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Fed up with obsession about weight gain during pregnancy...

(56 Posts)
Mummysaysno Tue 19-Feb-13 02:34:47

Really interested to know what is 'normal'...we live in Hong Kong and I have my weight measured every four weeks, and at 24 weeks am at the high end of 'normal'.
This is our fourth child, my children all were born as 9lb plus babies, and I loose the weight after IF I exercise/eat well just like anyone.
I asked my ob what the focus on weight is...is it GD, he said no, although I'll be tested for that as routine at 28 weeks. In the UK I've never had this obsession with weight by midwives, nor in US.
Like many women weight issues can really stress me out...I hate talking about my weight, hate weighing myself, and am probably about one stone heavier than my ideal weight pre pregnancy. However there have been times I've lost lots of weight, and can't eat, due to being unhappy and valued being 'happy' if a little heavier than I liked.
My question is...how much weight gain is 'normal' for real women who eat and crave chocolate? FYI I just put on 5lbs in last 4 weeks and I think he said 21lbs in total so far.
Thanks for patience reading this!!!!!

Mixxy Tue 19-Feb-13 03:16:25

It's the same in the States. Weighed every doctors visit. I always ask the nurse if she wants to get on the scales after me. But I've managed to block my weight gain out by asking that I be weighed in kgs. I've no concept of kilograms so finding out that I tip the scales at 82 doesn't really bother me!

Mummysaysno Tue 19-Feb-13 03:31:16

Yes I should ask my male ob to weigh himself!!!!
Funnily enough I had one of our children in NYC and don't remember obsession with weight...but I did manage to find one of the hard to find midwives instead of having an ob/gyn so I think she enjoyed breaking the rules a bit!
Thanks for making me laugh! grin

Mixxy Tue 19-Feb-13 04:09:15

Must have been your midwife, because Im in NYC and the weight obsession starts early in the pregnancy. Don't let it get you down!

Mummysaysno Tue 19-Feb-13 04:28:02

Oh I can imagine!!!!!!

HazleNutt Tue 19-Feb-13 07:16:45

Same in France, weighed every month and was warned not to put on too much.
There are different opinions what's normal, one source recommends:

TanteRose Tue 19-Feb-13 07:26:13

Yep, same in Japan too - they can be ridiculous about it confused

vvviola Tue 19-Feb-13 07:33:01

Same in Belgium too. Although I had an English obstetrician who just kind of shrugged his shoulders and told me that Belgian women expected the focus on their weight. He never mentioned it to me again.

(He thankfully also never did the constant vaginal exams that seemed to be standard in Belgium from very early on.)

TepidCoffee Tue 19-Feb-13 07:38:58

God, I would hate this. I was weighed at booking in and just had my 38 week appointment (well, nearly 39 weeks). It doubled as my homebirth booking so was done in my house. The mw asked if I had weighed myself recently as its technically supposed to be done again at 38 weeks.

I made a shock confused hmm series of faces and said I would really rather not. Yep, I'm slightly overweight (and probably always will be) but I have historical eating issues, plus I am measuring bang on, am low risk and you can see that I haven't put on an excessive amount. Thankfully she just laughed and said we could skip it.

Are morbitity/mortality rates related to excessive weight gain higher in the UK than other places mentioned on this thread as having an obsession about it? I seriously doubt it!

curiousgeorgie Tue 19-Feb-13 09:11:17

I'm in the uk and get weighed at every appointment as I have GD, just managed with diet.

I'm 22 weeks today and since booking in have lost 8lbs. I've never been so happy to be weighed!! ;)

ExpatAl Tue 19-Feb-13 09:36:36

Yup same in Belgium. A friend of mine even had her belly pinched in a 'look at all this' kind of way. Unbelievable. Other than that I think the prenatal care is good here.

ExpatAl Tue 19-Feb-13 09:37:28

Curiousgeorgie, how did you manage to lose so much? That's amazing.

Mummysaysno Tue 19-Feb-13 09:40:03

So interesting to see how it's done elsewhere. Someone had posted a link earlier which said in UK weighing constantly was stopped as women got anxious...well I'm not alone then!
The scales are in the reception area so I have to weigh myself and then say out loud what I weigh to the receptionist...in front of whoever else is waiting eugh!

Flisspaps Tue 19-Feb-13 09:48:24

What happens if you refuse to get on the scales (just out of interest)?

ExpatAl Tue 19-Feb-13 09:55:53

Well you could I guess. But I don't think it's just because they want to see how fat you're getting - they're also looking out for any patterns that might signify a problem. I get my blood pressure and pee checked every time too - every four weeks. Also bloods to check for toxo and cmv.

noblegiraffe Tue 19-Feb-13 10:00:47

Isn't about 2 stone normal? I put on most of that in the first two trimesters when I was starving all the time and ate tonnes of sweets and chocolate, then in the third trimester I barely ate as there wasn't enough room for my stomach. So don't worry if you're thinking your weight gain will continue as it is.

Mrsambition Tue 19-Feb-13 10:28:01

Am in NI & havnt gotten weighed since my booking in appointment! It actually annoyed me that I have no idea how much I now weigh. I think it's the general obsession with weight that dominates every society now, some more than others & unfortunately some women more than other pregnant or not. Don't let it get you down as long as your not in the obese category & baby is healthy I wouldnt worry.

ExpatAl Tue 19-Feb-13 10:38:18

I wouldn't appreciate having to shout it out to the receptionist but it seems to me that they're quite disconcertingly matter of fact in Hong Kong. I just stand on the scales and it's written down, never mentioned. I suppose it would be if I suddenly put on a lot. I hope to not find out!

PandaWatch Tue 19-Feb-13 10:40:22

A friend of mine who gave birth in France was told, in her eighth month, to go on a diet of rice and water for 4 days as the doctor decided she'd put on too much weight hmm

curiousgeorgie Tue 19-Feb-13 10:59:45

Expat - my first DD was huge and although all my blood sugars were under control, the midwives were very judgy about it and I feel like I must've been doing something wrong. So this time I'm rigidly sticking to low GI, practically no carbs, skim milk, 3 small meals and 2 snacks a day and a long walk every afternoon.

Am only 22 weeks though so we'll see if it makes any difference!!

BraveLilBear Tue 19-Feb-13 11:07:50

I've not had many weigh-ins yet - one at booking-in at 10 weeks, then bizarrely one two weeks later when I had my bloods taken for Nuchal test.

The thing that I found amusing is there's no accuracy in it at all - the scales were in different places, operated by different people, and both times I had different amounts of clothing on. Maybe that's the other reason they don't worry so much in the UK at the moment - a lack of resources to do it properly?

fathergoose Tue 19-Feb-13 11:17:50

Weighed every appointment in the US also.

Although once I was two pounds down from the week before, and the nurse asked whether I'd been wearing different shoes. I said probably not, but I had been in a thicker jumper since the weather had been bad the week before. She laughed and said "That'll explain it then".

On other occasions they've often said "I'll take off a pound for that cardigan" or "two pounds off for those boots".

So the accuracy is laughable - makes me wonder why they do it really...

It's made me so much more aware of my weight and I've put on almost 10lbs less this pregnancy than with #1 (in the UK where I wasn't ever weighed). Still just in the 'normal' range, but only just. In a way, it's good: I still fit my pre-pregnancy jeans so have very little to lose post-birth, but in another way it's been a bit of a shame that I've been so conscious of my weight during pregnancy (and I was a low-normal weight to begin with so my weight was highly unlikely to ever cause medical issues).

fathergoose Tue 19-Feb-13 11:20:37

Sd probably add that I'm 39wks now and the weight gain pretty much only lasted until end of second tri. I've hardly gained anything since 28wks....

cyclecamper Tue 19-Feb-13 11:25:12

The midwife did my height with my walking boots on at my booking in appointment (at 21+6) and would have cheerfully weighed me with my coat on if I hadn't made her wait whilst I removed it, so I don't think much of the accuracy! I know that about the time I fell pregnant I was just under 25 BMI, and I have not gained an unreasonable amount (I weigh myself every Wednesday, pregnant or not) so if her estimates are used to nag me I shall ignore them.

HazleNutt Tue 19-Feb-13 11:34:19

No I don't think they're doing it because of some beauty standards or obsessions. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can cause issues or be a symptom of issues, so it's just another thing they keep an eye on. I also get monthly blood and urine tests, blood pressure, exams etc.

ghoulelocks Tue 19-Feb-13 11:42:03

Well I'll be careful never to give birth there! I gained 4.5 stone last time (lost 5 stone over the following year), 3 stone the next (lost all in 8 months) and gained 2.5 stone this time (8 weeks post partum I have 5lbs left of it)

I truely had no control over my weight in pregnancy (I honestly didn't stuff myself, ate a bit more of my normal diet but not the amount you would think), but I now weight less than I did at 20 and have a bmi of 20 so I think I'm proof that not all women are the same and weighing needs to be tempered with common sesne

Mixxy Tue 19-Feb-13 11:45:40

Now maybe this is just NYC, but Ive been given 3 HIV tests during my pregnancy. My husband always raises and eyebrow and ass, "What are you telling them in there?"

catlady1 Tue 19-Feb-13 11:46:51

I'm in the UK, 38 weeks and have only been weighed at my booking appointment, I'm not sure if I'll be weighed again now? I lost over a stone through morning sickness in the beginning, will they take that into account? Like, if I gain that back, am I back at zero, or will I be classed as having gained that much? Very confusing. Well I say "if," I have gained it back now, plus about another stone . I had been gaining very slowly up to about two or three weeks ago, but I've put on about ten pounds since then, so I'm glad I don't have long left!

BraveLilBear Tue 19-Feb-13 11:52:43

I've been keeping a close eye on my weight, because I'm conscious of putting on lots too quickly. I've now gained about 1-2 pounds on pre-pregnancy weight, but about 9 pounds since 11 weeks (when weight was at all-time low following ms and tummy bug).

Technically I've not gained much, but it worries that 9 pounds in 7 weeks is a lot (now 18 weeks) and I'm now eating more. Mw was totally unbothered about this when I mentioned it, and in a way I'm glad they're not weighing me every five minutes. But still, it's on my mind!

BraveLilBear Tue 19-Feb-13 11:55:29

X-post catlady I totally understand the confusion!

Mixxy 3 HIV tests?! Seriously? I'm baffled...

Mummysaysno Tue 19-Feb-13 12:01:59

We moved to NYC when I was 32 weeks pregnant with DC2. My first (male) obgyn did a smear test, HIV test and breast exam. In a panic I moved to a female practice who also did a swab for strep B maybe, I honestly don't remember, but I do remember it was rectal!!!!! And another HIV test. So huge relief when I found a gorgeous natural birth midwife who took me on even though her books were full at I guess then about 36 weeks. Oh and she would ask if I wanted an internal exam at check ups, which I would decline instead of just getting stuck in there!!
I know part of my issue is I don't think there's any choice here in HK but to go along with the poking, scanning, measuring, weighing and the prodding, and as I'm sure this will be our last, I remember wistfully NHS midwife care and lovely home birth in UK with DC3!

Mixxy Tue 19-Feb-13 12:19:13

Oh yeah mummysaysno, I forgot the second vaginal exam for gonorrhea was accompanied by a Q-tip up my arse for strep B.

I keep joking to my sister, 'still negative for HIV' and she replies 'phew! One less thing to worry'.

noblegiraffe Tue 19-Feb-13 12:22:25

What on earth are they looking for in an internal exam before you go into labour?! I also thought you couldn't have a smear when pregnant because it's all changing down there anyway.

Good old NHS, the most the midwife came at me with was a tape measure.

HazleNutt Tue 19-Feb-13 12:26:39

In France, I only got 1 HIV test, but you get monthly toxo tests. That actually makes sense.

ExpatAl Tue 19-Feb-13 12:30:40

Do they not check your cervix at all during pregnancy in the UK?

ghoulelocks Tue 19-Feb-13 12:31:57

expat-no, why would they?

Do none of you just say no thank you ?!

Mummysaysno Tue 19-Feb-13 12:35:30

Mixxy...making me laugh!

ExpatAl Tue 19-Feb-13 12:35:33

To check for incompetent cervix.

ghoulelocks Tue 19-Feb-13 12:37:33

expat, I know little on this but I would have thought the risk of infection or damage was higher than the risk of incompetent cervix?

sleepyhead Tue 19-Feb-13 12:48:09

Poking about at a pregnant woman's cervix on a regular basis seems a great way to introduce bacteria. Poking at a possibly incompetent cervix doesn't sound too clever either hmm

I guess you'd have to calculate how many otherwise asymptomatic incompetent cervixes were found through internal examination (and whether the outcome was measurably different due to early identification) versus the number of infections introduced by routine internal exams etc.

A lot of "routine" checks in health care are based on little or no evidence. Any decent HCP should be able to tell you exactly why they are doing something and what the consequences of not doing it would be.

ExpatAl Tue 19-Feb-13 12:55:34

It was just once at about 18/19 weeks as I recall, seeing that's when you're likely to see funneling if someone has an IC. The problem with pregnancy is that a great many checks are unnecessary if you have no problems.

BraveLilBear Tue 19-Feb-13 12:57:07

Expat - they'd check you if you had a problem, say unexplained bleeding or a possible infection, but certainly not 'just in case'.

I honestly don't know how well I'd cope if there was a long line of 'just in case' internals awaiting me during pregnancy - it's bad enough being examined during labour.

briochedanslefour Tue 19-Feb-13 13:07:44

I just had a baby 7 weeks ago in France, I too was weighed monthly, monthly bloods for toxo, monthly urine samples and an internal exam and mini scan by my gynae at each monthly appt.

I lost a lot of weight at the beginning due to ms then put it back on and then some and got told to be careful with what I ate otherwise id be sent to a nutritionist!! I put roughly a kg per month which he seemed happy with.
Although at my one month pos partum check he prodded my flabby belly and mentioned that id got a few kg still to loose!!

They all seem obsessed here with weight, I feel like a lot of woman here smoke and drink copious amounts of coffee to keep the weight off!!

Ive now got to pluck up the courage to book in for my post birth fannyphysio re-education of my pelvic floor where I get something shoved up there and have to clench along with the dashes I see on the screen!!

ExpatAl Tue 19-Feb-13 13:07:58

Well maybe it's all relative BraveLilBear. I spent so much of my time with legs akimbo during fertility treatments that I barely register it happening now. In fact for my 20 weeks scan I started stripping my bottoms automatically and the radiographer was horrified grin

BraveLilBear Tue 19-Feb-13 13:23:12

Lol Expat - this is true - early in my pregnancy I needed an urgent op on an abscess near my anus which required daily wound dressing. I genuinely lost count of the number of people who got an eyeful.

Glad the fertility treatments paid off for you, tho smile

Brioche that sounds so harsh! Definitely a different approach in France by the sound of things!

TwitchyTail Tue 19-Feb-13 14:01:03

Ah, just politely decline. It's pointless and stressful and a symptom of the "doing things just because we can" culture of medicine that is prevalent in much of the western world (luckily not in the NHS for the most part, thanks to it being a bit skint and therefore having to think about WHY it does things).

Pretty much all my friends and family who have had babies gained way more than the recommended amounts on those daft charts (3 stone plus), and lost it all within a year with no particular effort. Healthy eating is great but I personally don't think women should be going hungry in pregnancy. But everyone's different.

fathergoose Tue 19-Feb-13 14:24:16

I'm in NYC and have only had 1 HIV test smile Clearly I look more reputable than Mixxy ;)

Also only had one internal so far (at my 36wk appointment when they do the strep b - which I'm all in favour of: I paid privately to get that done in the UK with #1 and would have done so again), although they'll be doing another one tomorrow (39+2).

Although this is #2 for me and #1 went to term, so I guess they know I don't have an incompetent cervix (presumably you either do or you don't, rather than it changing every pregnancy??)....

Weight is an interesting one though: there's definitely the attitude in much of the UK that it's fine/normal/expected to put on weight whilst you're pregnant, which actually can be quite unhealthy for a lot of women (if you take into account the number of women already overweight when they fall pregnant). Then women struggle to lose it post-birth and end up even more overweight... Not advocating the French body-fascism, but somewhere in the middle might be better...

MisselthwaiteManor Tue 19-Feb-13 16:51:31

I haven't been weighed at all, I was asked my weight at the booking appointment and I could have said anything really.

Lovelylace Tue 19-Feb-13 18:08:13

I have never been weighed in my whole pregnancy here in the uk...

I'd be happy to be weighed at every appointment, in fact I'd welcome it. I don't understand people's paranoia. I have read numerous posts on this site where people bemoan not being able to lose excess baby weight.... Wouldn't it be easier to be monitored so that there wasn't excessive baby weight to lose?

Mixxy Tue 19-Feb-13 23:04:49

I don't know that the weighing helps worsestershire. I was a size 10 pre- pregnancy, didnt know my exact weight. Eating during pregnancy felt great for me (no real ms). I ate my fruit, my veg, my hummus, my whole grains etc. but I also had pudding and chocolate and crisps. I'm to going to deny myself something because maybe in 3 weeks time Ill have to get on a scale.

HazleNutt Wed 20-Feb-13 07:14:59

It helps in my case, I put on weight easily and don't want to end up the size of the house, so pregnancy for me is not an excuse not to control my eating. I have the willpower of a gnat though and would otherwise ignore the scales, so knowing that I will be weighed by the doc does help. Putting on too much weight is also an health issue. I'm pretty sure they would not force me if I said no though.

emmyloo2 Wed 20-Feb-13 07:34:04

I have had one baby in the UK and am pregnant with my second in Australia. I wasn't weighed at all in the UK apart from maybe the first appointment. Same in Australia. I have a private obstetrician but his midwives never weight me, thankfully. However, I haven't gained much weight so I guess they don't see an issue. I know some obstetricians do weigh you here in Australia. I would find it very annoying and wouldn't want to know. I hate the gaining weight part of pregnancy - I have had body image issues in my past and it's very difficult for me to watch the weight go up.

LeBFG Wed 20-Feb-13 11:10:04

I feel the same as lots on here. I HATE having my weight monitored (in France) and I have to make a mental effort to ignore the pressure to gain the 'correct' amount. I'm a big believer that if we're hungry in pg there is a reason and we shouldn't ignore it.

Saying that, the OB I spoke to said it was much more of a problem that women ate far too much and that's who they are really targetting. I can see that. The women in my family are pigs love their food and gain immense amounts during pg. It can't be healthy for them or their babies.

BraveLilBear Wed 20-Feb-13 11:39:51

I think in some respects, weighing or at least talking about weight could be useful. I'm not overly keen on being weighed, but I'd welcome the opportunity to voice my concerns - I mentioned low weight gain at my last MW appointment and said I was worried that it was all going to come at once etc and my concerns were pretty much brushed off.

There's a fine line between neurotic measuring and 'you're too fat' to it becoming a taboo subject. I'd like some sensible guidance from HCPs that's non-judgemental and, where possible, specific to me.

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