Don’t Judge a Skinny Pregnancy by Its Bump

skinny pregnancy

A skinny pregnancy is between a woman and her doctor. Credit: sashafatcat

I recently watched a news report about the dangerous trend of women who try to maintain their slim physiques while pregnant. I expected the normal discussion of how thin celebrities who bounce back quickly give everyone else the unrealistic expectations that they’ll be back to their old selves in a week. And there was that.

But in watching the video along with the article, there were a few moments that kinda irked me. Okay, really irked me.

First of all, who are we to judge? I, too, have been guilty of thinking that certain celebs look too thin while pregnant. And maybe they are. But it is not my place, your place, nor the public’s place, to judge a woman for her pregnancy weight gain—or lack thereof. Just because a celebrity doesn’t look like she’s gaining a lot of weight doesn’t mean she’s starving herself—numerous other possible scenarios come to mind. It could mean she has a kick-ass stylist who knows what is flattering on a pregnant belly. It could mean she’s naturally thin, or that she carries small. It could mean the mom-to-be is suffering terrible morning sickness and is having a hard time gaining weight. And yes, it could mean that she’s trying to stay slim. But do any of those scenarios make it our business? No. It’s between her and her doctor.

Secondly…Why is it news that maternity clothes are offered in a size 0? Considering that you buy maternity clothing for the size you are before you’re pregnant, and yes, some women are a size 0 pre-pregnancy, it makes sense that all sizing options would be offered.

And finally…Prenatal fitness doesn’t mean you’re thin obsessed. Showing women running when they’re pregnant doesn’t mean these women are obsessed with being thin. Some women are runners and continue running, with doctor’s approval, during pregnancy. It doesn’t mean they are striving to be skinny. Maybe it was poor video editing that made it come across wrong, but thankfully the experts at the end of the segment acknowledge that exercise during pregnancy is beneficial to mom and baby, otherwise I would have been spitting fire.


Both too much weight gain and too little weight gain during pregnancy can be problematic. Most recommendations for pregnancy weight gain fall in a range between 25 to 35 pounds—but some women will gain more and some women will gain less. This, too, is perfectly normal; I would have been over 35 had I gone to term. So pregnant mamas, eat when you’re hungry. Drink when you’re thirsty. Let your doctor be the judge of your weight gain. And please, let’s stop judging other women’s pregnant bodies. —Erin


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  1. Alyssa says:

    I was active throughout both of my pregnancies, and still put on 50 pounds during each. I lost all the weight both times and had two healthy babies, so all’s well that ends well. But I was living in Los Angeles at the time, and was inundated with questions (sometimes from complete strangers!) about my weight. It was incredibly annoying! Finally I just had to say “My body, my business” when folks started getting really impertinent.
    P.S., my doctor never complained about my weight. She asked about my diet and activity level, measured my (and the babies’) stats, and was satisfied. If it’s good enough for my doctor, it’s good enough for me.

  2. Mallory says:

    Amen to that! Loved this article!!! I don’t have kids yet (ttc) but my mom is already pestering me about how much I workout or that I MUST stop running if and when I get pregnant. It’s a horribly common misconception that you aren’t supposed to work out while pregnant; when in reality it’s good for both you and your baby. People who judge pregnant women annoy the crap out of me. And for that matter, giving advice is great, but if I hear “stop worrying about it” one more time (in terms of my husband & I trying for a baby) I’m going to pull out my hair (or someone else’s). People just need to mind their own beeswax.

  3. Lauren says:

    Trying to figure out why you even wrote this article…who cares?

  4. Jessica says:

    Honestly, I could care less about Hollywood. I think the comments from other women about how I MUST be carrying twins or that I’m getting HUGE are things that make me more self conscious. I didn’t like the way the report said that the normal mom “gained a total of 70 lbs. for 2 pregnancies.” Makes it sound WAY worse than if it was 40 + 35 or whatever.

  5. Sarah says:

    Seesh… Lauren. I thought this was a great article and a great point to bring up! Good job, Erin!