All expectant mothers have a lot on their plates. From trying to ensure that their babies – and themselves – are as healthy as possible, to trying to make sure they stay as fit as possible. Health and wellness are certainly a huge factor that all expectant moms have to deal with.
For plus-size women who become impregnated though, the journey of pregnancy can be a tougher one to experience. Why? – Because society tends to have so many negative misconceptions regarding plus-sized women in general, and those misconceptions are compounded when a pregnancy becomes a factor.
According to statistics, a large percentage of women get impregnated while carrying extra weight, especially those in their second or subsequent pregnancies.
The common attitude among many people is that these women are not aware of the health issues that can be associated with their weight, and as such, they may not be taking the steps that are necessary to ensure that their developing babies are as healthy as possible.
This notion is only strengthened when these woman become impregnated and so many people – including complete strangers – dish out harsh criticism and unwanted advice. With so many misgivings towards plus-sized women, there is a lot of pressure and unfair judgment put on these expectant mothers.
Let’s be honest: Pregnancy isn’t always an easy experience, however, for plus-sized women, it can be an even more challenging than the experience an average-sized woman may have. To shed some light on the topic, we spoke to 15 plus-sized woman who shared with us the trials and tribulations they faced regarding pregnancy.
They also let us know some eye-opening information that they wanted to share with the general public. Here’s what they had to say…
15 I Know There Are Increased Risks
The risks associated with pregnancy are numerous and this is only doubled when the expectant mother is overweight. Expectant women who are on the higher weight scale have been found to be more likely to suffer from hypertension and preeclampsia as well as gestational diabetes.
Moreover, the chances of miscarriage, stillbirths, neural tube defects and complications during birth are increased when the pregnant woman is obese. Since this makes plus-sized women more likely to have high risk pregnancies, they are normally closely monitored by doctors and are already aware of the risks.
Furthermore, while there may be more risks for women who are plus sized it does not always mean that all overweight pregnant women automatically sentenced to suffer from ailments or even have to undergo cesarean birth which we wish people knew.
14 Of Course I Care About The Health Of The Baby
Carrying extra weight is linked to higher risk in diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. For pregnant women who may also be overweight, this becomes a huge problem as it is not only putting their life in danger but also that of the baby.
Being on the other side of the fence, most people assume that plus-sized women may not be aware of this or just do not care but this is not the case. Like all other mothers and mother’s to be, overweight women also want to give their babies the best start at life. Using the announcement of being pregnant as motivation, most make the conscious effort to live a healthier lifestyle.
But as getting fit and losing weight in a healthy manner is a slow process, it may not appear as though any actions are being done to. All we want you to know as plus sized women is that we care about the wellbeing of our babies and are doing something about it.
13 Don’t Say The Baby Bump Is Hidden
One of the simple joys of being pregnant is watching as the baby bump slowly grows and knowing that your little bundle of joy is developing inside and growing bigger. A pregnant woman’s belly helps tell the whole world that is blessed enough to be expecting. But for most plus size pregnant women waiting for the baby bump to appear can turn into a frustration.
Since most plump women have more bodily layers than their slimmer counterparts it takes longer for them to start showing. As the baby bump is still growing discreetly underneath it may not seem as though the woman is pregnant, but instead as though she has gained more weight.
This can be disheartening to someone who may be sensitive her weight and choke full of pregnancy hormones. All most plus size pregnant women wish is that people knew that they are already going through an internal struggle and appreciate when someone gushes over their almost non-existent bump.
12 I Don’t Need Outside Opinions On My Lifestyle
As soon as most people see an overweight person they feel the urge to offer a suggestion or opinion, and they urge may be even greater when they find out an overweight woman is expecting. From friends and family members to people on the street and strangers in the store, many people feel some sort of need to give their thoughts on how to keep weight in check and the changes that can be made.
While some of this advice is helpful, no person can fully understand the lifestyle of another and not every method works for two people. The fact is most plus size pregnant women know the advantages of a healthy lifestyle and are already implanting the necessary steps towards achieving this and just wish that everyone knew this.
Add to that the fact that many people aren’t open to receiving unwanted advice, and, it can just be plain rude, and it’s easy to see why overweight women become frustrated when they receive advice regarding their pregnancy – and their weight.
11 It's Difficult To Find Clothes That Fit
One of the challenges all pregnant women encounter is finding flattering clothes that fit well as they progress with their pregnancy. Finding that balance between clothes that are comfortable, fit well and do not make you look like a bag of potatoes can take a whole day of shopping. Luckily, a lot has been done with many stores now stocking maternity clothes that are beautiful.
Unfortunately, there have been very little progress in the sector for plus sized women and more so for those women who may weigh more and are also expectant. This means that most plump expectant women have to find clothes to make do with what is available with many wearing clothes that are sizes bigger just to find something comfortable.
Therefore, all we wish other people knew is that we do not always wear baggy t-shirts because we have no sense of fashion but because it might be the only thing at the store that could us comfortable.
10 Cruel Words Hurt Deep
One of the most common thing that plus-sized women have to deal with are comments from almost everyone on their weight. Somehow everyone from colleagues to strangers on the road feel the need to weigh in on their size with some offering what they believe to be tidbits of wisdom. Since pregnancy automatically comes with weight gain, these comments start flowing in from all corners.
The fact that it takes longer for plus-size women to really start showing a baby bump leads to misconceptions that one is just getting chubby. These comments can range from mild to highly insulting with some strangers even cat-calling insults on the road.
All we need you to know is while words might seem harmless enough they can be very hurtful and even cause emotional scars. So if you do not have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.
9 It Might Take Longer For Us To Feel Baby Movements
From the very onset of pregnancy, every pregnant woman looks forward to feeling her baby move inside her. This gives the mother the feeling that her baby is doing well and helps in the bonding process between mother and child. As a plus size woman, it can be quite worrying and even make one a little sad not experiencing this developmental step at the time most women do.
Due to the extra padding that plump women have, it can hard feeling the slight baby movements at the early stages of pregnancy. This can make for an awkward conversation when a friend of colleague who is behind in her term than you starts talking about that first nudge from the baby and you still haven’t experienced it.
We only wish you knew that is already a sore spot for us that needs a gentle approach to avoid making us feel like we are failing even before we started.
8 We're Already Scared Enough
Pregnancy is a huge responsibility that begins the role of motherhood from the moment of conception. Everything becomes about providing for your baby and making sure that you give them the best you can even when you are not sure what that is.
Every mom-to-be (especially first time mothers) is always full of apprehension sacred that they might not be up to the task and might mess things up one way or another. For overweight women, this feeling is magnified by the numerous sources that speak of doom for babies born of plus-size mothers or the numerous risks associated with said pregnancies.
Most worry that they might be hurting their babies in one way or another and are always in a state of doubt and fear with the wish that others knew the internal torment they are already going through. So there is no need to quote the statistics or repeat a scary fact you read somewhere.
7 Getting Pregnant Should Be A Joyous Occasion
Getting pregnant is not always an easy task and can take years for some women to finally conceive. This means that for a large number of women it can take time, patience and sometimes medical intervention to be able to get pregnant. To add on that, certain conditions such as high stress hormones can make it even harder to conceive.
Most obese women are prone to suffer from ailments such as diabetes and hypertension as well as have very high levels of stress due to the pressures that might come always trying to stick to a diet. Therefore, when it eventually does happen it should be a moment of joy and excitement that should not be dulled.
Unfortunately, plus size women are not always awarded this with many being bombarded with doubts that are brought about by third parties who only foresee mishaps and complications and only wish that people knew how demoralizing and soul crushing it is to have the news of an oncoming baby be marred by shame.
6 Being Plus Size Doesn't Make Me A Bad Mom
Motherhood is not for the faint hearted as it involves dedication and endurance mixed in together with lots of love. It is subject to scrutiny from even people you do not know with everyone having their own opinion on what should or should not be done. As a plus sized woman who is expecting the society is quick to hand out its judgment.
Since most people make the assumption that overweight women do not take care of themselves or follow a healthy lifestyle, they are quick to categorize bigger women as bad mothers. Many go ahead and presume that these mothers-to-be are not aware of the risks or just do not care or that they live an unhealthy lifestyle (no exercise, junk food).
But expectant plus-size women wish others knew that they put in their best efforts to make sure that they gave their babies a healthy environment to develop.
5 Carrying Extra Weight Doesn't Spell Doom
Pregnancy is a delicate time with some of the smallest harmless things causing issues and can result in life threatening situations. For plus size women the risks that come with pregnancy while being overweight are numerous from higher rates of miscarriage and cesarean births to higher chances of complications and even in some cases birth defects.
Reading up on these risks can make anyone think that pregnancies for women who are plus size always results in tragedy. But contrary to this, there are numerous of plus size women who have no complications during their term and go ahead to deliver healthy babies.
Moreover, while the chances of having a cesarean birth is high among plump women, there are numerous of expectant overweight women who deliver through vaginal birth with some even going for home births. Therefore all pregnant plus size women would like for everyone to know is that their size does not necessarily mean that everything will go badly during pregnancy.
4 Weight Gain During Pregnancy Is Recommended
According to most people, if a woman is overweight then the general suggestion is that they should lose some weight. Many still believe this even for those who are pregnant with some even suggesting they go on diets and start exercising.
While it is important for plus size pregnant women to practice a healthier lifestyle that involves good diet and exercise, weight gain is inevitable during pregnancy. This is because the body has to make changes in order to make room for the baby and ensure that it is comfortable. Moreover most of the weight is from the baby, amniotic fluid and placenta.
On top of that, while dieting might be recommended for women who are not expectant they are advisable during pregnancy as it would limit the nutrients that the baby needs for proper growth.
3 Health Should Not Be Determined By Size
The first thing that most plus size pregnant women are told is the many risks associated their size and pregnancy. In fact the most common search result when one tries to find the information online on plus size pregnancies is the dangers and risks associated; this makes plus size women afraid and cautious when going through the pregnancy.
Always reading information articles on how plump women have a higher risk of getting diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure may give the impression that plus size women are not healthy and suffer from a large number of ailments.
While it's true that carrying extra weight increases the risk of getting certain diseases it does not automatically mean that all plus size women are sick. On the contrary, plump women just wish everyone knew that they are more likely to be pay a closer look at their health going for checkups more often and even lead a healthy lifestyle.
2 Finding A Good Supportive Doctor Can Be Tricky
Being overweight comes with a lot of judgment that is directed at anyone who’s BMI passes that ‘average’ mark. For plus size pregnant women this judgment can be overwhelming coming from all sides in a society. Unfortunately, caregivers and doctors are not immune to this and can at times be very insensitive.
It is therefore common to find expectant mothers who feel like their doctors are fat shaming them. For some, it may be that the doctors or caregivers are insensitive and brass which can make it quite difficult to broach some topics with them.
It is therefore normal to find these mothers to be changing physicians which does not mean they are sensitive or hard to work and just wish people could understand this.
1 Having Big Babies Isn't All Bad
As a plus size women the chances of getting a big baby (based on the average baby sizes) is high as a big mom usually equals to big baby. While this is usually associated with numerous problems and is said to increase the chances of some ailments and conditions such as asthma, we want others to know that it is not always a bad thing.
For one, most of these babies that are born on higher end of the scale are normally healthy and well developed and come with the advantage of being easy to hold. So while others might be struggling to find their little one when swaddling them you might not have that problem with a bigger baby.
Additionally, what many may not know is that in many cases, a big baby usually comes with extra advantage of him or her sleeping through the night earlier than smaller babies might.