I have of having children too soon in life and regretting not having had the chance to do many things we want to do prior to reproducing). Because I have always had a weight problem and because I'm always just this {} close to gaining weight even with daily exercise and moderate eating, I think the fear that pregnancy will make me explode or alter my metabolism in such a way that it's even LESS efficient than it is now is a legitimate concern, not so much for while I'm actually pregnant but for after I'd give birth. So when I finally DO get pregnant, I will continue to exercise as much as I can and I will watch the amount of food I eat because, while I expect to gain weight and I'm fine with gaining an appropriate amount, I do not want to explode.

But having said that, I think this pressure to be skinny pregnant is absurd and honestly, of all the things to worry about while pregnant (will the baby be healthy, will the birth go okay, etc.) staying SUPER thin should NOT be one of them. Granted, I do believe that staying FIT and eating moderately/healthfully is important while pregnant because there is no reason to abandon healthy habits just because you're pregnant, the pressure to be precisely as thin as you are while not pregnant, except for the baby bump, is ridiculous. You're carrying a human being inside of you, your hormones are acting funny and causing all kinds of weird reactions, and you're SUPPOSED to gain some weight.

As hard as it might be to do, I really wish people (as a whole) were better able to block out all of the idiotic nonsense that the media screams at us everyday all day. Let's face it — the VAST majority of celebrities, especially the kinds who talk endlessly about the small size of their asses, are pretty bad role models for numerous reasons (stupidity, vapidity, vanity, promiscuity, the list goes on…) so WHY WHY WHY do intelligent, normal women take these people so seriously? Let the Kardashian stay a size 00 while pregnant — who cares? Not for nothing, but in a few years people will lose their fascination with that family of idiots and no one will care about them or their clothing sizes and skinny pregnancies anymore.

PS — I love your blog! It's one of the VERY few that inspires me to reply to nearly EVERY post!

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Quix October 19, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Love the orc comment. :) And I think skinny pregnant is a joke. There are a lot of aspects about kids that freak me out, and gaining weight is definitely A concern, but way below not feeling ready to take care of another human being…

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Marste October 19, 2009 at 8:29 pm

This is a great post. I can't imagine what it would be like to have people asking me how fast I'm planning on losing the weight. (Though I'd be tempted to respond innocently, "What extra weight?" just to see the looks on their faces. *evil grin*)

I have to admit that I LOVED Kate Hudson for this, though. When she was pregnant, toward the end of her second trimester/beginning of her third, she got FAT. Not skinny-but-pregnant, not "round," not even "chubby." She was fat. And then she took her sweet time to lose the weight. (Something like a year or two.) And she later said in various interviews that hello, she was GROWING A BABY and enjoyed every minute of embracing her inner "earth mother," or something along those lines.

It made me want to be BFFs with her. ;)

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Plowmanators October 19, 2009 at 9:15 pm

I actually really like the way I look when I am preggo! I love having a reason to have a belly :)

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Erika October 20, 2009 at 12:21 am

I was not skinny pregnant with either of my children. I was not fat pregnant either. I gained a tiny but undefined bump which led to me looking like I just gained 20 pounds. I never looked pregnant and it was awful! I felt like I was constantly opening my jacket or heavy sweaters and gently placing my hand on my stomach in the hopes people would realize I was preggers. And on the subway, no one would let me sit, I was 8.5 months pregnant with no balance and just looked big boned. Horrible. Definitely not cute.

Add in the zits, dull hair, and such dry skin that I was always itching inappropriately in public and I was a vision of beauty for sure! :)

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workout mommy October 20, 2009 at 1:08 am

ironically i was JUST looking at the sarah michelle gellar pictures and thinking WTF?! I need to get my book back out and remind myself that is NOT my life.

it's so hard though—everyday is a struggle. my face is rounder and for some reason that hits me harder than any other part of my body. (maybe b/c I can't see the others so well anymore?) I keep thinking "my face looks like I've been stung by a bunch of bees!"

the end result is worth it though…it's just this last month or so that starts to screw with my brain.

Pretty soon our babies will be out and we'll be wondering how we can get them to go back in so we can catch some decent sleep. ;)

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Emma Giles Powell October 20, 2009 at 1:33 am

Wow, I just had to pop over and get my can of worms back! As with all things, moderation. I'm sick and tired of women blaming their overweight status on their children. While starlets bounce back waaaayyyy too fast, MOST women hang on to that excuse years and years until they die too long. Yeah, having babies is hard on a body, sure my stomach flesh is stretched out beyond repair, yeah a tiger clawed my pubic bone. But it's not the baby that makes you fat, it's the FAT that makes you fat :) People just eat too much. While I am concerned about body image confusion with "perfect" starlets, I am far more concerned about the abundance of eating going on in Western culture, and the feeling that if we can never be perfect like "they" are, then why try? Have another Oreo. There is such a dichotomy now.
And even though my weight hasn't changed after babies, it's all in different places! Thanks to babies AND age AND my friend gravity. That I can accept and blame on babies. Being overweight? It's a long hard struggle, yes, there are reasons people are overweight, fine, but babies are not excuses.
Okay, worms back in can, diatribe over. I'll go rant over on my own blog now!

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lex June 1, 2013 at 10:34 pm

I totally agree with you! And I don’t think my mom understands this either. I visited my cousin and she told me that she told her daugther at 6 months old, “look what you did to me. I used to have a 4 pack abs.” I love my cousin, but THAT statement was sickening to me. Obviously she thought that she will stay the same weight while pregnant. I also looked at Braxton Family Values and Tamar says ” I don’t LOOK pregnant, I just feel FAT.” And she didn’t even know that the hips spread out while giving birth, and she didn’t want that! Is it just me, or are pregnant women do not know that they MUST gain weight to have a baby? I guess they want to be like the women on “I didn’t know I was pregnant” show.

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lex June 1, 2013 at 10:35 pm

I totally agree with you! And I don’t think my mom understands this either. I visited my cousin and she told me that she told her daugther at 6 months old, “look what you did to me. I used to have a 4 pack abs.” I love my cousin, but THAT statement was sickening to me. Obviously she thought that she will stay the same weight while pregnant. I also looked at Braxton Family Values and Tamar says ” I don’t LOOK pregnant, I just feel FAT.

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lex June 1, 2013 at 10:36 pm

I totally agree with you! And I don’t think my mom understands this either. I visited my cousin and she told me that she told her daugther at 6 months old, look what you did to me. I used to have a 4 pack abs. I love my cousin, but THAT statement was sickening to me. Obviously she thought that she will stay the same weight while pregnant. I also looked at Braxton Family Values and Tamar says ” I don’t LOOK pregnant, I just feel FAT.

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Emma Giles Powell October 20, 2009 at 1:35 am

oh, and who was that star on Oprah, they were all gushing about how she got her body back so fast, and she said, "Yeah, this is my JOB, I have a personal trainer, a nutritionist, and a nanny! Go easy on yourselves, moms!"???

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katieo October 20, 2009 at 5:47 am

I'm chubby. CHUB-BEE. And you know what? I can't click on those link to the celebs. why would I? I'm trying my best, fighting the fight, and I will get there. But I'll be darned if I'm going to give an ounce of my power over to the Hollywood chickies. And that is exactly what happens when I see celebs looking pre-prego 3 hours after delivery. I start to doubt, I get depressed, I stop believing in myself. But the truth is, I'd like to see ONE of them take over my life for a week. Heck, one day.

"not only are you expected to be a MILF both while gestating and not (bring on the hawt pregnant chicks in bikinis!) but now you are also expected to be 'skinny pregnant.'"

I agree it's a tragically ridiculous message to send to women everywhere but the more women stand up and say NO – THIS IS NOT REAL – the better off we all are. Not only am I not believing it, I'm not buying it, I'm not even looking at it. Because what I really believe is that I am awesome. as is.

rar.

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Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) October 20, 2009 at 1:28 pm

If I ever do have children, the outcome will be so worth it, but the pregnancy itself scares me to death. Thanks for this post Charlotte – the book sounds wonderful. Might be my next baby shower gift as well – so many of my friends are pregnant.

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Georgia October 20, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Thank Goodness my kids are 14, 10, and 8 and I was preggo before the skinny-pregnant phenomenon got out of control. I enjoyed my pregnant body for the most part all three times and I was NOT skinny pregnant. Some of my friends (who are gorgeous) used to annoy me by saying that they didn't want to get pregnant because of what it might do to their bodies. It's one thing to fret about our bodies as most women do but actually putting off having kids takes it to another level of obsession. It made me feel self-conscious and insecure around them when they made these comments. Their compliments about how fast I lost weight didn't help either because I knew they would shudder if they saw the stretch marks and saggy boobs. Those same handful of friends are trying to get pregnant for the first time in their late 30's and are struggling with fertility issues. The situation has gone from annoying to tragic overnight. I'm actually feeling kind of angry about this skinny pregnant issue–need to process further.

"Lego diarrhoea" was hysterical. Can you think of a funny name for the "leakage" that many moms suffer from when laughing, sneezing, or jumping on trampolines?

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lissa10279 October 20, 2009 at 5:54 pm

I just finished Claire's book and am planning on starting a family in the next year or so, so her book really resonated with me. I admit, from a vanity standpoint, I'd love to be "all belly" when the time comes, but how do I know how my body will change? And really, what can we do to control it? We can't. But we CAN (and should) let go of those notions that we'll all walk out of the maternity ward wearing our Citizen's jeans … not gonna happen! But it's hard to accept when you see it happening in the media with these celebrities being paid oodles of money to "get trim quick."

My honest hope? That coming to terms with my body now — 10 lbs heavier than I like it — will help prepare me for the body image issues I'll undoubtedly face in pregnancy. I loved Claire and Magali's book!

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SeaBreeze October 20, 2009 at 8:39 pm

In all seriousness, when I launch into a series of comments refuting compliments my friends really do smack me gently on the arm and remind me I'm being ridiculous. The BF just looks at me sideways until I apologize and thank him properly.

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Sagan October 22, 2009 at 11:29 pm

Today I was wearing high heeled boots and crouching at my locker when my friend walked past and said, "I kind of want to push you over when you're wearing those boots". And I said, "Aren't they hot?" And he said yes, they're pretty awesome, and I beamed and said "I know!"

I think that's a good step in the right direction of being happy and confident! Hehe.

But yes, pressure to be thin is rough, and there especially shouldn't be ANY of that kind of pressure when you're pregnant!

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Hollie October 25, 2009 at 8:14 pm

I'm fat now, and I was fat with both my pregnancies, and I actually loved being pregnant because it validated the awesomeness of my body, which society definitely does NOT normally recognize. I always had trouble being "fat and proud", yet when I was pregnant, it came naturally.

I felt at home in my body, I felt like it was finally doing something that everyone could recognize as completely wonderful, and I was (and am) utterly blown away by women who are worried about being fat while pregnant. I have a lot of trouble feeling sorry for someone who is a size 2 normally, and worries about being a size 4 after pregnancy. Try being a size 22 all the time! Watching friends bemoan their 20 pound weight gain while pregnant was like a slap in the face. If that 20 pounds makes you look like a cow, then what must you think of me? And what must you think of your own baby, and the body that's carrying it?

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Kimberly November 12, 2009 at 2:08 am

It is not good to have a skinny pregnancy. Dont just focus in your physical aspect but you have to focuson your health.It is also a need to test yourself through the use of elisakits. This may help in knowing the subtances in your body as well as to detect what diseases are inside your body.

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people search March 24, 2010 at 2:26 pm

yes i agree on you Kimberly on skinny pregnancy.., people find it good because all their concern is on physical aspects.

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Ayla October 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm

I’m 14 and I’m pregnant I don’t know what to do!!

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Cory Pavel July 9, 2012 at 5:01 am

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audrey October 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm

so weird (in a good way)…w my first i had a small baby bump (girl) and was fat everywhere else…w my second i have a large baby bump (boy) and am skinny everywhere else!!! i say, yay for second-time-around body!! =)

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Caiti February 23, 2013 at 4:27 am

I am having a lot of issues about getting fat on this pregnancy. This is my second pregnancy, when I birthed my son I weighed 256 pounds. My prebaby weight was 222 pounds. After having my son I weighed 242 pounds. That was 2009, since then I joined Sparkpeople.com and lost 110 pounds through diet and exercise. My prebaby weight this time was 140 pounds. I know I need to eat healthy and that I am going to gain some weight and plenty of it will be fat I’m sure. I am just lost as to how much to eat as I have been on a calorie restricted diet (-200/day from BMR plus a burn of 2000 calories/week through exercise). I’ve so far talked to two different nutritionists who have given me no good answers. Pretty much just acted like I was over obsessed with being Skinny pregnant. I’m not I just don’t want to be obese pregnant. I just want to be healthy……Enough of that though, thank you for posting this, kinda giving me a new outlook on my already chubbying arms and thighs… dimples…

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Selena March 17, 2013 at 11:28 am

I am 12 weeks and have gained 30 and climbing pounds .. I too am obsessed with skinny pregnant and have gone from loving my life to dreading each day I wake. At 38 I never wanted a baby but it’s happend anyway! A co worker came to me 5 months ago and told me I was going to have a baby ! Apparently god came and told him in a dream? I am not prepared for this at all it’s the most terrifying thing I’ve ever had to deal with as I feel out of control of everything.

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tracy March 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm

I have gained 25 pounds and I’m 25 weeks. That’s a pound a week. But the weight is coming on quickly now and in first trimester I gained more than I expected to because I ate carbs to fight exahustion and nasseua. I have had three babies already and I didn’t keep my nice shape all the way through those either. I gained 50 with each of my last two babies (getting to a whopping 180 by the end) and with my first baby I got up to 230 lbs from 130 lbs and that was with a loss of 15 lbs in first trimester. I hate getting fat because I know how hard it is to take it off. It is even worse now because I am a divorced mom with three kids and getting married to the father of fourth baby soon, and I hate not being hot looking. I hate this big butt (always my struggle area) and my thighs. I want to exercise and eat right but I am so tired and after work I don’t have time to walk/run (usually run when I’m normal). I have to take care of the three kids and I have no time for myself so add grumpy to depressed. I don’t feel sexy and I don’t want to get naked in front of my man. I hate my reflection. I won’t do anything to harm this pregnancy but I am struggling with my body image everyday and some skinny pregnant woman with a torpedo stomach came into the OB office (in heels) and I wanted to knock the crap outta her for being so cute and only growing in the tummy. If I could maintain this weight to the end I’d be happy, but the baby is growing now, so I know I will not. Three months to go and then I will look like real hell and slowly start the burn off. My man weighs less than me now. I just want to take off five pounds and I know I would look better. I get married in a few weeks and I look like a pear.

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Heather January 20, 2014 at 8:51 am

I’m sure you are beautiful and your man thinks it when he looks at you! But you have to feel it too. What I did was replace EVERY sugary carby thing with fruit and veggies. Pack your fridge with every kind of fruit imaginable and don’t deprive yourself of it. And maybe you could sneak a 15min walk in the morning and then in the evening.
Have fun at your wedding!! :)

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Katie J March 28, 2013 at 10:13 pm

I am so tired of women thinking that pregnancy is an excuse to eat like a pig and get fat all over. My mother was 5’6″ and 105 pounds when she got pregnant with me. She gained only 17 pounds and i still weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces and was full term. And i am a surgeon so it obviously did not negatively impact my IQ. There is nothing wrong with being “skinny pregnant” and as a physician i can tell you first-hand that women who are skinny pregnant tend to have healthier babies and easier labors with lower incidence of c-section that women who use pregnancy as an excuse to eat for 2 and pack on 50+ pounds.

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lex June 1, 2013 at 10:22 pm

So you want them to look like a popsicle stick when they’re pregnant? They are some women that have 10 pound babies and the babies are healthy too.

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Heather January 20, 2014 at 8:36 am

We are trying to get pregnant and the only thing I am terrified is the weight gain :( I hate myself for thinking this way but I can’t stop it. I have lost 25lbs in the last two years and even though I still feel I look fat .. still have thick thighs and a big butt .. still not ‘good enough’ .. I am okay. Some days even better then okay when I wear something I like and do my hair.
I’m so scared to to gain the weight back and look like a short ompaloompa with a round puffy face again. Maybe I won’t be able to lose it again? Sometimes I don’t even want to go out with my husband because I feel so terrible about my body. Like it’s just never good enough, thin enough, toned enough. Being pregnant on top of that feeling … I just don’t know. Maybe I will feel better .. like I have a reason for being round and chubby.

The world is so messed up with what it has done to women’s minds.

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