15 Women Reveal Exactly How Much Weight They Gained During Pregnancy (And How They Felt About It)

Leandro Cesar Santana

1. “Pregnancy is magical. But it doesn’t always feel that way. I wanted to feel beautiful every step of the way as my baby grew inside me—as beautiful as all of the kind strangers who complimented my enlarged figure seemed to think I was. But I just couldn’t get there mentally. I felt enormous and sloth-like, not gloriously feminine. Luckily, the second my baby boy was born, I didn’t give two shits about any of the 42 pounds I’d gained while he was developing. All I cared about was the amazing little creature I’d made.” — Kathleen, 27

2. “Whenever I walked by the mirror naked while pregnant, I had to do a double take. I didn’t recognize myself! It was bizarre, but in a fun way. I gained 28 pounds total and I’m 5’1” so on my small frame that was A LOT but who cares??? You’re building a baby! You’re supposed to get plump!” — Rita, 33

3. “My husband loved the way my body morphed during pregnancy. But as nice as it was to get constant reassurance from him, I didn’t feel very self-confident with my new, 36-plus-pound shape. I was absolutely thrilled to be pregnant, but I struggled with my body image, even knowing why I was putting on the pounds. That’s the truth of it.” — Emma-Rose, 32

4. “I’ve have three little girls and I gained exactly 30 pounds during each pregnancy. That seemed like the right amount for my body. Trust your body. That’s what I tell other expecting women.” — Meryl, 34

5. “I gained way too much—like, 40 pounds. If I do it all again I’ll try to be more cautious so it’s easier to get the weight off post birth. The thing is, eating seemed like my only pleasure. Sex felt weird. Shopping for my new body was meh. And obviously getting drunk was out of the question. So I turned to food. Can you blame me?” — Pauline, 29

6. “My advice? Rub coconut oil all over your belly and breasts every single night while you’re knocked up. The weight gain is inevitable (I put on a solid 38 pounds) so don’t focus on the number on the scale while you’ve got a baby on board. Focus on doing everything you can to avoid getting stretch marks once the baby’s finally out of your womb and in your arms instead!” — Sara, 30

7. “I can’t lie. I had a reallllly hard time during pregnancy watching my weight tick up and up and up nonstop. My boobs got enormous. So did my ass and upper arms. And, of course, my belly grew ten sizes. I tried reminding myself that it was all for a good cause, but that didn’t help much. I gained 47 pounds and I was NOT happy about it. It’s been a year since I had my baby and I’ve still got 7 sticky pounds left to shed.” — Isabella, 32

8. “Nothing feels better than stepping on the scale a day after you pop that baby out and seeing your weight take a dive for the first time in nine months. You lose, like, 10 to 15 post birth (I went from 164 to 149) and it feels awesome.” — Louisa, 27

9. “I’m 5’5”, just above average height, and I gained 80 pounds. No joke. I didn’t exactly enjoy looking like a whale, but I wasn’t that stressed about the weight. I mean, there’s so much else to worry about when you’re building a little life. Sure enough, I shed the weight six months after giving birth.” — Carissa, 25

10. “I never ever thought I’d miss running—until I got pregnant and started putting on the pounds. By week 20, I’d gone from 135 to 155 (that’s a pound per week!) and I was desperate to do some cardio to offset the gaining but I couldn’t handle it without feeling like I was about to faint. I gained a total of 42 pounds.” — Bethany, 26

11. “It’s safe to say I embraced the whole ‘eating for two’ thing a little too wholeheartedly. I put on 60 pounds and it was a bitch to get back to my regular weight. I found out later you only need about 300 extra calories per day. Thanks for the info, doc.” — Terry, 23

12. “During my first pregnancy the only thing that made me feel okay was spaghetti. Needless to say, I gained 50 pounds. Second time around, my body just seemed to know what to do. I gained a total of 20 pounds and barely felt sick. I actually kept forgetting I was pregnant!” — Nicole, 32

13. “People react strangely when I say this, but I rocked pregnancy. I only gained 17 pounds. I’m a personal trainer and I worked out regularly up until the day my water broke (during a spinning class). You could barely tell I was pregnant.” — Lily, 26

14. “I gained 45 pounds during pregnancy, which sounds like a lot, but I’m 5’10”. I hate how no one adjusts for height when they talk about weight gain expectations. If you’re on the shorter side I think you should expect to gain less, and if you’re taller you probably need to put on more. Not all women are built the same.” — Alexis, 27

15. “I put on 15 pounds in the first 12 weeks, but the gaining eventually plateaued and I ended up weighing 32 pounds above my normal weight when I gave birth. Pretty standard, I think. But I don’t know because I avoided the Internet while I was pregnant, which may’ve been the smartest thing I’ve ever done.” — Tricia, 28 Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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