Being plus size and pregnant comes with a certain stigma to it, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy your pregnancy. Since I went through most of my pregnancies as a plus size person, I want to share how to have a happy plus size pregnancy, including health, with tips on health, how to shop for plus size maternity wear, and other useful bits I learned along the way.
Where to Start in Your Plus Size Pregnancy Journey
The best place to start is with a good doctor. Whether you are planning a pregnancy or end up pregnant as a surprise, you definitely want a good ob/gyn. By good ob/gyn, I mean one that goes with facts but doesn’t fat shame you in the process.
There are many people that act like a plus size pregnancy is something taboo without knowing someone’s history in the first place. Honestly, that is really something that should be discussed between you and and your doctors, not a random troll on the internet. But…I digress.
Why I stress a good OB/GYN
When I was pregnant with my second child, we just moved into a new area. I was unfamiliar with the doctors. It was 15 years ago, and finding out reviews wasn’t quite as easy online as it is today. With social media, it is a lot easier to find a local parenting group and ask these kinds of questions or search Google for a review.
My family doctor was almost an hour away and said she would be more comfortable with me finding someone closer. I couldn’t get a lot of information on the local obgyns in the area, so I went with the one that was closest to me. It was a big mistake!
To make a long story short, the doctor shamed me with every visit. His only concern was my weight and told me I should consider losing up to 20 lbs while pregnant. Having a history of bulimia really started to play into how I was handling my pregnancy. After he tried pushing me into an unnecessary amnio, I started asking some of the moms I met in the area about the practice and switched to a different one half way through my pregnancy. They didn’t try to pressure me into any unnecessary procedures, and mentally it was so much better for me to be somewhere where I could enjoy my pregnancy without focusing on weight.
Don’t Settle for a Fat-Phobic Doctor
Settling for a doctor that is only concerned with your weight is mentally taxing. Also, you may be pushed into things based on your weight alone, such as an unnecessary c-section. If you have to have a c-section, there is no shame in that. However, you should never be forced into one based on your size.
Nutrition and Health for a Plus Size Pregnancy
Most likely, you will not gain as much weight as your straight sized friend who is pregnant. According to the CDC, someone who is overweight should aim to gain 15 to 25 pounds. Those with obesity should gain 11 to 20 pounds. In my experience, I have been within the 10 lb range for my daughters. As it stands now, with me in my second trimester, I probably will be within that range again.
My doctor has been fine with my progress with each of those pregnancies. I focused, especially in these last two, on nutrition. It is not to say that I don’t indulge now and then. However, I focus heavily on a wide variety of foods and getting my unborn child the nutrition they need. I also heavily researched my vitamins and supplements. This has been especially important this pregnancy as I was diagnosed with some food allergies a few years back. I cannot eat gluten, dairy, or soy. I made sure to ask my doctor about supplements and anything I might need to know.
While you may be more prone to developing gestational diabetes, a good diet, combined with movement helps combat that. So far, I never developed gestational diabetes in any of my pregnancies. My doctor this time around seemed a bit shocked by that, considering I had three 8lb plus babies. However, I stayed active and ate well. I focused on that instead of what could happen. In the event you develop gestational diabetes, it isn’t the end of the world. Just take care of yourself and do what you need to do to get to the end.
Plus Size Maternity Wear and How to Shop for it
If you don’t know where to start, finding cute plus size pregnancy clothes seems a bit daunting. However, if you know how to shop, you can find the cutest things to dress that bump!
In previous pregnancies, I shopped Motherhood Maternity first. However, since they no longer have physical stores, the selection is spotty at best.
Favorite Places for Plus Size Maternity Clothes
One of the biggest issues I ran into this time around was thinking about the fit. So, here is the approach I took:
I went with stores I trusted with sizing. Torrid has been rolling out its own maternity line slowly. I know my size in Torrid leggings, so I went with my regular size for their maternity bike shorts. They are super comfy and one of my faves. As for tops, their babydoll tops are super cute. I wear my regular size or one size up in those currently. Also, their skater dresses are great for pregnancy as well!
I also like to shop smaller brands and boutiques. For my latest maternity shoot, I chose a jumpsuit from Voluptuous Lady Boutique. They have a lot of cute things with stretch, and they are a great plus size boutique to shop trendy fashion. I sized up one size with them, and it was perfect.
Also, I reached out to the owner of Love Thy Curves, who is also a friend of mine. Love Thy Curves specializes in plus size consignment clothing. If you are looking for plus size pregnancy clothing on a budget, this is a great place to start! They are local to me, but they have an online presence as well! I told her what I was looking for. So she and I did a style session over Facebook one day helping me get the rest of my summer pregnancy wardrobe!
I also recommend checking out Etsy. I found some cute plus size pregnancy tees and even the cutest punk skirt on there. You can also find some cute skater dresses by CowCow that work great, especially for the summer. They are super stretchy too. I sized up in the ones I got to wear for the summer, and they have been a great fit!
Above All, Do Things To Enjoy Your Pregnancy
Pregnancy can be a stressful time no matter what you do. As I write this, we are still in the midst of a pandemic, and I admit that it is a little hard to enjoy myself a lot of the time. If you are struggling mentally during your pregnancy, do things to help take care of yourself…whether that is practicing good self-care, turning off social media for a bit, or even going to therapy.
Some of the things I have been doing lately to help me enjoy my pregnancy have been talking to my baby. I sit, rub my belly, and talk to him. Also, I have been taking lots of pictures. Even if you are self-conscious, remember to take photos of this time. It is something I regret not doing with my first two pregnancies. With the first one I lost, it is one of the few things I have to remember him by. Pregnancy can leave you feeling less than confident about yourself as your body changes, but you are beautiful. Working on embracing yourself helps you mentally during this time!
I hope you found these tips helpful. Being pregnant can be an exciting time, but it can be a nerve-wracking time as well. If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow for more fashion fun and check me out on social media for fashion tips, body positivity, and random stories and fun!
Photos by CW Photography from my second trimester photo shoot. Outfit by Voluptuous Lady Boutique.