I’ve gained varying amounts of weight with each of my four healthy pregnancies (not counting miscarriages); some of them, pretty significant variations. When looking at my specific situation each time, it’s not hard to see why I gained differently.
I was nineteen years old and working full time when I became pregnant with her. I had typical morning sickness for the first trimester – I would eat breakfast, throw it up, go to work, feel queasy until lunch, and then have a huge appetite for afternoon and evening meals. There were a few huge mistakes/problems with my situation…
- I really felt like I was allowed to “eat for two”
- I rarely cooked because I was so exhausted after working so my husband and I ate out a lot
- I didn’t relax enough; I was on my feet for the entire shift
She was born at about 38 weeks and weighed 7lbs9oz. I had borderline high blood pressure and had gained 40lbs.
After having her, I lost all the baby weight without any effort within six months. My age combined with exclusive breastfeeding are the explanation for that, I guess!
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I went down to just working weekends after Maggie’s birth so my husband could be the one to stay with her. A few months before becoming pregnant with Joshua, I quit my job to be a stay at home mom full time. I was twenty-three years old.
I didn’t have morning sickness with him and, overall, I felt much better physically. I didn’t deal with appetite issues. Because I wasn’t on my feet all day, I wasn’t exhausted by evening, so I cooked. We ate at home almost all the time. I exercised regularly, but gently.
He was born at 38 weeks, weighing 8lb1oz. I had healthy blood pressure and I only gained 25lbs.
I again lost 40lbs within six months without much effort. Crazy cool.
* * *
Years later, I finally got pregnant again with a healthy baby (I had suffered three losses). I was thirty-one. I went into the pregnancy a much healthier person. I was used to working out, eating healthy portions – of great food – and going out to restaurants rarely.
I was still a stay at home mom but was also homeschooling the two older children as well. I was on my feet most of the day but could sit when needed. Once the first trimester fatigue ended, I began exercising again. I didn’t have morning sickness and did have great blood pressure.
He was born just after 39 weeks, weighing 7lbs12oz. I gained 29lbs overall.
I lost 15lbs within one week of having him and then never lost another pound. I still have no idea why except that my age was more advanced and perhaps I needed more calories than I was taking in to keep up with breastfeeding? I never did lose the other fourteen pounds, even after four years. I lost motivation quickly.
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When I was thirty-five, I became pregnant with her. I had morning sickness and it lasted for a long time – about half the pregnancy. It was no surprise to me, at the anatomy scan, when I was told her gender because apparently she and her older sister shared the ability to make me hurl while their brothers did not. lol
Despite being queasy and ill every morning, I didn’t make up for it at night by eating more. I simply ate when I was hungry, and I found that I really wasn’t any hungrier than normal. By twenty weeks, I had only gained seven pounds. This concerned me but the midwives assured me that everything was fine and baby was thriving, so I tried not to worry. My weight gain has picked up near the end, but not because I’ve changed my eating habits. I began exercising at 35 weeks, when the risk of pre-term labor was over (I was really paranoid plus I’ve had kidney stones which caused contractions).
At 38w1d, I am at 20lbs gained. Of course, I am hoping she is born soon (!) but even if it’s a few weeks yet, I don’t expect to tip the scales much more. I will update this post once I have her. :D
What has your baby weight experience been? And if you have more than one child, did you gain differently based on age and lifestyle changes?
I delivered her at exactly 40 weeks, weighing 166 lbs (so, a pound more than when I posted this) which put me at a total of 21 lbs gained for my fourth pregnancy. She weighed 8lbs 10oz. :) As of July 14th (18 days postpartum), I was down to 138 lbs – seven pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight!