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Plus Size Pregnancy – Everything You Need To Know

Are you plus size and pregnant or planning for a plus size pregnancy? You've found the right spot!

Here you'll find positive, evidence-based resources and plus size pregnancy support.

Plus Size And Pregnant 

While being plus size and pregnant comes with some increased riskspeople of all sizes have healthy outcomes!

Below, popular pregnancy questions are answered, and we encourage you to explore the links provided throughout this resource for even more helpful information. 

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    Answers To Your Plus Size Pregnancy Questions 

    When will I start to look pregnant?

    We wish we could answer this question for you, but the reality is that it’s different for everyone and every pregnancy.

    Some people start showing early in pregnancy (especially if this isn’t their first pregnancy), while others have bellies that may never “pop.”

    Many have shared that their bumps started to appear around the 24-week mark of pregnancy. 

    It’s important to know that even if you don’t show as early or as much as you wish, your body is still growing life within you, and that’s amazing!

    Dig deeper into how your body will change and when you might start to feel movement in this second trimester plus size pregnancy breakdown.

    Where can I see images of pregnant people my size?

    We share new pregnancy images weekly via the Plus Size Birth Instagram page that we encourage you to follow. And while you're on Instagram, you can see thousands of photos via the ever-popular #plussizepregnancy hashtag.

    Where can I find plus size maternity clothes, support belts, babywearing options, nursing bras, and pillows?

    Below you'll see an extensive guide to plus size pregnancy clothing needs and products! 

    Should I have maternity photos taken?

    The most prevalent regret we hear from moms is not taking maternity photos.

    Even if you just take bathroom selfies, it’s so important that you document your pregnancy.

    These pictures aren’t only for you – your children will cherish them.

    Feel inspired by the beautiful images below, and start capturing your pregnancy today!

    plus size pregnancy images of two women
    fat and pregnant woman
    plus size maternity photo
    pregnant and plus size women

    You can see even more breathtaking photos and read about people's experiences with plus size maternity photography here.  

    My belly looks more like a B than a D. Is this normal?

    Yes! If you have a belly that’s shaped more like a “B” than a “D” during pregnancy, it’s completely normal!

    See photos and learn more here – What’s a B Belly?

    How much weight should I gain during pregnancy when I'm plus size?

    This question comes up often, but the answer can be triggering for some, as the Institute of Medicine recommends that people with a BMI of 30 and above only gain between 11 – 20 lbs during pregnancy.

    We know this can be quite discouraging to read, but we're sharing this information with you so you're not caught off-guard if it comes up during your prenatal visits.

    Be sure to have an open line of communication with your care provider and address any concerns you have.

    It's common for plus size people who are proactive with their nutrition and physical activity not to gain much weight during pregnancy. Some even lose weight gradually over time – but remember, weight loss shouldn't be a focus during pregnancy.

    You also have options around being weighed!

    Learn more about preparing for your first prenatal visit, and get helpful tips for self-advocacy.

    Can you provide me with options for being physically active during pregnancy?

    Absolutely! Moving your body, in whatever way feels doable to you (after getting medical clearance) is terrific for your physical and mental health.

    From starting a walking group to joining a water aerobics class, here are 7 Plus Size Pregnancy Exercise Tips.

    Where should I start when it comes to nutrition during pregnancy?

    We highly recommend connecting with a Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist to account for your unique nutritional needs. Find someone with experience supporting plus size people from a weight-neutral focus. And you can do this by researching Health At Every Size® or size-friendly nutrition specialists in your area or those who work via telehealth.

    For those with or without gestational diabetes concerns, this podcast episode has many helpful tips for pregnancy nutrition – Gestational Diabetes Pregnancy Nutrition Q&A

    Plus Size Birth Website - plus size pregnant woman holding pregnancy ultrasound

    Tips for sex during a plus size pregnancy?

    Some people experience a heightened sexual drive during pregnancy while others have no interest in sex. Whichever end of the spectrum you land on, or if you’re somewhere in between, it’s entirely normal.

    You’re completely normal!

    The sexiest thing you can do is to have an open line of communication with your partner about these things.

    Connecting with your partner during pregnancy in a physical manner is important for your relationship. But remember, there’s a lot more to intimacy than just intercourse!

    Here’s a lot more information (as well as position suggestions) – How to Have Great Plus Size Pregnancy Sex: Talk and Tips

    How can I connect with a size-friendly health care provider?

    Connecting with a size-friendly doctor can be the most significant game-changer during a plus size pregnancy.

    We're so passionate about this topic that we've created a free guide to help you! It includes tips on how to connect with a size friendly care provider and questions you can ask to make sure they’re the perfect fit for you – My Size Friendly Care Providers Guide

    Are all medical facilities size friendly?

    Sadly, no. Depending on what area of the world you live in, the nearest medical facility to you (including birth centers) might have BMI restrictions or other restrictions on your options during labor and delivery.

    It’s critical that you not only connect with a size-friendly care provider but also research the place where you’re planning to give birth – Not All Hospitals Are Created Equal

    plus size pregnant woman in labor

    What’s a doula?

    A doula is a trained professional who supports pregnant people and their families during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Doulas offer informational, physical, and emotional support along the way.

    Learn more here – Do I Need a Doula? and explore the Size-Friendly Doula Directory!

    Where can I read plus size birth stories?

    From the hospital, birth center to homebirth stories – here's an ever-growing collection of Plus Size Birth Stories!

    There are also photo galleries of pregnancy, hospital birth, home birth breastfeeding, and babywearing.

    Are there special labor positions for plus size women?

    Most labor positions are great for people of all sizes! You’ll find your rhythm in labor and what’s best for you.

    If you have a pendulum belly (plus size hanging belly or mothers apron) you don’t want to spend a lot of time on your hands and knees as that position can slow down the progression of labor.

    Please note that exercise balls (AKA birth balls) have weight limits, but you can purchase exercise balls that support thousands of pounds on Amazon. See all product recommendations we have during a plus size pregnancy here – 29 Plus Size Pregnancy Gifts You Should Have On Your List

    Here's more information about plus size labor and delivery to help you feel prepared and empowered.

    Plus Size Pregnant woman giving birth

    How can I prepare for having a cesarean birth?

    The resource C-Section for Plus Size Women will help you to prepare.

    The article is divided up in the following way: preparing for surgery, operating room, immediately following surgery, hospital recovery, and home recovery.  

    Is it possible to have a vaginal birth after cesarean when you’re plus size?

    Yes and I have this resource and stories from plus size moms to share with you – Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) Resources

    How can I prepare for postpartum?

    For postpartum, we have far too much to share in a few sentences. Please see our postpartum resource

    All of these plus size pregnancy questions and so much more are tackled in-depth in the My Plus Size Pregnancy Guide.

    My Plus Size Pregnancy Guide