Hello there, beautiful souls! Today, let’s dive into a topic that’s close to my heart and often left unaddressed: the incredible journey of pregnancy for fat folks! Yes, you heard that right! We’re here to celebrate the beauty, strength, and resilience of every body, because guess what? Being fat and fearless during pregnancy is something to be embraced and cherished. So, grab a cup of tea, get comfy, and let’s explore how we can address weight stigma while embarking on your  journey to parenthood.

Embracing Your Body is a Fearless Journey… Sometimes Years in the Making!

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Pregnancy can be a time of awe-inspiring transformation, a period where your body works on overdrive to bring new life into the world.

For folks living in larger bodies, this journey can often be tinged with fear and anxiety due to past or current fat shaming, medical trauma, and/or anti-fat bias.

Whether this noise and harm comes from friends, families, or medical providers, it’s essential to remember that fat people do and should become parents if they want to!

No one else should be making this decision for you. Your body is unique and capable of getting pregnant and carrying a baby to term regardless of size.

Reframing Negative Thoughts: The first step towards embracing your body during pregnancy is changing the way you think about it.

Our society bombards us with harmful stereotypes, but it’s crucial to remind yourself that your body is not the enemy. Every curve, every inch, is a testament to your strength. You do not owe beauty, health, or thinness to anyone.

In all honesty, you may never get to a place where you love your body and that is totally okay. We believe the goal is to get to a point where you are not at war with yourself because of your body on a daily basis.

For some that looks like love, sass, confidence, for others it is a quiet peace, or soft acceptance.

Whatever space you occupy is just right for you. Below are some phrases we often hear when folks are in a pattern of negative thinking and some alternatives to try using instead. If you have thoughts you’ve reframed, feel free to share on our social or reach out to us!

Let's dive into a topic close to my heart and unaddressed: the incredible journey of pregnancy for fearless fat folks! You heard right! This chart takes Negative Self-Statements and centers positive self statements instead.

Navigating Medical Appointments: Your Voice Matters

Seek Support from Loved Ones: Surround yourself with people who uplift and support you. Share your journey with loved ones who remind you that you are amazing just the way you are. Having someone attend medical appointments with you can also be immensely helpful. You may find having a straight size person with you in these appointments can allow for both emotional support and advocacy if you encounter any weight-related biases. Be sure to bring your friend who is fearless, or makes you feel fearless and keeps you centered!

Visiting doctors and nurses during pregnancy can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. For plus-size individuals, there might be challenges, but remember, your voice matters. You deserve respectful, compassionate care that focuses on the whole person’s well-being of you and your baby rather than your size.

Find the Right Provider: If you’re feeling uncomfortable with your current healthcare provider due to insensitive comments, dismissive attitudes, or harm, don’t hesitate to switch if that is an option for you. You deserve a provider who sees you as a whole person and respects your feelings and concerns. If you are unable to switch providers, we are here to help! We provide consultations to walk alongside you on your journey to becoming a parent by working on dialogue practice, review evidence, and prepare for and debrief from appointments. You can also check out our Guide to Finding a Size Inclusive Pregnancy Provider.

Hiring a Doula: A doula can be a game-changer during pregnancy. Not only do they provide emotional and physical support during labor, but they can also help you navigate interactions with medical professionals. Their expertise can empower you to communicate effectively and assertively, ensuring your needs are met. Make sure you ask questions about weight inclusion or fat positivity views when interviewing your doula. Be fearless in your questions, it’s an important decision.

The Power of Education: Advocating for Yourself

Knowledge is power, my friends! Educating yourself about pregnancy, childbirth, and your rights can help you confidently advocate for your needs and preferences. Don’t let weight stigma undermine your ability to make informed decisions.

Research and Knowledge: Arm yourself with information about pregnancy for plus-size individuals. Understand the potential challenges, but also focus on the incredible strengths you possess. Knowing your body and its capabilities can help you feel more confident and fearless in discussions with healthcare providers. You can check out other blog posts we’ve written, request a consultation to discuss evidence behind a concern you have and, or check out these other AMAZING folks advocating for and educating about fat positivity: Plus Mommy, Sara Wickham, Nicola Salmon.

While these folks are all about uplifting folks in larger bodies, please note there is gendered language in some of the articles. We also suggest reviewing the research and podcast available from Evidence Based Birth. While this site provides up to date research, much of the information does still consider BMI. 

Communication is Key: Open, respectful communication is essential when working with medical professionals. Remember, you are an active participant in your healthcare journey. Share your feelings, ask questions, and assert your preferences. 

Speaking up for yourself can be extremely difficult, especially if you also have other marginalized identities. We recognize the medical system as a whole in the States is not set up to support people of the global majority, (?? What does that mean? Find out more here), LGBTQIA+, disabled or neurodiverse folks, (along with many others).

Thus, finding a provider that you feel safe with is your first step. If that is not possible, find people who can support you in other ways, those who can attend appointments with you, hold space for debriefing, or even those who can offer a hug. 

Embrace Holistic Well-being: Be Fearless Mind, Body, and Soul

Pregnancy isn’t just about the physical changes; it’s also a time of emotional and spiritual growth. Embracing holistic well-being can empower you to rise above weight stigma and nurture a positive pregnancy experience.

Mindfulness and Meditation:

Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help you connect with your body on a deeper level. Tune into your thoughts and feelings, releasing any negativity and embracing self-love and acceptance.

Check out these resources:

Yoga and Movement:

Engaging in gentle movement, like prenatal yoga, can foster a sense of connection between your mind and body. It’s not about forcing your body into a certain shape, but rather about celebrating what your body can do. 

Check out these amazing folks: 

Postpartum Essentials - a line art drawing of a mother and father cradling each other and a newborn on the father's shoulder with a beige background with green water color circle and gold glitter accents

Celebrating Your Unique Fearless Journey: Every Body is Worthy

Your pregnancy journey is uniquely yours, and it’s worthy of celebration, regardless of the size of your body. Remember that weight stigma is a societal issue, not a reflection of your worth as a person or parent. 

One way to celebrate your journey is to document your pregnancy in a way that makes you feel empowered. Whether it’s through journaling, photography, or art, express your emotions and experiences.

These moments are a testament to your strength and courage. Another way to celebrate is through connection to communities of plus-size individuals who are navigating or have navigated pregnancy. Sharing experiences, stories, and tips can remind you that you’re not alone on this journey. 

You Are Radiant! So, stand tall, breathe deeply, and let your light shine brilliantly, for you are fearlessly radiant, just as you are.

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