June 19, 2014 at 11:06 PM ET
One of the joys of pregnancy is the relief of the ... exhale. Ahhhhhhhh. Unbutton those jeans and glory in the elastic waistband. There is no point in sucking in your stomach, or squeezing into a dress, or trying to look good in a bathing suit. You've got a bump, and that's just how it is.
But it doesn't mean you get to stop worrying about your weight. You only have to be about 20 seconds pregnant to come across, in baby books or blogs or in your doctor's office, the Pregnancy Weight Gain Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Gain More than 25-30 pounds during pregnancy.
There goes the no-holds-barred "I'm eating for two" gorgefest so many of us were hoping to have.
The Commandment loomed over me until approximately 11 a.m. Tuesday, when, standing on the scale at the doctor's office at 7.5 months (30 weeks) pregnant, I surpassed it. Just like that, and I was in weight gain overtime.
So I asked my doctor: Should I worry that I've already whizzed past the recommended 25-30 pound weight gain? "You're pregnant," he shrugged. "Don't worry about it."
Can we do a slow clap for my OB/GYN? I mean, sisters, can we give this man an amen? Just like that, he set me free from the gestational weight gain baby-book industrial complex.
Not everyone is so lucky. I know someone who is due a few weeks after me. Recently her doctor told her to "watch it," as she was on pace to violate the Commandment. This is someone who looks great, exercises regularly and but for her bump, looks like the skinny rail she was before.
Natalie told me a doozy, too. When she gained 12 pounds in her first trimester, her doctor told her she was on track to gain 50-60 pounds! She says she knew she wasn't overdoing it and her body was just doing what it needed to to support a baby. But, she says, "I did lay off the FatBurger" after that.
And don't get me started about those guys at the ice cream parlor or pizza shop who wink knowingly and say, "Guess you really are eating for two!"
I mean, honestly.
I know we shouldn't pile on the pounds during pregnancy. It isn't healthy, and we don't want to dig a weight gain hole so deep we can't Jazzercise our way out of it. But let's keep it in perspective. It is just a recommendation. If we look and feel healthy, can't we give ourselves a break?
At this stage of pregnancy, the average baby weighs 2-3 pounds. The other 28 pounds is boobs, clearly, and who knows what else: blood and fluid and placenta and what have you. You know what we don't need? Another big heaping serving of guilt weighing us down.