Dear fat pregnant womxn,
I want you to know, I see you.
Through my own lived experience of being fat and pregnant I know just how hard it is. The constant comparisons, the constant worry, the fear of your BMI being used against you. It is so hard. I’ve never been skinny and pregnant so I can’t talk to that but I am sure they have their worries too. However, there is a certain stigma when it comes to being plus size. For myself, this was one of the first times I truly loved my fat body. It was the first time I felt more than just fat. It was also one of the only times family members and friends liked my body. It felt like my oversized body finally had purpose. But that purpose had its own downfalls.
Being fat, it’s a mind game. “Do I really look pregnant or just more fat”? I can’t tell you how many times I asked this question. It wasn’t until my husband looked at me and said “both” that I realized ITS OKAY FOR IT TO BE BOTH!
I AM FAT. And I AM PREGNANT.
There doesn’t have to be an OR in that sentence. I can’t tell you how many post I’ve seen in plus size and pregnant Facebook groups asking that question. We all want validation that we “look pregnant” but pregnant doesn’t have to have a look. Every body is different. Every baby is different. We constantly steal our own joy when we are trying to achieve the “ideal pregnant look”. Now — I can sit and write this and say these things but I am also that person. I want the perfect belly bump. I want random strangers to know I am pregnant. I want to get the comments like “you’re about to pop aren’t you” …. But that’s not the reality for many fat pregnant mamas. Because most people don’t know. They don’t assume. They just think you are carrying your weight differently than you were before. Or they assume you’re lazy when you want to use the motorized wheelchair at target. For me, there was so much sadness in random people not knowing I was pregnant. But it didn’t make my experience of pregnancy any less exciting.
Being fat and being pregnant is amazing. It’s beautiful. My fat body was meant to carry life. Women have been giving birth since the beginning of time. And I hate the idea that only thin able bodied women are the ideal pregnant type. That simply is not the case. Being fat and pregnant is a delight and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Now let’s talk about imposter syndrome in pregnancy… for me I constantly feel like I’m not pregnant “enough”. Not “far enough along”. Not “enough symptoms”. And for someone who is almost 30 I also struggle with the fear that I’m not “old enough”. Other thoughts show up as “what if I’m acting too sick” or “what if people thinking Im lying about what I’m feeling?” — and these thoughts suck just as bad. Where do these terrible thoughts come from! And why. Oh why – are they here. These terrible thoughts come from society. And the horrible pressure we put on women to be perfect. The perfect belly. The perfect bounce back. The perfect birth. All of it. There is so much pressure for perfection. But nothing is perfect and it kills me to have these thoughts. But if you are having these thoughts know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
I am a therapist and feel these things too!! We are all human. No one has this all figured out. While people may post the perfect picture on social media and have the most perfect gender reveal video just know that these people are probably also anxious. They too are worried about how everyone is viewing them.
From someone who is always aware of what she looks like in a room — I want you to know that you are allowed to take up all the space you want. Even when fat and pregnant. Because being both is beautiful.
So while I may not be able to make you feel better I hope I can make you feel heard and seen! From someone who has been there. You are beautiful. You are flawless. Just the way you are. Fat and all!