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Plus-Size Pregnant & Proud: Jennifer’s Story

Eight years ago, when I found out I was pregnant, I Googled the words “plus-size pregnant.” I anticipated finding positive stories and informative resources. I wanted to be plus-size pregnant and proud.

Sadly, that was far from the case.

I read fear-based articles and struggled to find resources for the simplest things like finding plus size maternity clothes.

Thankfully as the years have gone by, more and more bloggers and media outlets are working to fill Google with positive resources.

Recently the site CafeMom launched Plus-Size Pregnant & Proud.

Their desire is to lift the veil on plus size pregnancy and provide comfort to plus-size moms to be. I’m delighted to be a contributor to this project and helped to spread the word about the inspiring photoshoot you see below.

Plus-Size And Pregnant Women

Proud To Be Pregnant And Plus Size 

One of the participants, Jennifer, is a Plus Mommy community member. She reached out to share her story and what it was like to take part in CafeMom’s Plus-Size Pregnant & Proud!

Plus-Size Pregnant & Proud Photo Shoot

What were your first thoughts when you saw this call for a plus-size pregnant photo shoot with CafeMom?

My first thought when I saw the call for plus size mom’s was hell yes, finally!

As this was my 4th pregnancy as a plus size mom, I was dying to read an article and see photos of moms like me. My second thought was well, why couldn’t I be one of those moms helping open the positive conversation? I’m an experienced mother, I’ve been through pregnancy before and here again.

Tell us about the experience doing this photo shoot! Did you walk away feeling any different than you did when you first arrived?

The experience was awesome and the fellow moms were great. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with several post shoot on social.

The CafeMom team was not only amazing but inclusive, welcoming, and totally body positive.

I was able to be myself instantly and at nine months pregnant, 322 lbs, and standing in a room of strangers in nothing but lingerie. That’s the kind of confidence and ease you don’t always have afforded to you as a plus size woman.

I walked into the shoot comfortable in my own skin. I walked out having the added confidence of knowing some fellow plus size moms who are helping lend our collective voice to this important conversation of being plus-size pregnant and proud!

Plus-Size Pregnant & Proud
Plus-Size Pregnant & Proud

What’s your advice for plus size women after this experience?

Be yourself, know your body, be your (and your children’s) strongest advocate. Never give up hope that you can absolutely do anything!

From pregnancy to professional aspirations, your size is literally just another number. When your mind is committed to positivity than eventually, life will follow suit. It’s not all peaches and cream though so having a firm backbone as your foundation is key in finding lasting successes.

Anything you’d like to share about your experiences being a plus-size pregnant mom?

My journey started with a misdiagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). I’m finding PCOS is a blanket diagnosis doctors hand out to plus size women when they can’t pinpoint a real cause for various symptoms.

After several years of research (knowing I didn’t present with several key indicators for PCOS) I was able to find a doctor who would listen to me and take a look a little more in-depth.

After getting married in 2011 we struggled over two years to conceive. I was finally diagnosed correctly with endometriosis. I had surgery May 2013 and finally conceived our son that June.

During all of my pregnancies, I was a gestational diabetic which I was able to control with pills and diet. Beyond that, my first two pregnancies as well as my 4th where otherwise pretty textbook and healthy.

We found out we had lost our 3rd pregnancy to miscarriage at 12 weeks (the baby had measured small at 8wks but still had a strong heartbeat, so we thought maybe our dates were off). That loss was incredibly hard news, and it was hard to cope. Had my husband not been so attentive I would have missed the signs of Postpartum Depression and delayed the treatment I needed.

This last rainbow pregnancy came six months after our loss, so I was considerably more anxious and attuned to every little nuance. Seeing as we plan this to be our final baby, and after losing one, I tried to cherish each day I had with my growing body and baby.

The CafeMom photoshoot was just one more way for me always to remember what will be my final pregnancy.

Plus-Size Pregnant & Proud
Plus-Size Pregnant & Proud

Professional images from Plus-Size Pregnant & Proud by CafeMom 

Jen McLellan, CBE
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