People love to speculate about celebs and regular people alike, watching a growing belly and wondering "pregnant or fat"? But for some of us, the answer is "both." And it presents a whole host of challenges that don't apply to slimmer women.
Being overweight or obese during pregnancy is not all that uncommon: Half of all women fall into those categories, and at any given time, a good amount of those are pregnant or TTC. But from the way heavier women are treated by everything from maternity clothing stores to doctors, you'd think we were some sort of gestational freaks of nature.
But fear not, my plus-size sisters. While being overweight during pregnancy puts you at higher risk for many problems, that's not a guarantee you will have them, it's just something to look out for and make sure your doctor does as well. I'm living proof; I sailed right through two pregnancies at a high BMI and not only was I just fine, my babies were too.
Gestational diabetes is the biggest concern ... your risk is considerably higher if you were overweight before pregnancy. Eating well, exercising, and managing your weight gain can help ward it off, and if you do get it, listen to your doctor and follow her management plan to the letter.
Also, try not to gain too much weight. Overweight women should only gain between 15 and 25 pounds when pregnant, obese women 11 to 20 pounds. Surprisingly, this may be easier than it sounds; part of my weight issues are due to PCOS, and pregnancy normalized my hormones such that I only gained about 10 to 15 pounds each time. I ended up 15 to 20 pounds lighter after giving birth both times; I called it the baby diet!
Another thing to be aware of is that you won't be showing as soon, and that's a good thing because plus-size maternity clothes are a pain to find. Old Navy is a good source, and even their regular maternity clothes run big so an XL or XXL might be just fine for you.
The most important advice, though, is to relax and enjoy your pregnancy. While you're at greater risk than thinner women for certain complications, the odds are still very much on your side that you'll have a healthy nine months. It's easy to berate yourself for not losing the weight first, but life happens, and you have every bit as much of a right to delight in your new state as anyone else.
Are you overweight and pregnant?
Image via yorkd/Flickr