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Jen McLellanHi I’m Jen McLellan and welcome to Plus Size Birth. The day my son was born I not only became a mother but also developed a deep love for my body. After settling into motherhood I wanted to empower women to find the strength and beauty within their body.

In April of 2011 I launched the Plus Size Mommy Memoirs blog, to help women navigate the world of plus size pregnancy, share tips for body love, and laugh along with the adventures of motherhood. My work has been featured in major publications such as Huffington Post, Today’s ParentEveryday Feminism, and International Doula. I’ve also been an expert guest on HuffPost Live.

I’ve built a Facebook community of over 164,000 plus size women supporting one another before, during, and after pregnancy.

In early 2014 I became certified as a childbirth educator. My background in non-profit management and patient advocacy has enabled me to have a strong voice for plus size women during pregnancy and childbirth. I share my message via speaking engagements and I’m excited to be rolling out classes in 2015. Be sure to signup for the Plus Size Birth e-newsletter to be kept up-to-date on exciting new developments.

I hope you enjoy exploring my website and you can contact me anytime!


Plus SIze Mommy Memoirs Blog

Love Your Body | Love Your Birth

Babywearing for Every Body!

As we celebrate International Babywearing Week, it’s important to talk about how we can make babywearing for every body. I’m sure some of you are thinking, babywearing is for every body. You’d be correct, however, it’s startling how many people don’t think they are able to babywear because of their size. While there are many babywearing companies that carry larger sized carriers and wraps, few have marketing materials showing plus size people wearing their babies. A simple Google image search for the keywords “babywearing images” doesn’t show photos of plus size women until you get to my articles on plus size babywearing. Yet, 60% of women in their childbearing years are classified as overweight or obese. 60%! We can’t normalize babywearing for every body, until we see images everywhere of larger parents wearing their babies. Images are powerful! While we wait for more babywearing companies to include plus size people in their marketing materials, let’s take matters into our own hands! Use the hashtag #BabywearingForEveryBody and share images of you babywearing all over social media. Let’s make sure ALL plus size parents know they can babywear!   Here are some helpful resources for plus size babywearing: Plus Size Babywearing – Reviews of size friendly carriers and wraps Babywearing for the Plus-Sized Mama – A Facebook group of over 6,000 Local Certified Babywearing Educators I’m excited to share Laura Brown, a Certified Babywearing Educator of MamaBird Postpartum and co-founder of BabywearingLA, will be doing a special online plus size babywearing Q&A (via our Plus Size Mommy Memoirs Facebook page)! Please click on the image below to learn more.                ... read more

Normalizing Plus Size Breastfeeding

Over 150 mothers joined this video project, to work towards normalizing plus size breastfeeding, for World Breastfeeding Week. Every mother who wants to breastfeed is faced with some challenges along her journey. Plus size women have extra hurdles to cross over; from difficult births, struggles with PCOS, to finding nursing bras that fit. Plus size women are often told they will be unable to nurse due to the size of their breasts. This misinformation doesn’t only come from family members but also care providers. Some new mothers are even told they will smother their baby. How can we change this story and increase breastfeeding outcomes for plus size women? First off, society needs to stop making assumptions about what a plus size body is capable of achieving. Our bodies are truly amazing! Studies do show plus size women are less likely to initiate and exclusively breastfeed. These studies also show one intervention that significantly improves breastfeeding outcomes – scheduled support by an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). While this can be an additional financial and emotional hurdle, it’s a necessary one to overcome if a woman is struggling to breastfeed. The Affordable Care Act states that breastfeeding support is to be covered without copay or deductible, which means that most insurance will reimburse for IBCLC care. The IBCLC should also provide the mother with a super bill to aid in seeking reimbursement. Click here for information on how to connect to an IBCLC. Please be aware there are many different levels of training for people who offer lactation support. While all are helpful, a lactation consultant is not... read more

Help Me Normalize Plus Size Breastfeeding

There are a lot of assumptions made about a plus size woman’s ability to breastfeed her baby. Women are often told things that are damaging and influence her breastfeeding journey. “You’re going to smother your baby with those big boobs!”  “Your boobs are small. I thought all fat woman had large breasts.”  “Can you nurse when you’re fat?”  “Wow, you’re going to make so much milk with those huge boobs.”  Studies show significantly lower rates of plus size women initiating and exclusively breastfeeding.  We need to talk about this and work to normalize plus size breastfeeding! If you are or were a breastfeeding mom and self-identify as plus size, I’m asking for your participation in a powerful project for World Breastfeeding Week (August 1st – 7th). You can be apart of this project by submitting a photo of you nursing along with 1 sentence. The sentence can be something negative that was said to you, something positive that helped you along your breastfeeding journey, or a message you’d like to share with other moms. All submissions will be compiled into a video that will help to normalize breastfeeding for plus size moms…and all moms!  Please know that just because this is a breastfeeding project, doesn’t mean I’m not also supportive of bottle feeding mothers. I was a formula feeding mom myself. This project, however, is just for women who have previously or are currently breastfeeding (it doesn’t matter how long you nursed). All breastfeeding photos must be submitted by Wednesday, July 29th. If your photo is too large for this form, please send it via e-mail to but be sure to... read more

A Beautiful Hospital Birth Story

This is a beautiful hospital birth story of a plus size mom who felt completely supported by compassionate care providers and her loving family. I just want to encourage all women to find a size-friendly provider, who will listen to you and support you in your pregnancy & birth, because it is so important. The number on the scale does not matter. Our bodies are capable of incredible things! – Michelle Henry’s Birth Story  I had been having contractions off & on for a few weeks before my due date, but a couple of days prior to my son’s birth, I finally lost my plug & started having bloody show. I figured that I would be having a baby within 24-48 hours, since that’s what happened with my daughter, Scarlett, once my bloody show began. The contractions never picked up speed, though, and on the morning of his birth, I had an appointment with my midwives and basically said, “I’m done.” (Which worked well for them, since they don’t like to see moms go over two weeks past their due date… I was two days away from that two week mark.) So, they stripped my membranes for the second time and my husband & I went home to get things prepared to go back to the hospital. I got a small dose of cytotec (my midwife only uses a quarter of the dose that is typically used by obstetricians for inducing) around 3 pm. Before that time, my contractions were already nice and consistent. At 6 pm, I got another quarter dose… and basically, all hell broke loose, and I... read more

Not All Care Providers are Fat Shamers: A Birth Story

I’m always touched whenever a woman wants to share her plus size birth story with me. Not too long ago I received this message, along with breathtaking photos from Tyne. I am a very plus sized Mum (currently 350) when I had my daughter I weighed 340 (at 5’10”) I have thyroid disease, PCOS, an anxiety disorder and postpartum depression… but I am NOT broken. I was wondering if I could share my story and some photos and if so where? I would love for Mums to know that not all care providers are fat shamers. Some don’t even mention your weight, like mine!!! Birth was amazing for me (even though it ended in an emergency c-section) and I am happy with my body, even though it’s changed. After reading that I was eager to read her birth story, because I too learned during my birth that not all care providers are fat shamers. Having a size friendly birth professional can make all the difference, especially when your birth doesn’t go as planned as you’ll read below in Tyne’s story. When I was 17 I was diagnosed with PCOS and told because of it and my size I would be unlikely to have children. I always wanted to be a mother, it was my biggest dream. Even knowing it was unlikely it was still my biggest dream, what I wanted the most out of life. Fast forward 10 years and I met and fell in love with my amazing fiancé, it was early 2012 and we hit it off right away. He lived 10 hours away, but would come out every... read more

Magic Mike XXL is Body Positive!

On Friday evening I got all dolled up and headed out with a dozen girlfriends to see Magic Mike XXL. I had set my expectations quite low. Yet I walked away unable to stop smiling. While Channing Tatum is a fox, he wasn’t the reason I was grinning from ear to ear. I was super ecstatic because Magic Mike XXL is body positive! Throughout the movie male entertainers worship the bodies of women of all sizes and colors. It was amazing! I kept waiting for there to be some kind of a fat shaming joke but it never happened. I’m not the only person who is cheering… “It was so refreshing to see women of all sizes in the new “Magic Mike” movie. I was there on a girl’s night out with a limo full of plus size women and we had such a great time. It was so great to see the sexy curvy woman on the massage table getting her naughty massage with Michael Strahan’s character . There were curvy women in the audience at the stripper convention and they even brought a variety of women on stage for their show. Way to be, “Magic Mike” producers. The reality is that 70% of American women are a size 14 or larger and the movie did a great job reflecting what the majority of us look like. Congrats to Channing and team for not being afraid to show a woman in her Spanx and for creating a film that was full of body acceptance!” – Chrystal Bougon of Curvy Girl Lingerie Kelly Lawler and Arienne Thompson from USA Today... read more

My Birth Story: Debunking Plus Size Pregnancy Myths

My name is Jesika and I felt like I should share my pregnancy story. I am 26 years old, 5’9″ and weighed 305 lbs when I found out I was pregnant. My husband and I had our 1st miscarriage in February of 2013 at 8 weeks and found out I was pregnant again in July/August that same year. Right off the bat, I knew I was going to have a horrible pregnancy just because of my size and not to mention I am bi-polar. I just knew I wouldn’t be able to work long (I’m a pre-K teacher). I thought I would gain a massive amount of weight and I just knew I was going to have complications. I also automatically assumed I would be diagnosed with gestational diabetes. The first trimester was far from enjoyable because of the fear of losing this one too. Months came and went with no issues whatsoever, including mental issues or gestational diabetes. I was in better mental shape than ever being pregnant. I went all the way to 41 weeks, and I worked all the way up to week 39. My entire pregnancy I only gained 15 lbs! When I was scheduled to be induced I knew there was no way I would have this baby naturally because of my size and prepared myself to have to have a c-section, my husband was even convinced. I was induced at 5:00 am April 12th and had my 8.8lb, 22in daughter at 8:48 pm that night, vaginally! I wanted to share my story to try to help debunk some of these plus size pregnancy... read more

Your Best is Good Enough

Deep breaths. l You can do this. ll Your best is good enough. l My life has been turned upside down recently because of my basement flooding. I keep working hard to remind myself that I’m doing all I can and it’s enough. The flood happened the same week of my son’s preschool graduation and my in-laws where coming to town. Usually I’m very stressed before my mother-in-law arrives because I want things to be nice for her. That sure wasn’t the case this time because my house was a hot mess! I did the dishes and allowed myself to accept that it was enough. When they arrived they didn’t care about the mess, they just cared about us. As my son, in his miniature cap and gown, got his diploma I was full of joy and pride. The stress I was under completely diminished as he told everyone that when he grows up he wants to be an astronaut and a fire fighter. In that moment my son reminded me that my best is more than good enough! Please listen to me when I say that sometimes just doing the dishes is enough! We put way too much pressure upon our shoulders and it’s time to give ourselves some grace. Your life will never be as organized as your Pinterest boards and that’s perfectly okay. Below is a little message I posted on Instagram today just for you… A little love note from me to you! 😘👄❤ #reallife #youareanawesomemom #momenough #mommyland #selflove #selfunderstanding #youareenough A video posted by Jennifer McLellan (@plusmommy) on Jun 25, 2015 at 6:17pm PDT Don’t forget to subscribe to my monthly newsletter to... read more

4 Ways Fathers Can Raise Strong Independent Daughters

At the age of nineteen I packed two suitcases and moved from Southern California to Denver, Colorado on my own. I was ready to go off and see what life had in store for me because my parents worked hard to raise strong independent daughters. As I look back upon my childhood, there were four key ways in which my father helped to shape me into the woman I am today. Philanthropy First My sister and I were raised on the Golden Rule of treating others as we’d like to be treated. Starting in sixth grade I spent much of my summers doing volunteer work and I flourished! It was my father who ended up being my chauffeur. He drove me to women’s shelters to care for babies and day camps for handicap children. When I got a little older I fell in love with being a camp counselor. My dad spent one day a week during the summers driving me an hour each way for camp trainings. He would wait in the car or run an errand while I’d learn how to make special summer memories for kids. I honestly can’t recall my dad ever complaining during all the years he spent carting me around. He truly drove me towards a lifetime of philanthropy work and a core belief in the importance of making a difference in the lives of others. Confidence is Key I’m sure my dad wasn’t thrilled when I told him I was moving into a loft in downtown Denver when I was twenty. Sure, it wasn’t New York, but I will always be his baby.... read more