Are you thinking about ending an unexpected pregnancy because you’re scared of gaining weight? This is a real concern that many people wrestle with. And yet, it doesn’t seem to come up very often in dialogues about unexpected pregnancies and pregnancy options. That’s probably because this particular fear is deeply personal and sensitive. Those who experience it may be afraid that expressing it openly would provoke the judgment of others.
If you can relate to this, chances are, gaining pregnancy weight would be a truly complex matter for you. Perhaps your occupation hinges upon your ability to maintain a certain physical appearance or fitness level (this may be the case if you’re, say, an athlete or a model). Maybe you’re coping with a mental health challenge like anorexia nervosa, which has serious implications on body image that can be very difficult to manage. Maybe neither of these situations applies to you. But, for your own personal reasons, gaining weight is a very legitimate concern. Know that there’s a safe place to talk about this and process your next best steps alongside someone who cares.
Avenue Women’s Center is an early pregnancy clinic that specializes in first-step pregnancy services, like medical-grade pregnancy tests and options consultations. We’re all about meeting women’s needs with absolute compassion and professionalism, never judgment. We offer a confidential space to learn and process, so you feel equipped to make an informed and carefully considered pregnancy decision when the time is right.
The Skinny on Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Putting on some weight during pregnancy is normal and healthy. The amount of weight that’s appropriate to gain depends on unique factors, like a person’s body mass index (BMI) and overall health (Mayo Clinic). Keep in mind that many things besides extra fat account for pregnancy weight gain. These include the pregnancy itself and natural bodily changes that support it (like a larger uterus, the placenta, amniotic fluid, and increased blood and fluid volumes). Approximately 1-3 pounds of weight gain may go to the breasts. Also, remember that wise dietary decisions can help a person lose weight with greater ease post-birth (Mayo Clinic). It’s always wise to seek support from a qualified medical professional who can help you design and implement a plan that’s right for you, no matter which pregnancy option you decide to pursue.
Steps You Can Take to Reach a Well-Rounded Pregnancy Decision
Your feelings about pregnancy weight gain are real and valid. It may be wise, though, to pause and take a few practical steps to ensure that you’re moving toward a well-rounded pregnancy choice. A decision grounded in strength is more likely to lead to a positive outcome than a decision motivated by fear (no matter what the specific fear may be). That’s why our expert team at Avenue is passionate about helping women gather as much accurate information and caring support as possible. We believe it’s important for people to move forward knowing that they have exactly what they need to make a confident and knowledgeable choice. Consider taking these steps to help you in this process!
Learn about your pregnancy.
Find out whether or not the pregnancy is viable by getting an ultrasound. If there’s a strong likelihood of miscarriage, an abortion may not be necessary. A scan can also locate the pregnancy and determine the gestational age. This information can help you safeguard your own health and understand which abortion method(s) you’re eligible for. Avenue can provide a limited medical ultrasound to help you discover all of this at no cost.
Learn about abortion and your other pregnancy options (adoption and parenting).
Abortion is a medical process, and all medical processes include risks. Before making any decision that could impact your health, it’s important to educate yourself on what that choice will involve- no matter which option(s) you’re leaning towards. Understanding the risks and processes concerning all three of your options will help you make a better-informed choice with a bigger-picture perspective.
Speak with a medical professional.
A doctor would be an excellent point of contact to learn more about weight gain during pregnancy. If you decide to continue the pregnancy, a doctor could educate you on healthy steps to regulate weight gain and shed pounds post-birth (Mayo Clinic).
Process your thoughts and feelings with someone caring and trustworthy.
Processing thoughts and feelings out loud with a good listener can offer a surprising amount of personal insight. It can also present an opportunity to receive emotional support and consider a broader point of view. Consider getting connected with a mental health professional if you think you may benefit from support around mental health challenges related to weight gain.
Keep a big-picture perspective.
What are your values, beliefs, instincts, desires, and feelings (besides just fear)? How do these relate to your pregnancy choice? Considering all these factors will definitely help you to make a more holistic pregnancy decision.
It’s hard to talk about personal insecurities and how they can sometimes impact our decision-making. So, oftentimes, these conversations don’t take place. The truth is, that concerns about pregnancy weight gain are highly relevant and totally worth processing in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Who among us hasn’t wrestled with worries related to body image, after all? Know that it’s possible to find unconditional support and discover your own best pregnancy outcome with freedom from shame. Avenue Women’s Center is here to partner with you on this journey.
Call, text, chat, or email to ask us your questions and schedule an appointment! We’re located in Darien, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn / Lombard, Naperville, West Chicago, and Wood Dale, Illinois!
Mayo Clinic. (2022, February). Pregnancy weight gain: What’s healthy? Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-weight-gain/art-20044360
Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.
The information provided here is general in nature. It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.