Embracing Pregnancy Weight Gain


Truth. Embracing pregnancy weight gain has always been something I’ve struggled with.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my growing bump. I would even say there’s a security in its rapidly expanding size. It’s the growing ‘everything else' I struggle with.

Having always been a UK size 8 and a self confessed fitness fanatic, I thrive off feeling strong, lean and light on my feet. I feel comfortable and at ease in my non- pregnant size. I’ve battled it’s daemons and come to love what it can do for me in spite of it’s imperfections, of which there are many…yes small breasts I’m talking about you. The thing is, I know how to dress small breast, large pregnancy breasts not so much and don’t even get me started on the swollen ankles, bingo wings and thunder thighs.

Of course I understand some of these things have their purpose and for that very reason I can learn to love the uncomfortably large, ridiculously hard to dress breasts. The thighs of thunder however are a little harder to welcome. I mean seriously why? Surely there’s no valid physiological reason as to why each time I fall pregnant my thighs begin to look akin to the thighs of a ‘Worlds Strongest Man’ competitor. What happened to the sleek, chic pregnancy image I had in my head, the one where I was all bump and no lumps?

Alicia Learning Embracing Pregnancy Weight Gain During Her Second Pregnancy

Alicia Learning Embracing Pregnancy Weight Gain During Her Second Pregnancy

At just a couple days off six months pregnant with my second child (and regardless of my desire to just sit on my behind all day gorging on carbs and chocolate) I have remained strong, continuing to exercise five to six times a week and eating healthy 90% of the time. Yet despite of all my efforts my body, just as it did previously, continues to expand (remember I’m talking ‘everything else’ here, the bumps a given and I want that to grow!).

And so despite the my desires for a chic, sleek pregnancy, I have come to the conclusion that perhaps I am wrong and that just maybe there is a very valid physiological reason why my body wants to hold on to some extra weight in pregnancy. It could be for the baby, it could be for me, I’ll probably never know but the one thing I do know, is that it’s time to accept it and god forbid, maybe even embrace my pregnancy weight gain.

Who cares if my thigh gap is rapidly disappearing, I am fit, strong and healthy and most importantly doing what’s best for my baby. I know I will loose the weight in time, just as I did my previous pregnancy but only when my baby boy is ready to make his entrance. In the mean time I shall focus on maintaining my strength and fitness through exercise, and nourishing my baby and body through healthy eating, not dieting.

Remember every pregnancy is unique, as long as we are taking care of it properly our body will do just what it needs to do, and we (especially me) just need to trust it.

Words by Alicia Irvine-MacDougall

To find out what exercise I do to maintain both my strength and fitness, check out my series of prenatal videos featuring the lovely Charlie from Bumps & Burpees.