Plus Size Woman Surprised

Plus Size Pregnancy: What to Expect in 2023 [+ Video & FAQs]

What is considered a plus-size pregnancy, exactly? 

Great question! 

Depending on who you ask, the answer to this question will vary. To me, a plus-size woman is basically is someone that is fluffier than what society deem is “normal” size. When a plus-size woman is pregnant it’s basically the same as an average-size woman however this unfortunately is not always the case.  

Additionally, when you’re pregnant, there are a lot of things that you have to think about. You have the baby’s health and development to worry about as well as your own. There are things all mothers-to-be need to know no matter their size they are. 

Pregnancy can actually be an exciting yet scary time. It’s no secret that there are some things you want to – regardless of your size. But, what about a plus-size pregnancy? 

What should you know about being overweight and pregnant?

Here are 7 fascinating things you didn’t know about plus-size pregnancy . . . 

What to Expect While Being Plus-Size and Pregnant

1. Misconceptions About Plus-Size Pregnancy

People often think that being plus size means you can’t have a normal pregnancy, but this couldn’t be further from the truth! Being plus-size and pregnant doesn’t automatically mean there will be complications. There are soooo many plus-size moms (including myself) that have had healthy pregnancies and births.

Just in case you need to hear this. . . You CAN be plus-size and have a completely normal and healthy pregnancy and birth your child (with no issues directly related to being overweight). Check out the post that gives you plus-size maternity hacks.

What are common assumptions that are made about being plus size and pregnant?

Preeclampsia – is basically high blood pressure brought on by pregnancy.  If you’re plus size, it’s said it can be more likely to happen but does it doesn’t happen all the time. If you had issues with your blood pressure prior to being pregnant and/or experiencing elevated pressure while or after being pregnant, be sure to keep a close eye on it and talk to your OB/GYN about it immediately. 

Gestational DiabetesYou can be obese and get gestational diabetes, but that doesn’t mean you will! The best way to know is by taking a glucose screening test at your prenatal visit around 20 weeks.  Its common for healthcare providers to require you to take it again between 24-28 weeks. They basically make you drink this disgusting glucose drink and then take blood to determine if you have it or not. Be sure to ask your doctor for alternatives. I just so happen to ask mine and they allowed me to drink Welch’s grape juice instead. I was soooo happy that I asked! 

Side note: According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), having gestational diabetes and being obese increases the chance of having a c-section.

Complicationssome will automatically assume there will be complications if the mom is plus size however that is absolutely NOT the case!  Of course, just like anything else, there could be complications but that doesn’t mean you’ll have any. Should you do, make sure you see your health provider ASAP. 

Other misconceptions:

  • Just because you’re larger, doesn’t mean you’re unhealthy
  • Doesn’t mean you’re gonna have a big baby just because you’re plus size
  • Doesn’t mean you’re gonna have difficulty delivering the baby
  • Doesn’t mean you can’t have a vaginal birth 
  • Doesn’t automatically mean high risk
  • Doesn’t mean you won’t be able to breastfeed
New Mom with Newborn-Postpartum

2. Fat Shaming Overweight Expecting Moms

Body shaming is never good and it’s unfortunate some plus size moms experience this at some point during their pregnancy. This may come from someone you may or may not know but either way you should know that you are B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L no matter what size you are and if anyone has a problem with YOUR body then they can go you know where! 

Some people just can’t wrap their minds around a plus-size woman being healthy AND pregnant but honestly, that’s their problem . . . Don’t make it yours! 

3. Choose a Healthcare Provider That is Size Friendly

This is extremely important because you want to have a good relationship with your doctor. Some doctors will do some or all of the things listed above. . . Yes, you heard me right! You wouldn’t think so but it happens all the time.

Choose a doctor that won’t treat you differently, make rude comments, and/or make assumptions based on your size! Trust me you don’t want a doctor that makes you feel bad or guilty for being overweight and pregnant. You‘ll also want to make sure the facility you plan to deliver your baby is fully equipped for plus size mamas. . . Be proactive and ask!

4. When will my belly look pregnant and not just fat?

I’m sorry to tell ya but you may not get a perfectly round baby bump and you know what . . . That’s absolutely ok! 

Depending on your size and shape, you may have what’s called a B-shaped belly (which basically has a dent in the middle of your belly) and/or a belly with an apron (fluffiness in the lower tummy area. 

I personally have a B-shaped belly and I noticed I had a little apron with my 2nd born (which is currently almost 4 months old). This can be a little discouraging for some moms but don’t let be. Accept it and enjoy the journey! 

If you’re concerned about not actually looking pregnant, you can get a couple of these and keep it moving. Plus size belly bands and support wear are great for hiding aprons and/or a B-shaped belly. Those (along with the right plus size maternity dress are ideal if you want to round out your baby bump when taking maternity pictures too.

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I’ve recommended – at no extra cost to you, of course. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure here.

5. Being Plus-Size & Pregnant Your Belly May Measure Ahead

Once you get around 20 weeks, your healthcare provider will start measuring the size of your baby bump. This is called the fundal height. This is measured from the top of your uterus to your pelvic bone. Well, because most of us already have a larger belly, you may want to ask your doctor to measure you earlier on so that its more accurate – not based on an average size measuring scale. 

6. Is it OK to lose weight while pregnant if you are overweight?

Every situation is so different and it is best to talk to your healthcare provider about weight gain during pregnancy. Honestly, I believe that while you’re pregnant your body is gonna do whatever it needs to for both you and the baby. For some that may mean gaining weight. For others (myself included), it means you’ll lose weight.  

7. Plus Size and After Pregnancy (Postpartum)

Should you have a C-Section and you have a belly with an apron, the feeling in your apron may or may not come back right away. During the healing process, keep that area dry and cool as much as possible! To make things easier on you and most comfortable, plan accordingly and be sure to get all your plus-size postpartum essentials.

If you have a vaginal birth, things are gonna pretty much be the same as they would with an average size mom. 

My Personal Experience from Being Plus Size and Pregnant

For me, since I was pregnant (with my second born child) during the pandemic it was a big adjustment. With the hopes of staying safe, I didn’t go to too many places (mostly just the grocery store and for walks). And like so many of us, when it came to doctor visits my hubby couldn’t go to any of them. It was such a different experience from when I had my daughter 4 years ago. 

My actual pregnancy wasn’t too bad to be honest. I was blessed not to have experienced gestational diabetes or have any complications specifically tied to being plus and pregnant. 

The one thing that I did develop immediately after birthing my son was high blood pressure. I’ve never had an issue with my blood pressure but something about the birth of my son, caused my blood pressure to spike while laying in the recovery room at the hospital. I can’t be too sure if my blood pressure was elevated earlier on the day I went into labor – since I ended up having an unplanned home birth.  I ended up having to take blood pressure medication and try to start eating better.  At the time this article is published, I’m now 15 weeks postpartum and I’m still having issues with this. I’m not gonna lie, I haven’t taken it as serious I probably should up until this point but I am now. I plan on taking my medication as directed by my doctor, start consuming less sodium (and junk) and exercising.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Being Plus Size and Pregnant

Can you feel your baby kick if you are overweight? Absolutely!! Everyone is different so when you actually feel the baby moving will vary. I started feeling my little ones at around 18 weeks.

When do you get a baby bump if you are overweight? This will also vary. It really depends on your size, shape, and the size of the baby. Some of us, won’t look as pregnant as others but that’s ok. I didn’t tell everyone I was pregnant and you couldn’t really tell I was carrying. My neighbors were so shocked when they say me with a newborn. It was so funny seeing their reactions! 

Where can I find plus-size maternity dresses? There are so many plus size maternity dress options for any occasion nowadays (ex. maternity photoshoot, day-to-day, work, loungewear, etc).

Plus Size Woman Being Surprised

Because I don’t look like a lot of other pregnant women, I don’t think I’m gonna take maternity pictures. Should I? A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y! You may feel the way so many of us have. Don’t miss the opportunity to capture your beauty while being pregnant!! I personally had mixed emotions about this and I wasn’t in the mood to get all dolled up but I will admit . . . I completely regret it now. 

It’s already hard for me to find a bra when I’m not pregnant, where can I find nursing bras that will fit me? Did you know that 98% of women wear the wrong size bra? It’s true! And if you’re pregnant, it only gets worse. You can find a plus-size nursing bra for large breasts here.  

I’ve seen a lot of other moms use a doula, should I? Honestly, I really think it depends on your situation and preference. Doulas are trained professionals that provide support during and after birth (and sometimes before). I’ve been told it’s like having your own personal advocate! Some moms (regardless of their size) feel having a doula is an absolute must! If you need physical, emotional and informational support, you should definitely consider a doula. 

My boobs are huge, is there a plus-size breast pump option? The actual breast pump doesn’t have a sizing requirement. The thing that you need to be sure fits properly is the flange. You need to measure the size of your nipple and obtain the flanges that fit you best. This is very important because this could make or break your breastfeeding journey.

I don’t look pregnant because my belly isn’t perfectly round, why is that? The shape of your belly is pretty much gonna stay the same throughout your pregnancy however depending on your size, shape and the size of your baby will determine if that changes. There’s not a way to know and/or when it will happen.

Should I be concerned about my weight while I’m pregnant? You will want to talk to your healthcare provider about this but for me, I did not worry about losing weight during my pregnancy. I just told myself that I would focus on making some better choices and wait until after the baby arrives before actually worrying about my weight. Everyone is different, do what’s best for you and your child.

What should I eat while I’m plus size and pregnant? Consult with your doctor but generally speaking all moms (regardless of their size) should try to make better food/drink choices by focusing on what’s best for both mom and baby.

Ok, so I’m not always in the mood but when I am . . . Is there anything I should know about having sex? Everyone and situation are so different that this is gonna be a matter of preference. Some moms choose to stop having sex because of how uncomfortable it can be. Some dads don’t feel comfortable because they think it will be uncomfortable for the baby.

Being plus size and pregnant, what can I wear? You can choose to buy maternity clothes and/or just buy plus size clothes 1-3 sizes bigger than your pre-pregnancy size. Here is a list of plus-size maternity brands (along with plus-size dress options for different occasions).

The Takeaway

There are many moms that are of average size that experience things that many plus size don’t while (or after) being pregnant. A plus size pregnancy doesn’t mean that you too can’t have a normal healthy pregnancy and birth. 

Do yourself a huge favor and stay positive and optimistic! Always remember the child you’re carrying is a blessing and you’re gonna be an AMAZING mother!


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