What I Wish I Knew About Pregnancy & Obesity

Illustrated by Anna Jay.
When I first Googled obesity and pregnancy, I was just one month pregnant with my first child and only partly prepared for the bad news. The rhetoric was alarming — words like “dangerous complications” and “life-threatening” filled my search results, along with rundowns on risk factors for everything from gestational diabetes to infant mortality. And, at the end of most articles, there was a statement that went something like this: Doctors recommend that obese women thinking about getting pregnant should attempt to lose weight before conceiving.
I remember thinking, Well, too late for that.
The truth is, there is almost nothing in the media available that gives you a good sense of what being obese and pregnant is actually like. There are a few high-profile women, like plus-size model Tess Holliday, who document what a large body goes through during pregnancy on social media and help render women like me less invisible. But, as someone who has been obese and pregnant, there are definitely things I wish I’d known ahead of time that the internet and common knowledge didn’t provide me.
So, I decided to break down some of those things here. Hopefully, this will spare a few women the same Google-induced panic I had to endure.

More from Body

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Fashion
A look at the subcultures around the world that color what we wear — and why.
Watch Now
Travel
Explore the world's most most vibrant cultural and culinary centers—in 60 seconds, of course.
Watch Now
Beauty
The craziest trends, most unique treatments, and strangest subcultures in the beauty world.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Millennial survivor-woman Lucie Fink dives headfirst into social experiments, 5 days at a time.