Jul 202011
 

“I’d be happy if you didn’t gain any weight at all during your pregnancy.” – OB to mother who expressed concerned that she had lost weight during her second trimester.

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 July 20, 2011  Fatness, OB, prenatal  Add comments

  38 Responses to “"I'd Be Happy If You Didn't Gain Any Weight At All During Your Pregnancy."”

  1. *Technically* I gained 1 lb during my pregnancy, but only because I lost 20 lbs in the 1st trimester, and gained 21 lbs by the end.
    How is this mom supposed to carry a 5-10 lb baby without gaining weight?

    • I’ve done it twice now–my metabolism works far better when I’m pregnant. I lost 13 lbs total with my first and lost then gained back the same amount with my second, totaling 0 gain/loss. This pregnancy, I had lost 8lbs last weigh-in and I’m 24 weeks.

      But it’s not deliberate–I eat just like I always would (more, actually). I just don’t gain (and both my babies were 8lbs, 7oz).

  2. hhhhhhhhmmmmmmmm, I didn’t ask what you were happy with asstwat.
    Mumma is obviously concerned because the nutrients etc etc have to come from somewhere to grow the baby. How about we find out why there is weight loss and then we can talk about who is happy with what huh?

  3. Well I’d be happy to not gain any weight during pregnancy too, but it’s not healthy to lose weight during pregnancy. So instead of making insulting remarks about my weight how about you help me with my concern.

  4. Well then you’ll very pleased to know that I’m about to lose 100+ of bad doctor.

  5. I didn’t gain any weight during my last pregnancy… I was *thrilled*. But I didn’t *lose* weight during what should have been the most likely time to gain weight. If I had I would have wanted to know the reason.

    This sort of thing reminds me of the doc that responded to my question about possible side effects of birth control pills with “It will clear up your skin!”

    My translation of both: ‘Don’t worry your pretty head about bad things… just turn the frown upside down and smile! See this potential problem as a positive and ignore anything else it might mean.’

  6. “While I’m delighted that your personal feelings aren’t affected by your patients’ problems, and that you’re in touch with your emotions, I was more interested in discussing healthy weight gain during pregnancy. Now, have you got any studies that discuss adequate nutrition and optimal weight gain?”

  7. So…Uterus expansion, mammary gland growth, amniotic fluid, increased blood volume and a 7-12lb baby are supposed to weigh NOTHING!?

    Allow me to refer to an overused cliche:
    It’s Fuzzy Math!

  8. I tend not to gain anything during pregnancy, but I’m very heavy. And after 2 babies who were under 7lbs, I’m concerned this time around about that tendency. I don’t really get hungry though, I end up eating about what I eat when not pregnant. And this time around I seem to be eating even less because I seem to have no space for food already. lol

    Anyway, if the OP is heavy, it’s possible she might not gain much/any, but that doesn’t necessarily make it safe or healthy, even if it happens naturally for her.

    • This. It’s one thing for the doctor to acknowledge that people within a certain weight range typically gain/lose x amount of weight during pregnancy; it’s another entirely to say that it’s GOOD and NORMAL and HEALTHY to lose weight whilst growing a human within your body.

    • I’m sure you know this, but there is nothing underweight or concerning about a baby that weighs less than 7 lbs.

  9. My midwife is going to poop purple twinkies when she finds out I lost 8 pounds during my hospital stay. She was already freaking out that I’d only gained 4. Why are OBs so concerned with weight gain? I can understand if it’s obvious she’s gaining weight like crazy and there’s no sign of slowing down, but to say they don’t want a mother to gain at all? Wow!

  10. In reality, what is most important is the nutrients and quality of them that go into your body. Weight gain is obviously normal and expected and the majority of women gain weight while pregnant. But how much you go up and down on the scale is not as important and fetal growth and general health of the mother. I have had clients who simply refused to look at a scale and that is fine with me if they have good diets and feel healthy and the baby grows.
    That said, when I gained a lot of weight in my pregnancy fifteen years ago before I was a midwife, my OB said that I should simply stop eating. Period. That was when I knew for sure he was a quack, and when I was sure I wanted to become a midwife.

  11. Well, let’s take a fictional woman. OBs like to pretend that every overweight woman eats nothing but Big Macs, Ding Dongs, and french fries, and they drink nothing but soda.

    So let’s pretend this woman exists too. And she becomes pregnant. During her first trimester, she says, “You know, the pregnancy book said something about nutrition” so she googles it, and WOW! Fruits! Vegetables! Skim milk! 8 glasses of water a day!

    Suddenly she becomes a terrific eater. She replaces her three o’clock ice cream sandwich with an apple and a fizzy water. She stops eating french fries and makes salads instead. In short, whenever she’s hungry, she eats — but she makes a healthy eating choice.

    This woman (who remember, doesn’t exist) might well grow a 9 pound baby, a healthy placenta, all that amniotic fluid, a pound of mammary tissue in each breast, etc — but still weigh the same at the end of the pregnancy.

    So I can see it happening (assuming a woman with terrible nutrition goes to great nutrition) but there wouldn’t be a sudden unexplained weight loss in the second trimester to go along with it. And I’m also not sure it’s healthy for the baby if the mother burns that much fat because toxins tend to be stored in the fat cells, and if they’re released into the mother’s system, the baby may be exposed to the mother’s toxin load that she’s accumulated over thirty years or whatever.

    The doctor’s lack of concern is worrisome, though. The only pregnancy where I could NOT gain any weight was the pregnancy which ended in the death of the baby. She had anencephaly, and I’m convinced my body knew I wouldn’t need to lay down fat stores to breastfeed her after birth, so it simply didn’t…no matter what I ate.

    • I’m sorry for you loss

      • Thank you. Today is actually the 11th anniversary of the day she died. She was two hours old.

        • Happy heavenly birthday to your precious daughter, Jane.

          Thank you for sharing her with us, I am honored.

          I hope the day has been a day filled with peace and love even amidst the sadness of wishing she were here to bake a cake with you, and open presents.

        • I so sorry for your loss. You have a sweet baby enjoying heaven while she waits to see you again. I have a friend who just went through a similar situation. Breaks my heart.

    • I eat the same food pregnant or not, except that I stopped drinking pop when I was pregnant with my first, when I got diagnosed with GD (so toward the end). I lost 13lbs with that pregnancy (all during/after the second trimester), had an 8lb, 7oz baby. My second pregnancy, I didn’t gain or lose anything by the end, I was 0 change. 8lbs, 7oz baby.

      I’m 24 weeks pregnant, I’ve lost 8lbs at my last weigh-in (3 weeks ago, so I’m probably up to -9 by now). I don’t eat totally like crap either way, but when I’m not pregnant, I don’t lose weight, no matter how healthy or how little I eat. When I’m pregnant, I lose weight.

  12. As a woman who has lost real* weight during all of my pregnancies and who has had two of four children born mildly IUGR, I consider this malpractice. As far as I know, even morbidly obese women are recommended not to lose weight during pregnancy, even if they aren’t “supposed” to gain.

    *By “real” weight, I mean that I was losing actual weight even as I was gaining from huge amounts of fluid retention. Little known fact: many pre-eclamptic women lose actual weight but don’t know it since they are gaining so much fluid. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard in my PE support group, “I gained 60+ pounds during pregnancy but was shocked to be back at my pre-preg weight at 2 weeks post partum.” That was my pattern with my first and second children, both of whom were IUGR. Interestingly, with my twins I had almost no swelling, lost over 10 pounds during the last 3 weeks of pregnancy while on hospital bedrest, and they were NOT IUGR. They were my biggest babies by a lot, even though I carried another closer to term. I was absolutely gaunt, though, in my birth pictures.

    • Yep, I was actually pre-eclamptic. I wonder if they weren’t so focused on numbers instead of encouraging healthy eating and exercise if they would have caught that I wasn’t gaining much weight & my son was underweight.

  13. I’ve lost weight during all my pregnancies (I’m usually 130 or so lbs) by the end of my first pregnancy that went to term, I had lost the initial 15 lbs I gained and weighed 131 lbs), I had a 5 lbs 6 oz baby. You couldn’t tell I was pregnant until the very end, my baby was that small. He was stick thin, had no fat on his skin, and had to be in an incubator for three days to help regulate his body temp, because he was too small and thin to do it himself.

    At the start of my second to term pregnancy, I weighed 136 lbs, at the end of that pregnancy I weighed 124 lbs – no weight gain at all, just losing. By the time I hit 11 weeks, I had already lost 4 lbs. I shudder to think how much I would have weighed if I didn’t up my calorie intake and started drinking the high calorie shakes my dad had to drink when he had stomach cancer. I had a 5 lbs 7 oz baby and didn’t start showing until 30 weeks or so.

    Neither of my doctors even bothered to try and find out why I couldn’t pick up weight. I don’t eat all that healthy (although I try to when I’m pregnant). To date, 5 pregnancies, (2 living babies) all with weight loss, later I have yet to find a doctor who cares enough to see why this happens.

    People have told me I’m lucky, but this is a huge concern to me, especially since we’re going to try for a third soon. The last time, the pediatrician even accused me of starving myself (for fear of gaining too much pregnancy weight and ruining my figure) and one asked me if I used drugs/smoked during my pregnancy. Even my family have accused me of all manner of wrongdoing.

    OP, I hope you found someone who could give you an explanation & help and that you went on to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

  14. My OBs are always concerned that I don’t gain weight during pregnancy, and usually come up with helpful comments like ‘do you know you’re over weight?’…my current standard reply is…*OTT shocked voice*…’NO! Really? Dang it! I was a perfect size 8 this morning…and all I’ve eaten is an elephant and a bread truck! How the heck did I get this big?!’. It tends to shut them up, but I often get a curious look, as though they’re trying to figure out if I’m joking. I’ve also been told to diet during pregnancy (having suffer miscarriages and stillbirths, I am not inclined to risk my baby’s health just to make an OB happy, so ignore them). One told me to halve what I was eating, and followed that with ‘and that’ll still be far more than normal people eat’, she hadn’t even asked what I ate, and had no idea! But hey, I’m fat so apparently fair game for insults and lack of real medical assistance!

  15. Hear that, children? This is the sound of the sizeist Obstetrician. S/he is so prejudiced against people of size that s/he cares more about numbers than cause/effect or the health of the unborn child who might suffer if mom feels guilted into dieting while pregnant–which, in female infants leads to her daughters having shorter lifespans, due to coding in their epigenetics.

    Don’t be like this OB, children, and don’t allow one to treat you, regardless of your size, because s/he will not make the best decisions for your baby’s health if you do not meet the arbitrary numbers s/he assigns to you.

  16. Jane, your posts are always so… you. I don’t know how to describe it other than I can tell its you without reading who submitted the comment. You have such a great viewpoint.

  17. Wouldn’t today also be the 11th anniversary of the day she was born? I recently spoke to a woman whose baby was diagnosed as being anecephalic and I shared with her what (little) I know of your story from the comments here. She didn’t want to abort and I told her that she didn’t have to. She has chosen to continue with the pregnancy, saying “even if she never opens her eyes I know I have done what’s best for her”

    • I specifically asked God for a “dash” for Emily because I didn’t want to have just one date on her gravestone. And God gave me my dash: she was born at 11:03pm on the 19th and died at 1:53am on the 20th. So we celebrate her birthday on a different day than the day she died.

  18. Many women of size gain very little during pregnancy, or even lose some wt in the first two trimesters, even with great nutrition. If this doc was trying to communicate that, that’s one thing.

    But if the doc was asking her to MANIPULATE her intake to achieve this, that is different.

    Recent research shows that weight loss during pregnancy is harmful, even among “obese” women, with a higher risk for SGA babies. Very low gain has also been associated with prematurity in studies, even in “obese” women, and with stillbirth in some studies. So recommending a woman restrict her intake in order to manipulate weight gain is potentially very risky.

    Best-case scenario, this doctor may simply have been trying to let this woman know that if she is starting out with “extra” weight, she doesn’t have to gain the same as an average-sized woman. However, gaining NO weight is a much riskier proposition and it bothers me to hear it held out as a goal.

    I wish doctors would encourage women to eat healthfully and exercise regularly and stop focusing so obsessively on weight gain numbers. Those numbers are relatively meaningless; what matters far more is the mom’s nutrition and habits. Duh.

  19. I’m the OP. I am a size 16/18 which I know is considered obese. I had a few visits that I lost weight but it wasn’t on purpose. It’s one thing if an overweight patient doesn’t gain weight during pregnancy and say that it’s okay, it’s another to say “I’d be happy if you didn’t gain any weight at all!” instead of answering my question about it being a problem about losing weight. She even told me to drink only water, nothing else, not even milk and I could get calcium from Tums (sorry, not taking Tums unless I need Tums). When I went back to the OB and saw a different doctor in the practice, I asked “I know it’s okay if I don’t gain any weight, but realistically, what’s the most I should gain?” His answer: “Oh no, you need to gain weight. You need to gain at least 15 lbs. You could gain 5 lbs in a week and that would be fine because it could be water weight”.

    I had to be induced a month early because I had mild pre-eclampsia and it damaged the placenta, causing my son not to receive enough nutrients. He was only 4 lbs 1 oz and was in the NICU for two weeks. I wonder if me barely gaining any weight should have been a sign.

  20. There are some women who shouldn’t gain wait during their pregnancy. I know this sounds horrible, but if you are very obese your baby will be perfectly fine with you gaining no weight!

  21. I was told this by my GP before switching to my OB as my primary carer. Her exact words were: “I wouldn’t mind if you didn’t put on weight at all during pregnancy or actually lost a bit”

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