Mommyrexia: Growing Trend or Trendy Term?

54SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
8/9/2011 10:00 AM   :  61 comments   :  123,684 Views

Currently pregnant with my third child, I know what it's like to struggle with all of the changes a pregnant woman's body goes through.  It can be hard to see your belly expanding in ways you never though possible, and dealing with other "fun" side effects like varicose veins, stretch marks and swelling.  Although it's not easy, the end product (a beautiful baby) is worth it.  Some pregnant women have a harder time with the weight gain than others, which has lead to a new trend called "mommyrexia."  Is this really a widespread problem, or just media hype?

One recent article cites celebrity moms like Victoria Beckham, Rachel Zoe and Bethenny Frankel, who either didn't gain a lot of weight during their pregnancies, or lost most of it within a month of delivery.  The fear is that other women look at celebrities like these as the standard, feeling disappointed with themselves if they aren't back to their pre-pregnancy size right away.  Some maternity shops in the New York City area are now stocking extra-small sizes based on customer demand.  The article also mentions that some websites are offering more maternity workout clothes "which meet the needs of pregnant woman who exercise, sometimes excessively."  Personally, I think it's great that more pregnant women are staying active, and also appreciate having more choices when it comes to workout clothes (besides wearing my husband's t-shirts and a pair of baggy shorts.) 

I've been lucky in that I don't usually feel good for most of my pregnancies, but I look pretty good.  I don't experience much swelling, don't gain an excessive amount of weight, and from behind, you might not know I was pregnant.  It's not intentional- I do exercise regularly and try to make healthy food choices, but I'm not strict about it.  For nine months, I just look like I'm growing a basketball in my belly.  I can relate to the pressure after birth to return to a certain size, because I've felt that in the past.  My body has never returned to exactly what it was before I had kids, but I've learned to accept that.    

After the birth of my first child, a close friend made some very hurtful comments about my weight gain.  She said she was very concerned about me because of how I looked.  She assumed I was trying to stay as tiny as possible, when in reality, it's just how I happened to grow.  Because I didn't gain an excessive amount of weight, something must be wrong with me.  I didn't appreciate that someone would jump to uneducated conclusions, assuming that I would put my own vanity ahead of the health of my growing child.   I do think the idea of "mommyrexia" is very disturbing, but I also think it's important to remember that everyone is different, and it's never a good idea to rush to judgment about how healthy or unhealthy a pregnant woman is based on how she looks.

Want to learn about being healthy throughout pregnancy? Check out SparkPeople's sister site, BabyFit for more information.

What do you think?


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Comments

  • 61
    I stayed active during both of my pregnancies, and still gained 40 and 38 lbs respectively, despite relatively healthy eating. I figured I had to keep my strength and cardio fitness up in order to manage the demands of child rearing. Never got rid of the last 5 lbs after each pregnancy, but honestly, was too skinny at my pre-baby weight. All is good now; I'm as fit as I've ever been, having regrouped after an emotionally draining 5-year stretch that compromised my efforts somewhat. - 4/27/2014   6:01:51 PM
  • 60
    After 8 1/4 months of throwing up, I lost weight when I was pregnant. Couldn't really exercise because I was too busy throwing up. Labor? No pain, just throwing up. Needless to say, I lost weight during pregnancy. I was told that I looked sickly for losing too much weight.

    I could never comment about someone gaining weight... although my weight gain came well after my daughter was born. - 4/24/2014   8:43:57 PM
  • 59
    I've never had kids but watched as my sister has had two beautiful, healthy babies. For both she lost weight, not because she was trying to or on a diet. With the first she had horrible sickness (not just in the morning) and made a very conscious effort to eat healthily so that what she could keep down was good for the baby. With the second, even though she ate well (fruits and veggies were her go to because that's what she was craving) she ended up with diabetes and was on a low card diet for the last part of her pregnancy. She ended up dropping 35 pounds before the kiddo was born, and he came out a happy and healthy 9.8 pounds. Any way you look at it, you need to do what's best for the kiddo. - 1/27/2014   10:13:39 AM
  • SKYSKY7002
    58
    Regarding personal health issues such as weight and exercise during and after pregnancy, I simply can't comprehend why someone would discuss the matter with anyone other than her physician.

    The reality is that no one really cares how much you weigh or what you look like or what size you wear. Relatives and "friends" might make catty remarks but those that do don't care about you nor do they spend any portion of their day lamenting anything about you.

    Self -image is just that and at the end of the day, true friends and loved ones contribute to your happiness. Rude and catty remarks are a waste of anyone's time. - 1/26/2014   6:48:09 PM
  • SPARK-EL
    57
    Grammatical nitpicking: your use of "lead" instead of "led" in the first paragraph. It's very common mistake & one I used to do quite often. On to the meat of article. As a man I can only relate to the subject thru the experiences of my spouse, who survived 5 pregnancies and births. The physical downsides are still apparent. She struggles with self-esteem and the carnage her body suffered has done little to reassure her that she's beautiful & that I love her anyway. Our culture puts too much pressure on women looking perfect. Women buy into this and perpetuate the attitude. It's a vicious cycle. It only ends when a woman rebels and says, 'I'm fine the way I am!" Good topic. Hope it inspires true change:) - 1/24/2014   10:38:14 PM
  • CAPT_VIDEO
    56
    While I've never been pregnant, I've listened for 40+ years to my Mother's story of how her OB/GYN berated her for every pound she gained while she was pregnant with me. Photos of her taken less than a week before I was born show a slender woman in a beehive hairdo and mini-dress with little sign that she will give birth in just days to a full term, 8 pound+ baby! She actually lost around 12 pounds during her pregnancy, despite being fairly slim to begin with. - 1/23/2014   4:43:43 PM
  • 55
    I have watched 3 of my zumba instructors go through pregnancies. The first had some spotting and immediately gave up everything, even when she was released to work out she didn't, gained 80 lbs, lost about 40 and now she only teaches one class a week and slacks even at that, pretty sure she has gained and sadly, her child is very heavy at only 1 years old. The other two continued teaching several classes a week, one probably gained 15-20 and she looks great, just keeps a little pooch, I think it is adorable. The other could not have gained an ounce on herself and delivered almost a 9 pound baby.

    If you are already active, there is no reason to stop everything unless a doctor says to, we need to teach our kids to live healthy so that we can stop the cycle of obesity.

    - 1/8/2014   11:37:43 AM
  • 54
    I don't have children yet, but I have watched comments of extended family and friends, when my friends and family members have been pregnant recently, with disgusted fascination.

    I think what we are seeing is the intersection of true body issues due to societal pressure to stay thin (I'm sure there are some women who really do suffer from eating disorders and try not to gain weight while pregnant) and the general society attitude that pregnant women are public property. People will think anything, say anything, and have no qualms or manners when it comes to pregnant women!!

    Think about how many times you have seen and heard some dope respond to a woman's announcement that she's pregnant by starting in on their birth or newborn horror stories. Really??? What's wrong with a good old fashioned "congratulations"???? Nothing turns normal people into mannerless troglodytes faster than an acquaintance's pregnancy.

    When my SIL was pregnant, there were family members who were snarking behind her back (in the guise of faux concern) about how much weight she gained (she was perfectly healthy, eats extremely healthily, and her doctors were happy); about a year later when my husband's best friend's wife was pregnant (very close family friend) the SAME FAMILY MEMBERS were snarking behind her back (same fake concern) about how she wasn't gaining enough weight and they were worried she was putting her body image ahead of the baby.

    The bottom line is, no matter what you do you cannot make some Rhymes-With-Witches happy. They are going to talk smack about you no matter what. Tell them to get a life. - 8/21/2013   10:42:20 AM
  • JULESMOMMY2
    53
    I have to say that my daughter is now 5 but when I got pregnant I felt so much pressure to not gain so much weight and then more pressure to loose it fast afterwards. I live in So Cal and there is so much pressure to be thin and pretty (not to mention no wrinkles, sun damage or cellulite). It's really unhealthy and unrealistic. I have lived in a few different places and So Cal is the worst! Not to mention how everyone tries to appear rich and successful when really they just have an enormous amount of credit cards and loans. Everyone I know pretty much has a nanny they found on www.NannyCare.com and they brag about it left and right. The only reason I even stay here is because most of my family lives here. - 7/26/2013   7:23:44 PM
  • SYNWELL
    52
    I had a hard time gaining weight with both my boys and I felt terribly guilty each time I had to weigh in at the ob/gyn visit like until a wonderful nurse told me not to worry too much because a baby is a perfect little parasite taking what it needs first. - 7/26/2013   12:31:23 AM
  • JESSILYN05
    51
    I understand the article and how the media can focus on celebrities as a source of a growing trend. But let's keep in mind that the celebrity population makes up a small percentage (and live very differently) then the rest of the people that make up the rest of the world's population. I don't believe it's a growing trend, and to be quite honest, it sounds like a made up label that gives people something to write about or talk about; when there are more serious issues concerning us as people (community, political, etc.). I can only speak for myself (I only have one child), but I experienced something similar in terms of weight gain and weight loss during my pregnancy. I am 5'7" and weighed 145lbs when I found out I was pregnant. By week 8 I had mourning sickness that turned into all-day sickness. I remember people telling me that it wouldn't last past my first trimester. Then people would tell me it wouldn't last past my second trimester. By my 6th month, I was 10lbs lighter then my starting weight. Finally, in my third trimester I was still suffering from the all-day sickness. It finally stopped 2 weeks before I gave birth to a healthy 7lb1oz baby boy (with a 1 hour total of a natural labor and delivery). Not only was my pregnancy plagued by sickness (vomiting and dry heaving), but it also triggered daily migraines with visual disturbances. I know it may sound horrible, but I learned how to manage it all and still enjoy my pregnancy. In total, by the time I gave birth I had only gained 14lbs, which 7 of those pounds was the baby himself. Now subtract the baby's weight and the average weight of the placenta, which left me with very little extra pounds. By the time son was 2 weeks old, I literally looked like I had not gained a single pound. Keep in mind, I ate as healthy as I could, I never deprived myself of any foods, and did the normal amount of activity woman are allowed to do while pregnant. People often tell me that I'm the exception and I got "lucky" but the truth is that everyone is different. And to give this "mommyrexia" a name is just plain silly. - 7/23/2013   7:38:42 PM
  • FATFITCHOICES
    50
    Let nature dictate what happens. I simply had no control over how much I gained. I put on 70lbs! Last thing I cared about was what someone might think. I would be starving to death in my last trimester no matter how much I would eat and it would be painful. I wasnt able to do much because if it wasnt morning sickness in the beginning it was various cramping pains that would scare me so I would stop. I could not even do light cardio on the stationary bike. I let nature take it course if i was hungry I ate If i was tired i laid down. Its no wonder kids have all these problems today who knows what damage all this ignorant stupidity is causing. It took me 4 years to lose the weight and I got in the best shape of my life. Pregnancy is NOT the time to begin some fitness plan if you're fat and out of shape or to force yourself to give up foods your body wants. Worry about the child you are carrying and not how "cute" you think you look. - 7/17/2013   12:25:02 AM
  • 49
    I actually lost 2 1/2 stone when I was pregnant. And when I say that, I mean that *I* lost about 4 1/2 stone, but "gained" 2 stone in the weight of the baby and all associated stuff. A month after I'd given birth, I was nearly 6 stone lighter than I had been before falling pregnant. Everyone demanded to know how I did it; less than a week after having my son, I looked as though I hadn't even been pregnant. 2 months after having him, I was in a nightclub (my first night out since the birth) and was chatted up more times in that one evening than I had or have ever been in my life combined.

    My secret?

    I was ILL! I suffered horribly from morning sickness from weeks 12 - 42, I had the dreaded "marbles in gravy" (if you've experienced this yourself you'll know what I'm talking about), I was unable to eat much because my baby was so large and had so much water in there with him he actually gave me an arrythmia by kicking my heart, and crushed my stomach from months 6+ so that I couldn't hold food down. When I was hungry, I couldn't stand to cook because of heat exhaustion (I can't regulate my temp at the best of times, and pregnancy in spring and summer just made it all the worse) so it was raw food. Basically, for 8 months, I pretty much lived on fruit, peppers, water, and pregnancy vitamins. I love my son and hold nothing against him, but the pregnancy was hell.

    A lot of stories I hear about women losing weight whilst pregnant include similar stories, or starvation diets consisting mostly of salads and vitamins. I really don't think it's a sign of good health to continue losing your overall weight whilst pregnant; if your belly is growing but the scales are going down, it's not a good thing! - 8/16/2011   4:47:53 PM
  • 48
    My sister actually lost weight during her first trimester, and didn't start gaining until her 3rd trimester.... all because she was actually eating HEALTHY during her pregnancy, and she didn't before.
    I think that someone who is concerned about you not gaining enough weight, should just ask about how your dr. appointments are going, and those type of inquisitive questions. unfortunately, many people don't know how to approach the subject of weight, even if their concern is genuine. - 8/16/2011   12:40:22 PM
  • LISAMUMOF2
    47
    I think everyone is different, i gained 21 pounds with my second child, lost 3pounds before delivery, 10pounds after delivery and was back to pre pregnancy weight within 3 weeks. i certainly did not try to lose the weight and i was not making healthy choices but i lost it. Four months on and i am the same weight as i was before i fell pregnant so i have not lost anymore. I do need to lose aroun 100 pounds for me to have a healthy BMI and have just started on this new healthy regime. I hope to lose this weight sensibly with the aim of keeping it off in the long term - 8/12/2011   9:02:44 AM
  • K_RENEE
    46
    I really wish people wouldn't compare themselves to the plastic artificiality of Hollywood. Birthing a child is a beautiful gift, and more people should see it that way. Just because one is pregnant doesn't mean give up on health and wellness. Take care of yourself (and your growing baby!) and pregnancy can be a wonderful experience. - 8/11/2011   9:56:45 PM
  • 45
    I'm pregnant now, 16 weeks, and haven't gained any weight yet. I can feel that my weight is shifting to the front and within the last two weeks I've begun to show. I have not been limiting my diet or exercising excessively, but I never lost all of my pregnancy weight from my not yet two year old. When I was pregnant with him I gained 55 pounds!!! I had lost about 35 lbs when I found out I was pregnant again. I'm happy with my weight right now and feel more confident about my body when I'm pregnant. - 8/11/2011   5:14:05 PM
  • 44
    I am pregnant right now with my 3rd baby. I haven't been to the doctor yet (have appointment in a couple of weeks) but my husband and I estimate I am about 8-9 weeks along. And I gotta tell you all, I am scared to death of weight gain!!! This doesn't mean that I will be "mommyrexic" by any means, but I am watching what I eat carefully. I have a 15 month old baby and a 14 year old daughter as well. I gained 85 pounds with my teenager. I was careless and (VERY) young and believed I could "eat for 2" and so I did. I didn't take the weight off until she was 8 or 9! About that same time, I met my current husband (nasty divorce when DD was 6!) and I was at a low weight for me. Life got in the way, and I got lazy and gained again. By the time DH and conceived DD2, I weighed just under 300 pounds! (292 to be exact!) The day I went in to deliver DD2, I was 354 pounds. Life was so hard and so uncomfortable. When DD2 was two months old, I got on the Spark bandwagon and lost 125 pounds in just over a year. I FEEL AMAZING! And now, I'm pregnant again.

    I'm thrilled to be pregnant... I love my children so much and a third child will be such a blessing. But I am scared to gain again. So I am still exercising, although I have scaled my workouts down from 2 hours a day to 1 hour a day. And I still track all my food with Spark's Nutrition Tracker. But instead of only eating 1000 calories a day, I am up to 1200-1500 a day. Truth is, in the first trimester, your caloric needs do not increase and only increase by about 300 calories a day after the first trimester!

    So am I "mommyrexic"? Some might say so, but I think I am leading a healthy lifestyle for me and my baby. I do not feel I am doing anything wrong at this point. I plan to discuss everything with my OB at my appointment and get her take and follow any advice she has. If she says I need to increase my calories, I most certainly will. But this just proves that every person is different. And what some people might judge as "wrong" is actually right for the person doing it! - 8/11/2011   8:53:08 AM
  • RUNESHADOW
    43
    I don't pay attention to the celebrity stuff, but this is a shame if it's encouraging women to judge themselves this way. I like the comment that women are different.

    I was bony, almost anorectic, and not healthy when I got pregnant, gained 50 pounds with my first pregnancy, eating a lot of my favorite foods to make veggies and other heatlhier foods more palatable for the baby's sake. and kept much of the weight on, for a variety of reasons (lost my home, lost my job, my folks banned the dad from our lives if I moved back ome as was necessary, etc).

    I was overweight when I got pregnant the 2nd time just over 2 years later, and was appalled at the idea of gaining MORE weight, but my midwife team told me NOT to diet. I had morning sickness morning, noon, and night and dropped 14 pounds, which alarmed the midwives. I ended up gaining a healthy 27 pounds from that point, if I recall correctly, with a 9 pound 3 ounce baby. Afterwards, I dropped over 50 pounds, over about 6 months. I wasn't trying anything special, just working 12-hour shifts, breastfeeding the infant and the preschooler (after dinner and at bedtime), thrilled with my two kids, running ragged, taking care of our apartment, and trying to provide healthy choices for my kids. I was no longer greatly overweight nor anorectic.

    I just don't understand folks on SP or elsewhere insisting the only factor in weight is calorie intake vs calories expended. Or that a woman can only justify a 20-pound gain in pregnancy. I think the point of the article is to encourage pregnant women not to be unrealistic in their weight expectations, during and after pregnancy, and not let themselves be swayed by celeb stories. - 8/10/2011   7:32:58 PM
  • 42
    I'm going to be really honest here - please don't get nasty with me, folks.

    I can't wait for the day that I am pregnant, but, the thought of gaining weight doesn’t make me happy. I would never put my vanity first, ever. The health of the baby is more important. That shouldn't even have to be said!

    But, I want to say this. I am a performer. Part of my job is looking a certain way. It sucks, but, yes, casting decisions involve people's looks. Myself, I dread how long it may take me to get back down post-pregnancy. Am I worried in a way that I would ever risk a healthy pregnancy? No. Not an option. But I won't lie and say that the idea gaining weight (and labor itself, since I’m being honest) doesn’t make me cringe. But like someone else said, it will be 100% worth every minute . . . every pound. I have no doubt. I just think it is unfair to pick on people who are honest about being nervous about the weight gain that comes with a baby. Especially when folks feel like they have to work hard to maintain a healthy weight day to day.

    The reason I'm a Sparker is to learn to be healthy both physically and mentally. I've never had an "eating disorder", but, I haven't had a healthy relationship with food and dieting either. I guess that is a disorder of some sort. I just think people throw the terms bulimia and anorexia around way to easily. It undermines the people who really struggle with the illnesses. Do I have some food issues? Yep. Am I ill or suffering because of them? No. My mom has scolded me for ‘acting anorexic’ for exercising and watching what I eat. I’m not in denial about anything. I’m just honest that I have to put effort out. That doesn’t make me ‘sick’, nor does it make me a ‘vain’ person. Not in my book, anyways. Honestly, I think that I am probably far more in line with ‘the norm’.

    I guess that what I am saying is that I think there are all different kinds of disorders when it comes to food and appearance. I don't think that criticizing anyone ever results in anything good. 'Mommyrexia' may be an honest-to-goodness problem that needs to be addressed. But to give it a clever little name for the sake of sensation isn't right.

    And, not that I can relate on the same level – not even close – but, I feel for celebs sometimes. They live in such a different world. Their appearance is their business. Right or wrong, that is how it is. I have had costumers make ‘innocent’ comments about my weight before, negative ones. And directors say that I need to tone up/shed a few pounds. But I’ve been on the other side, too - that I’m not heavy enough/too petite. Once I was even told I was ‘too pretty’ after a final callback for Eliza Doolittle; the director wanted someone that had personality alone, to make the audience – and the leading man – fall in love with that and not her looks. Whatever. I moved on. It happens all the time. But back to the celebs. Most of these gals who bounce back to tiny sizes - they were super small to begin with. I think that their weight 'problem' was already around, long before baby. I think it is crazy how fast so many of them get back down to negative sizes, but, when they don’t hold traditional work hours, they have time to devote to grueling exercise and nothing else. Are they missing out on mommy time? Yeah. But, their choice. Right or wrong.

    Last thing. Folks don't always realize that what they say comes out the wrong way. Others really just don't care. In general, we all need to be more kind to each other. Do unto others, and all that good stuff. I have a little rule – if I wouldn’t want to hear it, I won’t say it. Tough love is a different story. I’m just talking about those pesky little well-intentioned, personal comments folks can’t hold back when at the grocery store/airport/church/dinner parties, etc.

    Anyways, no one had commented from my perspective yet. I just can't believe I am the only person out there who would openly admit that they see baby weight gain as a bummer. Right now I have what I call my 'happily ever weight' - the weight I gained after getting married. Would I trade a minute of the happiness, or the good times that have more or less added up on the scale? Nope. I’d give the pounds away in a heartbeat, though, ha ha ha.
    - 8/10/2011   4:50:44 PM
  • 41
    From a husband's perspective.

    If anyone had made a mean comment about how long it was taking my size 4-6 wife to get back to her original size, I would have jumped in and said, "It took her nine months to grow the baby and gain weight. The birth of our son dropped half the weight after five hours of hard work with the last hour being very hard work (I knew because I stayed by her side through the entire process - back in the days where most nurses didn't want the dad around). As far as I'm concerned, as long as she's healthy, she can take as long as she wants to lose the rest."

    On the other hand, I might have just smacked the prissy bully.

    That's how I would have felt then, and 37 years after my youngest son was born, that's still the way I feel. - 8/10/2011   4:38:28 PM
  • 40
    My metabolism would change during my pregnancies and I would loose weight although eating healthy. I weighed 140 at two months with my third child and we weighed 140 three days before delivery.
    Ignoring nosey people is the best idea.
    Thanks for your blog. - 8/10/2011   4:29:29 PM
  • 39
    I am not of child bearing age any longer, I can still remember my doctor recommending how much I should gain.

    I can say though the concern that a family member had when her daughter became pregnant. Her doctor kept her on such a strict diet and her weight HAD to be kept under 10 pounds + the baby weight. Her daughter was in such pain at times, she was constantly afraid she might go over what the doctor stated. She looked painfully thin.

    You expect some weight gain while you are pregnant, but should be mindful of what you eat. This girl was painful just to look at. How could this doctor not see the distress she was in??? - 8/10/2011   12:13:30 PM
  • BAMAJAM
    38
    Sedonacat-- Your comments are excellent!
    Put a pregnant woman in a room, and it seems that the subject of pregnancy and birthing explodes like a bomb! Women love to relate their experiences--and some of the boneheads love to tell of their "ordeal"... perhaps someone will share that 500 hours of hard labor was her fate!! LOL Give me a break!! Please keep the negative comments to yourself, unless it can be helpful. I have three children; one baby was over ten pounds, delivered without sedation. Pregnancy and childbirth for me were the most wonderful, fulfilling and marvelous experiences. "The Prize" each time was joy beyond words! Listen to the advice of your doctor, dear moms, and practice prudent exercise & nutrition. Don't let any bonehead cause you anxiety. - 8/10/2011   11:09:18 AM
  • 37
    My first child is now 5 weeks old and I am within 5 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight. The comments about 'trying to stay skinny' resonated with me. I wouuld get comments when I was at full term (and when he was a week overdue) that I "couldn't be more than 8 months pregnant". It was just how I/he developed. Being tall, active and somewhat overweight (about 15 pounds) prior to becoming pregnant I suspect contribute to how my body looked during and after pregnancy, but it hasn't been intentional. I'm relieved that my work to get back to a healthy weight won't be so daunting, but I think that eating healthy, modest exercise and breastfeeding are enough for now. We need to stop offering others unsolicited opinions - particularly new moms who have enough to worry about! - 8/10/2011   10:34:59 AM
  • 36
    It really used to upset me when people would make comments about my appearance -- pregnant, post pregnant or otherwise. I have learned in my 57 yrs. on this planet that there are going to be people who express their "opinions" and just like the delete button on the computer, we can chose to ignore comments and move on. when someone now tells me, "Are you sure you shouldn't gain some weight?" (I am 4 ft 10-1/2 in and weight 100 lbs. -- perfect for my frame and a FAR cry from the 192 lbs. I weighed in Nov. 2009.) I can SEE that someone who hasn't seen me in awihle would be surprised to see the NEW ME adn understand that. But to say you need to lose or gain weight -- that is a very personal decision. So my comment is always, "I feel so healthy that I woudn't change a thing. How are you doing?"

    IF I wasn't eating right or just otherwise abusing my body to maintain a certain weight, I might take a comment to heart. But that's not the case.

    Just take care of yourself, and that little growing one, and forget about what others say . . . that's between you and your Dr!!! - 8/10/2011   10:12:12 AM
  • 35
    This article has made me apprehensive about having another child in the future. I love the idea of being healthy and fit during pregnancy and providing that benefit to a child. However, I have already endured scrutiny over my size because I am physically fit. I don't know if I could endure negativity during a pregnancy or directly after. Someone always has something to say, and I do wish that people would worry about their own lives more instead of picking on others. It is not constructive.

    I gained 25 pounds with our first child and was active up until about 2 months before delivery. I think that remaining active longer would have provided benefits to myself and our son because it would have reduced my stress levels. Within 4 months I was back to pregrancy weight. My sister, on the other hand, gained a whopping 5 pounds with her first and 6 pounds with her second. She is not overweight and her doctors were not worried with the lack of weight gain. Everyone is different.

    I also agree that the media is very good at pitting women against each other. They've been doing it for decades. - 8/10/2011   9:57:44 AM
  • ELEANORRIGBY13
    34
    Yeah, I hate these media created and/or fueled "phenomenons." They seem basically engineered to sow discontent and accusations between women. - 8/10/2011   9:57:25 AM
  • 33
    You know, I live in New York and we have a lot of small people. New Yorkers are in good shape because exercise is built in to living in the city -- we have to walk everywhere, we walk up multiple flights of stairs on a daily basis and carry things home. We also have a large immigrant population, many of whom have smaller builds. I'm not surprised that maternity stores here have to stock smaller sizes than stores in the rest of the country and I definitely don't think that's a sign that people here are anorexic. - 8/10/2011   9:39:31 AM
  • 32
    Personally, I think measuring yourself against what a celebrity does or doesn't do is ridiculous. They have nothing to recommend them or their choices, have a full complement of trainers and staff to ensure their desires are met and seldom have the same restrictions most other people have. - 8/10/2011   9:17:34 AM
  • 31
    People can be so cruel and really it's none of their business.
    As a nurse and prenatal educator, I do worry when the expectant mom seems to forget that she's building a human being and the choices she makes during pregnancy can and do impact the health of the baby before and after birth. The focus shouldn't be so much on how much she is gaining but exactly WHAT is she eating that meets the nutritional guidelines for her fetus. Doctors tend to focus on the "numbers" without giving good advice for meeting the needs of the baby. Usually the protein recommendations are much too low. - 8/10/2011   8:33:32 AM
  • JENNLRC
    30
    I was overweight in my pregnancies to start. I watched what I ate, making sure to eat healthy foods. I couldn't eat cakes, cookies, or ice cream ( My first pregnancy I got sick every time I ate them, my second I just refused to eat them at all). I walked everyday, took stairs, everything. I still gained 50 pounds for each pregnancy. My Grandpa actually asked me if I was having twins for my second one because I was huge, and he wasn't the only one throwing out fat comments to me. It was embarrassing. I felt like, how do these women do it! I was doing everything I could not to gain more than I had to and I still was. I have a friend of mine who had a baby and dropped down to her pre-pregnancy weight 2 weeks after having the baby! And it took me 2 years to drop that weight, my stomach looks warped as does the rest of my body, and I get (as well as many others) to look at magazines of women who have nothing wrong with them after their babies. It is frustrating when everyone around you follows the same hype and cares more about the fact you look like a blimp than the health of the baby. - 8/10/2011   7:50:47 AM
  • 29
    I am not sure what to think. - 8/10/2011   7:41:55 AM
  • 28
    This all makes such perfect sence as my Daughter is still suffering from terrible weight problems after having 5 delightful children, the youngest just 6! I dearly hope this doesn't plague her for too much longer as she gets so depressed. She's back to a perfectly normal weight and is very active - but she's always fighting to stay what she considers to be 'normal'.

    All best wishes and love to all those like me dear lass. Take heart and learn to love yourself for who you are - your kiddies sure will.!!!

    Sue x - 8/10/2011   6:14:30 AM
  • 27
    I've never heard the term "mommyrexia" before reading this blog. It's hard for people to keep from making inappropriate comments about someone expecting/having a baby but lots of times it's just best to let the comments go in one ear and out the other. You and your OB know what's best and the you and the baby's health is the most important. Best of luck with this next baby. - 8/10/2011   3:45:08 AM
  • 26
    Unfortunately people think it is their right to comment on our weight-- good or bad and especially when pregnant.. I think you did fabuluosly and congrats on your trifecta :) - 8/10/2011   2:37:43 AM
  • ANNIEW-C
    25
    I do not understand those persons who believe that what is going on inside of their head is what is going on in another person's mind! No one knows what is in the mind of another human being, therefore no one should be quick to come to conclusions. - 8/9/2011   7:05:04 PM
  • 24
    I was about 100 lbs overweight when I was pregnant with both my children and during each pregnancy - I lost weight, around 20 lbs. I wasn't trying to lose weight and in fact I was eating non stop the entire pregnancy. With my first pregnancy I hated going for my checkups because I dreaded weighing in and getting dissaproving looks from the nurses and a lecture from the doctor every time, but my husband was there to back me up that I wasn't trying to lose weight. My son was a normal birth weight of 7 lbs, six years later we found out I was pregnant again and I had a similar experience through my pregnancy, although this time I had a different OB and I had explained to her my experience with my first OB. Since I was 41 at the time I had more appointments than normal this time and I had monthly sonograms to monitor the baby. I lost 25 lbs the second pregnancy, my monthly lab tests came back normal, my doctor concluded that the pregnancy itself was speeding up my metabolism. My daughter was a few ounces more at birth than my son was. Both very healthy children. Our society rushes to judge others and we don't see to stop to realize that others are judging us with just as harshly or more. We need to stop judging and start accepting that we are all different and that is the beauty of being human. - 8/9/2011   7:01:06 PM
  • 23
    OK... the baby might not "take what it needs from the mother's body" as stated in one comment...for instance, folic acid. If mom is deficient in this important nutrient it can cause all sorts of consequences in the unborn child. Good nutrition is important to both the baby and the mom, before, during, and after pregnancy. Rather than focus on that little "basketball" shape, having it or not (which is a longed-after shape for many a pregnant mom) but rather than being obsessed with a particular shape, mom's need to be obsessed with good nutrition. Then pregnancy pounds will be good, and weight will return to normal. Well.. good nutrition, and good fitness routines, of course. Whether a particular fitness routine is healthy for mom and her unborn child is between the mom and her doctor. All that said... I do think there is, on the part of some expectant moms, a perhaps deeper-than-healthy desire to remain small during pregnancy. Again... good nutrition is the key... not calorie counts or the weight scales. - 8/9/2011   6:37:58 PM
  • 22
    I agree that it's important to not jump to conclusions. I am not naturally thin. I gained about 30 pounds with my pregnancy. I walked a bit, but was too sick (bronchitis first trimester, flu third trimester) to sustain much activity. However, once I had my daughter the weight was gone within a few weeks. That's not to say that I looked exactly the same at my pre-pregnancy weight AFTER birth as I had BEFORE birth. I didn't care about the weight, and had bigger things on my mind than a number on the scale.

    I don't know if my experience is at all the norm, or totally unlikely, but I know I would never assume mothers-to-be, or new mothers, were starving themselves to keep/get back to thin. - 8/9/2011   3:54:50 PM
  • JAY75REY
    21
    I remember back in the dinosaur days, reading that 20-25 lbs was the normal weight gain for pregnancy, whether you're fat or skinny when you start out.

    My mom was pregnant and gave birth 10 times !!! And it was her experience that people just like to make comments to pregnant women, and didn't care if they were being rude or not! Maybe it's just curiousity or fascination with how the body changes. Maybe it is genuine concern, or maybe it's cattiness. Who knows?

    So I would say, either respond in some way to the person, in the moment, if you feel offended, or, just let it go and move on! Good luck and good health to both your and new baby!
    - 8/9/2011   3:53:44 PM
  • 20
    I think I netted about a half a pound in my pregnancy. I dropped about five, and I was always concerned that my baby wasn't growing enough, but the doctor never seemed that concerned, and she was always right around her normal size at every ultrasound. After she was born, I weighed 25 pounds less when I went to my one month check up with the OB. Like someone else mentioned, it's not something that I did intentionally. But because I knew that I was having a baby, I started making better eating choices and stopped eating junk food.

    I've never heard of "mommyrexia" before, but I certainly think that most women aren't vain enough to put their unborn child's health at risk for their own benefit. Every pregnancy is different, and we can't always be comparing ourselves to one another. - 8/9/2011   3:41:38 PM
  • 19
    Wow ... there are some interesting comments here. Here's to healthy mommies and healthy babies! - 8/9/2011   3:33:51 PM
  • 18
    I'm just curious why your friend's comments were received as hurtful rather than as honestly concerned. - 8/9/2011   2:22:29 PM
  • TALLDOLL
    17
    I had a co-worker once who was the same way. She didn't gain anything except a basketball. I don't even think she bought any maternity clothes. If I didn't see how she ate on a daily basis, I think I would have probably drawn some wrong conclusions. I think it really depends on how your body reacts. Some people are blessed. - 8/9/2011   2:13:06 PM
  • DENISEKAYLINK
    16
    I have to wonder if you are being honest with yourself. The clues in the post are these: you consider yourself "lucky" that you don't feel good but do look good throughtout pregnancy. And you are upset that a close friend brought up her concerns about the health of your baby. (I know plenty of women who didn't gain much, including one friend who wore her pre-preg jeans home from the hospital, so don't assume I'm a fat mom justifying myself. ) - 8/9/2011   1:58:43 PM
  • 15
    I actually came out of the hospital weighing less than I did when I got pregnant- with BOTH of my kids! Not because I was "mommrexic" either- Quite the opposite. I just quit eating junk and drinking sodas and started eating lean red meat, veggies, milk, etc.

    After delivery is when my weight gain happens... *gulp* Nursing makes me HUNGRY and I no longer have the pregnancy hormones dictating what I should eat- makes falling back into my old junk food routine WAY too easy. - 8/9/2011   1:56:56 PM
  • 14
    I think weight gain is different for everybody, and sometimes it is just out of our hands (unless one is making an effort to restrict calories or just plain overeats). I have 4 children (the last pregnancy with twins) and could never gain more than 24 pounds. Even so, all of them-twins included-were of normal birth weight. It wasn't because of excessive exercise or being particularly calorie-conscious. It just seemed to be where I 'maxed out'. I do have a small frame, and I think that is true of a lot of the celebrity people. As long as moms are listening to their physicians and eating healthy/getting sufficient exercise we probably shouldn't get too caught up in the media commentary. - 8/9/2011   1:28:53 PM
  • FOOLERY_TOM
    13
    I have seen other women get pregnant more than once, and have very different pregnancies. These are the same women, with the same partner. To even think that one needs to be like some celebrity is insane when we might not even be the same as our own selves. I have not yet experienced the joy of kids, but when I do, I'll try to keep this blog entry and its comments in mind if I start freaking out about weight gain. - 8/9/2011   1:20:17 PM
  • 12
    Well, it's unfortunate that the writer felt the need to go into defensive mode rather than discuss what is and isn't healthy and safe during pregnancies. (Although I agree that unwanted advice and assumptions during pregnancy is beyond annoying.) I have no idea if there is such a thing as "mommyrexia" (first time I've ever heard the phrase, actually.) I do know that women should discuss weight gain and planned exercise with their doctors, and go by that advice only.

    - 8/9/2011   12:59:54 PM

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