“It must be twins!” Having a positive plus size pregnancy

October 13 | Guest post by Erika Hammer
Photo from Plusmommy on Instagram
Photo from Plusmommy on Instagram

I’ve heard of horrible things my non-plus-size girlfriends have gone through while pregnant. And while I’m aware that every pregnant lady gets unwanted comments thrown their way, it seems like those directed at plus-size pregnant ladies is wildly different. Some of the comments can even make you feel like, well, like you’ve done something wrong, or that your body is wrong.

The amount of judgement you get for being a plus-size mama is intense!

I normally carry my weight in my tummy; I’m the true definition of the “apple” shape. When I was only four months pregnant, someone who knew about the pregnancy said to me, “Wow, it looks like you’re having twins! You’re huge already!” Little did they know, not only that I was not showing yet, I had actually lost over 10 pounds due to severe morning sickness. Thanks, friend, for that comment.

“You’re really going to finally feel the need to lose weight once your baby arrives. You won’t be able to keep up with being a mom if you’re not fit.” Said one former friend, via Facebook message. Thank god for that “un-friend” button, when it comes to receiving unsolicited advice.

“I really hope your baby is healthier than you are.” Said a stranger in the elevator, when I was eight months pregnant, and just happened to be rubbing my belly out of habit.

These are only a few of the not-so-cool comments people made about my weight during my pregnancy. Add to that the stares and that look in people’s eyes when you know they are genuinely trying to figure out if you’re "fat and pregnant" or "just fat."

I’m not made of stone; these comments definitely got to me at times — especially when I felt very isolated by the lack of plus size pregnancy clothing available in Canada. I didn’t feel sexy, I didn’t feel pretty I just felt like… Well… have you ever seen a picture of a blob fish?

blob fish

But I did have some amazing people around me while I was pregnant. And in case you don’t, I want you to hear what I heard:

  • You are awesome and you are beautiful.
  • You’re growing a freaking LIFE inside of you right now.
  • You are loved for who you are; your heart, your spirit and your strength.

It’s okay to get upset if people around you make comments that you don’t appreciate, but try your damndest to not let it get under your skin. You’re better than those people! They may be ignorant and they may be rude but you don’t have to take that negativity home with you.

You will teach your child how to be a better person than they are. You will create good in the world by doing so.

Having a positive plus-size pregnancy certainly may not be easy; but it’s always possible. Seek support from your family and friends, or find a plus-size mama support group online. Can’t find one — start one! Lead the way and create a safe space for others.

You’re an amazing human; you can do this!

What are your tips, struggles, and insights on being plus-size and pregnant?

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  1. Thanks for this! I would add that if you discover your doctor or midwife is not supportive of your plus-sized pregnancy, don't be afraid to find a new one, no matter how far along you are! Don't put yourself in the position of going through labor, or being bullied into an unnecessary c-section, with someone you don't feel safe with.

    6 agree
  2. Not being able to find pregnancy clothes has been a struggle – even going to the store everyone raves about, Motherhood Maternity, was a total disappoint and Pink Blush was such crap quality that I returned everything. I have ended up relying on Amazon for the most part. Many things are just not made well once you get to the plus sizes.

    I did discover one site for bras that has been amazing as it had more than one bra option in my size. Ladies try BareNecessities.com. I am a 44G and found several options even in maternity/nursing bras.

    I admit that I have not taken any maternity photos because of how large I feel. I have lost 20lbs this pregnancy so far (34wks right now), but I have no idea where i lost it from. My doctor has been very supportive and has kept an eye on the baby while I am dropping weight. The baby is fine, but I recently developed gestational diabetes and gestational hypertension. So now I am mentally preparing for the fact that I might get induced (did not want that) or get a c-section (again, no thank you) as my doctor said that if I am a week past my due date that we would have to induce.

    I admit that I have found support on Reddit through two groups – BabyBumps and PlusSizedPregnancy. Both groups are positive and helpful (at least that is what I have experienced).

    Sorry for the rambling:)

    3 agree
    • Thank you so much for the bra recommendation! I am currently plus-size and 6 months pregnant, and bra shopping has been a nightmare since month 2. Good luck to you fellow pregnant mama!

      1 agrees
    • I wish you all the best! A friend of mine was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, too, and while she definitely had to watch what she was eating, she finally had a beautiful natural delivery (just a couple days before the doctors said they would induce!) and gave birth to a wonderful, healthy baby girl.
      Beast of luck!

      1 agrees
    • Thank you again for the bra recommendation! I had been slightly panicking not being able to find my size in nursing bras (I started this pregnancy at 40G I think I'm at 42H now, so I'm probably looking at an I cup for nursing ugh.) And I gave up with Amazon, you are right, too many things poorly made at the plus size level.

      I'm really sorry to hear about the gestational diabetes and hypertension. Crazy you've dropped all that weight, but if baby's fine that's great news. Good luck, you got this 🙂

  3. What a coincidence for me to see this on my due date! (Time to get out, baby!) I did have trouble finding clothes – mostly pants, because I am both plus size and tall – but I have been much luckier than you in the comment department. In fact, I've been much luckier than many of the women in the birth month forum I frequent who aren't plus size. I'm really sorry that you had to deal with it! I think it's important for plus sized women to be open about their pregnancies and normalize plus-sized pregnancy. I wish I could pass along my strangers-shut-up-powers. Maybe it's a combination of working with amazing, considerate people and a vicious resting bitch face that tells strangers to stay away =)

    3 agree
  4. Oh gosh, thank you for this. I am 14 weeks pregnant right now and struggling MIGHTILY with body image issues. I thought that perhaps being pregnant and admiring what my body was doing while pregnant might help me feel better about this body of mine that I normally have a fraught relationship with *at best* but it has not turned out that way so far. It's like all the anxieties, annoyances, humiliations and frustrations I have about being plus sized are now magnified times a million. I honestly can't believe I'm not even halfway through this yet, and am not sure how I'm going to manage once I really really start to show.
    I think that's probably why I have been so secretive about my pregnancy. It is wanted and was planned, I'm happy about it, but I will never announce it on social media and I absolutely do not want any photos taken of me at all. I just don't think I could deal with the inevitable commentary.

    3 agree

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