My favorite pair of maternity pants are a green wad of faded canvas cargo from H&M. (Yes, H&M sells maternity clothes. They are lovely. And usually on sale. If you are in the market, I highly suggest them.) Anyway, I wore the heck out of my favorite green cargo pants with Ellis, and I have recently discovered that I fit into them again. But here’s one thing I did not remember about my favorite green pants. They are 3 sizes larger than my normal pant size.
Guess what. I don’t care. I didn’t care when I bought them, and I don’t care this time around either. They are cute, comfortable, and if H&M wants to think I’m three sizes bigger than what I normally wear, well fine.
Perception about size during pregnancy is a constant battle. But here’s the deal. In order to healthfully carry and sustain another human being inside one’s own body, it is necessary to gain weight. In normal circumstances, I would cringe to see the numbers that pop up on the doctor’s office scale. But in pregnancy, those numbers mean the babies are growing. They mean my body is being a gracious host. They mean tiny fingers soft as silk, dark eyes, skin that dimples at the knees.
For the record, I am being conscious of what I eat. But I’m also fully expecting to gain more weight, and I’m doing my best not to freak out about it. According to the Mayo Clinic, here are the guidelines for tipping the healthy scales during pregnancy.
- Underweight (BMI less than 18.5): 28 to 40 pounds (about 13 to 18 kilograms)
- Normal weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9): 25 to 35 pounds (about 11 to 16 kilograms)
- Overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9): 15 to 25 pounds (about 7 to 11 kilograms)
Now, here are the parameters for carrying twins.
More weight gain. Gaining the right amount of weight can support your babies’ health. It also makes it easier to shed the extra pounds after delivery. For twins, the recommendation is often 37 to 54 pounds (about 17 to 25 kilograms) for women who have a healthy weight before pregnancy — which might require about 600 extra calories a day, depending on your activity level. (FYI: 600 calories is roughly the equivalent of 3 Cadbury Creme Eggs. Just in case you’re wondering, or happen to have a penchant for them like I do.)
Weight gain during pregnancy is one of the most difficult things to come to terms with. In real life, there’s far too much focus on numbers, BMI, miles logged, workouts done. We measure our worth by the size of our pants.
It’s time to stop all that. Whether you are pre, mid, post a pregnant experience in your life please hear me out. Weight is one of the most inconsequential, yet easy things to stress about. So do me a favor. Give yourself a break. Take a deep breath, and think about the baby(ies). Be amazed at what God the creator is doing.
And for heaven’s sake, get yourself a bowl of ice cream. Not a big bowl, but a nice, happy, average sized bowl. Lick every last bit of sweet from the spoon. Take the time to enjoy it.
And once and for all, quit worrying about the big girl pants.