Pregnant woman standing on scales

Feeling Self-Conscious About Pregnancy Weight Gain

Some women really do glow and exude self-confidence, from the moment they pee on the stick to the final push of labour. These women look amazing in maternity wear – even yoga pants – and seem to have been designed with pregnancy in mind. These women appear to be doing pregnancy ‘right’, and as they jog past you, momentarily blinding you with their glow, you can’t help but worry that you’re doing pregnancy all ‘wrong’.

Not all women feel confident and beautiful during pregnancy. For some, the changing body and continuous weight gain can take its toll. If you’re feeling self-conscious about pregnancy weight gain, the following tips may help to ease your mind:

1. Weight gain during pregnancy is normal – It’s not just normal, it’s expected. Your body is busily growing a whole other person, so of course you will probably put on a few extra pounds. Look around you, all of the other women at your prenatal class are looking pregnant too.

2. Weight gain doesn’t mean overweight – Weight gain during pregnancy is made up of lots of different things. On average, the placenta alone weighs 0.7kg (1.5lb), and the extra blood coursing through your veins is responsible for an extra 1.2kg (2.6lb). Your body stores fat in preparation for breastfeeding, so around 4kg (8.8lb) of fat is there to make sure you have the energy necessary for feeding your newborn. So don’t think of it as ‘fat’, think of it as pregnancy weight.

3. Pregnant bodies are beautiful – You may not feel it now, especially if you’re nearing the end of pregnancy. You may feel big, cumbersome and exhausted, but to most onlookers, you are beautiful. Your body has changed to allow you to grow, sustain and birth a new life. It might not be the Hollywood figure we’re used to seeing in the media, but that doesn’t mean you’re not rocking it.

4. It’s only temporary – It can be hard to adjust to the physical changes of pregnancy. As soon as you become accustomed to one change, something else changes. Your bump will continue to grow, your breasts will change and your face may look a little bigger by the end too. Through all of this, remember it is only temporary. After the birth, your body will start to shrink back down, and you will be able to regain a little bit of that sense of self you are currently longing for. You’ll even be able to get into your old jeans again.

5. Track your numbers – As long as your weight gain is within the healthy range for your pre-pregnancy BMI, you should have nothing to worry about. Your healthcare provider should have weighed you at your first appointment, and have offered you advice about healthy diet and weight gain. If you are concerned about weight gain, speak to your healthcare provider.

6. Nearing the finish line – if pregnancy has been nine long months of feeling insecure, worrying about weight gain and longing for your old body, you are probably keen to get to the finish line. Remember, when you do finally reach the finish line, your newborn baby will be waiting for you.

How do you feel about your changing body?

Written by Fiona, proud owner of a toddler, @fiona_peacock

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.

Fiona PeacockFeeling Self-Conscious About Pregnancy Weight Gain

Comments 45

  1. Pingback: Baby Bumps: Tips to Help You Look Great During Your Pregnancy | Ambermakeup And Hair

  2. Oarabile

    This is my first pregnancy and and I am 24 w & 4d. I can’t believe how precise your topics are you seem to unswer my questions and put me at ease just as I need it. I was feeling off about my weight just this morning and now I have been reassured. Thank you for the work you put into this, the support really helps. Besides this morning I am loving my pretty shape and bump soo much and already feeling like I will miss it when Baba is born. 😆 Can’t wait to meet him though…

  3. Anna Reeves

    I’m 24+4 with twins and I’m 4.7kg lighter now than I was when I found out I was pregnant at 5 weeks. It feels strange to have lost weight but my bump is big and babies are well, it just goes to show, there is no “normal” x

  4. Natashaa

    Im 22 first child ..24wks and 4 days i was 9 an half stone and I’m now 12s. Got bad cellulite at the backs of my legs bad heart burn constant and boobs have gone from 34B to 34DD. I have no stretch marks can’t wait to meet little man. I’m not bothered about the weight gain but uncomfortable with the cellulite. Good luck ladies (:

  5. Sapheara

    24 weeks 4 days and I’ve put on 26lb. I have gained a lot of weight, but I swear most of it is in my stomach (abdomen ) area. I have been super self conscious, and at first I felt beautiful and pregnant, which I still kinda do, but the weight gain is sorta starting to get to me.

    Doc said not to worry, and that everything is fine. So as long as she is alright and this weight gain is normal and expected, then I’m going to try to relax and let nature take its course.
    Thank you so much for this blog I read this morning. It literally made me feel so much better, as I’m sure it did lots of other pregger women too. I’m trying to stay positive about the whole weight gain, and all of the other side effects that come with it, but so far I think the weight gain has been the hardest, I’ve never weighed this much in my life.
    But after all, we are all growing a freaking human being inside of our bodies, we need this extra weight for so many different reasons, and pregnancy is a beautiful experience, so going to stay positive and keep my little miracle warm, safe, and well fed for the remainder of my pregnancy. Best of luck to all of the other preggo mommies, and congratulations. 😊

  6. Winsome

    I am 24+4 prego and gained 30lbs I am a personal trainer. I don’t eat a lot of junk. I cook my own food. I probably eat out once a week. But cant avoid this weight gain. I am very active. I walk a lot. Don’t know why I’m gaining like this. But they say my blood pressure is good I just took my sugar test. Let’s see what happens. Don’t want to gain no more. But dont have no control. This is also my first pregnancy and I’m 34. 😩 I’m just embracing it for now. Hopefully i can lose it with no problem. Plus i cant breastfeed because my implants are above the muscles. I’m all messed up. But it will be worth it. Back on diet after baby.

  7. Kimberley ritchie

    I’m 24+ 4 I hate my weight gain this time, it’s so different to when I had my daughter 7 years ago, they didn’t do bmi, it was end weight to see how much you gained, and as long as baby was healthy they didn’t care to much. So I felt much more relaxed, and just are what I could (I suffer terrible sickness) this time I was already 2 stone overweight I’ve put on an extra stone, and I literally look and feel like a whale. I can’t wait to get the baby out, I can get comfortable, have terrible sciatica, my bump is larger , plus all the other stuff that comes with pregnancy. On top of this I’ve been given a leaflet about what happens to birth options if your bmi goes over 35, so I’m freaked out about that. It’s not nice that I don’t feel supported by my midwife, hospital or NHS trust, Because I’m overweight and pregnant. I just want to be done now.

  8. Shannen

    I wanted to add that it was also reassuring to read about the ‘right’ way to look and be during pregnancy. We all do it differently! 💖

  9. Shannen

    I needed this so much today. “Sense of self” that’s what I’ve been feeling a longing for for so long. I’ve struggled with how I’ve seen myself for since I could remember and then add getting all the baby weight… doesn’t always help soothe my mind but I am happy that my baby is getting nourished. And giving thought to the fact that it is only 9 months. It’s a beautiful time even if you are sick most of the time like I am. There are good moments and even though they keep us mommies up at night… we love being able to feel them moving around. Remember when you were wondering when you’d feel them? 💖

  10. Woolly

    Not written for those of us that are obese. I just look fatter and “oh you don’t look pregnant at all” just hurts

  11. jubu

    If you don’t feel well with your pregnant body, ask your partner or male friend or family.
    My partner keeps saying I’m the sexiest and most beautiful with my pregnant body and extra curves. Makes me feel good. 🙂
    The kilos don’t matter. stay healthy for yourself and your baby.

  12. Kim

    My first pregnancy i was anorexic and bulimic; 5’4″ 112, gained 45lbs. 2nd pregnancy still eating disorder; 118, gained 40lbs. 3rd pregnancy recovered from eating disorder😀 127, gained 40lbs. 4th pregnancy 132, gained 35lbs. And im currently pregnant with my 5th, 24weeks 4 days and ive gained 13lbs. 137pre, 150now. Im trying to embrace my growing belly. I have days i feel like a beach whale and days i feel thankful and love my sweet baby belly. I think most women have insecurities about their body image, so sometimes being pregnant can challange our views. I know i have. This blog is great. I enjoy coming on and reading about others experiences. Great community!! Congrats mommas!

  13. Amber

    I’m 24 weeks 4 days and I’ve gained 9lbs. My only issue is my boobs are huge and my back hurts!! Besides that I love my lil bump 💖💖💖 can’t wait to meet my baby girl!

  14. Bianca

    I’m nearly 25 weeks with twins and so far have gained 7kg. Depending on what’s been happening with my body throughout the pregnancy, some months I’m happy with my figure and some I’m a bit insecure. For the most part I’m pretty happy with my shape now, I haven’t been able to exercise apart from walking to work but next week I will start again as the complications have resolved. I’m eating the same as I did pre pregnancy but I know I should cut out some of the chocolate I’ve been eating!

  15. mel

    With my first I gained 3stone, yet I had a tiny bump until 8months when suddenly people started noticing. I’m now 19wks with #3 and I’ve put on just 3lbs. I’m convinced the scales are broken but I am getting an obvious bump now! I suppose every woman is different and carries differently. As long as all is healthy I’m guna try not to worry about the weight gain.

  16. Nichola ritchie

    I’m 24weeks +4 I’ve gained around 14/16 pounds. I’ve always been active, fit and healthy. I worry about the gain since I can no longer run and I’ve found my first hint of stretch marks. This worries me because I used to be bigger but lost all the weight due to lifestyle change, but now I’ve gone past it! It’s all boobs and bump thankfully but I still in slight panic

  17. Adela

    I’m 25weeks pregnant with twins,firts pregnacy and I put on 9kg until now.I eat lots of vegetables and fruits but I don’t say no to icecream.My babies are healthy and this is very important for me.I really don’t care if I will put on some extra kilos,I now that after delivery I will have enough time for sport&diet.

  18. Lauren

    I’m 24w4d and I’ve put on maybe 12 lbs total. I was 170 before becoming pregnant but the morning sickness made me drop a whopping 14 lbs in a matter of a month and a half. My doctor says I’m right on track with normal weight gain and I’m a healthy 168lb at the moment. 🙂 I’ve never been terribly self conscious about my body image because I’ve always found a way to love the way I look and feel. I’ve got a cute little belly full of happy baby kicks and I can’t wait to finally meet her!

  19. Jenika

    I’m 24 weeks and gained 15lbs so far. I go back and forth between feeling like a complete cow and not caring because I’m on cloud nine with this baby growing inside me! But my major issue is acid reflux/indigestion/heartburn. It’s all day every day and any relief lasts only a few minutes. I don’t know what to do for it anymore. Any suggestions?

  20. Irene

    I’m 24+4 now and i gained 13 kilo allready. Because i have reuma i’m sick at home since week 9, i can’t do ajything because of joint pain and that’s why i gained so much. It’s really frustrating because i normally am really active and proud of my trained body. It’s nice to read that i’m not the only one altho i do think that girls who gained only 5 kilo till week 24 can’t call themselves whales, that weightgain is only baby and belly weight.

  21. Kat

    Hello, Im 24+4 and ive gained 8kgs so far. I feel great! Enjoy this amazing time ladies and try not to bother yourselves too much…good luck to all 🙂

  22. M

    hi all! I’ 24+4days with my first. I’m 33. I was very fit when I got pregnant. I gained 7kg so far. No upset with this. It’s ok. But I dont like other changes, like breasts getting so big and heavy, walking is difficult, sometimes breathing is difficult! I don’t like my skin right now…never had any zits. And it’s so dry!
    Few more months….I’ll manage 🙂

  23. Sheila

    This is my first pregnancy and by 8 weeks of pregnancy i was 99lbs, wish i consider underweight, i also had esting disorder and my stomach was very reduced.
    In the first trimester i could barely eat anything because of the morning sickness but right after i got my 12 weeks i was eating a lot better, so i have never been happier with my weight. I’m 24 weeks now and i’m weighting 118lbs i hope after the birth to get back around this weight even though it seems like i’ve only gained weight on my belly.

  24. Hannah

    I’m 25 weeks now and if I’m honest I feel like a whale. I’ve been told I’m massive and I have a couple of friends who are pregnant too, both due in the next few weeks, who’s bumps aren’t as big as mine. I wouldn’t say I’ve put weight on anywhere else and apparently you can’t tell I’m pregnant from behind but my hips are so painful I’m waddling when I’m not on crutches. I think if I wasn’t signed off work and was able to be a bit more useful I’d be happier overall so able to cope with the frumpy feeling.

    Sounds silly but I’m kind glad to hear I’m not the only one who’s worrying about how I look/feel with weight gain. Makes me feel less alone and self conscious

  25. Jessica

    I’m on my third pregnancy, and I’m 24 weeks. So far I’ve put on 12lbs. I’m really trying not to put too much on, as with my first pregnancy I put on 3 stone which really depressed me.

  26. Amber

    I’m 24 weeks and I’m more self conscious cause I’m not gaining weight I’ve lost 30lbs and still losing with every weigh in it makes me self conscious I’m doing something wrong cause I’ve been so sick

  27. Laura

    After losing weight in the first trimester due to HG, I didn’t mind the scales gradually going up. Anything is better than the sickness!! But as the scales continued to go up so just stopped weighing myself! Problem solved! I’ve also gone up 10 bra cup sizes, yes 10!!!

  28. Kari

    I’m 24 weeks now, I’m worry and too self concius because I gained 20 lbs already and it’s upsetting because I watched what I eat, I do yoga, I walk, I have an active job, so I feel I have 3 months and just 10 more to put on to stay on the healthy charts, I get so stress and I don’t know now what to do.

  29. L

    Hi, am 24 +4 days with my first pregnancy. I’ve put on so far 4kgs. Yes , I do worry about my weight, but please tell me of a lady who does not. I have a active job and I do a lot of walking and I watch what I eat. I have a healthy baby girl moving around and am looking after myself.
    I’ve worked out my pregnancy weight increase throughout my 9 months via the Midwife and am sticking to it.

  30. Sarah

    I’m 24+4 now. I’m 5’4, in the summer I was 107lbs, over thanksgiving and Christmas I was up to 113lbs (just before conception), today I’m 127lbs. I’ve always been petit, buy gotta say, I’m loving being pregnant and feel great. My bump is very obvious now, but I’m very proud if it. We had a hard time getting pregnant, so I guess I’m just really grateful. I notice all the pregnant ladies now, and I always think how beautiful they look too – and so are all of you! Take some time to get your nails done, or put some lipstick on – we are our most womanly now!

  31. cloverleaf

    I’m a recovering anorexic. I’m 12 weeks pregnant and couldn’t be happier but I do worry about the weight gain and how it will affect my recovery. I was back to a healthy weight when we found out about our baby so I’m just hoping that my illness doesn’t set me back. My husband is so supportive that I have so much to be thankful for. Good luck ladies x

  32. Rosario

    Before reading this I have to admit i felt really insecure about this extra weight i am 6 months and my belly is visible now though I know realize that its is a beautiful thing giving life and this extra weight is ok!

  33. Sharon

    This is my first pregnancy. I lost 6kg through morning sickness. I am 30 weeks and have put 4kg back on. People keep telling me I am way too little to be 30 weeks which is quite upsetting.

  34. Jo

    I’m 24+4 with my 2nd child (first will be 3 in May), and pregnancy weight gain is something I struggled with the first time (I gained 20kg with first) and am struggling with again this time; I have gained 9-10kg so far this pregnancy. As much I can see and appreciate the miracle it is to grow another person inside of you (it really does amaze me when I stop and think about it!), I find the changes in my body, and feeling so out of control with my body, very difficult to adjust to mentally. I started this 2nd pregnancy a stone heavier than the first, so although I’ve put 9-10kg on so far, it actually feels like 15kg already because of the extra stone I put on in the 6 months just before I got pregnant (simply by over indulging and slacking off with exercise). So yes, I find it a struggle and I am obsessed by the number on the scales, but then I have to keep reminding myself that I lost it all last time (I was 4lbs off my pre-preg weight within 12wks of giving birth with my little boy, without really trying super hard), and so I can do it again, it might just take a bit more work 2nd time around. And I have to remind myself that these changes are temporary, and at the end of this I will have 2 beautiful children, and that’s what really matters, not the number on the scales or the number on the tag in my jeans. Once my baby is here safe and sound, and my family is complete, I’ll have the rest of my life to work on ‘project me’, and work on getting myself back to someone that I recognise in the mirror again. It will just take time. Good luck everyone with your impending arrivals : )

  35. Chelsea

    I am 24+4 with my first, I have only put on 4kg so far but feel huge! I was asked by a customer how far along I was and before I could answer he said about 34 weeks or so?… He is an ultrasound tech and sees quite a few woman daily so to hear from him I was big was concerning. I am slowly becoming more comfortable with my body! Hopefully bub isn’t to big by the end!

  36. Elizabeth

    I’m 24weeks pregnant and the weight gain I’ve had isn’t too bad. But I’m adjusting well specially as not that long ago I had an eating disorder. Thankfully my little man is the light of my lift and I’ve started loving food again

  37. Jaimee

    This is my First and I’m 24+4,
    I recently lost 21kg and so far have put back on 9kg of that so yup feeling very inscure at the moment.. I keep telling myself it’s ok and it’s expected but it is still worrying to me and scary.. I am walking on a daily basis but no gym workouts for me as my Doctor advised against it..

    I am excited and can’t wait to meet my lil miss, she will be the jewel of my life but I also can’t wait to get back on track..

  38. sylvia

    I’m feeling depressed, it took me two years to get rid of 36 kilos in my first pregnancy I put in 30 kilos, I’m now close to 8 weeks and I”ve put on 2 kilos even though I’m still running 7 Ks a day and still doing 4 days light weight training, my clothes don’t feel snug yet but my tummy is starting to pop out. I’m so frightened about going back to my old weight when it took me so long to get rid of it and I”ve never Been so fit in my life. I’m blessed to be pregnant again but I’m dreading the thought of putting on more weight

  39. Kathryn

    I gained far too much weight in my first pregnancy 5 1/2 stone! Just eating far too much really, I’ve been much healthier this pregnancy and at 36 weeks I’m feeling great! Still put on more than a lot of women would, I’m just not a tiny person but keeping active with my 2 year old and watching my diet has helped me feel much better this time round 🙂 looking forward to meeting our little girl in a few weeks…moving house next week – must be mad!

  40. Danielle

    I’m 21 weeks and people I don’t see regularly can’t even tell I’m pregnant, and people I do know say I’m still quite small. My belly hasn’t really popped yet but I’ve just gained extra padding here and there… Aprox 8.5 kg so far. I’ve been really sick with whooping cough and nausea and back pain that I haven’t been able to exercise for most of this pregnancy… I have to constantly remind myself, it’s ok, it is just for now and our baby boy will be worth it – plus, I can take him fir loads of runs in the pram !!

  41. Ali

    I am horrible nervous about gaining weight. This is my third pregnancy and my youngest isn’t even one year old yet. I used to be pretty tiny- then with my first I had to be put on bed rest and gained a lot of weight. It took me a really long time to drop some of the weight, and I’ve never lost it all. Then with my second I gained the correct amount but can’t seem to shake it off. Now I am currently cooking the third with the weight of the second. It’s a little upsetting.

  42. Busie

    I am,feeling super great about being pregnant 🙂 and my family tells me I have this glow. To my fellow pregnant pals, remember you are baking a most special bun and the oven should be “hot” for it. Go on and rock your pregnancy!!!!

  43. Erica

    I’m very self conscious about my body, this is my 4th pregnancy and I started it overweight. I had problems with weightloss before coming out pregnant, I worked really hard with diet and exercise and it just wasn’t coming off. I’m just scared that after I have this baby the weight won’t come off at all.

  44. Lindsay

    I actually feel guilty about my lack of weight gain. Not that I’m not eating but my recent job change has me going from sitting most of my day to on my feet and any weight I gain goes to baby and falls off elsewhere. Ultrasound shows baby is perfect and already has chubby cheeks but there’s days I feel like I’m not showing enough for 26 weeks 🙁

  45. Jane

    This is my 3rd pregnancy and at 16 weeks I’ve only put on 5lbs (this is less than my first two pregnancies at this point), but it’s still hard to feel my body changing in ways that make me feel “fat”. I tend to linger in that beer belly wide hipped phase until the last 2 months of pregnancy. It’s uncomfortable to see that you’ve put on 20-30 pounds and people still can’t tell that you’re pregnant because there’s no “pop”. I’ve always thought the girls who have a nice round belly their entire pregnancy were so cute. I get a nice round butt instead 😉