On Your Mark, Get Set, Gain! Pregnancy Weight Gain in Runners

A Positive pregnancy test based on a First Res...
Let the incredible weight gain begin! Image via Wikipedia)

I know. I know. We’ve been talking about race weight and calories and body image a lot these past couple of weeks. Another weight post. I hear you. But this issue is a little different. This one’s all about what happens to that fit body you’ve worked so hard for when you have a bun in the oven.

It might go something like this. You come back from your morning run and something doesn’t feel right. On top of that, you’re late. No, not to a date! The other kind of late. So you head to bathroom and pee on the stick. You wait while staring at the stick, which is trembling along with your hand. Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing … WHAT?! Pink line! And that’s the beginning of the end. Your training will see you again in about nine months to a year and many many many pounds heavier. 

Occasionally I have Dr. Oz on in the background while I clean the kitchen. (Don’t judge!) He often talks about losing weight and he also includes the audience a lot, which I like. In the months I’ve watched this show I’ve noticed that so many women identify pregnancy as the time the weight came on and the point at which they became fat, never to look back.

Dr. Öz at ServiceNation 2008
“I would seriously recommend you step away from the Nutella, pregnant lady!” Image via Wikipedia.

I’ve been lucky that both times I’ve been pregnant I got back to my pre-pregnancy weight within months even after gaining well over the recommended amount of weight both times. I can chalk that up to being a runner, because if I wasn’t I’m pretty sure I’d end up in the Dr. Oz audience mystified why I was so much fatter than I used to be. I’m a big gainer in pregnancy. I gained almost 50 lbs both time (running throughout both), which is well over the recommendations of the American Pregnancy Association.  The APA recommends women in the normal weight range for their heights (according to BMI) gain between 25 and 35 lbs. Women underweight at the time of conception are permitted to gain an extra 5 lbs.

Here I am 3 weeks after my daughter’s birth (with my awesome mother and grandmother). 30-plus pounds heavy (for me) and posted for all the world to see because I love you that much!

When I’ve researched pregnancy weight gain the information doesn’t seem particularly relevant to an athlete. This for instance seems worried that a mother who gains “too much” weight during pregnancy is risking obesity and its complications and recommends everything we pregnant athletes likely already do to avoid the problem: exercise and eat well. I believe the weight advice for pregnant athletes should be different from that for non-athletes for a couple of reasons: 1) athletes are likely to curtail their exercise volume during pregnancy and 2) athletes tend to be leaner than non-athletes of the same weight at the start of pregnancy.

This is pretty close to my leanest and meanest. A little over a year after my daughter’s birth.

Let’s do the math:  Athletes like us runners might still gain well over the recommended weight during pregnancy despite continuing to exercise during pregnancy.  Say you ran 60 miles a week prior to getting pregnant. Say you burn 100 kcal per mile. That means you burn bout 6,000 calories just from running. Now say you run 30 miles a week during your pregnancy. That means you’re burning 3,000 kcal per week from running. You also get 300 kcal per day just for being pregnant, well the last 5-6 months of pregnancy anyway. That means while pregnant you’re burning 3,000 – 5,100 per week versus the 6,000 calories you burned pre-pregnancy. If you’re eating the same as or more than you were before you got pregnant you’re going to gain some weight.

Listen, I had enough of this calorie math stuff last week!

If you gained or are gaining more than the recommended weight while pregnant, you’re in good company. Well, there’s me of course (what? I count!) Ok, a possibly better example, Kara Goucher cut back and ran just 80 miles per week while pregnant and still gained 38 lbs. And remember it’s her job to be fit and run fast and she has networks of coaches, dietitians, doctors, etc. who are there to monitor her and help her do everything she can to stay fit during pregnancy. I imagine those doctors and other professionals do two things for women like her that help tremendously: 1) they tell her how much her body and her baby can take (Kara likely never wondered if those 200 meter repeats or Alter-G workouts might hurt her baby like many of us do after the occasional harder effort); and 2) make it possible for her to run a lot more than us average folks–Alter-G anyone? If she gained 38 lbs, 3 lbs over the recommendations of the American Pregnancy Association, with that kind of help and while running 80 miles a week (which was cutting back for her) it’s no wonder that many of us amateurs working without those kinds of resources gain considerably more.

A healthy Kara Goucher shortly after the birth of her son, Colt. Image via Competitor.com

On top of exercising less, we often start out far leaner than our nonathlete counterparts of the same weight. The weight gain recommendations are based on BMI which is a ratio of our weights to our heights. My BMI at my thinnest is well within the “healthy” range, while my body fat % is very low. But because my BMI does not indicate I was underweight at conception I don’t get the bonus lbs someone with a below normal BMI would get. Does that make sense? Many athletes report gaining a lot of weight during the first trimester when most nonathletes gain less than 5 lbs. I gained 20 lbs in 20 weeks the first time. My midwife advised me that I was gaining too much. I cried. I sobbed. I had a complex for weeks. I couldn’t look at the scale after that or I’d lose it.

The second time I gained 27 lbs in 20 weeks. My midwife was fine with it that time because I had a healthy pregnancy before and gained a lot and I lost it all in 6 months. She said that I’m just a big gainer and as long as there are no complications (like gestational diabetes) and I have no trouble getting back to prepregnancy weight to not give it a second thought. Ha! Easier said than done. I am now 20 weeks and despite running 45-50 miles per week for the past few weeks I’m still up 16 lbs. I’m not gaining at quite the rate I did the other two times, but I’m still on a trajectory that should see me gaining beyond the recommended amount for my BMI. But I eat well and I’m exercising. And I’m trying not to worry about it this time knowing that for me and many female athletes that’s just how it goes.

2 years after daughter’s birth and 18 weeks pregnant with our third!

How much weight did you gain while pregnant? If you gained more than the recommended amount how did your doctor and you handle it? How long did it take you to get back into your old jeans?


Check out my other posts on running and pregnancy:

What to Expect from Running When You’re Expecting: 1st Trimester

What to Expect from Running When You’re Expecting: 2nd Trimester

What to Expect from Running When You’re Expecting: 3rd Trimester

Racing While Pregnant

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Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

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  1. With my three pregnancies I was lucky to gain the recommended amount each time. I was also lucky enough to be able to work out during each of those pregnancies, even with my twins. I just went into each pregnancy with the same healthy habits I had before. With my twins I only gained thirty pounds, but I was so sick in the beginning that I lost 8 pounds. I also had them at 36 weeks.

  2. I was never sick during my pregnancies and gained about 40 pounds each time. I never worried about it too much though at the time. I knew lots of friends that gained 60 or more and dropped them all quickly post-partum, so I always assumed it would work out fine. The funny thing was that way back then (10-12 years ago), doctors and well-meaning friends recommended against running, saying that raising your heart rate too much would harm the baby. I remember getting admonished for doing some landscaping in the heat! So I just walked daily during my pregnancies. It would be very different no doubt if I were having my kids now.

  3. I gained the recommended amount – I think 28 pounds. I gained it really quickly, like 10 pounds in first 6 weeks! Another 10 a few weeks later, but then it just really slowed down. I think our bodies just know what they want/need. I was sure I would gain 70lbs based on my first trimester! Of course, my doctor didn’t care because she thought I was too thin to begin with (MUST FIND DOCTOR WHO UNDERSTANDS RUNNERS). It took me a long time to get back into my regular jeans only because I assumed I wouldn’t fit. I was still wearing pregnancy jeans until my mom said, “Jen you are swimming in those jeans. They just look bad. Go back to your old jeans.” She was right. The old ones fit!

    1. You tall people seem to not have this problem as much as us shorties. Darn you tall people! Haha. I’m sure that had a lot to do with your amazingly quick turn-around and super-fantastic post-baby marathon just 8ish months post-partum. It takes me that long just to get back down to normal weight and then I gotta get in running shape on top of that! Hopefully I can gain just 40 or less lbs this time and it won’t be quite so bad. If not, oh well. Got my entire life to get back in shape 🙂 Love the jeans story! I’m the opposite trying them on once a week for months until they finally fit. What a triumphant feeling!

  4. This post in no way applies to me and yet I found it very informative! I think you should study your hypothesis!

  5. Well at 29 weeks I am up 20-25 lbs depending on if I weigh in at the doctors or at my normal time of day in the fitness center! Of course the doctor’s is always higher. Unfortunately my running has been pretty much nonexistant the last month or so and I can feel all 20 of those lbs going straight to my thighs, which is were I lost the majority of my weight from marathon training. I’m interested to see what the next 11 weeks bring!

  6. I love this article! I was freaking out because I am only 6 weeks and I gained 12 lbs already! I gained 12 lbs on top of running about 55 miles last week (I didn’t know I was pregnant last week!) We have been trying for a while so I wouldn’t care if I gained 100 lbs and I had to work it off (but obviously I would prefer to gain 1/4 of that). I was quite worried since everything I have found online says 1-2 lbs in the 1st 6 wks so I wasn’t sure what was happening! Hopefully I will continue to run (not as hard as I was) and the weight gain will slow down!

  7. Thank you!!! I’m just like you, an athlete who cut back on her running, but has gained 21lbs in 19 weeks, I about panicked (sp??) when I saw the scale this morning! While I still think I’m going to have a chat w/ my doctor, I’m seeing this is probably okay and NORMAL for an athlete.

    …Now I can sleep tonite.

    Thanks again!

    1. Congrats, Kelly! You’re in good company and it’s ok. Just eat right and keep on exercising as much as you can and are comfortable doing and trust your body to do what it needs to do. Good luck!!!

  8. I’m so glad I came across this article. I was running 50-60 miles a week when I found out I was pregnant. Despite running and eating healthy I actually gained about 10 lbs about 2 weeks before I got pregnant and then gained another 10 in first 6 weeks. I’m 5’4 and weighed 130 lbs which is my ideal race weight. I was doing a lot of interval and speed workouts trying to get ready for Wharf-To-Wharf and still gained the weight then. By the time I took a pregnancy test I already weighed 147 lbs even after running a hard 60 miles the week before. The upside is I went up to 150-153 lbs and have stayed there weeks 5-10 so at least I’m not still gaining at that rate, but I was flipping out since everything online says I should be gaining 1 lb per week in the first trimester. I was 152 at my first Dr. appointment and he said I should expect to gain 20-30 lbs more, but he was basing that off of my 152 lb weight… I’m glad to see it isn’t just me. I’m running 20-30 miles per week right now, but it is harder since I usually run in the morning and now I feel sick in the mornings and it is hot in the afternoon.

    1. I hear you, Jessica! It’s so hard to pry yourself out of bed to run early when pregnant and the heat is killer. Hopefully the fall will fix half of that problem for you 🙂 I gained similarly to you during all my pregnancies. I gained more during the first half of my second pregnancy than the second! As I told Kelly all we can do is eat well, exercise and trust that our bodies will make a nice healthy baby. Good luck and congrats!!!!

  9. SO glad I found this!! I have been freaking out every time I weigh in at the doctor’s office. I’ve been gaining so much faster than my non-running friends. This put my heart at ease. Although, I’ve definitely backed off some, I’m still getting in fairly good runs/workouts throughout the week. It wasn’t making sense to me. . . until now. 🙂

  10. I am 22 weeks, gained 40-45 lbs. I do 3 hours cardio and 2.5 hours weights per week. Eat vegan. I haven’t been able to run since 16 weeks. My goal is to be my pre pregnancy size and run a 10k by 4 months after birth.

    1. Wow! I think the 10k is a great goal 4 months out, but don’t pressure yourself too much with the weight. Especially if you plan to nurse, it’s really important to not restrict your calories and loose the weight too fast. I am 11 weeks post-partum and still have 15-20 lbs. to loose despite being back up to 40+ miles per week. It’s not always easy and sometimes I get pretty down about still having to wear maternity clothes and feeling “so fat” but it really is very very temporary even if it takes longer than we want for all the weight to come off. Whether it takes 4 months, 9 months or a year, does it really matter in the long run? I would say it’s not worth making yourself miserable to get it off aggressively quickly when it will just come off easily a few months later just by living your life. At least that’s what I tell myself 🙂 Best of luck with your pregnancy!!!

  11. I just found this post on Google and it really helped put me at ease. I’m pregnant with #1, a runner, and am finding the gaining of weight difficult to deal with, mentally. I’ve been running here and there and terrified to go on the scale and see the number. I’m only 16 weeks at this point and I’m looking to find the right path to help get me through the end as I still have a ways left to go. I like your perspective on pregnancy weight gain! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. This is such a great post! I’ve gained 13 lbs at 20 weeks and was above my normal weight when I got pregnant. I had medical issues that prevented me from running until week 12, I started again and then had more problems at week 18 and will probably have to quit for the rest of the pregnancy. It’s killing me!!

      1. Congrats, Jamie! It’s really hard to gain so much and it’s hard when the weight is still lingering 5.5 months out, not that I’m going through that right now or anything (*sigh*) But you and I are in good company and it’s all well worth it and best of all, temporary! Hang in there and keep us posted on how your pregnancy and your postpartum comeback go!!!

        PS Small world! I got a degree from the school in your email addy 🙂

  12. Thank you for this post! I didn’t realize how important my body image was to me until now, and I’ve been freaking out a bit… (i found your post by googling “freaking out about pregnancy weight gain”, lol.) Only 15 weeks pregnant with my first and have already gained 10 lbs 😛 Not to mention the bloaty belly that makes me look 6 mos along! I was so nauseous and exhausted for a few weeks I wasn’t doing any running at all. just getting back into it now but whereas before I was loving a 25k trail run it’s now a victory if i can walk/jog 5km, ugh! Anyways thanks for the reassuring post and I’m already daydreaming about pushing a new running partner in the baby jogger:)

    1. I gained 27 pounds in the first 20 weeks of my second pregnancy so I know that freaking out feeling well 🙂 I was in the best shape of my life within a year of her birth, so it’s just temporary. I hope you enjoy a healthy happy pregnancy despite a little more weight than you’d like!

  13. I found your posts/blog by chance and what an inspiration and relief! You look amazing!

    What would your advice be to fellow pregnant runners who have a lower mileage per week (15miles/wk) but want to increase it? I use to be an avid runner, but took up cycling due to a hip injury last spring.

    I find the thing keeping my mileage low isn’t lack of experience or cardiovascular endurance – it’s the heat, morning sickness and wanting to pee 24/7.

    1. I’m not sure I would increase mileage while pregnant. I generally would limit the volume of exercise to at most what I was doing when I got pregnant or around that time. I think you could safely swap some of your cycling time for running if you want, but I wouldn’t do more exercise overall than you were before you got pregnant. I would also listen to your body. If you’re not feeling it, don’t push it. There’s a reason for it, I think. You can push it later. Just do what comes naturally and that makes you feel good now. Definitely know that plenty of women runners have cut back or not run through most of their pregnancy and came back fitter and faster than ever! Congrats on the pregnancy and enjoy it! Keep us posted on how it goes!

  14. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on weight gain during pregnancy. I am a runner who used to average about 40 miles per week pre-pregnancy. I am pregnant with my first child and I seem to have the opposite problem that you experienced. I just had my 32 wk checkup and have only gained 2.5 lbs so far. The baby is just the right size, but my doctor says I need to start eating a bit more. I have been continuing to average about 25-30 miles per week running. I have been eating more, but just not gaining much. Has anyone else had this problem? I hope it is not something to worry about. I don’t want to stop running and it is difficult for me to eat more than I already do.

    1. I am 32 weeks and have gained about 12-14 lbs. which is on the low side of the recommended amount. I run about 30 miles a week and also are experiencing things similar to you. What did your doctor recommend? Did you suddenly hit a growth spurt?

  15. I run 8 miles a day most days alternating between 2 spinning classes per day. Still manage to gain alot in pregnancy (did the 1st time too) lost it all in a month without a diet. My theory is Athletic people are very low body fat or lower and to grow a baby your body doesn’t like it. I don’t eat unhealthy in fact quite the opposite. Too healthy at times. I don’t weigh myself anymore. Too upsetting. I am all bump and can still get my bottoms on just can’t do them up. I am 6 months and do not feel tired from it. I am just slower. I crave more fruit than anything. Regardless of weight I know I am training my body and eating healthy. I have spent too long being down about it! These weight charts are just a guide not a rule.

  16. Great post! I’m currently 21 weeks pregnant and have pretty much stopped my running routine as it’s way to hot in FL in the summer and honestly…just…uncomfortable. I do take the dog walking for 1 or 2 miles every day, and try to do the elliptical at the gym. I plan on returning to my 30-40 mpw as soon as I can/am able to. I think runners start off a lot smaller than non runners, and are usually under where their body naturally is weight wise…therefore you gain more in the beginning.

  17. Thank you for this post. I’m an avid runner and I’ve cut back to 20-25 miles a week, down from like 30-40 miles a week. I’m 15 weeks and have gained like 10 lbs already. I started to freak out when I saw the number on the scale, because I’ve been eating pretty healthy and of course running. I just really don’t want to put on too much weight, but what you said in the post makes sense. I started to track my food intake, and I’m hitting about 2K calories a day with lots of protein, so I think I’m ok. I’ll take the gain with a grain of salt and keep on running!

  18. Hi! I was curious to know if any of you had a c-section and how long after a c-section could you start running. Expecting baby #3, with 2 previous c-sections, 19 weeks. Beginner runner, just started 2 weeks before pregnancy (unplanned, of course) and I have kept running since am feeling great (15 miles per week)

    1. I realize your question is a couple years old at this point, but just in case anyone else stops by and has the same question you did – my doctors said I could resume running 6 weeks after my C-section for my twins. A year previously, I’d had an appendectomy where they made a 4 inch incision, and they told me then I should wait 4 to 6 weeks, but I was SUPER fit then and a really strong runner and I was able to do a light jog at 2 weeks without hurting myself. I followed the rules after the c-section, though, and I am glad I did. I felt a little more beat up after that one, and while I was still in good shape, I wasn’t at the same level I had been pre-pregnancy….so I’d say listen to your doctors and listen to your body and whenever you decide you feel up to jogging a little, DON’T push it. Go slowly, and start with run/walks, alternating jogging and walking. You have all the time in the world to build up your running endurance again. 🙂

  19. thank you for your post. i know you wrote it a lonnnng time ago, but it really helped me tonight. i am not a runner, but i enjoy crossfit (and any HIIT workouts i can get my hands on). i am 35 weeks pregnant and gained at least 33lbs. praying ill be able to shed the weight after the baby arrives. ill likely sleep better now that i read your article. thank you.

  20. So thankful to see this post, it was really comforting! First pregnancy and I’m really fit and lean and have gained 19 lbs at 21 weeks. Not sure where it’s going as it doesn’t show. My midwife reminds me of the stats for leaner more fit women and about early weight gain, but its just so nice to read them on places like this. I’ve had to stop weighing myself at home too:)

  21. I too have been a little disheartened by my weight gain. I’m 23 weeks and have gained 22lbs while still dancing ballet 3 hrs a week, walking 10miles a week, swimming 1 day, and doing massage and teaching dance 25 hours. Especially since much of it has gone to my thighs and butt! Nice to know other athletes experiences similar gain. Just have to remind myself of my low body fat prior! Still suprised when I see myself in the mirror though…

  22. I’m 34 weeks and have gained 52lbs! As a fitness coach and instructor I am in shock! With my first I did nothing and gained 60 this time I’m doing it right and I’m afraid I will gain more than 60. I do not diet but eat clean (80/20) I cheated more on my 80/20 rule not pregnant. I did (and taught) insanity up until 25 weeks pregnant and have been doing Beachbody workouts 5 days a week.
    It can be very depressing at times but I am hopeful I can get back to my weight. I’m glad I came across this blog because I was thinking that I am the only one who just gained like crazy even though I have been exercising.

  23. At 36 weeks with my first, I had gained 46 pounds even though I ran almost every single day of my pregnancy. I had my baby at 36 weeks 3 days. If I’d gone full term I may have gained 50 pounds although I heard it can slow down near the end. With this pregnancy I’ve gained 30 pounds already at 30 weeks, and am running 6 miles per day 5 days per week. My legs are covered in cellulite. it’s depressing to work so hard and still gain this much. I also worry I’m stressing my joints by running with the extra weight. My ankle tendons are always hurting. But I’m afraid to stop running, as that could lead to an even bigger weight gain. It took me 7 months to lose the baby weight, too.

  24. I was thinking that the weight gain also has to impact your muscle gain. The more you weigh, the more muscle you would gain in theory, right? This would also increase your overall weight gain.

      1. I agree. I have a “tire” around my waist (which has always been very lean) for the first time. Very depressing, but still I get up at 5 AM every day. I’m committed to keeping at 30 miles per week until the end if I can. And I have one more marathon (Disney) in January to complete to get my 1 marathon per trimester goal completed (I usually run one per month) 🙂 I take solace in the fact that despite being huge, I’m still pretty fast (for now)

  25. Thank you! 6 weeks Pregnant with number two and even though I prepared myself for the first trimester weight gain (and I had to put on a few pounds to regulate my cycle), I’m still stressing out that my pants already feel too tight. I really do think doctors and midwives need to be better about working with athletes! With my first pregnancy, my midwife kind of was hinting to slow the weight gain at the beginning of the pregnancy and then at the end, when it slowed way down and some weeks even dropped a pound or two, I was told to eat more! A girl can’t win! My baby was born healthy and I worked out pretty hard and ate entirely plant based throughout the entire pregnancy. Sigh. So much pressure on us ladies to fit their formulas.

  26. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this!!!! I am 25 weeks right now and up 26lbs. It has been so painful to watch those pounds creep up each week and feel like I’m making some kind of mistake. I’m an avid runner and was actually training for my first marathon when I found out I was pregnant. I’m glad to know this is an issue other athletes face! I wonder how much added muscle weight we take on running around with 20+ extra pounds, too. Muscle weighs more than fat! Thanks again! It made me feel better!

  27. I feel so much better. I was an ultra runner who got pregnant and have gained WAY too much weight. I did with my other kids too, but this time it’s all fat on my belly. My Dr. isn’t concerned (I’m still running marathons and doing about 30 miles per week) but I feel like a whale. I feel like my diet hasn’t changed that much (I’m actually eating less on most days). At least my arms and legs are still pretty thin. Like you my BMI is “normal” but my body fat % was low due to weight lifting (which I’m still doing). I’m hoping to get back to competitive running pretty soon after, fingers crossed.

  28. Thank you for writing this, I’ve been getting so down on myself about gaining weight; this is my first pregnancy and I’m 21 weeks and 16 lbs up, I’m 5’7 and was 130 prepregnancy – I’m still running and working out everyday but the lbs just seem to stick. Thank you for sharing!

  29. Madison, I think we are like twins. This is really, really helpful to me – all of it. I have never stopped working out, multiple times a day, running, swimming, cycling, lifting, ballet, yoga, etc. And I am well on my way to gaining ‘too much’ weight (I’m 27 weeks today and have gained about 22 pounds – started at 130 as well). And the baby is large for its age – 2.5 pounds at our scan the other day. But I still have some stomach muscle definition and my arms have gotten even more defined from all the lifting. So, I try to remind myself 1. I look badass, 2. I feel badass, and 3. I am likely gaining fitness by pushing through all these workouts, continuing to fuel them with good food, and NOT starving myself.

    Still, it’s really good to see another athlete tell her story about gaining ‘too much’ weight but getting it off fast. As a first time mom and lifelong athlete, I am so scared I will always weigh 150+ pounds. But I know it is not true.

  30. Thank you for writing this! I could not understand why I was gaining so much in this pregnancy (my second). I am 5’8 and was 148 (normal weight) at the start of both pregnancies. This time around, I ran up until 33 weeks (with my first baby I didn’t run much at all) and have actually gained more weight this time (about 47). With my first baby I gained about 42. Strangely I haven’t gained anything in the past month…when I haven’t been running at all. I think I have maintained muscle mass this time which is why I gained even more. I never could figure out why I gained more than non-athletic friends but this article definitely helps!

  31. Thank you so much for this post! After 4 years it still proves to be a current topic. I am a professional alpinist and therefore also run a lot, especially mountain running. I have kept up my training, of course with limits as I am just a lot slower and am a lot more out of breath, but I train almost every day. I started with a 63kg on 170cm. I am quite muscly because of all the climbing I do. Now, at the end of week 25, I gained 9.5kg already. I even gained weight on my thighs and bottom. I still think I look ok though but am shocked because in the end I will gain about 16/17kg. I never expected this to be honest and am sort upset that women who don’t exercise at all often gain far less. How is the possible! But thank you for this, it definitely helps!

  32. You havery no idea how much this helps me. I am 21 weeks pregnant with #5 and I was an obsessed runner before I was pregnant and thought my weightgain would be slower this time but I am up 30 pounds already. Now I would cry when I go to bed because my legs are bigger! Thank you! I am wondering how quickly you were able to get back into running after baby? When I started running after #4 I wasn’t really a runner and I am wondering if it will take as long as last time to get back where I was. Thank you!!!!

    1. I was an avid runner (still am) before my first pregnancy, and I carried twins and gained a reasonable amount of weight with them – honestly, it probably wasn’t enough (I had a bit of a compulsive exercising problem and a tendency to undereat as a result of having been very obese for years before dropping all the excess and fearing a return to obesity…) but anyways, I didn’t run for 6 weeks after my c-section and while I had to start out slowly (alternating walking and jogging for a while), it really didn’t take that long to get back to my regular pace and mileage. A couple months, maybe? Which seems pretty darn good to me. It took me a couple YEARS to go from an obese new runner to a healthy woman at peak fitness and running ability. I think your body will remember what it can do more quickly than you might expect. 🙂 Good luck to you!

  33. Hey! Thank you for writing this article. I agree with you completely. I absolutely love to run and have struggled with not being able to exercise to the same intensity as before. I was very lean and I’ve put on 20kgs at 38wks. I’m sure I’ll be able to get the weight off again after pregnancy, but it’s difficult having to listen to constant comments from family about my weight gain. It’s really nice to know other runners are experiencing the same thing as me. Thank you ?

  34. Thank you for this!! I’m only four weeks and already somewhat anxious that I don’t feel good unless I’m eating more calories than most things are saying pregnant women need (about 2800-3000) but I have very low bodyfat percentage and I want my baby to be so healthy. I love how health focused your presentation of this is!!

    1. This article helps me feel better. I am pregnant with number 3 and very active. My job entails me to average about 120-180 mins a day of mod to vigorous exercise 5-6 days a week (a bit slower then pre-pregnancy). Pre-pregnancy I was a lean 128lbs and didn’t worry about what I ate etc.

      My first 2 Pregnancies i gained maybe 8 lbs the first semester and averaged about 35 lbs by the end. With this one I have already gained 14lbs in 14 weeks. I have been really nauseous and have been eating a lot more carbs. I definitely feel bloated I am already showing, and wearing maternity wear. My butt and legs are bigger and they feel so heavy.

      I was worried because the other pregnancies were nothing like this one. I am hoping the weight gain slows down.

      I really love reading the comments as well.