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4 Things No One Tells You About Being Plus Size And Pregnant

What should I know about being plus size and pregnant?

Google “being plus size and pregnant”, “plus size pregnancy”, “obese and pregnant”, “fat and pregnant”, or some variation of those search terms.

In just a few links, you’ll be led to believe you will most definitely, without a doubt, no matter what, develop complications during your pregnancy because of your size.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the comments section of most articles are a lot like walking through a minefield.

You may be able to walk away unscathed.

Or you could read some truly damaging comments. Things like people saying you don’t have the right to be a mother simply because of your size.

The reality is, while there are some increased risks, people of all sizes can have healthy pregnancies!!

While common plus size pregnancy frustrations include not being able to find affordable plus size maternity clothes or struggling to connect with a size friendly care provider – let’s dig deeper!

plus size woman being plus size and pregnant

Being Plus Size and Pregnant

1. You’ll likely be tested twice for gestational diabetes.

As I mentioned above, there are increased risks. Gestational diabetes is one of the main ones so screening is important. Most people with a BMI over 30 will be tested twice with the standard glucose challenge test.

The first test for gestational diabetes is given very early on in pregnancy (to see if you are already pre-diabetic or diabetic).

If you pass the test, you think, ‘Woohoo! I’m done.’

Then when you hit 24–28 weeks of pregnancy, when all women are routinely tested for gestational diabetes, you’ll be told you need to be tested again.

‘But…but I passed my test!’

I want to make sure you know that being tested twice is extremely common. I just wish more care providers let their plus size clients know that this will occur!

With that said, it is a red flag if your care provider tells you that you will develop gestational diabetes based solely upon your size. Or if they insist on testing you for this condition monthly.

If something like this happens to you, advocate for yourself by getting a second opinion. Or consider switching to a more size friendly provider.

In 2020, it was discovered that early screening for gestational diabetes did not make a significant difference. So, ask your provider if getting tested early is necessary, especially in light of recent data. 

plus size pregnancy - 1. You’ll be tested twice for gestational diabetes.

2. You might lose weight during pregnancy.

Weight is such a triggering topic, I know. And being plus size and pregnant means there's even more sensitivities.

Still, we’ve got to talk about it because there’s evidence to show that limiting weight gain during pregnancy can actually help you to have a healthier pregnancy overall.

Plus, odds are your care provider will tell you not to gain more than 11 – 15 lbs.

While working to limit your weight gain during pregnancy is something to strive for, we emphasize this isn’t achieved by dieting.

Do not deprive yourself or restricting calories!

Quite the opposite, it’s all about being proactive with your nutritional choices (consider connecting with a registered dietician) and being physically active.

If you weren’t already doing these things, a change in your habits can result in limited weight gain or even losing weight during pregnancy.

Quick recap – this isn’t about trying to lose weight during pregnancy!

However, if you are proactive with your nutrition and physical activity during pregnancy, not gaining a lot of weight or even losing weight can be completely normal and healthy during a plus size pregnancy.

As long as you are making healthy choices throughout your pregnancy, your body is going to gain what it needs to in order to grow your baby.

You might lose weight during pregnancy.

3. You’ll measure ahead.

As your pregnancy progresses, your care provider will start measuring your belly to track growth. This is called fundal height measurements (the distance from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus measured in centimeters).

Real talk – as plus size woman, we come into pregnancy already having a belly. Because of this, plus size women have a new normal or baseline measurement.

Your care provider will account for this within your measurements and you’ll likely always be “ahead.”

For example, if you’re 30 weeks along, your care provider might say you’re measuring at 34 weeks.

This is normal and it doesn’t mean you’re actually further along with your pregnancy. It just means you had more centimeters there to begin with.

plus size pregnancy you’ll measure ahead

4. Being plus size and pregnant can change the way you see your body!

You are growing a baby in an amazing body that society has led you to believe is inadequate.

The truth is, your body is incredible and being plus size and pregnant is a time when many plus size people are able to see their bodies in new and beautiful ways.

Pregnancy is an opportunity to…

Connect with your belly rather than trying to hide it!

Learn how to find your voice and advocate for yourself and your baby during your medical care.

Transform old habits and implement new and wonderful ways to nourish and care for your body.

Let go of the labels others have placed upon you and stop giving them control over how you feel about your body!

…and so much more!

As your belly grows, be open to connecting to and loving your body in ways you might never have before.

Pregnancy can change the way you see your body

You Might Also Like: 7 Embarrassing Plus Size Pregnancy Questions You’re Too Afraid To Ask

Jen McLellan, CBE
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Zethu Dlamini

Thursday 23rd of February 2023

Another thing is for plus size women our pregnancy bellies are not always round and perfect. Some of our bellies are B-shaped.


Thursday 18th of March 2021

Thank you for this article, do you know how I can find a size friendly provider?


Friday 26th of March 2021

Yes! Here's a helpful resource for finding a size-friendly care provider -

Katie R.

Sunday 23rd of June 2019

I hated how it felt being judged by the healthcare people when I was pregnant in 2016 and plus size. Even prior to TTC I lost 20lbs working out. Got pregnant and had to do the 2 glucose tests, passed those. They made me get an at home blood pressure monitor because at any appointment it would be elevated due to me having white coat syndrome. I tested it morning and evening every day and it was always in the healthy range. I felt like they never believed me that I felt fine and it was only because I was in their presence it was elevated but can you blame me for being anxious in a doctor setting with a deceased mom and grandma from medical reasons?? I even lost weight the first 4 months and it baffled my OB. I only gained about 12lbs total by the end. I ended up being induced at 40w6d and ended with an csection because he wouldn't fit through my pelvis and his heart rate wasn't coming back up quick enough after contractions. I had zero fertility issues and never have had any of issues associated with being plus size. Even breastfed til he was 13 months with 0 issues. So take that you people who think us plus sizers can't have a normal pregnancy etc.


Sunday 23rd of June 2019

Thank you for sharing your story, Katie!


Sunday 3rd of March 2019

This is truly one of the most empowering articles I've read during my pregnancy so far. I'm so happy you shared this and is great ammunition for a wonderful pregnancy journey. Thank you so much!


Sunday 3rd of March 2019

You're so welcome! I'm glad you found this information helpful. Wishing you all the best!


Friday 28th of December 2018

This is such a great article! I’m currently 29 weeks pregnant. My BMI was about 35 when I got pregnant (endless fertility treatments did NOT help there! Ha ha). I was so worried about gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and all the other things they say plus sized women are going to have. So far I’ve had none of it. I passed my diabetes test with flying colors and my doctor has said he has zero concern about me getting preeclampsia. I barely gained any weight until very recent, but still not a lot. I dropped a little at first even with zero morning sickness. I feel so much better about my body than I ever did before. I wear lots of tight tops because I’ve found they look better on me now than loose ones. I wish more people were supportive like this. Thanks for the wonderful article. Oh, and people made tons of rude comments about my fertility issues and my weight. They were completely unrelated. I have an issue that would have been around my entire life (I was much smaller when younger). People shouldn’t assume things. Fertility trouble didn’t help my weight with all the stress, depression and medication.


Friday 28th of December 2018

Thanks for sharing your story with us. Massive congrats on your pregnancy! I'm sorry for your fertility struggles. I hope you're able to enjoy these last few weeks of pregnancy and continue to love on your body.