It's not an unheard of request, but it definitely tugs at some insecurities. Pregnancy is a difficult time and it's very nice to have support and company while you're going through the worst of it.
u/GlutenFreejk laid out the problem:
My girlfriend asked me to gain weight with her while she’s pregnant and I am not sure what to do
Just last week my girlfriend found out that she's pregnant. We are both gym rats and run and lift a lot but her question to me was startling. She asked me that while she's pregnant to get fat with her. I really don't want to lose my body but I am just so unsure about this. Anyone got tips?
Here was some of the advice he got.
She's insecure about her weight. Focus on her, compliment her new curves, do something that shows you still care about her regardless of her temporary appearance.
Weight is a dangerous thing to play with.
For a lot of couples the dad gains weight with his pregnant woman by accident anyway, but encouraging it is really a bad idea especially looking at the lack of time and stress a baby brings. Losing weight will drop down the priority list and thats even more stupid if the weight was gained on purpose and completely unnecessary.
If a woman is already doing a lot of sports, she can also keep it up til shortly before birth. Ofc, she should check in with her doctor on what is cool and what isn't, but other than that, she's good to go. And if she is on a healthy diet anyway she has the healthy habits needed to not gain much weight during pregnancy.
She won't gain fat. She will gain baby (plus placenta and fluid)! I gained a total of 10kg while pregnant. To be fair I delivered early at 35 weeks. By the time I left the hospital I was wearing pre-pregnancy jeans and was only 2.5kg heavier than before I fell pregnant.
My suggestion would to be help her maintain her healthy lifestyle by eating correctly and to continue exercising (obviously some things will have to altered) and she shouldn't gain too much other than baby weight.
Pregnancy weight gain isn't "getting fat", it's a combination of the baby's own weight (remember it'll be 6-9 lbs at birth), and her body building an entire life support system to supply the growing baby with everything they need. If she doesn't gain that weight, the baby won't be healthy. It's not fat, it's building an entire new human being out of your body.
Has your gf started seeing an OB/GYN yet? Suggest she talk with them about the weight gain, how to do so in a healthy manner, and how to exercise safely during pregnancy. If she's comfortable, go with her to at least one appointment so you can learn about it too.
Short answer: do not fall for this. Don't gain this 'sympathy' weight. Stick to your health.
Otherwise I imagine 2 scenarios: 1) your gf will resent you for being healthy while she's being unhealthy (She'll hate on you for looking great while she 'has' to look bad) or 2) she'll resent you for the weight gain you both agreed to (sounds irrational but I swear that sounds like a real possibility with someone who's just asked you to give up your health like this), meaning you'll have both given up your health for a bunch of meaningless arguing about how you 'let' her get fat, or helped encourage it. Then you'll resent her. Cue endless cycle.
Long answer: There's a lot of dated and conflicting info out there about women working out while pregnant but one thing is for sure: if you've already been active, there's no reason to give up on being active, save for some necessary modification. And for those who were never active, this is prime time to just start walking every day.
I am nearly 37 weeks pregnant and did not give up on being active; so, I did not 'get fat.' I gained exactly the recommended amount of weight (will be around 24lbs at birth), gained muscle tone, and I religiously meal prep with a macronutrient profile that works for me so that I know I'm getting more calories but not an excessive amount. I track everything in a TDEE spreadsheet. My body looks better now than it ever has and I believe this is due to being the most active I've been in my entire life plus figuring out macros and all that - gaining weight healthfully is JUST as hard as it is to lose weight healthfully.
I committed to all this because pregnancy has gotten such a weird reputation for being this glorious time in a woman's life where she's free to indulge in everything sans consequence and I wanted to prove otherwise. Pregnancy is the one time during which we (women AND their partners) should truly get their health into a good place.
As a result, my only nagging symptom has been fatigue. That's it. I feel pretty normal otherwise. Sure, it sucks to have extra weight on me but I'm not moody, my sleep is great, and I can run stairs with my SO, who's also active. I haven't swelled up anywhere and I don't have any complications. My care provider agrees this is all due to a healthy lifestyle.
I say all this because if your girlfriend is preparing herself for 9 months of JUST fat gain, she's going to be in for a world of hurt - any and all her symptoms will probably be exacerbated, physically AND emotionally. She might end up with some gestational diabetes or other unfortunate complications. It's just not worth it to 'help' her give up on her health right now just to protect her from feeling 'big.'
I would say to sit her down and, very gently, tell her what you want. It's probably not a good idea to bulk/ gain weight, as you like your body. And maybe offer the solution of working out with her at home, if she isn't comfortable in a gym. Make sure to reassure her that she's beautiful and doesn't the age to worry about her body image becoming unattractive because she's pregnant. I feel like it's an insecurity that's giving her anxiety, and she would feel more comfortable if her partner looked 'fatter' like she thinks she will.
You should not gain your weight as it is unnecessary and she should understand this. Since she is pregnant she needs to do what is best for the pregnancy and later she can lose her weight. Talk to her when she is in the good mood and tell her how you feel. Why she wants you to gain weight? You should ask her reasons behind this so you can make her secure and calm about the situation.
Not just your body shape, it's also building poor eating habits and likely losing some exercise habits. As someone who was athletic, only to end up 100 pounds heavier because I stopped having a proper diet and exercise (mostly due to hormones), I can honestly say it is really hard to undo what has been done. Not only initially gaining weight I have found makes it much harder to keep it off, and easier to put that weight back on far faster after losing it.
Your girlfriend is definitely feeling insecure about losing her body as well, and may feel as though she is sacrificing her body and wants you to sacrifice something as well. Perhaps you can do research on healthy diets for pregnancies, as well as safe exercises to do with her throughout all stages of her pregnancy. If you show her a solid plan of what you would like to do to help keep her and the baby healthy going forward, maybe even schedule parenting classes or some kind of activity together, it will help her feel more at ease. I suggest doing these things with her to show that you're actively engaging in the pregnancy, and with her.
So according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, healthy weight gain during pregnancy is made up of:
1.5 pounds: the placenta
7 pounds: maternal stores of fat, protein, and other nutrients
7.5 pounds: your average full-term baby
2 pounds: breast tissue
4 pounds: increased fluid volume
4 pounds: increased blood volume
2 pounds: the uterus
2 pounds: amniotic fluid
Total = 30 pounds
I've never been pregnant but all my friends who have gained minimal/healthy amounts of weight during pregnancy complained about being fat. In reality they were all bump and still had slim arms and legs, but I'm sure that's a huge shock to normally look down and see your toes, and then just see belly. Tell her you're not getting fat because she's not getting fat, she's growing a human. It sounds like she needs reassurance that you're still attracted to her while body is going through some major changes.