Welcome! My name is Jen McLellan. I'm a certified childbirth educator and the founder of Plus Size Birth.
When you're plus size, pregnancy just looks different. There's a lot of misinformation and assumptions out there about what a plus size person's body is (and isn’t) capable of doing.
Unfortunately, most of the information available online focuses only on the increased risks during pregnancy when plus size versus what would actually be helpful: how to have healthy outcomes! Add to that, the lack of representation of diverse pregnant bodies in the media and the difficulty we face finding plus size maternity clothes.
In 2011, I set out to change the stigma surrounding plus size pregnancy by creating positive, evidence-based resources.
Today, Plus Size Birth is the leading plus size pregnancy resource for both families and birth professionals!
Plus Size Birth + Plus Mommy Podcast Features
I'll never forget Googling “plus size pregnancy” when I first found out I was pregnant in January of 2010. My feed was full of negativity. I read that I would develop gestational diabetes and have a cesarean birth because of my size. Plus, it was tough to find images of people my size who were pregnant.
I wondered if it was possible to have a healthy plus size pregnancy and worried about how my body would look as my pregnancy progressed.
Five months into my pregnancy, I hired a doula who introduced my husband and me to the midwifery model of care. I was quickly sold on an evidence-based, compassionate way of caring for me and my baby and we promptly changed care providers and hospitals.
For the first time in my life, a medical provider touched my body with compassion. She believed that my body was capable of having a healthy pregnancy so I believed I was capable too.
On August 24, 2010, following a completely healthy pregnancy in my plus size body, I gave birth to my son on my knees. From that moment on, I could no longer hate a body that was capable of something so magnificent!
As I settled into motherhood, I felt called to share my story with others. There needed to be positive plus size pregnancy and birth stories on the internet – I was going to be one of the first.
I also wanted to create resources for plus size maternity clothing and things that I struggled to find. It felt so unfair that my needs couldn’t be met with a trip to the mall or a quick Google search – information and recommendations on products for pregnant plus size people needed to be accessible!
Beyond that, I desired a place on the internet where people could share gorgeous plus size maternity photos in order to encourage others to take the pictures I deeply regret never posing for myself.
And so, on April 11, 2011, I launched the Plus Size Mommy Memoirs blog (with no idea what I was doing)!
Immediately, I received an overwhelmingly positive response and realized what I started was so much more than a personal blog. A mere month later, Plus Size Birth was born!
With a background in the nonprofit sector doing end-of-life advocacy and volunteer management work, I knew how to build community groups to enact change. And I knew the change that was needed wasn’t just on the internet.
I became certified as a childbirth educator and started traveling the country speaking about supporting plus size people during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.
Plus Size Birth became my full-time passion and career!
I launched the Plus Mommy Podcast in 2018 to highlight birth stories and have needed conversations covering plus size parenting and lifestyle topics. The show has exceeded 235K downloads with over 229K followers on Facebook and 38K on Instagram.
In 2019, I collaborated with the National Institutes of Health on the Pregnancy for Everybody Initiative.
My work has been featured in the New York Times, Glamour, HuffPost Live, Baby Center, Health At Every Size® blog, and many other media outlets.
With over seven million page views on the Plus Size Birth website, a large social media following, and a thriving podcast, I'm completely in awe of the ripple effect our stories can make!
I'll be forever thankful that I shared my experience and set out to change how plus size people are treated during pregnancy. Today, with over a decade of this work behind me, I feel as though I'm just getting started!
The Mission of Plus Size Birth
Plus Size Birth promotes evidence-based information and positive resources to empower healthy decision-making for plus size people who are either trying to conceive or currently pregnant. By sharing personal stories, inspiring images, and practical strategies, pregnancy for people of size becomes normalized.
Jen McLellan's Bio
Jen McLellan is a published author, founder of Plus Size Birth, and host of the Plus Mommy Podcast. She helps people navigate the world of plus size pregnancy, shares tips for embracing your body, and laughs her way through the adventures of parenthood. Jen has grown a community of over 230,000 via the Plus Mommy Facebook page. Her work has been featured in major publications such as The New York Times, Glamour, Today's Parent, Huffington Post, and International Doula.
She authored the My Plus Size Pregnancy Guide and co-wrote the Amazon bestseller, The Peachie Moms Guide to Body Love for Moms. She also has an essay in Jes Baker's book Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls.
As a public speaker, Jen has spoken at numerous events, including presenting at the National Institutes of Health. Jen is also a certified childbirth educator, wife, and mother to a charismatic eleven-year-old.