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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

Curvy Deals

Woohoo! I’m super excited to share these curvy deals and small businesses with you! Some people get excited for Black Friday and Cyber Monday but here are Plus Size Mommy Memoirs we think deals should run for much longer! So any curvy deals you see below won’t expire until May of 2016!! Yup, you read that correctly. These business owners are Plus Size Mommy Memoirs community members just like you. They are working hard and would love it if you checked out their wonderful products and services. Don’t miss out on some of these awesome deals they put together just for our... read more

Postpartum Doula: Getting Fired is My Favorite Outcome

Postpartum…oh postpartum. That time in our lives when we feel so out of touch with our body and often question if we’re doing all the right things for our newborn. It’s a time of blissful uncertainty and insomnia. I’ve been a mom for over 5 years now and I’m still immediately triggered when someone asks me about my introduction to motherhood. My son came early and wasn’t quite ready to thrive. Breastfeeding felt impossible and bonding was challenging. I often found myself crying and questioning my instincts rather than following them. Looking back on those first few weeks I was so thankful to have amazing partner and family support. Yet, I really wish I would’ve set money aside for a postpartum doula. I feel like that could’ve made a dramatic difference for myself and my newly formed family. I’ve invited my friend, Carolyn Butler with Doula Wise, to talk about her role as a postpartum doula. She’s also a postpartum doula trainer in Colorado so she’s very knowledgeable and highly skilled.   As a Postpartum Doula my ultimate goal is to be fired by my clients. Sounds crazy, I know, but if I have done my job well, this is the best outcome. I teach new parents how to care for babies without having to make a lot of the common mistakes. I work in their homes on any schedule they choose, daytime or overnights. I like to start my first shift on the day the new parents come home from the hospital or birthing location so I can help them better organize themselves and their “stuff” right from the beginning. If mom is breastfeeding, everything needs... read more

Baring It All for the 4th Trimester Bodies Project

The 4th Trimester Bodies Project caught my eye when they were continuously banned from Facebook for sharing breastfeeding images. Yet, it wasn’t the controversy that grabbed my attention, it was the breathtaking images of mothers of all sizes, shapes, and colors. I couldn’t stop looking through the online gallery of women standing proud, many with babies in their arms or young children by their side, wearing only a black bra and black underwear. Each unique photograph proved that postpartum looks different for every woman and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Every image not only told a story on its own but also came with the woman’s motherhood memoir. I witnessed not only the physical representation but the emotional side too as I learned about each mother’s journey. As I looked at photo after photo, I admired each mother’s courage but never foresaw myself baring it all for the 4th Trimester Bodies Project. That was until I made virtual acquaintance with Ashlee Wells Jackson, the founder and photographer behind this amazing project. Being a body love advocate can be difficult work so connecting with others that share your passion is divine. Ashlee and I clicked right away and kept writing one another love notes via our Instagram posts. When Ashlee asked me to participate in her project, I couldn’t say no even though part of me really wanted to. While I’ve shared countless full-body images online, along with boudoir photos, I’ve never shown my bare belly or thighs. I can honestly say I love my body but, let’s be honest, there’s a few steps between loving your body and baring... read more

Why My Family Switched to Natural Healthy Products

In 2001, a movie called Bubble Boy came out and I thought it was pretty silly. Years later I became a mother, and the idea of keeping my son in a plastic bubble to protect his immune system seemed like a brilliant idea. I remember the first time Braeden got really sick and I went onto to Dr. Google (always a terrible idea) to research his symptoms and what I should do. Within a few minutes, I was convinced he had something akin to the swine flu. I immediately called a nurse hotline. After I answered a series of about 10 questions, a very kind nurse assured me that my worst fears were far from true. As time passed, I stopped fearing every sneeze and sniffle and started learning about essential oils and more natural ways of keeping my son healthy. So when a company called Maty’s Healthy Products approached me to learn more about their line of natural products, I was very open-minded. The photo below, of Maty’s Organic Cough Syrup, is the number one reason why my family now uses natural healthy products… Notice anything? Every word on their ingredients list is something you can pronounce and are all organic. Their products are also gluten free, dairy free, and alcohol free. Honestly, if I had skills in the kitchen and time on my hands, this is something I could have concocted myself! Why does this matter? Stop reading this article right now so you can head into your bathroom and start reading labels on the medications you’re putting into your kid’s body. It’s scary what’s lurking in... read more

How Dare I Exist in a Body Such as This?

How Dare I Exist in a Body Such as This? A poem by Corinna Dabling    How dare I exist in a body such as this!? It’s big and a burden and ugly like piss. You hide behind words and comments and phrases and act like a martyr when called on it later. “I’d never say that, you must be mistaken! Don’t take it so personal, you know I’m only fakin’.” You insinuate shamefulness with words spit from your lips. Like I should want to hide my arms, my legs, my belly and my hips. You’re shocked and appalled I could love who I am. Every lump and curve. Every dimple and ham. That I can be confident with a smile on my face. When my body isn’t perfection and to you, such a waste. But my body is glorious, beautiful, divine. And the best part of all is it’s completely mine. It wakes up every day and carries me along, every moment and adventure and memory and song. That time I was married, that time I lost hope. When I found in me my purpose and learned how to cope. When I carried my children all cozy within, and gave birth with ferocity, overwhelming love and a grin. So you see this body you think is grotesque, is actually a blessing, it’s wanted, and picturesque. Be gone with your hate for you have no place here. I have no desire to listen, I won’t shed a tear. How dare I exist in a body such as this? I exist with love. Cover photo by Shilowe Photography   If you... read more

Waiting on a Rainbow: Pregnancy After Miscarriage

“Mommy, I really want a brother!” My 5 year old says this to me at least weekly. In the beginning I’d try to explain how mommy and daddy weren’t sure if we’d have another baby. Then there was a period of time when I played into his desires of becoming a sibling, because I too wanted nothing more than to make another baby. Now, however, after years of no baby I ask myself if pregnancy after miscarriage is even possible. In the summer of 2012, I had a miscarriage and for the past 3 years my husband and I have never actively tried for another baby. Yet, we’ve never made any attempts to not get pregnant either. It’s like there’s the unspoken pact that “trying” means setting ourselves up for disappointment. “Mommy, I want my brother’s name to be Michael.” Last year my son named his future sibling Michael. I wonder what goes through his little head as mommy and daddy have yet to grant his wish for a little baby brother (or sister if he doesn’t get his way). This past week he decided to change name of his desired brother from Michael to Jamison. Jamison is the name of his new best friend at school and he likes that name better. I wonder if he thinks that by changing the baby’s name, he will change his current situation of being an only child. The day we lost our family of 4, I was so angry. Angry at my body. Angry I had no control over what was happening. My husband tried to comfort me. Yet he couldn’t understand the depth... read more

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