What To Expect When You’re Expecting a Plus-Size Pregnancy


A plus-size pregnancy, just like any pregnancy, comes with excitement and unknowns. Expecting while plus-size has its own unique set of unknowns. As someone who has had two pregnancies while very plus size, I wanted to share some wisdom. 

Where you choose your care is important.

Regardless of size, most moms are constantly asking, “Is this normal?!” You need someone in your court who is available to answer those questions in a way you can understand and digest. You want to be cared for by someone who understands the unique needs of a plus-size person and treats you with dignity and respect. That being said, you also want them to be realistic about the added risks of giving birth at a higher BMI and monitor accordingly.

Don’t be shy to ask your provider about their experience with plus-size moms and what to expect from their practice.

You will get to see your baby a lot more often before their birthday.

Plus-size pregnancy often comes with a few extra tests, especially towards the end. The silver lining? You get to see that cute baby in all their grainy ultrasound glory much more often. In addition to some extra ultrasounds and (depending on the person) some non-stress tests, you may need to complete a glucose test earlier in the pregnancy to rule out any underlying glucose control issues.

You can have a vaginal birth at any size.

I was over 300 pounds when I had my two kids, and I had two vaginal births. Every woman’s medical needs are different, but being plus-sized does not automatically mean a cesarean birth if you want to give birth vaginally.

While BMI may put your pregnancy in a different risk category, you can 100% have a healthy, uncomplicated birthing experience.

Finding cute maternity clothes might prove to be challenging.

My plus-size maternity wardrobe was truly a mix of online shopping finds. There are great resources here. With the number of plus-size influencer moms now, like local mom/model Katherine Roll (pictured above), there is so much inspiration for maternity wear and beyond, but it does take some digging to find clothes that match budget and style. I highly recommend splurging for a plus-size birthing gown. Who wants to wear a gross hospital gown and worry about it fitting comfortably? 

Yes, you will LOOK pregnant…eventually.

Depending on body type, some people take longer than others to get that cute baby bump. By my second trimester, I definitely looked pregnant and could more comfortably wear form-fitting clothing to show off my bump. It helped to have that experience and feel more in tune with my body.

Baby accessories are not all made the same.

Plus-size baby-wearing is an article all itself, but it’s one area to do your research beforehand. Wrap-type baby-wearing items tend to be more plus-size friendly. Nursing pillows are another item you may want to try before you buy.

The changes to your body can be hard.

Especially with weight gain and managing expectations for body image. Remember, you’re a literal goddess building life, and some changes will be beautiful, some slightly less so.

Give yourself some grace, book that maternity shoot without being self-conscious, and give in to those pregnancy cravings!


  1. This was shared on Facebook and I really needed to see this article. I’m currently expecting my second child next spring.

    My first pregnancy was relatively easy, though I was considered high risk due to age and being diabetic. I ended up with preeclampsia about 6 hours after my vaginal birth whoch was scary but I have an incredibly healthy toddler who is hitting all her milestones on time (or earlier for some things)

    This second pregnancy has been the opposite. It definitely doesn’t help that I do not like my OB office this time (I’d moved 1400 miles away from where I gave birth to my daughter). This new office has been one frustration after another. I had to get an advocate involved after being so stressed out, I had to go on short term disability on the advice of my psychiatrist. My first ultrasound resulted in actual bruises because the tech pressed so hard against my pelvic bones because she couldn’t find my ovaries. Then scheduling was a nightmare. They would make appointments without telling me or checking my availability.
    Then the doctor wrote incorrect information in my visit notes – stating we had discussed my blood sugar goals when we hadn’t.

    Honestly, If I could go somewhere else, I would. But I work for the health network they’re a part of and I save a ton of money if I stay in network.

    Their office barely knows how to deal with plus size OR patients with mental illness.

    • I’m sorry you’re having such a difficult time getting the care you need. Good on you for getting an advocate involved! Just know it’s never too late to change OB groups. I changed halfway through my first pregnancy and it was a difficult but good decision. Glad this article resonates with you and good luck with your pregnancy!


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