Gaining pounds is part of a healthy and happy pregnancy, but that doesn’t change the fact that it can feel pretty scary. Especially when those pounds won’t stop piling on.
Most doctors will tell you that a good amount to gain is between 25-35 pounds, slightly more if you started off underweight. These get distributed around, with roughly
7.5 pounds going to baby, 8-12 pounds going to increased fluids, 2 pounds going to that growing chest, 2 pounds going to the super sized uterus, and 6-8 pounds going to good old fashioned fat (because you won’t have time to eat properly once that little one comes out!).
But for many of us, the fat just kind of goes on however it wants, with very little control over how much we gain and when. As that “safe” 35 pounds flashes by, we wonder if we’re going to be the biggest pregnant woman alive, soon to be showcased on a program by TLC. We feel like no one understands, since all our pregnant friends had textbook pregnancies. But once again, we can look to our favorite celeb moms to see that large gains happen during pregnancy. And it’s not the end of the world.
While gaining too much can be dangerous to both yourself and the baby, stressing about those gains can cause just as much damage. Try not to worry, eat your greens and enjoy the ride because a full figure always looks great on a pregnant woman! Plus soon enough you’ll be too busy with your kiddo to worry about your own body, so don’t get too worked up about it.
In the meantime, to help you know that you’re not alone, have a look at these celeb moms who went up quite a few sizes during their pregnancies.
15 Kim Kardashian - Size 16
This self made mogul has been very open about her gained poundage throughout both of her pregnancies, even tweeting how much she had gained during different phases of pregnancy. She mentioned that many celeb moms get skinny straight after birth, but she was hoping that no one expected that of her since she had put on more than she thought she would. She gained 50 pounds while carrying daughter, North, and 60 pounds with son, Saint, making her a size 16, but the reality tv star knows exactly how to show off her curves and looks amazing in whatever size she wants to be!
Kim is a role model for the curvy woman who isn’t apologetic of her looks, and she is helping many young girls to be body positive which makes a bit of baby fat so worth it.
14 Leah Remini - Size 20
Leah had her daughter, Sophia, back in 2004, but it took her years to lose the 80 pounds she gained during that pregnancy, turning her from her average size 12 to a size 20. The King of Queens star said that the focus on celeb post baby bodies was silly because if you don’t have a fast metabolism that allows you to lose the extra pounds quickly, you get all this unwanted attention.
Leah went on to say that yes, she was overweight and yes she had stretch marks, but so what?! She has a healthy and happy 13 year old daughter and not much else matters when you think about it. In the end, she lost the pounds through a diet plan and said that she was happy with her size.
13 Jenny McCarthy - Size 18
Jenny is known for being the 1994 Playboy Playmate of the Year, but she’s equally known for her frankness on all things pregnancy, laying it out in her bestselling book Belly Laughs. She’s also known for the whopping 80 pound gain she experienced when pregnant with son, Evan, in 2002. This would have taken the star from her tiny size 4 to a size 18.
But instead of trying to fudge the numbers or hide the fact, Jenny put the information out for all to see, saying that her critics wouldn’t have an audience if people already knew the truth. In 2005, Evan was diagnosed with autisms and Jenny dedicated her time and energy to finding a way to help him. We’d say that’s a way better use of time than worrying about dress size!
12 Beyonce Knowles - Size 16
We’re all pretty much obsessed with Bey no matter what size she is, because let’s be honest, she looks incredible and knows how to advocate for women loving their bodies just the way they are. She found herself up 65 pounds after having daughter, Blue Ivy, which put her at a size 16, but she wasn’t concerned. Beyonce says that she worked really hard so that she could show off her body as a reminder to other moms that you can get your body back and feel sexy and be happy with your child. She said that it’s important to do things for yourself and make sure that you have a life as well.
She definitely makes added pounds look great, which might be just as encouraging as seeing her transform her body back to what it was.
11 Jennifer Hudson - Size 18
After her son, David, was born in 2009, Jennifer found herself with an extra 80 pounds to lose. She was a size 18 and decided that she wanted to slim down in a healthy way rather than crash dieting, so she chose Weight Watchers. She was a spokesperson for the brand from 2010 until 2014, losing every last one of those 80 pounds and keeping them off. She says it was mostly portion control with a little bit of exercise, and she did it to be her healthiest self. Although she looked amazing with the extra pounds when she costarred alongside Beyonce on the hit movie Dream Girls, we also think she looks amazing in her new smaller size!
Her one vice? Chocolate, which she says she has to always have around the house.
10 Kendra Wilkinson - Size 16
Although never an actual Playboy playmate, Kendra is best known for being one of the late Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends, as documented on the show Girls Next Door. She later went on to have her own show, Kendra On Top. When she got pregnant with son, Hank, she put on around 60 pounds, shooting up from a size 6 to a size 16. Always into fitness and athletic, Kendra thought the fat would just fall off after pregnancy, but found that it didn’t happen the way she expected. In the end, she found a diet that worked for her and got her back to the body she felt most confident in.
Today at 32 years old, she has 2 children and looks amazing whether thin or on the more curvy side.
9 Kate Hudson - Size 14
Kate had her son, Ryder, in 2004 but recently spoke to Chelsea Handler on her show Chelsea about how hard that time of her life was. While she enjoyed the gained pounds because she didn’t have to be “perfect”, Kate also had a hard time losing the 70 pounds she gained throughout the pregnancy. She says that after she had her son, it hit her that she had all this weight to lose and everyone was watching. Of course, looking at her now, you would never know that the star went from a size 4 to a size 14, but she had to work extra hard to get back into what she says is a healthy body for herself.
Now the actress focuses on helping people find a healthy balance in life, from workout routines to eating plans.
8 Kourtney Kardashian - Size 12
It seems like the Kardashian sisters can’t (or don’t want to) keep themselves out of the spotlight, especially when it comes to pounds gained and lost. Kourtney broadcasted her fitness goals throughout her post baby workout and diet routines, and even showcased the waist trainer she wore after the birth of her third child. This may be because she gained 45 pounds and went from a size 4 to a size 12, which she felt was too much for her considering her 5 foot frame. She posted photos throughout losing the pounds, showing that she was getting close to her goal size, which seemed low on the scale, but with such a short stature, was actually a healthy goal for her.
Whatever the scale says, the Kardashians know how to flaunt curves in the best way possible!
7 Mel B - Size 16
She’s best known as a former Spice Girl, but this mom of 3 didn’t stop there. She’s been on multiple tv shows including America’s Got Talent, The X Factor UK and Dancing With the Stars, plus she has an impressive resume that includes author, dancer and presenter.
Being in the spotlight so much means that when Mel puts on pregnancy pounds, people start talking. Instead of getting down, the star says that she works hard to lose the extra fat and doesn’t deny herself the occasional treat, otherwise she’d go crazy. We get that!
Mel impressed her critics when she dropped the 64 pounds she had gained in her first pregnancy that had put her at a size 16.
Now she’s showing off her amazing figure that’s still impressive at 42 years old!
6 Catherine Zeta-Jones - Size 14
The Chicago actress has 2 children with hubby, Michael Douglass: their oldest is son, Dylan Michael, who was born in 2000, followed by daughter, Carys Zeta, who was born in 2003. It was that pregnancy that caused Catherine to gain an impressive 50 pounds, which took the star from her usual size 6 to a size 14. But she wasn’t worried about the added poundage, saying that she ate what she craved, which happened to be a lot of bread and pastries. Afterwards, she slimmed down to a thinner but not skinny figure, which she felt happy with. The actress was diagnosed with bipolar in 2011 and says that dancing and exercise help to keep it in check so she makes sure to get 45 minutes of activity 7 days a week.
5 Christina Aguilera - Size 12
The pop singer is known for her fluctuating sizes and the fact that she looks incredible in all her various forms. After having daughter, Summer Rain, Christina found herself with an extra 47 pounds to deal with. But the Beautiful singer and The Voice judge didn’t worry too much about how to deal with the stubborn fat, instead hiring a trainer and limiting calories until she was back down from a size 12 to her goal size 2. She also found that having a paint ball gun allowed her to get her cardio in and relieve stress. What a good way to combine exercise and enjoyment!
Today, Christina is pushing women to embrace their bodies, be comfortable in their own skin and love themselves no matter what.
4 Milla Jovovich - Size 14
Being a tall model and actress doesn’t exclude you from getting onto the heavy side during pregnancy, and no one understands that more than Milla. The Resident Evil actress put on a whopping 70 pounds during her first pregnancy with daughter, Ever, which pushed her up to a size 14.
The Ukrainian born actress said that it took almost a year to put that much baby chunk on and it took an entire year to get it back off. Which may be why she made sure to only gain 30 pounds the second time around with daughter, Dashiel. She even added in 12,000 steps a day to make sure that she didn’t have the same challenges the second time around. Either size, we think she looks great!
3 Jennifer Love Hewitt - Size 12
Jennifer is mom to daughter Autumn, 3, and son, Atticus, 2, but it was the second pregnancy that she packed on the pounds for. The best part? She was honest about how hard losing the pregnancy chunk is, and she said openly that she isn’t going to worry about it too much. In fact, she kept wearing her maternity clothes after her daughter was born because she was most comfortable in them.
While she never said how much she gained during pregnancy, we can venture to guess around 40 pounds, considering that she is a slightly short 5’2” and the weight sits heavier on shorter girls. That gain would put her around a size 12, which she looked amazing as! Today she has lost some of those pounds, but she’s embraced her curvier side.
2 Jessica Alba - Size 10
The Honest Company founder and actress is mom to daughters Honor and Haven, plus is pregnant now with her third child. Jessica has dedicated her life to helping women make the best choices throughout pregnancy and motherhood with her company that prides itself on having only honest ingredients. But she wasn’t always so put together, having trouble with the scale during her first pregnancy. Jessica gained 60 pounds, taking herself from a teensy size 2 to a size 10, which she magically shed within a few short months by wearing a double corset day and night. She says it was brutal, which is probably why she didn’t gain that much again in her subsequent pregnancies.
Of course, it's obvious she looks great in any size!
1 Ali Larter - Size 12
The Heroes star spoke openly about her 45 pound gain during her first pregnancy and the 50 pound gain during her second one, saying that the pounds came on because she chose to have her cake and enjoy it. She welcomed her son, Theodore, in 2010 and her daughter, Vivienne, in 2015.
The 41 year old actress said that it’s hard to lose baby fat and do something for yourself as a mom, but she has chosen to make the time to workout because her body is part of her job, so she has to keep it in shape. But when she’s pregnant, she let’s that slide a bit and indulges in the things that make her happy. The pounds gained put her at a size 12, but she lost it all for her role in Resident Evil.
Sources: HealthyCeleb, DailyMail, People, Health, Glamour