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Not coping well with weight gain

17 replies

MamaTT · 23/04/2017 16:54

Please don't flame me! I'm 28 weeks with my 3rd DC and I'm really struggling with my changing body. This could be long!
This is also really identifying but never mind.
When I had DC1&2 (they're 6 and 7) I was obese before getting pregnant and didn't give two hoots about getting fatter. I embraced it.

A lot has changed since then. My DH had a drink problem and this made a massive impact on us as a family. I took up running and lost a lot of weight, initially healthily. When my weight loss plateaued (in hindsight, I can see it plateaued because I'd lost enough and looked bloody fab), I couldn't understand why so took to making myself sick after some meals. I became obsessed with running and started taking obscene fat burning pills and even at one point, growth hormone injections (all with my husbands support, he actually gave me the idea and bought them for me).
We got married and 2 weeks later I found out that he had a cocaine addiction. Life became unbearable, even more so when my husband committed suicide 3 months after we married. After he died, I didn't eat for a month. Looking back now, I can see i looked unwell. I knew I had to be healthy for my DC so I joined a gym, focussed on weight training, put on some healthy weight and very rarely got the urge to make myself sick. I eventually got back into running and I started to feel human again.
I met my lovely DP 6 months after DH died. I got pregnant quite quickly (contraception failure - I've been on depo injection for years). As soon as I got pregnant i knew I'd struggle with weight gain.
I look in the mirror and hate what I see. I'm trying to be careful what I eat and I'm still exercising but I'm so paranoid. I hate bumping into people that I haven't seen in ages because I worry they think I'm just a fat lump. My DC have recovered so well after DH died and I've got a beautiful baby girl kicking away inside me and I know I should be grateful but I can't wait to get her out so I can get my body back. I hate my bigger boobs and my belly and cellulite. I've put on 6lb so far but to me, it feels like 6 stone. I had a bowl of icecream after my lunch earlier and now I feel disgusted with myself. How the hell do I get out of this rut? I don't know whether to speak to the midwife but im scared she'll just think I'm pathetic.

OP posts:
hopsalong · 23/04/2017 17:02

Not flaming you at all, but I think you need to get help urgently, both with the psychological issues around weight gain and a sensible eating plan from a doctor/nutritionist.

If you were a slim/normal weight beforehand, you should have put on a lot more than 6lbs by 28 weeks and if you haven't I would worry that you've really been restricting yourself too much and depriving the fetus of the calories it needs (I'm sure it will be fine because it will take what it needs from you, but you could seriously endanger your own health.) In both my pregnancies I had gained 20lbs by that point, and I think that is normal if you start at a healthy weight. If you are actively underweight to begin with, you probably need to put on more.

Eating a bowl of ice cream after lunch is a perfectly normal thing to do. Did you enjoy it?

SayNoToCarrots · 23/04/2017 17:02

I am 14 weeks and I have already put on 8lb. I know that's a bit much, cause I've basically been eating everything I can see, but I really cannot imagine you are a fat lump with an extra 6lb.

If it helps, I read you are supposed to gain 3/4 lb in the first 12 weeks and then around pound ever one to two weeks after that. That is normal weight gain, with that you will just look pregnant, and not fat! So you could have reasonably gained between 12 to 20lbs by now, without looking fat.

SayNoToCarrots · 23/04/2017 17:04

P.S. poor nutrition during pregnancy could either result in a small baby, or a baby predisposed to obesity, as it had to hoard every calorie in the womb.

Mombie2016 · 23/04/2017 17:08

Hmm With all 4 of my pregnancies I had only gained around 6-10lbs by that point - I have a healthy BMI and to be honest I eat like a pig. Not all women slam weight on during pregnancy. By the end of all 4 of mine I'd only gained 15-20lbs.

Given your previous history with food OP I think you should be asking for a Peri Natal Psych referral from your midwife anyway - even more so when you take into consideration everything else you have been through recently. It's important to try and get support in place before/in case things go badly wrong rather than during the midst of it all going to shit.

Mombie2016 · 23/04/2017 17:09

sayno Where did you read that about babies and obesity Confused Id sure like to read that peer reviewed study.

WantingBaby1 · 23/04/2017 17:16

Oh goodness you've been through a horrific time, I'm so sorry. I really would go and see your GP. Sounds like some therapy would help maybe? Be kind to yourself .

MamaTT · 23/04/2017 17:33

I wasn't underweight when I got pregnant. I think my BMI was just under 22. So pretty much bang on healthy. Since I sorted myself after my DH died, I didn't obsess like I do now. I really had control and could eat food without feeling guilty because I knew I was active and generally healthy so I wouldn't deny myself a takeaway or a nice dinner out with DP. Now I feel guilty for every morsel that passes my lips. Today I thought "balls to it, it's Sunday, have a bit of icecream". I enjoyed it but literally as I was eating it, the guilt was kicking in. Ever since my DC were small, we would walk to the shop after school on a Friday and buy a packet of sweets or a chocolate bar each for all of us. They've noticed that I'm not having one now and have asked why. I'm trying to be careful not to let my issues influence my DD(7) as her self esteem has really taken a battering since she lost her dad.

I've got a growth scan tomorrow (because DS was born small because of a placenta issue) and I'm praying she's healthy in there. I've got an apppointmebr with my midwife then on Wednesday so will try and broach the subject but she's not the most approachable person in the world.

OP posts:
SayNoToCarrots · 23/04/2017 19:43

Mombie it's in The Epigenetic Revolution by Nessa Carey. She is summarising studies carried out on children who were born during or just after the Dutch Hunger Winter. I'll have a look if she actually references the studies.

SayNoToCarrots · 23/04/2017 19:51

Here you go Mombie. Happy reading! Grin

MamaTT · 25/04/2017 15:55

I had my scan yesterday and baby is Measuring perfectly. The issue isn't that I'm undernourishing myself. I'm eating very carefully, because I know I have to. But it's the guilt associated with food that I'm struggling with.
For example, yesterday I ate:
Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs, 1 small slice wholemeal toast.
Mid morning: natural yogurt and berries
Lunch: homemade chilli con carne with brocolli
Dinner: a huge salad with a whole chicken breast.

Today has been pretty much the same except I've got bolognaise and veg for tea.
I am feeling a bit better than I did on Sunday but I will 100% speak to the midwife about it tomorrow. I'm sick of punishing myself. I ran 6 miles yesterday morning and still felt guilty for eating the bloody yogurt and fruit! I went to the gym this morning and did some cardio and a weights circuit. I can feel my body naturally wanting to slow down and I think I need to give into it. Last night my pelvis hurt so much from running that I couldn't get comfy anywhere except the bath. I had two baths last night!
One of my main concerns is how my post-natal body will affect my mental health too. I need to try and get a grip on this now so that I'm as healthy and as sound of mind as I can be when baby arrives. I'm planning on breast feeding so again, someone else depends on me nourishing myself properly. It's so confusing.

OP posts:
theclick · 25/04/2017 16:07

Hi OP,
I feel the same as you and when taking to my GP about it, she says many women struggle with the weight gain. I too am staring at every lump and bump in the mirror wondering where my weight gain is (I'm 13 weeks and so far I think I've put on 2-3 pounds). Did your doctor think that 6 pounds is ok for 28 weeks?

MamaTT · 25/04/2017 16:11

I haven't spoken to doctor yet and I haven't seen a midwife since 16 weeks. At that appointment my weight was 4lb under my booking in weight but she just brushed it off as morning sickness. I'll see what she says tomorrow. I can't believe how different I am in this pregnancy to how I was in the other 2. I literally ate for England in those pregnancies. I was having takeaways most nights and didn't care. We are taking the kids to the cinema and to TGI Fridays on Sunday and I'm already feeling guilty about what I'm going to eat even though I know I'll choose the healthiest option I can and thinking about how I can work it off. It's so frustrating!

OP posts:
SeatOfMyPants · 25/04/2017 16:27

I am so sorry for the things that you've gone through over the past few years. This must be very tough and you sound like youve made so much progress in you and your children's happiness - you should feel so proud of yourself.
I come from this not as a nutritionist (I'm not) but as someone with experiences of eating disorders and a variety of mh treatment programmes and nutrition info!

On the physical side, I would say, particularly if you're still exercising, you are not eating enough based on what you've put up there. You need more carbohydrates for one thing - this is a low carb diet, for someone dropping weight, not for someone maintaining a healthy pregnancy weight.

On the emotional/mental side: I think you know this - and I'm repeating what everyone else is saying here, it's time to get help. You shouldn't have to deal with this kind of emotional anxiety over food or your shape and it's going to get worse, not better, if you don't get help for it. You've had an eating disorder in the past but not been treated, pregnancy is a typical time for things to get worse. Plus, postnatal body issues aren't exactly a walk in the park either (I put on all my weight last time after the baby was born, with the constant breastfeeding and inactivity - yup, piled it on, didn't drop it - so jealous of those that do!).

It's hard to face this, especially as you're doing so well and you've come so far (I get a sense - I could be absolutely wrong on this - that you feel that this would be a 'failure' that somehow showed you hadn't 'coped/moved on'). It'll be tough, but soon the benefits in how you feel about yourself will far outway the awkwardness.

SeatOfMyPants · 25/04/2017 16:31

And can I repeat that what you went through with your former partner would floor an emotionally resilient elephant. You made need further help with all of it - this wasn't a normal situation and I can only absolutely admire how you're rebuilding your life.

MamaTT · 26/04/2017 15:28

Thank you SeatOfMyPants. I know I need to go easier on myself. I'm 26 and I've been through more crap in my little life than I'd wish on anyone in a lifetime.
I saw the midwife this morning and I'm going to be referred to a pregnancy mental health team. She was so sympathetic and I literally cried on her for half an hour. I felt much better coming out of there. She's not too concerned about me doing any damage to the baby because my body will automatically give baby what it needs before my needs are met. The midwife has written on my notes that I'm not to be weighed. My weight isn't a concern so it doesn't need to be monitored. DP is chucking our scales in the skip in work tomorrow so I don't have that hanging over me. I weighed myself yesterday and was literally shaking. It's so frustrating! I'm going to try eating a bit more, and hope my mood improves. I'm also going to the GP tomorrow to see what help I can get there.

OP posts:
sailorcherries · 26/04/2017 16:37

I don't understand why people say you need to weigh more because of how far along you are.
I am 36 weeks and 4 days, I've gained 13.5lbs in total since becoming pregnant and getting my weight checked at my first mw booking in appointment. No one, and I mean no one, has issued any concerns about this whatsoever.

You have been through so much in the past two years and you could definitely do with some counselling, for both food issues and to get over what happened to your ex. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy.

RatherBeRiding · 26/04/2017 16:47

So glad you've found a sympathetic and sensible midwife. It sounds as though you are doing really, really well considering what a terrible time you've had, and I think your weight issues are totally understandable.

I too wouldn't be worried about the baby. I experienced something similar with my second pregnancy, and only gained just over a stone in 41 weeks. As it turned out a lot of that was excess water and once I'd pee'd it out following delivery I ended up, at one week post-natal, some few pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight!

My weight and BMI were totally normal, but I was a bit of a gym-bunny and really couldn't cope with the idea of gaining excess weight.

I was fine, baby was fine - healthy and a good weight.

I, like you, ate a healthy balanced diet. Just managed not to gain any weight!

You are aware that you are stressing about this, and you are aware of what a healthy balanced diet looks like. You are now accessing some decent support, your midwife isn't worried - try to enjoy the rest of your pregnancy (and congrats, BTW! Flowers)

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