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Plus Size Trying to Conceive Advice: Act Like You’re Pregnant

If you’re plus size and trying to conceive (TTC), odds are you’ve spent a lot of time on the internet and have come across some discouraging articles.

Or perhaps you’ve met with a care provider who told you that you needed to lose upwards of 100 pounds before you should even attempt to get pregnant.

Are you feeling hopeless or as if there’s not much you can do in your effort to have a baby? 

Let's change that with this plus size trying to conceive advice and plus size TTC tips!

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plus size woman TTC

As a certified childbirth educator who has spent over a decade advocating for people in larger bodies, I'm often asked to give plus size trying to conceive advice.

My advice might seem obvious or maybe even a little inconsiderate but here it goes –treat your body as if you’re already pregnant!

Hear me out, by doing this you’ll be nourishing your body in a healthy manner and preparing your body for pregnancy. It makes sense both physically and emotionally but it's easier said than done.

So let's break down “acting like you're already pregnant” with the tips below…

5 Plus Size TTC Tips 

1. Eat Mindfully While Trying to Conceive 

Now is an amazing time to listen to those cues your body is giving you and to transform your relationship with food if you have a history of chronic dieting.

real food for trying to conceive

Pinterest is a great tool for finding delicious recipes.

Below are three books books, Intuitive Eating, Real Food For Pregnancy and Real Food For Gestational Diabetes, to help with eating nutritiously while you’re preparing your body for pregnancy.

Intuitive Eating, 4th Edition
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Real Food for Gestational Diabetes: An Effective Alternative to the Conventional Nutrition Approach
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Be sure to start taking a prenatal vitamin and talk to your care provider about other vitamins you should be taking (I really recommend getting your vitamin D level tested).

Work with a Health At Every Size® (HAES) Informed Nutritionist

When it comes to learning how to eat mindfully, a HAES informed nutritionist can be an incredible tool!

HAES nutritionists focus on promoting health and well-being without emphasizing weight loss or a specific body size.

To find a nutritionist who follows the HAES approach, you can perform a Google search for “HAES nutritionists,” and include your local area in the search if you prefer in-person consultations, although numerous practitioners are available for online sessions.

Here are some ways they can support you:

Personalized Nutritional Guidance

They can provide tailored nutritional advice that meets your specific needs, taking into account your health, lifestyle, and TTC goals.

This includes guidance on nutrients essential for fertility and pregnancy.

Positive Body Image

HAES nutritionists work to foster a positive body image, helping you appreciate your body's capabilities and understand that health can be achieved at various sizes.

Mindful Eating Practices

They can teach you mindful eating practices, helping you understand and respond to your body's hunger and fullness cues.

This approach encourages a healthy relationship with food, which is important for both physical and emotional health.

Stress Management

Stress can impact fertility.

HAES nutritionists often incorporate stress management techniques into their practice. This may include guidance on relaxation techniques, sleep hygiene, and other lifestyle factors that influence stress levels.

dog sleeping on blue blanket

Non-Diet Approach

Instead of focusing on restrictive diets, HAES nutritionists promote a balanced and varied diet. This approach ensures you get a wide range of nutrients essential for fertility and a healthy pregnancy, without the pressure of dieting.

Even if partnering with a HAES nutritionist isn't an option for you, it's still beneficial to incorporate these essential practices into your everyday routine.

You can adopt these practices by focusing on personalized nutrition, cultivating a positive body image, practicing mindful eating, managing stress, embracing a balanced diet, and seeking inclusive support, all aligned with your health and well-being goals.

2. Be Physically Active When Trying To Get Pregnant 

Now’s the ideal time to build an exercise routine into your life, if you don't already have a form of movement that brings you joy.

The key is to find something that’s fun (and fun is different for everyone). From water aerobics to Zumba – what sounds appealing to you?

shoes and yoga matt outdoors

Here’s an article with many different activities to do while you’re pregnant and it’s sure a perfect list for while you’re trying to conceive so you can keep up with your routine indefinitely – 7 Plus Size Pregnancy Exercise Tips

When you’re being physically active it’s super important to drink a lot of water throughout the day. Don't undervalue getting a good night’s rest. So be sure to factor those two things in as well.

3. Focus on Health Not Weight When Trying To Get Pregnant  

When you’ve changed your eating habits and are being physically active, weight loss is often a byproduct but it shouldn't be the focus.

Many plus size women have a yo-yo relationship with weight – lose a little and then gain a lot.

That’s precisely the opposite of what you want to happen why TTC. And that’s why I recommend focusing on health and not the number on the scale.

Woman standing on scale that says, "You are beautiful"

When care providers meet with people seeking plus size trying to conceive advice, and simply say lose 100 pounds, I get frustrated!

That advice isn’t really advice AT ALL because it’s not something most people can accomplish, not in good physical and emotional health, anyway.

By focusing on health and not weight, you can help to change your relationship with your body well beyond your TTC journey. Below is a helpful book for plus size TTC advice. 

4. Hire a Size-Friendly Care Provider While You're Trying To Get Pregnant 

You’ll want to connect with a size-friendly provider to support you not only during your journey to trying to conceive but also into motherhood if you become pregnant.

Having a preconception checkup with a size-friendly care provider is ideal! They will give you a physical and blood work to look at your overall health.

Remember, people of ALL sizes can be healthy!

Doctor's office exam room

During your trying to conceive journey, it’s very possible that you might need support from a medical professional.

For example, if your periods aren’t regular (and you’ll sure want to be tracking your ovulation and menstruation throughout TTC) then you need to find out why and possibly be tested to see if you have polycystic ovarian syndrome.

As I've said throughout this article (and website) there's a ton more that goes into health and fertility than just weight. Blood sugar and hormone levels can play a big role in your ability to conceive. Let us also not forget that your partner might be the reason why conception isn't happening.

You’ll want to connect with someone who will hold your hand throughout this experience and explain medical terms, risks, and hypotheticals to you in a respectful manner.

When it comes to understanding your body and how it works with conception I recommend the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility.

Unfortunately, if you need the support of a fertility specialist, know that you'll probably have some extra hurdles to jump over if you have a high BMI. And this is even more so the reason why connecting with a size-inclusive healthcare provider is so important!

Click here to get our free guide on how to connect with a size-friendly provider.

5. Learn to Love the Skin You’re In!

What does body love have to do with trying to conceive or acting like you’re pregnant? A lot!

This body of yours, a body you’ve probably spent a lot of time hating, is magnificent!

plus size ttc woman blowing bubbles

In the same way you might be working on changing your relationship with food and physical activity, it’s also time to develop a new relationship with your body.

You might’ve of already come to this place, and if you haven’t you will soon…the place of being angry with your body after so many negative pregnancy tests.

I want to tell you that it’s okay to feel those feelings.

Feel them, grieve for as long as you need, and then start right back on working to love your body!

Learning to forgive yourself and move forward in a healthful way is something you’ll practice through TTC, pregnancy and as a forever part of parenthood.

It’s so important that you don’t quit and I have many body love resources to support you along the way.

Bonus Tip: Become educated about having a healthy plus size pregnancy! It’s never too early to start learning all that you can to have a healthy pregnancy and empowered birth. I’ve written a guide to walk you through anything and everything you could want to know about being plus size and pregnant. Check out the My Plus Size Pregnancy Guide today!

Please also know that you aren’t alone on this journey! Join a community of people supporting one another before, during and after pregnancy on Instagram.

Best wishes with trying to conceive and be sure to enjoy all that practice!!

Jen McLellan, CBE
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Tuesday 4th of May 2021

I’ve stumbled upon your site while researching for my own TTC journey. I am trying one last time at 41 after 11 years of infertility and one miscarriage 6 years ago. I wish there was a site like this with this info 18 years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter. I was 50 lbs lighter but it was still so difficult to navigate being plus size. Thank you for this.


Wednesday 5th of May 2021

I'm sure wishing you all the best with your TTC journey! I'm also so sorry for your loss. Glad to be a resource for you now!


Thursday 11th of June 2020

I had a miscarriage 3 days ago and I’ve been struggling with guilt about my weight. I know we are going to try again and this article was exactly what I needed to get me through my day. Thank you. ❤️


Wednesday 22nd of July 2020

I'm so incredibly sorry for your loss and I truly wish you all the very best with your TTC journey!


Tuesday 21st of April 2020

Hello! What a beautiful article! One that is written with true love and compassion. Any woman should read it, in my opinion. I would add a piece of advice that works for me, to implement the changes you offer to make in one’s life : if you REALLY want that baby, keep asking yourself : is this going to bring me closer or further apart from becoming pregnant ? When the answer clearly isn’t going in the right direction, you feel the « need » for that stupid cheese sandwich or the « tiredness » that keeps you on the couch sort of magically disappear.