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to feel under pressure to look a certain way while i am pregnant?? ie slim with small neat bump

(81 Posts)
mistyshouse Sun 06-Oct-13 19:09:48

am 3 months pg with dc3 and i was the same with the others as well. i took it a bit too far with dc2 and i only gained about 14 - 17lbs with her. and ended up having to have a growth scan at 32 weeks as my bump was so small. she is fine though but sometimes i still feel bad that i could have harmed her somehow sad

i don't want to do that this time. but i am still finding myself calorie counting and feeling guilty if i go over 2000 cals in a day or eat particularly unhealthy foods.

i like to keep slim when not pg and watch what i eat and try not to go above a certain weight. i think a major reason for my not wanting to get too big in pg is because i think the smaller i can be the easier it will be to get back in shape once the baby's here.

i have this look in my mind that i want and its tiny and slim all over with just a neat bump and never getting massive. i had that last time but it was through depriving myself and the baby, plus was only 28 so i was younger, am 33 now so realistically am gonna struggle to get any sort of decent shape back. i don't want that this time but at same time cant face getting massive.

someone said i already had a "little bump" yesterday and i was mortified, ended up crying afterwards. i don't know why, i feel like i shouldn't have one yet at only 3 months

dh knows how i feel and thinks i am being silly. and probably lots of you will think i am being shallow and awful. i wonder if anyone will admit to being the same?

mistyshouse Tue 08-Oct-13 17:01:01

oh manic your post brought tears to my eyes - i am sure your DD's are just naturally small and its nothing you have done. but i would feel the same. and i am sorry to hear your new pregnancy comes with mixed feelings - so does mine TBH but now i am almost 13 weeks i am accepting it now, the first few weeks were a whirlwind of mixed emotions, one day i would be happy, the next day i would be wishing it hadnt happened and thinking about not going ahead with it sad

i am glad you have a lot of support though - i have spoken to my midwife but i just dont think she really gets it. and dh knows how i feel but he doesn't get it either, he says he thinks i am beautiful however and that i look beautiful when i am pg but i don't believe him

i have never met anyone who feels like i do (or admits it anyway), and if you want to chat more please feel free to PM me.

and shelly baby number 6! shock wow thats amazing

Shellywelly1973 Tue 08-Oct-13 13:38:27

You might feel old but I'm 7 years older then you & on baby no6... I look exhausted today & feel it!

I wish I was 33 & on baby no3...

Take care of yourself & your little baby.

manicinsomniac Tue 08-Oct-13 13:04:16

I totally understand how you feel but you need to be careful.

I am also short and am underweight and newly pregnant with number 3.

With my first pregnancy I was anorexic. I hardly showed at all until 6 or 7 months and gained very little weight. My now 10 year old daughter is the size of an average 7 year old and far from robust. She was 5lb when she was born, full term. Fair enough, she would have been likely to be small anyway but I never stop feeling guilty about that. She could so easily be developmentally delayed or suffer serious health problems.

I managed to maintain healthier behaviours for my second pregnancy but was still obsessed about weight gain and small bump. My second daughter is six and also small, but not unusually so.

I am desperately trying to make myself gain weight and exercise less with this new pregnancy. It doesn't help that I don't want to be pregnant and I don't want another child. But that is my issue, not the child's, I have to get it right for him/her.

I do have a lot of professional and personal support though. I don't think it's possible without it. Have you spoken to anyone about your feelings?

nicelyneurotic Tue 08-Oct-13 12:47:17

Glad you are feeling better OP. I will admit to have felt the same, and I know my friends have too, but there comes a point when you just think 'sod it' and eat whatever your body tells you to eat. You will bounce back afterwards I am sure, I know women older than you that have fab post pregnancy figures. Running around after 3 DC any weight will just fall off!

Oh and stop weighing yourself until a month or two after the birth.

SweetLathyrus Tue 08-Oct-13 11:32:41

OP, if you are crying because someone told you you had a small bump, could you be a little depressed? Of course not everyone feels the same, but if you are pregnant, take some joy in that (or a seat on the bus/train at the very least!). It's not considered healthy to gain lots of weight while pregnant, but aspiring to a particular shape? Sometimes, shape is determined by baby (I didn't gain more than expected, I was petite to begin with, but DS had other ideas and was a distinctly untidy bump!)

kohl Tue 08-Oct-13 11:26:07

Am glad you're feeling a bit better OP. I really think that this is something to mention to your counsellor.

mistyshouse Tue 08-Oct-13 11:20:36

yes there is nicelyneurotic - i wonder why? its just another stick to beat women with :/

dh was saying (he is older than me) that in the past women thought it was a GOOD thing to get big and round in pregnancy, but now its a bad thing

i feel so much better for this thread though. thank you all flowers

nicelyneurotic Tue 08-Oct-13 09:40:55

I agree that here is a lot of pressure on pregnant women not to gain too much weight.

I am slim but gained loads in pregnancy. I was down about it but had lost it all by the time DD was 6 months with no effort. I now weigh less than my pre pregnancy weight. I think an awful lot of the 'weight' is retained water.

I would enjoy treating yourself while pregnant and trust your body to get back to normal afterwards. If it doesn't fall off naturally you can always diet when it's safe to do so.

And I'm almost the same age as you - it's not old!

mistyshouse Tue 08-Oct-13 09:26:26

oh i know triggles 33 is not old as such it just is round where i live!

what was the other thread fryone was it the one where the man was complaining about his wife's baby weight? it was deleted wasnt it for being a possible troll. god if it was real it was awful, i hope no men think like that really sad but suspect lots probably secretly do

i have tried to tell my midwife how i feel about my body and about eating but i feel she doesn't get it

am already in counselling for other reasons, perhaps i should mention it to my counsellor as well

I kept to a largely healthy diet in both my pregnancies.

With DC1, I gained over 2 stone, and generally just looked fat, not pregnant. Lost it quick enough, though.

With DC2, I did NOTHING differently, and barely gained any obvious weight. Midwife sad it was a small neat bump, and I basically gained the weight of bump and nothing more.

Both times, I actually showed a bump early, this is far from unusual, especially with a second or subsequent pregnancy.

Nothing changed either time, same diet, no calorie counting, no fussing. And weight gain was different. It's not something you can entirely control.

And in light of another thread on here today, you need to remember one simple thing. Your body will NOT be the same after your pregnancy, there will be changes. I think you need to talk to someone about your thoughts, perhaps the midwife. thanks

Trigglesx Mon 07-Oct-13 19:14:12

33yo is not an "old mummy." When I went into labour at 39yo with DS1, the other 3 women in the room were all about my age. Not a young one in the bunch. And I had DS2 at 42!! At 33, you're still a young 'un. grin

ivykaty44 Mon 07-Oct-13 18:54:00

you do know that the celebs are make serious money from putting on weight to then lose that weight again - so the mags can do the look at her now pictures and run a story on either how much weight she put on or how much she lost - there is money in it and it is done on purpose to make money - it is not real in any sense of the word sad

mumofweeboys Mon 07-Oct-13 16:52:40

Just had my third and you could tell from 8wks I was pregnant. I love my huge bump as ahows lovely healthybaby and makes the rest of me look thinner

mumofweeboys Mon 07-Oct-13 16:50:48

If your really worried about gaining why not try alimming world. You can follow the plan while pregnant. You have to eat so much dairy and fibre foods everyday as well as eating lota of other foods. No food is banned. It would allow u to eat healthly whille not worrying that your piling on the weight.

Lweji Mon 07-Oct-13 15:30:27

If it helps, I had a massive bump but didn't put on much weight.
I didn't deprive me of nothing, but didn't eat too much either. in fact, I made an effort to eat a bit more, but that's another subject

Considering you're on your 3rd, it's natural that it shows now. It doesn't mean you're huge.
I had a noticeable bump at 4 months with DS (my first and only).

fishandmonkey Mon 07-Oct-13 15:21:02

i sympathise OP. i feel pressure too.
i'm on my second pregnancy and with my first i was really active and fit and had time to go to the gym loads so by the end of the pregnancy i had a nice neat bump and hadn't grown anywhere else (apart from boobs). this time my thighs are all cellulite and i'm only 4 months!

i think lots of women feel fat and ugly at times during their pregnancies but it does sound like your feelings are getting in the way of your enjoyment of this special time in your life, and that seems a shame.

i suggest going to talk to someone about it. maybe a therapist? i'm not saying you have a huge problem or anything, i'm no expert, but you might benefit from talking to someone who can help you get a different perspective so you can enjoy your pregnancy and not hate yourself for eating more than 2000 calories a day.

MinesAPintOfTea Mon 07-Oct-13 15:12:36

Stop buying the mags if they're negatively affecting you. I realised some books were encouraging negative thoughts so I took them to the charity shop. You don't need that negative stuff in your head.

fluffyraggies Mon 07-Oct-13 14:48:21

heart - i am no expert and am happy you can prove me wrong in assuming you can't snap out of it - because you did! smile Well done. It sounds like you have gone through the mill flowers

OP - I sympathise completely. I'm pregnant at the moment. An 'older mum to be' this time around (arrgghh hmm ) and yes the world seems full of young mothers who look like they havn't put on an oz.

Sometimes we tend to see what we want to see though, or more acurately what our poor minds are looking to torture us with! For every young late teen early 20's pregnant woman looking fab there will be just as many late 20s, 30's or 40 somethings about. Pregnant and looking ... normal. But we just don't spot them when we are fretting about our own looks.

Please do look after yourself and baby and try to stop torturing yourself. You are doing an amazing thing ... growing a new human being grin Be proud.

Forget the celeb magazines. You are torturing yourself with them, as with the comparisons with other mums. You are effectively starving yourself if you are counting calories every day, restricting yourself (why not just eat until you are full, and then stop eating?) and hate yourself if you go over 2000 calories. Now is not the time to diet

mistyshouse Mon 07-Oct-13 14:32:38

OP think about how sad it is that women these days who show the signs that they have given birth (ie carried on the human race!) are considering themselves ugly sad It says more about society today than anything else IMO. I despise all these celeb magazines where women pop back into view 6 months after going into hiding before giving birth. ''Look how fabulous so and so is looking - AND back in her pre preg. size 0 jeans'' Woopy do! And this means ... what exactly? That women must not bare the signs of birth? Will the menz find them unattractive now they've been 'used'?

i TOTALLY agree fluffyraggies - i wish i did not feel like this but i do. and i don't think the media images which you describe do anything to help. yes i could avoid heat magazine and other trash like it etc but i like it blush

and honestly i am not starving myself - i always eat between 1500 and 2000 calories a day. (and occasionally more but those are the days i really hate myself sad ) .....the problem is how i feel about myself. this will be my last pregnancy and i want to enjoy it not beat my self up every day sad

it also doesn't help that my area / dcs school has lots of young mums (at the grand old age of 33 i am an elderly mum, seriously hmm ) and they all walk round with tiny bumps like they have merely had a large lunch, and the ones who have dcs already have 2 - 3 little dc's trailing after them yet they are in fucking crop tops etc envy urgh

NomDeClavier Mon 07-Oct-13 13:30:35

I don't think precise weights are helpful. As bonsoir says French doctors like to limit your weight gain to 9kg. I 'got away with' 10kg but they were convinced DS was going to be a monster. He was nearly 4kg, which also means compulsory GTT in all subsequent pregnancies here, so I literally dropped 8kg in the delivery room. The rest was water and boobs. Had I put on any less I wouldn't have been able to sustain BF, as it was I lost scary amounts of weight those first few months. So sometimes putting on weight really is necessary.

That said I do understand the pressure to keep your normal shape and add a nice, neat bump to it but it just doesn't work like that. Equally if you usually count calories and keep yourself in shape then accepting the normal changes that happen in pregnancy and allowing yourself to eat more than usual is hard.

Try and find a supportive MW or dietician who can help you come up with a balanced, healthy diet and a suitable amount of exercise so you minimise extra weight gain and still feel in shape.

IceBeing Mon 07-Oct-13 13:29:58

orange not so much a BF myth...more that the statement that 'On average women find it easier to lose weight while BFing than FFing' doesn't mean that every woman will find it easier to lose weight BFing than FFing or that 'easier' is the same as 'easy'.

I am afraid your one experience (even added to mine to make two experiences) isn't enough to overturn the average experience of all the women in the UK....hence the statement that BF on average helps you lose weight is still true and not a myth...

fluffyraggies "Re: 'tummy fucked' and ugly: I don't want to sound preachy, as eating disorders/body image problems are not something you can snap yourself out of.

Respectfully, having been there I'd disagree.

At around 8 weeks pregnant with my daughter, having just made myself vomit for the second time that day, I sat down on the bed breathless, a little sweaty, the standard after taste in my mouth and sore lump in my chest, and thought

Right, I either stop this now or I'm going to have to have an abortion.

My pregnancy was unplanned. I weighed under 8 stone when I got pregnant (I'm 5 ft 8). I noticed my tummy looking round when I was less than 6 wks pregnant, because it was normally SO concave. I also found myself stealing my partner's sandwiches from the fridge in the middle of the night. In 2 years together, he'd never seen me eat a piece of bread (or pasta, rice, cereal, etc.)

I spent the first weeks trying to do the impossible - balance my ultra-control of my eating with my body's desperate urge to eat. I realised at 8 weeks it was one thing OR the other.

I was weighed at my booking appointment - by that time I'd already gone up to 10 st 2, a healthy weight for my height. I requested that I wasn't weighed again during the pregnancy, so have no idea what I weighed after that. I was big by the time I gave birth - not huge but well-built. It took a while to get it off and I never got back lower than booking weight (giving me a BMI of 21 or 22) after having my daughter. nor did I ever go back to starving, bingeing, or vomiting. (I have suffered intermittently with anorexia and bulimia since the age of 15.)

In this pregnancy I've had no issues with eating. I've eaten a few too many biscuits and chocolate bars, but I'm not huge, and I know it'll come off gradually once I give birth.

What i'm trying to say is that pregnancy can actually be the best opportunity ever to re-educate yourself, turn your attention onto something other than your own body and your own weight, and become healthy rather than obsessive. it's no fun having eating problems but it CAN be changed.

ivykaty44 Mon 07-Oct-13 13:09:29

Op as long as you are eating and eating a healthy 2000 calories then all should be fine. I would avoid sugary food and drinks but not totally discount and make sure you get a good all round source of food from many sources, plenty of vegetables, beans, lentils, white meat, fruit, wholemeal bread rice and pasta. That way you know then you are giving the best types of foods for a good start to your baby and if you want to count how many calories that are going in - fine but don't obsess about that part to much.

As others have said talk to your midwife about your worries.

MinesAPintOfTea Mon 07-Oct-13 13:07:28

OP: you have a BMI of 21 with those measurements, that's only just in "normal" for a non-pregnant woman. By the end of pregnancy you should have put on 1-2 stone because of the baby, placenta, fluid etc all of which is left in the delivery room well you should take the baby with you. I know its hard to accept that you need to put weight on in pregnancy, but you do. Not fat, but actual weight because by the end you have loads of extra fluid and a whole other person in there.

Have a chat with your midwife, maybe she can get you some diet advice to help you eat enough whilst keeping it healthy.

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