'Don't Believe What Everyone Tells You': What Tess Holliday Wants Every Fat, Pregnant Mom to Know

tess holliday baby
tessholliday/Instagram

This article is part of a series dedicated to providing support and visibility to plus-size pregnant mothers. To read more stories, visit Plus-Size, Pregnant & Proud. To apply to join our private community on Facebook, click here

If you've followed plus-size model Tess Holliday's career at all, you know by now that she's not one to hold back. The outspoken author and activist rarely sugarcoats anything -- often slamming trolls who mock her weight, or unapologetically stating her political opinions. 

And when she became pregnant for the second time, and did so for the first time in the spotlight, the queen of plus-size fashion didn't spare any feelings -- including her own. She often shared intimate photos detailing not only her happiest moments, but the minutes that exist between the fold. The ones no one really talks about out loud. And especially ones that plus-size moms don't have the luxury of confronting or seeing in the mass media. 

Now that Holliday's youngest is over a year old, we sat down with the working mama to talk about the best and worst parts of her pregnancy -- and all the things that other plus-size moms can learn from her experience. 

  • CafeMom: What do you think is the biggest misconception about plus-size pregnancy?

    "That we can't have healthy pregnancies and deliver healthy babies. We do it every day."

    More from CafeMom: Tess Holliday's Uber Driver Picked the Wrong Woman to Fat Shame

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  • CM: What was the most challenging part of being plus-size and pregnant, in terms of either personal struggles or rude critiques, etc.?

    "The fact that I couldn't find comfortable/fashionable maternity clothes (and nursing bras after the birth) in my size. Like they are nonexistent. I just wore the normal plus designers I normally wear, but sized up. I mean, of course people were awful to me, but I tried to ignore it. So many people kept saying there was no way I could have a healthy pregnancy and I obviously proved them wrong."

  • CM: What was the best and worst pregnancy advice you got?

    "The best advice I got was to enjoy it and relax for the last two weeks of your pregnancy (if possible) so that you don't go into the hospital already exhausted. The reality is the baby only needs you, food (milk), diapers, and love. All the fancy stuff you think you will need that stresses you out, you don't even end up touching." 

    More from CafeMom: Tess Holliday Opens Up About the 'Dark Time' So Many New Moms Experience

    "The worst advice? 'Enjoy your sleep now because you won't sleep again for at least five years.' Every time someone said that I wanted to scream. Most babies don't sleep through the night for the first year, some do. They are all different, but it all goes by quickly and you do get sleep. Trust me."
  • CM: Do you have any advice for plus-size moms who are nervous about being plus-size and pregnant?

    "Don't believe what everyone tells you. All bodies and pregnancies are different; you can't generalize them. Listen to your body and trust it, do what you feel is best. Enjoy it as much as possible too, because it goes by so fast and you will miss it. I know I do!"
  • CM: You've opened up about struggling with your postpartum body. If you have, how did you "make peace" with it?

    "I'm still making peace with it. I'm still not fully there, but I had to remind myself that this was worth it, and if I want to change it or do something about it I can, but not to be too hard on myself. I didn't want to miss the moments of my baby's first year because I was worried about what I looked like."