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Does Being Pregnant Make Complaining About Weight Gain Tacky?

By Monica Bielanko |

Git mama her donut holes and Cheetos! My stories are on TV!

I’ve been pretty vocal about my weight gain this time around. I gained about fifty pounds with Violet and I’ve gained around fifty-five pounds this time. Not a huge difference, weight-wise, but where the weight is distributed on my body is completely different.

With Violet I was pretty much all stomach and boobs. Now I’m all bum and thighs.  And chins.


My arms are fat, my back is fat. My boobs have ballooned from a 34D to a 40DD. Yes, really. And I’m 5’3″.

As the weight gain makes it hard to move, I tend to complain about this on my personal blog. Yesterday I wrote a post wherein I posted a very unflattering photo of myself – similar to the one you see right up there – in an attempt to poke fun, but also to show just how much weight I’ve really gained.

Here’s the thing. People don’t like it when pregnant women complain about weight gain. They just don’t.

“I have gained SO much weight.” You tell them.
“You’re pregnant.” They say. As if this takes care of everything with a nice tidy swipe of the hands.

Yes, I KNOW I’m pregnant. But it still doesn’t make my thighs rubbing together from crotch to knee any more pleasant. It still doesn’t mean the weight will just magically drop off the minute this kid is born. Yes, I know I’m creating life over here and that it’s beautiful and amazing and totally worth it… But it’s still really freaking weird to gain nearly sixty pounds in, like, seven months.

I think it’s strange that I get a lot of grief from people (in person and online) when I talk about how startled and bothered I am about my weight gain this time around. You have body issues, they say. Would they be more sympathetic if I’d gained all the weight by overeating? Or they look at this picture of me I posted (as a joke) and say “you are beautiful!” Would they still think I’m beautiful if they were shown this exact photo of me but told I wasn’t pregnant? Would you?

Does being pregnant make complaining about weight gain tacky?  If you complain about pregnancy weight gain do you have body issues?  Are you more sympathetic to the woman who gained a lot of weight by overeating?  These are the things I’m wondering today…

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About Monica Bielanko


Monica Bielanko

Monica Bielanko was raised on the wild frontier of late 1970's Utah. She is a recovering Mormon who married the guitar player of an unknown band. She's been married to her Babble Voices writing partner, Serge Bielanko, for the past nine years. Her personal blog, The Girl Who was in the top ten of last year's Top 50 list. Read bio and latest posts → Read Monica's latest posts →

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22 thoughts on “Does Being Pregnant Make Complaining About Weight Gain Tacky?

  1. Kate says:

    You lucked out in the stretchmark department at least! I gained 22lbs when I was pregnant (wasn’t that long ago, my son was born Jan 20) and I have the worst stretch marks I have ever seen (and I’ve seen a lot of pictures of stretch marked bellies). I am envious of how beautiful you look, even in your ‘joke’ pictures. Your belly looks perfect.

    That being said, I don’t think complaining about weight gain during pregnancy is tacky. I think it’s very human. I’m more sympathetic of a pregnant woman’s weight gain woes, mostly because although we gain the weight for our children-to-be, it is beyond our control moreso than a woman who overeats and isn’t pregnant. And this is coming from someone who was pretty darn overweight before pregnancy.

  2. Kate says:

    I think you look beautiful. Complain away, though, you must be exhausted between baby #1, pregnancy in general, AND the extra weight. Good job staying off your feet =)

  3. Di says:

    Honestly, I think the reason it leaves a bad taste in my mouth is that you are a super skinny person when not pregnant and your legs, ass and arms when pregnant are not much larger than mine not pregnant. So it just feels like when you complain about being fat that you’re calling the 90 percent of women who are your size (minus the tummy) fat.

  4. SarahB says:

    Honey, you complain all you want to. You might be choosy about your audience, but to me pregnancy so far means feeling like my body has been taken over, and gaining a lot of weight in a short amount of time is part of that weirdness. ESPECIALLY if you’ve always been skinny (ahem, Di). It’s weird for me to have a belly showing because I’ve never had one before. That’s just my experience, and it doesn’t make it any less real or less odd to undergo these changes (nor does it mean that anyone’s commentary about their own situation is judging anyone else’s).

  5. Elissa says:

    You can complain to me! I had built up strong roller derby thighs which turned to total jelly when pregnancy forced me to stop skating and stop working out so much. I did keep really active and healthy while growing this baby, but post pregnancy I am still carrying two extra dress sizes, and in all the wrong places! I’m about half an inch shorter than you and understand that, when ladies of our stature gain weight, it really shows. You have nothing but sympathy from me.

  6. rinaa says:

    I’m sorry to say this and I know it’s not easy (I gained 50 pounds myself, both times I was pregnant): We gained weight by overeating. We would never let ourselves go like that if we weren’t pregnant! I’m losing my pregnancy weight now with the help of a diet & exercise plan and there is no way I’m letting thar happen to me again… (I hope).

  7. MonicaBielanko says:

    @Di But just because someone is “super skinny” before pregnant, does that mean they can’t be upset about a 60 pound weight gain that leaves them feeling like shi*t? A 60 pound weight gain is a 60 pound weight gain… so isn’t it all relative? If I started being pregnant at 150 and now weighed 210, I’d feel the same way.

  8. Di says:

    Seriously. I wasn’t trying to be mean, just answering the question. I’m not saying you can’t feel upset at all, and like SarahB said, it probably is even more alien feeling being as small as you were. I guess it’s just the way you talk about it some of the time that bothers me. Obviously not enough to stop reading, but a little bit. I really wasn’t trying to start some fight.

  9. MonicaBielanko says:

    @Di – Ooh, I wasn’t trying to argue with you! Just exchanging thoughts! It’s nice to hear another opinion… please, don’t feel like you can’t give me The Business if you disagree with me because you totally can!

  10. Di says:

    Oh yay. It’s just so hard to tell sometimes online that I’m always a little worried people will think I’m being super rude.

    And I can’t wait to find out Kid B’s name with his (hopeful) arrival this week!

  11. Jr says:

    I feel for you. I *was* a size 6. My boobs ballooned to 38Hs! I only gained 35 pounds, but it was uncomfortable. And two months post birth, boobs are still huge — I don’t BF’d — and I still have five pounds to drop. And still no one wants to hear a complaint about it .

    Of course, my beautiful daughter was totally worth it! Good luck

  12. Alex says:

    I totally get it. I’m pregnant now for the second time and feel much fatter this time. I’m just ballooning before my own eyes. I’m a petite person (5’3″ 110 lbs) normally so watching my body “blossom” can be a tad bitter sweet. I gained 30 lbs last time. This time I’ve popped out about 8 wks earlier than last so I know I’m in for a much larger pregnancy. And honestly that bums me out. I’m depending on the magic of weight loss from breastfeeding to help me take it off, just as it did last time. Thank god.

    I think how you feel about your body is personal and just because your overweight body might be someone else’s underweight or ideal body is irrelevant. It’s too personal to make comparisons.

  13. Holly says:

    this time I have not gained a lot of weight on me per say, but my child is bigger than my other two this time and I am having a miserable time with heart burn and i cannot sleep well from the excess weight, pressing on my joints. (I am an RA sufferer as well) i feel like i swallowed a beach ball, so Monica i can totally sympathize with you. <3

  14. Mama Wrench says:

    I don’t think it’s tacky per se, but, like Di said, it can be annoying to women who are bigger not pregnant than you are when you ARE pregnant, especially since you’ll lose about 10 pounds just from giving birth and probably drop the rest of it shortly thereafter, whereas most women need to struggle for months to lose the same amount of weight.

    (Not that I’m there with them, I’m only 110 pounds at 5’0″, but I can see how they’d be annoyed.)

    Honestly, just from the pictures, you don’t look bad at all. But I know it’s more about how you feel than how you look, which is really not something people can talk or reason you out of.

  15. Angelica says:

    I think the comment “but you’re pregnant” in response to the concern of the weight gain is the most annoying thing I could hear. mainly cause I agree, just cause I am pregnant, doesnt make the extra weight on legs, arms and everyone else any easier to take and not going to help a year from now when I am trying to work the weight off. Honestly, it has been people guys and wm who have not had a baby, who have been the most annoying about my weight gain complaints. I think wm who have gone through it can understand the difficulty in accepting the major body change in such a short time.

  16. Jeefer says:

    There is no reason you shouldn’t be upset about gaining so much weight, pregnant or not. Actually, the fact that you’re pregnant makes it even worse because you don’t want your child to start out life with messed up blood sugar or being overweight, nothing like that. I just had my first child (a son) 3 1/2 months ago and recently found out that I’m pregnant AGAIN! I still had 20 lbs to lose to get back to my normal weight, still have the “baby pouch” on my belly, yet here I go again? I’m really worried since I never got to lose the weight, so I’m again eating nothing but healthy stuff (which I do anyway, at about a 80/20 ratio lol). Whole grains, lower fat, just the healthier stuff and good carbs. Watching my calorie intake still, pregnant or not. Because so many bad things can happen to you AND the baby if you just let yourself go and eat tons of unhealthy, fattening junk. Pregnancy isn’t an excuse to indulge & make yourself sick, if anything you should try harder than you ever have before to eat right. So yes, complain away. Then do something about it. I wish you nothing but the best of luck! It’s really hard, especially once you get deep into the addiction that is food…

  17. Youda Conqueror says:

    Good task publishing this article. I would like to read more about this subject.

  18. Stefanie says:

    It’s hard to be pregnant – and it’s even harder to have a complaint because everyone around you wants to be encouraging and positive. I’m all for being positive, but darn it, let me complain about what’s bugging me without mary sunshining it!:) All I can say is that the first pregnancy was not like the second, and I feel ill-prepared for what has come with it!!! Good luck, I’m certain you’ll do just fine – and feel free to talk about what needs to be talked about, and try not to worry about people who don’t understand.

  19. sadie says:

    well if you don’t want to gain weight when you’re pregnant, don’t eat like a pig. they say you’re only supposed to eat an extra 300 calories per day. if someone is gaining 60 pounds in 7 months, they’re obviously eating a lot more than an extra 300 calories. so it’s kind of stupid to bitch about gaining weight while pregnant when you could just stop eating so much and don’t lay around all day. duh.

  20. Audrey says:

    Not cool to call someone a pig for gaining 50 lbs. I had developed polyhydramnios when I was pregnant. So much fluid! So much water weight! I gained 40 lbs! And yes, I felt fat. Yes, I was pregnant… But packing on that kind of weight SO fast does a lot to your self esteem. Anyway, I didn’t “pig out” so maybe you should get your facts straight. Jerks. I lost 25 lbs in two weeks after I had my baby. I was down by 40 eight weeks postpartum.

  21. beebee says:

    well i dnt knw wht to say but try as much as possible to reduce ur calories in take,for ur sake nd the sake of ur unborn child.I wish u safe delivery.

  22. Amber_S says:

    I’ve realized that many “typical responses” are a result of people not knowing what else to say!! (Such as the response “it’s ok because you’re pregnant”).

    My OB is notorious for telling his patients to eat healthier. Would that be a better response?? A pregnant woman says “ugh, I’ve gained so much weight!” And the response is “well are you eating too much? Could you cut back on the junk food?” Would that really be better? We’re each responsible for our own bodies and health.

    I gained 40lbs with my pregnancy but never felt it was too much. If we reframe food to think of it as nutrients that our bodies will use to nourish and grow our babies, it’s much easier to eat healthy portions of good foods.

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