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What My Obese Pregnancy Taught Me About My Body

When Adriane sent me this message, I couldn't wait to read her birth story! So many of us, experiencing an obese pregnancy, have been misled to believe we can't have a healthy outcome. The reality is people of all sizes can and do have healthy pregnancies!

“Last year when I got pregnant at 360 pounds your blog gave me hope. Hope that my body WAS capable of having a healthy pregnancy and giving birth to a healthy baby. I would love to share my birth story and how Plus Size Birth helped me through the scary times of having an obese pregnancy.” 

My Obese Pregnancy

I got pregnant in November of 2016 at 360 pounds. My doctors were convinced I would have every complication under the sun due to my weight.

I was tested early at 16 weeks for gestational diabetes and again at 26 weeks due to my BMI.

Luckily I never got it.

At 26 weeks I began bleeding and found out I had a severe UTI and had no symptoms. Which caused bleeding and contractions. After that, I was assigned to a high-risk doctor.

My new doctor didn't find my weight as an issue. It was never brought up.

fat and pregnant

I gained about 15 pounds throughout my pregnancy.

During my last ultrasound around 34 weeks, my son was measuring about 7 pounds.

At a checkup on a Tuesday at 35 weeks, I was being tested for Strep B.

I gave the okay to have a cervical exam since I would already be in position.

My doctor discovered I was 3 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. He surprised me with a membrane sweep (ouch!) I began cramping that night.

I lost my mucus plug the next morning and the cramping continued.

Nothing more than a bad period cramp, but uncomfortable enough to make sleeping difficult.

At 3:00 am, Friday morning, I woke up with the urge to pee and ran as fast as I could to the bathroom, thinking I was peeing my pants. As soon as I sat on the toilet I felt a huge gush.

I was confused as I had just woken up and very tired since sleeping was difficult from the cramping. After a few minutes, I figured out it was my water breaking.

I gathered my things and headed to the hospital.

After about 30 minutes my contractions started.

They were focused mainly right above my pelvic bone and wrapped around my back. They continued to get more and more intense.

When I was admitted to the hospital I was about 4- 4.5 centimeters dilated.

At 6:00 am I decided to get the epidural because my back labor was unbearable.

My epidural went in on the first try and worked wonders. I was so happy as I read that being overweight could interfere with the placement.

I labored all morning on my own but my contractions started to get weaker. So my doctor decided to start me on Pitocin.

Within an hour my contractions were very close together and very strong again.

I was very thankful for the epidural! By 7:00 pm I was fully dilated and effaced. Since baby and I were both doing great we decided to let my body do most of the work and labor down to ease pushing.

Around 8:30 pm I began pushing.

I pushed for 24 minutes and my son was born at 8:54 pm weighing 6 pounds 13 ounces.

He was healthy as can be!

There was a NICU team in my room in case my son had trouble breathing as he was born at 35 weeks 6 days.

Luckily, he had no issues other than regulating his blood sugar on his own. He required extra feedings and blood sugar checks every 2 hours.

Overall my weight did not play any type of roll during my pregnancy.

I realized what a powerhouse I was and that my body knew what it needed to do, even though it was a little bigger than most.

Want to read more obese and pregnant success stories? Explore our collection of plus size birth stories

Jen McLellan, CBE
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Friday 30th of April 2021

Congratulations . I’m 5,2 and 245lbs . I got told you won’t be able to have kids ... at age 26 I got pregnant within weeks 10 years later I weight the same got told the same . Guess what got pregnant straight away . I’m 6 weeks ! I might get things as I’m 35 but we will see !


Friday 30th of April 2021

I'm so happy for you, and wishing you all the best!


Wednesday 25th of April 2018

I love this story so much! Thank you so much for sharing! After 4 years of trying for our second baby we finally were blessed this past Easter. Interestingly enough I was about the same weight when I found out I was pregnant. So far it has been a good pregnancy with the exception of concerns about my weight by my doctor. Like you my doctor ran down the list of possible complications due to my weight. And so far nothing has proven true, knock on wood. Reading your story filled me with so much hope and happiness. It confirmed in my mind once again that my body is amazing and I can do this. So thank you again!


Wednesday 25th of April 2018

I'm so glad this story came into your life at the right time Ava. Congrats on your pregnancy! I can only imagine how joyful it is after so many years of trying!


Friday 20th of April 2018

This story gives me hope. I'm plus size and my husband and I have trying 5 years for a baby and still no luck. I've seen a fertility doctor and had all the tests done. I don't have endometriosis I don't have pcos and my tubes are fine. My last appointment at the doctor's she told me to loose 40kgs and the problem is my weight. Needless to say I haven't been back as I'm trying to start a family not be told I can't because of my weight. Can I ask what helpped you fall pregnant? Thanks Han


Tuesday 26th of June 2018

Hi Han, I had the same issue for the past 6 years. I was told I had to loose 30kg. The doctor even wanted to do gastric bypass to loose weight. In the end my husband had a low sperm count. We had done ivf and I am now 15 weeks pregnant. Do not loose hope and trust me weight has nothing to with this... Lots of love and be positive


Thursday 31st of May 2018

I had the same problems, no obvious medical issues other than being overweight. I started metformin to help regulate my cycles/ovulation and then started fertility acupuncture. I had two monthly sessions of electrical stimulation acupuncture to induce ovulation and fell pregnant the second month.


Sunday 22nd of April 2018

Connecting with a size-friendly provider will help you a lot on your journey!

Deborah Fisch

Wednesday 28th of March 2018

For a lot of people of size, pregnancy is the first time we have evidence that our bodies work! It can be very empowering. I'm so glad that Adriane found this to be true. And congrats to her on her accomplishment and on her wonderful baby! Putting on my Birth Rights hat, though, I'm distressed on her behalf that her doctor "surprised" her with a membrane sweep, pre-term. That's an unconsented-to intervention. If a membrane sweep was believed to be necessary, of course Adriane could have consented to it. But in order for her to do so, the doctor would have had to inform her. It doesn't sound like he did, and the fact that he performed the sweep at 35 weeks is particularly concerning, as it could have brought on the pre-term labor Adriane experienced. Just because our doctors sometimes treat us kindly doesn't mean we don't deserve the right to full informed consent, as does any other patient.


Wednesday 28th of March 2018

Thank you so much for sharing this Deborah! I sure never want to change how a mother perceives her birth but that part of the story stood out to me as well.