Pregnancy

5 Things I Encountered While Being Fat and Pregnant

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fat catIn 10 weeks or less, I’m going to be the mother of a son. I always assumed the likelihood of that phrase as a reality of my life was statistically the same as “I just bought an island.” But here we are. Though my pregnancy has been textbook perfect from a physical standpoint, I’ve certainly experienced some of the abnormalities of being a fat pregnant lady:

1. Thin Privilege

Thanks to some rubber band improvisation, I was able to stay in my regular pants for about six months. Then I hit up Motherhood Maternity for a few items to get me through winter. It’s a store of typical size for a strip mall. Looks something like this:

motherhoodmaternity

But this view is deceiving. This is the view for straight sizes. The actual plus size section for my store consists of a measly two sections of pants, and bland shirts that take up one rack and three shelves. Thankfully, I was able to buy two pairs of jeans and can still fit in a straight size XL for shirts, but I did wonder how ladies bigger than me fare when trying to find maternity clothing. Pre-preggo, I was pretty well an in between fatty. Sometimes I could fit into straight size 18 pants if the cut was right. But now I’m unequivocally plus size. Target, my first choice for affordable clothing, does not carry plus size maternity wear nor do any other of my “go to” straight size stores. Lane Bryant doesn’t carry a maternity line. Rock, meet hard place.

(photo: katebrowneblogs.wordpress.com)

2. Assumptions at the OB’s Office

Last week, I crossed into the “deathfat” weight category. You know what I mean – the threshold that prompts most people to capitalize Fat. Keel over and die Fat. Disgrace to humanity Fat. Hyperbole Fat. I’ve only gained about 30 lbs, which I’m told is “average,” but that means I was fat when this pregnancy started. During my first five OB appointments, each nurse that took my weight and blood pressure made mention of being surprised by my low blood pressure but cautioned me about gestational diabetes. “I hope you’re going to breastfeed,” one said. “It makes the weight come right off.” Sigh. They don’t say anything about my weight anymore and must have been put at ease by my consistently low BP and negative diabetes test. But most pregnant women don’t have to “prove” they’re capable of a healthy pregnancy in that way.

3. Fear and Loathing in Life Insurance

normandy

I’m sure that most mothers experience some fear about their child’s life and all the potential perils of living in a big, scary world. That’s why my husband and I applied for life insurance. Just in case. After the underwriting team made their decision, I was told I classify as “high risk” due to my pre-pregnancy weight. Penalty for that comes with a 50 percent premium increase my family cannot afford.

How am I supposed to explain to my son that according to actuarial experts, I’m 25 percent more likely to die than other moms at the playground? I won’t even have to use those words. He’ll find out he has a fat mom soon enough.

My son might even be fat. In fact, he’s likely to be due to his genetic make-up. How do I explain that people will hate him for that? How can I tell him that people will look at him and make judgements about his health, hobbies, life span, and general worth as a human being for being fat? Will I have to tell him that whenever he hears something about the “childhood obesity epidemic,” they’re talking about him? And to be clear, I’m not going to do anything to “make sure” my son isn’t fat. The best I can do is help him develop a compassionate, shame-free attitude about his body and the bodies of others. Even if he’s not a fat kid, with a name like Duncan (Donuts) Browne (Brownie) he’s sure to experience some food-based teasing. I’ll just keep reminding him we chose his name because he’s so sweet, and that haters gonna hate.

(photo:  malexmave)

4. Extra-Scary Internet Research

I have first time mom questions in the middle of the night that are quickly answered by the internet before I can call my OB to confirm. I didn’t realize how many myths about pregnant fat ladies exist. Of course I heard the one about fat women not being able to get pregnant due to being generally unfuckable and then having fertility problems. I don’t know anything about that because my pregnancy was unplanned. But there are so many more! There’s an idea that fat pregnant ladies can’t feel fetal movement. Don’t forget all the scary risks for fat pregnant ladies. At this stage of pregnancy I’m worried about childbirth myths such as the Fat Vagina theory. Even The Baby Books have scary messages about too much weight gain for pregnant fat ladies and constantly refer to gaining pregnancy weight pejoratively. Thankfully, I like my OB and she’s never said anything to me about weight being a complicating factor in my pregnancy, but I’m so angry for the women who have to deal with this fat bias personally.

5. No Friendly Pregnant Talk From Strangers

Now that I’m almost eight months pregnant, my body is pretty clearly marked as pregnant. This is the only bright spot I’ve found in being fat and pregnant: strangers do not touch my belly. In a perplexing mix of fat stigma and politeness, it seems people do not assume I am pregnant and do not want to offend someone who might very well just be really, really fat, so no one has engaged me in unsolicited pregnancy talk. I’m fine with this. It’s very confusing to be a woman who has been taught to be ashamed of her body in public (belly in particular) then suddenly be prompted to “show it off” for joyous, pregnant virtue.

Originally published on Kate Browne Blogs. Reprinted with permission. 

(photo: nushuz; originally published on: Aug 23, 2013)

145 Comments

  1. Amanda Stanley

    August 23, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I’m on my second pregnancy back to back (no more!!!) and I get a lot of this kind of stuff at my doctors office. I actually had a lady gasp when she saw my original prepregnancy weight and what I weigh now (at 7 months pregnant with my 2nd). I hate that people assume someone sits around and eats Doritos all day, or that you don’t care about the health of yourself and your baby. Weight is not everything. I try to live my life and be ha

  2. Laurengoesto11

    August 23, 2013 at 11:34 am

    “Thin Privilege” and “Assumptions” really hit home for me. I am pregnant with my first and a very active woman before and during this pregnancy (weightlifting, water aerobics, PIlates, etc). I’m also have hypothyroidism and wear a 14/16. I was shocked the first time I tried to find clothes at the Motherhood store… I couldn’t squeeze into anything! I’ve had to order most of my clothes online or just buy tops at Catherines that have an empire waist.

    I also couldn’t believe some of the comments made to me by some of my OB staff. I was signed up for a 3 hour glucose test immediately, while my other friends only had to do the one hour. I was also advised not to gain more than 15 pounds over the course of my pregnancy… is that even possible?

    • keelhaulrose

      August 23, 2013 at 11:59 am

      I’ve had two excellent doctors for my pregnancies who didn’t hide that being bigger while pregnant was a risk, but made no assumptions that my health would automatically be abnormal (a nurse, on the other hand, openly said she was shocked I didn’t get gestational diabetes with either one, and only had pre-eclampsia with the first because she couldn’t keep her opinion to herself about anything). The doctors treated me like any other patient, and I’ll be forever grateful for that because it’s a bit late to preach about the dangers of getting pregnant once the baby is in there.
      I have a friend who is a 20/22, and her doctor has flat out said told her that anyone that size who gets pregnant is going to die (I point at my two kids as proof she’s full of shit, but it’s scared my friend into never having kids. She has a thyroid issue and back problems, it’s hard for her to lose the weight).
      I’ve also had another friend who was chastised by a nurse for being a pound over weight. A single pound. That’s the full bladder for the ultrasound for crying out loud.

    • Ptownsteveschick

      August 23, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      Not ok at all. Your friend needs to find a new doctor who isn’t a huge asshole. I can say that I weight on the high end of people who have had babies, and everything was fine, I had no health problems and neither does my baby. Show her this article!

    • Rachel Sea

      August 23, 2013 at 6:32 pm

      She should sue that doctor for the cost of therapy.

    • Toaster

      August 23, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      I love the ‘you should only gain 15lbs’ thing. I was overweight both pregnancies and gained 50lbs both times despite exercising and eating well. My mom has always been tiny and was given the same weight gain limit when pregnant with me, and her doctor had her on a diet when she’d gained that much by the first trimester. Fortunately my midwife was awesome and didn’t even have me step on the scale since I and the baby were obviously healthy.

    • Ptownsteveschick

      August 23, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      I only had to do the 1 hour and I wore a size 24 when I first got pregnant. Awful OB’s are not nice. If you plan on another one, I would advise looking for someone new if you can. They are there to make sure you have a healthy baby, but not to make you feel like shit at the same time.

  3. keelhaulrose

    August 23, 2013 at 11:50 am

    I was fat enough when I got pregnant with my first that just changing my diet to eat healthier for the baby and cut out the no-no foods dropped me fifty pounds. Bella bands were a lifesaver, and I lived in my old shirts because they still fit, though JC Penny had a few options.
    The one I heard a few times behind my back was amazement that my tall, muscular handsome (I may be a little objective) husband was willing to do the act that made a baby with a cow like me. Perhaps my husband isn’t a shallow jackass.

    • Ptownsteveschick

      August 23, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      I can’t help but laugh at that, since biologically, women with bigger hips, a little more weight through the tummy area and a good source of nutrition are supposed to be more desirable to men for breeding purposes. And also, no one likes to admit that someone might just like some more cushion for the pushin!
      Also, those people deserve a punch in the face.

  4. momma425

    August 23, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Okay, from a fat mom to another:
    -Old navy has pregnancy clothes. They worked great for me. They had a whole section of larger maternity clothes as well.
    -I have a coworker who is a size 26 and just gave birth to a healthy 7lb baby girl. That said coworker did not have gestational diabetes, she did not die, and her baby is not an obese monster either. SHOCK!
    -I had a woman come up to me in the store when my daughter was 3 months old while I was buying formula. Woman said, “If you feed your baby that stuff, she will get fat like you.” Not going to lie, I just about decked a lady in the store. Guess what? My daughter is 4 now and UNDERWEIGHT.
    People can kiss my butt. I know everyone thinks a pregnant lady’s body is public property, but it’s not.

    • Whit

      August 23, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      Here, here! Everyone seems to think a lady’s body is public property and up for public opinion pregnant or not. GAG.

    • Coby

      August 23, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      In regards to that douche canoe’s comment about formula, how does ANYONE think that’s acceptable to say to a person, let along a mom of a wee tiny baby? I kinda hope you said, “Oh shit, I had not thought of that. Guess I better cancel that order to main line some McDonald’s fries grease for her. BLESS YOU, KIND STRANGER.”

    • AugustW

      August 24, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      I hear similar, including “she doesn’t miss any meals, does she?” Uh, no, I feed my kid regularly.
      She gained 20 lbs in her first year (7 lbs to 27 lbs) so yeah she was a chubbabubba! But since then, she’s gained 6 lbs total. In 2 years. She is 38 inches tall so over half MY height, and 33 lbs. Perfectly healthy toddler, even though I was an awful mom and fed her (gasp) formula. 😀

    • C.J.

      August 25, 2013 at 11:26 am

      I’m not overweight and I still had people comment on my older child’s size when she was a baby. She looked like the Michelin Man when she was a baby. She went from 10 lbs 9 oz at birth to 32 lbs at her first birthday. She is almost 11 now and is 4 feet 10 inches and 90 pounds. Pretty average size. Pudgy babies are cute and they usually even out.

    • Rachel Sea

      August 23, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      I want to go back in time and read that woman the riot act. What a bitch.

    • Maria Guido

      August 23, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      I’ll go with you.

    • Tara

      August 23, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      Holy crap, kudos to you for NOT punching that lady in the face! Good grief. My friend had a super chunk baby and people were always telling her that she needed to stop breastfeeding her so she wouldn’t grow up a big fatty. Where the heck do people get their crazy ideas?

    • Kate

      August 23, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      So…for funsies, I went to Old Navy’s site. I didn’t see any maternity plus, so maybe it’s been discontinued? Maternity pants only go to 18/XL. I also never tried to see if ON had maternity plus because their plus sizes are “exclusively online!” which, to me, is some shady bullshit. There’s no reason I can’t go to a brick-and-mortar and find something, anything in any size a store claims to carry. I’ve just heard that some Targets carry maternity plus in store, but not mine. That’s small college town life, I guess.

      But I am so sorry that happened to you about the formula. Nothing like that has happened to me (yet?) but I dread the possibility ever time I go out. Another example of thin privilege–you can be reasonably sure that when people judge your parenting choices, it’s not because of your body size. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Oface79

      August 24, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      Their maternity pants run really big. I thought for sure I wouldn’t fit anything (I’m a 20/22 pre baby) and was pleasantly surprised the XL fit comfortably. Even in the 3rd trimester. Even Gap had some cute dresses I was able to wear.

    • AP

      August 24, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Old Navy clothes run big in general, except their Active line. I’m petite, and I had to stop shopping there years ago because of it.

      Literally, a pair of their Small jeans is 3″ bigger than some other stores.

    • Momma425

      August 24, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      On a side note, I have gained 9871623487726348762354187623 zillion pounds as a mother. I would KILL to fit into my maternity pants again, fat as I was at the time. 🙁

    • C.J.

      August 25, 2013 at 11:33 am

      That’s just rude. People should mind there own business. I know lots of people who were fed formula and they are not overweight. I was fed formula and am not overweight. I also know people who are overweight and healthier than skinny people. We need to start focusing more on how healthy we are than what we look like on the outside and people need to worry about themselves instead of judging other people.

    • G.S.

      August 26, 2013 at 2:13 am

      Throat punch. Throat punch to crazy lady in the store. Many, many throat punch.

      I mean, seriously, drinking formula doesn’t make you fat in life! And even beyond that, aren’t babies SUPPOSED to be chubby? Because they’re growing crazy fast and need the energy and will probably burn it all off by three supposing you feed them healthy (fruits and vegetables and all that)?

      And since I’m a masochist, OF COURSE I did a regrettable Google Search. http://healthland.time.com/2010/11/30/is-my-baby-too-fat/ *headdesk*

    • Leigha7

      August 27, 2013 at 7:23 pm

      I was formula-fed as a baby, and I’ve been borderline underweight my entire life. I weighed 36 pounds when I was 5 (which I’m pretty sure is about average for a 3 year old, but I was pretty short and perfectly healthy, according to my doctor). The whole “formula will inevitably make your kid fat” thing is bull.

  5. Zorbs

    August 23, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I had an actual fat chick say to me when I was 7-8 months pregnant, “wow, you are fat.” note: I was 132 pounds the day I gave birth. so it goes both ways..

    • Laurengoesto11

      August 23, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      An actual fat chick? No way! I though those things only existed in the movies!

    • CMJ

      August 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm

      hmmmm, what constitutes “actual?”

    • chickadee

      August 24, 2013 at 12:50 am

      Poor you–you got called fat. How did you bear the shame? I have always had a fast metabolism, and I also have always known better than to bitch about skinny problems. It’s not the same. It’s humble bragging and it’s a crappy thing to do.

    • Leigha7

      August 27, 2013 at 7:36 pm

      I don’t think complaining about problems related to being skinny counts as humble bragging. There are people who have just as difficult of a time gaining weight as many people do losing it, and many of these people constantly deal with comments about how they clearly must be anorexic. Those are real problems that are no different than the problems relating to being overweight (and come with similar health concerns, including a higher risk of infertility), and people should be allowed to voice those complaints without everyone thinking they’re bragging.

      There is a major difference in that people are generally more accepting of people being underweight than overweight, but that doesn’t exempt skinny people from contempt (or from being hurt by comments like “real women have curves” and “no real man would ever be attracted to someone that skinny”). I do think people should realize that they’re fortunate to be on the side of the matter that society prefers, but the complaints are no less legitimate and saying that mentioning them is by default “humble bragging” just forces people to keep things in and have no one to relate to or sympathize with, and that’s unfair.

    • chickadee

      August 27, 2013 at 9:17 pm

      I’ll just put it this way — when I wanted to lose 10 pounds last year so that I could fit back into my proper wardrobe, and my best friend wanted to lose 80 pounds to help her health situation and maybe halt the onset of Type 2 diabetes, I didn’t bitch about how ‘fat’ I was or how hard it was to lose weight. Because that’s pretty insensitive. And it’s ultra-insensitive to comment on a post about fat prejudice by complaining about how thin people get persecuted too.

      I got called anorexic in high school, and it affected me for about 3 seconds. You can’t equate that situation with fat-shaming. They aren’t equal.

  6. Ginny

    August 23, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    It’s ok, cats are pudgy and they just be cats.

  7. Stef

    August 23, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    I was 240 lbs when I got pregnant and I gained 30 lbs during the 9 months. I wore primarily Old Navy Maternity; at the time (2010) they offered Old Navy Womens Plus Maternity and it was great. I was able to order size 20 maternity jeans and pants with the big stretchy belly band for work at a reasonable price.

    I didn’t encounter any fat shaming from anyone, which I found to be quite lucky. I didn’t feel my boy kick until about 18-20 weeks but he kicked up a storm after that. I did have a lot of scans because they couldn’t see my boy’s heart clearly in sonograms. This could have been due to my girth or his position. But everything worked out. Towards the end, I went in for a lot of nonstress tests because I didn’t feel like his kick counts were up to par, but he was fine.

    • Ptownsteveschick

      August 23, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      I probably weighed 100 lbs more than you did, and they could always see everything fine, so I would guess that it was more due to poor positioning than your weight. Don’t blame yourself!

    • Psych Student

      August 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing! It makes me feel better. 🙂

    • Stef

      August 23, 2013 at 11:37 pm

      Thanks for your comment 🙂 They brought in specialists to give me scans to find my boy’s heart and it was painful! They pushed so hard with the sonogram scanner on my belly, I assumed at the time it was because of all the fat and then I wondered if a sonogram was supposed to be painful or I was a wuss. I never said anything because I thought if I couldn’t handle this pain, how was I going to handle labor and delivery?

    • Psych Student

      August 23, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      Thank you for sharing your story! I weigh as much as you do (I’m not pregnant and won’t be for a while) and it’s reassuring to hear that women can have positive experiences regardless of their size!

    • Kate

      August 23, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      For sure. Don’t believe the fat shaming hype. Whenever someone gave me the business about fat ladies being unfit for pregnancy, I remembered all the “average” ladies I know who struggled with pregnancy complications of all sorts. A compassionate doctor and confidence in what you believe despite the haters can make a world of difference.

    • Ptownsteveschick

      August 23, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      My only real reason for wanting to get down to a smaller size before I have another one is because in case of a c-section becoming necessary, it can become more difficult with the extra fat in the way. But they will still be able to do it. I had a wonderful pregnancy and delivery, and my doctor, who knows I have had a lifelong weight problem has no issues whatsoever with me having as many kids as I want. Being healthy doesn’t mean being skinny!

    • Oface79

      August 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      I’m a fatty boombalatty and there were no problems with my csection. They just embarrass the hell out of you trying to figure out how to tape up your fat flap.

    • Ptownsteveschick

      August 24, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      Good to know! They told me that it might make me more uncomfortable healing because of the way my body is shaped. It was embarrassing enough when they couldn’t use the external monitors while I was in labor, eventually I told them to just get it over with and do the internal one. Smooth sailing after that!

    • Oface79

      August 24, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      They try so hard not to shame you and end up shaming you in the end.

    • Stef

      August 23, 2013 at 11:28 pm

      This is exactly why I posted. I was at my highest weight when I got pregnant and I had a lot of worries about it. It really helps to read other positive experiences. Everything that doctors usually worry about in relation to weight and pregnancy (gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia) didn’t happen with me. I loved being pregnant and I gave myself permission to eat whatever I craved. My main issues came after giving birth with post-partum depression, but I’m thankful I can look back on pregnancy fondly since I’m not planning on having any more kids.

      My boy is almost 3 now and is very active, tall, and slim. My husband and I are both fat and have had weight struggles our whole lives. We’re very active with him and recently had blood work done that showed our cholesterol and blood sugar numbers are fine. We’re working on lowering our scale numbers but raising a happy, kind, loving child is our number 1 priority.

  8. Ptownsteveschick

    August 23, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Yep, I cried because my hormonal self was sad that no one was probably sure if I was pregnant or just fatter. Later I am happy because it meant no constant stomach touching. Maternity clothes weren’t going to happen. I just bought some bigger shirts and stretchier pants, and quit wearing all jeans by my 6th month, except a pair I cut and sewed a panel into myself.
    My doctor however was a godsend. I was extremely concerned about how my weight would impact the baby, and he was so not worried that I couldn’t help but soak up his calm attitude. He told me to eat as healthy as I could, and try to maintain my activity. He never once suggested to me that I was at higher risk of complications due to my weight, because I was otherwise a healthy person. He recommended I not look online because it would only upset me. If there was anyone who was a better fit to calm down an unmedicated depressive with anxiety, I would like to meet them because he was wonderful.
    My advice to fat pregnant moms is find a doctor who isn’t an asshole(if you have the luxury) Don’t look up the fat shaming bullshit online, listen to your own body instead
    Trust yourself!
    And be thankful you might not “look” pregnant, because then creepy people won’t be touching you all the time.

    • AugustW

      August 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      In those first few months in particular, I was tempted to wear a sign that said “I’m not a druggie in withdrawal, I’m pregnant and having really awful morning sickness” because I was so paranoid about people judging me in stores. I looked awful. I couldn’t get near the dog food aisle without puking. I was exhausted.

  9. Amanda

    August 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    I weighed 230 pre-pregnancy for both of my kids. I am very, very lucky and I don’t gain very much weight during my pregnancies (9 pounds total for each, I completely lose my appetite when pregnant for the whole 9 months), so that has eased some of the shame. My first pregnancy the doctor never, ever brought it up, I didn’t have gestational diabetes and my only complication was slight hypertension at the end of my pregnancy (it was really borderline). My second pregnancy I had moved and had to use a different OB, and she was the worst. She would spend entire appointments harping on my weight (AFTER I had lost 5 pounds due to being so sick). Look, I get it, and I’m ok having discussions about the weight, but seriously, she would chew me out for entire 20 minute appointments. I switched doctors again, who then addressed the issue briefly, but when they saw the rest of pregnancy was pretty healthy, they left it alone. I had a fairly easy vaginal births for both.

    Can I just address these “breastfeeding will make you skinny” rumors? LIES. ALL LIES. I hit my highest weight ever while breastfeeding my first (for over a year!), and had to work very, very hard to lose it before becoming pregnant again (that’s right, I had to lose weight to get back to 230). I’m still breastfeeding my second, and it has taken every ounce of will-power and hard work to not gain 20 pounds again. After 8 months of weight watchers and Jillian Michael DVDs, I am sitting at 220. I’m hopeful that after weaning that my good habits will finally kick in and I’ll start losing weight at a reasonable pace. Point: breastfeeding helps SOME people lose weight. Not all.

    • Tinyfaeri

      August 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      “Can I just address these “breastfeeding will make you skinny” rumors? LIES. ALL LIES”
      Hear, hear! I’m sure it works for some, but it damn well doesn’t for others, me included.

    • Maria Guido

      August 23, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      I’m with you. Lying assholes.

    • Ligeia

      August 24, 2013 at 3:47 am

      I don’t know about you guys, but breastfeeding made me super hungry. I decided that losing a bit of weight fast was not as important to me as not feeling faint and sick low blood sugar when holding my wee baby 😉

    • Blueathena623

      August 23, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      I’m confused — had you weaned for a while before getting pregnant the second time?
      I’m only asking because I could not lose an ounce while breastfeeding, but after I weaned for a few months thr weight came off much easier. So I’m hoping that will be the case with you 🙂

    • Amanda

      August 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      I breastfed until 13 months, and then I lost 25 pounds in three months, and got pregnant again when my little girl was 16 months. Does that make sense? So yeah, weaning definitely helps my body drop pounds. It seems like when I’m nursing my body is completely focused on holding on to every single ounce of fat. It sucks. But I plan on weaning next month, so here’s to hoping it starts coming off!

    • LadyClodia

      August 23, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      With my first son I did lose weight while breastfeeding, but gained it back after he weaned. I didn’t lose any weight while breastfeeding my second son and possibly even gained a little.

    • oface79

      August 24, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      Oh breastfeeding made me drop 40 lbs like that. Because I never had time to eat thanks to the kid constantly on my boob and being home alone during the day. *PTSD FLASHBACK*

      I kid. I did lose a lot of weight the first 2 weeks postpartum because I didn’t have time to eat, but after that, I put back on every pound (WHY WAS I SO HUNGRY???) and then some that I gained while pregnant. Once I stopped feeding at 4 months, I still had that appetite and can’t drop the weight for shit.

    • johnnyappleseed

      August 26, 2013 at 11:41 am

      My youngest just turned 1 and I’m still bf’ing. This is my 3rd kid to bf and I gain insane amounts of weight. I’m going to start weaning soon and I hope to lose a little. I’ve never lost weight while bf’ing…just gain!

    • Frances Locke

      December 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      I only lost weight quickly while BF with one of my three kids. And I’m not even positive that was the reason, to be honest. I say: Myth – BUSTED, lol

  10. LadyClodia

    August 23, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    I was hovering just below 200 lbs before I got pregnant with my first son, and I think I gained about 15 during the pregnancy. I lost a good amount of weight after he was born I assume due to breastfeeding him, but after I stopped breastfeeding him a year later I gained quite a bit more weight. I didn’t gain much weight when I was pregnant with my second son, and I also didn’t lose any weight from breastfeeding him. I had gotten a few clothes from Kohl’s, but mostly I bought maternity clothes from Old Navy. Their sizes seem to run big, so I was usually OK with a 18/20.
    I guess with my second some people just assumed that I was really fat. We were at a cookout at our new neighbors’ when I was 5 months pregnant (and I thought obviously showing) and they offered me a beer, but I said I was pregnant and he looked shocked.
    My first son was a really fat baby, and it took him a few years to lose the baby fat, but now I have trouble finding pants that will stay up on him. My second son was only barely chubby as an infant, and is now a bit underweight at not quite 2; he eats well and is super active. You just never know with kids.

  11. Givemeabreak

    August 23, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    I wear an 18/20 now and when I was pregnant. Old Navy no longer carries plus size maternity clothing, either does JCP, the Gap, or many others. I lost 45 pounds before getting pregnant with my second and ended up wearing my”fat”clothes as maternity clothing. It sucked. Absolutely NONE of the stores sell true tall sized maternity pants either. Maybe us fatties should design and market our own maternity for others?

  12. Kc

    August 23, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    ‘They don’t say anything about my weight anymore and must have been put at ease by my consistently low BP and negative diabetes test. But most pregnant women don’t have to “prove” they’re capable of a healthy pregnancy in that way.’

    I don’t feel anyone should be shamed or not treated fairly because of their weight. I do feel it would be irresponsible of healthcare professionals to not mention someones weight as a health risk though. Or provide further testing when there is a risk towards a certain complication because of a preexisting condition (in this case obesity). It is pretty obvious to most that being overweight is unhealthy, but it is your Dr’s job to make mention of unhealthy lifestyle habits. Especially during pregnancy. Instead of looking at it as thin privilege, perhaps use this example to see it another way.
    If a woman were a smoker, and she knew it was bad but she also knew other women who were smokers who had perfectly healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. She made the decision for herself (her right) to continue smoking so that she was not stressed and did not have to change any personal habits because of the pregnancy. Even though she knew it was unhealthy and had risks. Would you then find it odd if her Dr mentioned her smoking to her at an OB appt? Or asked for an additional test? Or explained what complications might occur because of her smoking? Would you find it even weirder to then find an article that woman who smoked wrote where she was using a term like “non-smokers privilege” to justify her feelings in being discriminated against for being a smoker?
    I would.

    I may have missed something in the article, but being overweight 9x out of 10 is a choice, even if it’s a hard one. It is an addiction just like smoking and is probably just as hard to change (if not harder). Both are choices that are hard to stop. Both are unhealthy. Both can be rationalized by the addicted in almost any way conceivable to justify their addictions.

    Your son might be fat yes, and he may even be likely to be. But it won’t be solely because of genetics. It will be because he will watch his mentors and learn how to eat from them and copy you. But I cringe to think that you would not take everything you just said in this article, and desperately not want for your son to go through the same things.
    Instead of coming up with terms like ‘thin privilege’ be realistic about what you are saying. There is a reality to being overweight that can’t be denied. It’s unhealthy, it’s not natural. These are facts, not some sort of discrimination. Just like smoking is unhealthy and not natural. And the fact people do not like it or give advice on how to stop being a smoker is not discrimination…it’s a natural response to something unnatural and unhealthy. The same as when advice is given on losing weight.

    • Blueathena623

      August 23, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      Oddly enough, mommyish covered a recent study where babies born to moms with a 24 to 28 BMI were the least likely to die compared to moms with other BMIs. Anything over 25 is overweight. Granted, the kids with the worst (relatively speaking) were born to moms with BMIs over 30 (if I remember correctly, I think the average Bmi for that group was 33 or something.)

      So, depending on the weight of the OP, having a weight discussion every appointment would be overkill.

      And smoking is not like being overweight. With smoking, a person can quit and there are immediate benefits to the fetus. If a person is fat before they get pregnant, they can’t exactly get un-fat while pregnant. The above commenter aside, most people don’t lose weight during pregnancy (considering full 9 months). Its one thing if they gave some cautions about gaining too much weight at the first appointment, but if she’s gaining the average amount of weight at each appointment, why continue to talk about it?

    • Kc

      August 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      I believe the reason it does still need to be brought up is because there is obviously a lack of education there. Unless the woman has consciously made the choice to be obese because that is what she desires (which I think is rare right??), barring that unlikely scenario – it is safe to say she is lacking in the resources to handle her addiction OR is uneducated on what is really a normal way to eat. Or she wouldn’t be fat, right?
      So a Dr should be concerned with her eating habits and try to help her with them and most definitely bring it up at every appointment.

      And smoking is like being overweight. A obese woman could make drastic improvements to her diet with immediate benefits to the pregnancy if she were provided with education and encouragement to know how to do so. The same as a pregnant woman who smokes. Every single day of healthy eating counts. Pregnant or not.
      In what way could a Dr provide this without coming off as condescending? The difference between obesity and smoking as far as addiction comparison goes is there are many more personal feelings tied into being obese than there are in being a smoker. Obese people wear their problem on/in their bodies. To say something about their problem feels as though it is a personal attack. It is offensive to them in a way that hurts more than maybe an offended smoker. But we have to overcome that, we have to be able to talk honestly about the problem, and we have to keep trying to work towards the healthiest and most positive outcomes. I would hate to think we would just throw our hands in the air and say well we can’t possibly do anything about that when it is SO obvious we can. Obesity is a choice (9x out of 10) better yet, I think it is way better described as an addiction – and to pretend its not or to make excuses or to act as though it should be coddled is…crazy to me. As crazy as it was when smokers could still openly smoke in hospitals or anywhere else.
      We shouldn’t coddle people’s addictions when it is harmful to them and society. We should try to help them and continue to push for that.

    • Blueathena623

      August 23, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      Are you Ashton kutcher and am I being Punk’d?

    • Kc

      August 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      Nope 🙂 lol
      I’m just tired of the “being fat is ok” “skinny people suck” and “I dont care if my kid is fat” articles. I feel there is a trend happening around it that isn’t based on reality, only hurt feelings and peoples gross denials.
      I want everyone to be happy and ok with themselves, but I feel that articles like these almost encourage that being obese is good and ok and we should all be happy with ourselves because we are obese and screw everyone that says anything to the contrary. But if this were any other health problem there is no freaking way that would be tolerated or agreed with.
      People’s shame and denial make them defensive and delusional. They start to look at obesity as part of their identity instead of the health problem/addiction that it is. I wanted to bring something to the table that countered that ‘obesity is ok’ viewpoint without putting anyone down but by being honest and real. I still hold to the fact that a Dr shouldn’t ignore it, in the same way any other health problem wouldn’t be ignored. Because that is what it is, A PROBLEM. You can’t find clothes in stores because you have A PROBLEM. The Drs and nurses are saying things to you because you have A PROBLEM. You are being told there are more risks because you started out with A PROBLEM. You can’t get affordable health insurance for the same reason smokers cant, you have A PROBLEM.
      No matter how much that hurts to think about or how much you don’t want it to be true. It is what it is.

    • CMJ

      August 23, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      Ugh, nowhere in this article or in any of the comments are people saying obesity is okay. Nor is anyone saying “skinny people suck.” You are assuming that people who are overweight don’t know it’s a problem and that they don’t care. People do care and understand things – even if you assume they don’t. Additionally, it’s not always easy to lose weight. Clearly, you think it is but most people don’t have the Biggest Loser trainers and cooks hanging out at their house.

      No one is saying a Dr. should ignore it….but a patient should never be berated by a Dr…no matter what size they are. In fact, studies have show that “fat shaming” makes people feel worse about their bodies. It doesn’t motivate them to lose weight. It just makes them more depressed.

      Once again, this article isn’t about accepting obesity or making thin people feel bad it’s about the author’s experience. Overweight people have feelings too and clearly you and your caps lock don’t quite comprehend that.

    • Kc

      August 23, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      We coddle people because of their emotional responses.

      People don’t like confrontation and won’t accept their problem to the point of literally killing themselves.

      I never said anyone should be berated by anyone for their weight, only that honest discussion needs to be tolerated and not denied by the patient as having validity.

      As far as the article being about the author’s experience, that’s fine. Since their writing was shared on a platform that allows for discussion I wanted to talk about their point of writing things that are life altering viewpoints and how they made them seem as though they aren’t that big of a deal. Perhaps I am still rooting for the author to not give up, to want to take care of herself and her child and to realize there is another way? And I feel that is looked upon with…rage maybe. That I would even suggest that, but again I’ll use the smoking analogy – or even the opposite if someone was too skinny – you would acknowledge their problem to them if you cared about them at all. You would keep talking about it even if it made them uncomfortable because you want them to be healthy. You would try to help them. You wouldn’t ignore it and hope it got better because…they might die. Because it effects almost every aspect of their lives somehow. Because you realize that they too also want to change. Obesity needs to be looked at just like those things. You would not allow them to make rationalizations for something that is obviously killing them.
      You would continue to bring up the other way of doing things even if it seemed hopeless to them that it would ever work. You wouldn’t just give up and go with the dysfunctional model of thinking you know?

    • CMJ

      August 23, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      Yes, you sound very compassionate.

    • Blueathena623

      August 23, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      But where do you draw the line? What measurements do you consider? How much grey area is there?
      I weighed 194.8 this morning, which for my height, according to the BMI calculator is 29.5 or something close to that. If I were 197 I’d be obese by BMI standards. I wear a size 14. Granted, I still wore those size 14 pants at 197, but I guess that’s besides the point. I’m not a petite girl (I’m not pretending all my weight is from my bones, but my wrists have no fat on them, and lots of women have smaller wrist circumferences than I do.) I do have some tummy pudge, but my weight is pretty fairly distributed.
      So, do I get the death talk? If not, when should I start getting the death talk? If I already would be getting the death talk, when can it stop?

    • Kate

      August 23, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      Hey Kc, I just wanted to pop in and respond to a few things you wrote. Before I do that, I identify as fat, not overweight or obese. Lots of people identify as fat, and it is part of my identity. Respect, yo.

      First, re: “But I cringe to think that you would not take everything you just said in this article, and desperately not want for your son to go through the same things.” Until there are some major advances in reproductive technology, I don’t think I need to worry about him facing pregnancy-related fat stigma. Still, I get what you’re saying, so please read on.

      While I believe that engaging in any lengthy conversation with you about the constructions of health (like constructions of race and gender) would be pointless, your comments have illustrated a fundamental problem with the cultural construction of obesity. You’d do well to conduct some research on Health At Every Size (HAES).

      In case the following is tl;dr, no one is obligated to be healthy, but everyone is entitled to respect and access to basic human needs.

      No, I do not want my son to suffer because of people who perpetuate stereotypes and turn health into a moral issue. No one should suffer because of this, but they do. Every day. Sometimes every hour of every day. You say (paraphrase) that I shouldn’t be berated for my weight. Yet, you say if I can’t find clothes that fit me (clothing being one of the basic human needs), that it’s my “PROBLEM.” It is not my problem. It is the problem of a culture that believes (and has the ability to enforce the belief) that some bodies should have easy access to clothing and others should be punished for having a “PROBLEM.”

      Also, you write, “Perhaps I am still rooting for the author to not give up, to want to take care of herself and her child and to realize there is another way” I’m a composition instructor. Your use of “perhaps” is a dead give away that you don’t care about me but would rather engage in concern trolling. To that, I say sit and spin. You don’t know anything about my health habits (which are none of your beeswax), but I take it that the “better way” is weight loss.

      ****Fellow fat ladies/moms who have commented with similar experiences to mine, I applaud your bravery. Thank you from the bottom of my average size, properly beating heart. This next bit is for you too.****

      Claiming that individuals should change their bodies to fit a particular mold of “normal” is (at the very least) cruel. Weight loss is not the better way. The better way is access–to goods and services that accommodate a full range of body types; to dietary info and safe exercise options for those who want it; to support for better health outcomes without a weight loss focus. The better way is to separate weight from health, because obesity is only a code word for “body size,” not “overall health.” The better way is to reject the fuckery of weight loss moralizing. So even though I know you’re not really in my corner, I *do* choose the better way, and I will not give up on fighting body-based oppression.

      If you’d like to have a discussion about what I wrote that has nothing to do with promoting weight loss or equating weight with health, I’d love to participate. Otherwise, try not to abuse any more fatties on your way through the parking lot.

    • Justme

      August 24, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      I’m not trying to instigate anything….I’m just super curious, why the identification of being fat? What does that mean? Would you struggle with your identity if you suddenly lost all your weight? Like I said, I’m purely curious because my that mindset is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum from where I am and I’m having a hard time understanding what you mean…

    • Kate

      August 24, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      It’s a great question, and I appreciate your consideration in asking. The best explanation I can give is that “fat” is like the word “queer.” It can be used as an insult and has a painful, loaded history, but some activists have taken it back as a marker of identity and work to take away its power as an insult. Kath at Fat Heffalump has an excellent explanation of the identity issue here: http://fatheffalump.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/breaking-down-fat-stigma-criticism-of-fat-as-identity/

      It is very unlikely that I would ever have a “normal” sized body without being seriously ill or developing an eating disorder. What underlies your question (and this is another cultural issue, not my issue with what you asked) is an idea that fat bodies should always be committed to the notion that losing weight is possible and desirable AND only an “after” body in waiting. It’s the fantasy of thinness. The promise of normal. It refuses people (women, mostly) the space to accept, respect, and appreciate their bodies as is. And right now, I’m fat.

      If I were to lose a bunch of weight, I would gain a similar amount of social and cultural benefit from being thin. So no, I couldn’t identify as fat anymore. The idea of that doesn’t bother me because I don’t believe identities are fixed or stable.

      When you say that you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum, I understand that to mean you consider “fat” a word that is intended to cause pain (to you or when you hear others referred to as). In Kath’s piece that I linked to above, she makes the point that fat, as an identity, just is. It’s a physical descriptor as “tall” or “blonde” would be. Part of taking away its power as an insult is to reject all the other meanings it takes on like “lazy” or “unattractive” or “unhealthy.” Yeah, ’cause who wants to be considered fat if that’s what it means? Whenever someone tells me I’m fat, I say, “Yep.” It took me a very, very long time to get to that point–to strip “fat” away from all its perjorative associations, but I feel so much more at ease.

    • Blueathena623

      August 23, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      First of all, I’m fat. So thanks for calling me stupid. Good to know.
      Except I’m guessing that every fat woman on this post and a hell of a lot of others could be effing dietitians. We know lettuce is better than a Snickers, ok? And the fact that you focused on food choices and excluded talking about exercise is just so 1960’s. Hello Betty Draper.
      So why are people still fat? For an incredibly, incredibly wide variety of reasons ranging from gut flora to our No Child Left Behind education system. Its not all 3,500 calories equal a lb, if that’s what you are thinking.
      So am I saying that we can all weigh 600 lbs and not worry about health consequences? Hell no. But there is a big difference between saying “obesity is awesome!” and “you don’t deserve clothes until you lose weight.”
      But if you think shaming is the best way to make people change for the better, here goes : you’re wrong and perhaps dumb. Go read a book.

    • Kc

      August 23, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      Blue, I’m sorry if you were offended because that was never my intention and I don’t think any of your replies were stupid or that you are stupid and that was not what I wanted to show.
      When I focused on food choices – there are many women who don’t know what is healthy. But that actually wasn’t my focus and maybe I should have been more clear. I feel that many people don’t understand what a normal amount to eat is. Its not because they are stupid, I actually think it’s because their body craves more and so they eat more. It’s simple really and it’s not even anyone’s fault. This is where the choice in being overweight comes in. Its mental willpower that has to be utilized to combat the body telling you what you know is wrong. Not everyone has a biggest loser trainer or a chef, no. But it’s not even necessary. Most people can even pinpoint where they make the mistakes in their eating so even if the Dr wasn’t talking always about food education, encouragement to keep eating correctly or portionally can’t be bad right? Let me be clear, encouragement, not shaming.
      Do I feel that obese women deserve clothes? Yes I do. I feel bad that anyone would have to go through not finding cute clothes. But it is a clear indication when you can’t find clothes made for your body, that maybe your body isn’t doing so well you know?

      And to the other poster who had the thyroid issues. I think in many of my replies I addressed that I acknowledge that there are other factors to being overweight for some people. But I think that is rare, and is used often as an excuse. I’m not saying that to be offensive or that it was true in your case, I think it does happen a lot though.

      I’d like to apologize if anyone feels I have shamed them. I definitely don’t want to do that. But I would like everyone to take an honest look at themselves and be honest with themselves. My posts were meant to provoke conversation and thoughts not make anyone feel bad.

    • CMJ

      August 23, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      I think the point we are all trying to make is that A LOT of people don’t understand the mistakes they are making with their food (portion control, refined sugars, etc). That means not just obese people but people who are skinny, average, fat….I’ve seen skinny people eat their weight in food who have HORRIBLE eating habits.

      It is easy to assume that overweight people don’t understand these things because, well, you can see it…so, because someone is overweight they clearly 1) don’t give a shit 2) don’t exercise 3) eat shitty and 4) have given up (that comment really galled me). What you cannot see, however, is what is happening under the body’s exterior. So, really, you can’t assume people who are overweight DON’T do these things just like you shouldn’t assume that thin people DO do these things (eat right, exercise, etc).

    • Blueathena623

      August 23, 2013 at 5:33 pm

      Ok, here is the thing though. Remember how I talked about the wide, wide, wide variety of reasons that people are overweight? All of that contributes to a person’s ability to lose weight. Some of these reasons come into play even before we get to portion control/food choices (there is a reason poverty is linked to obesity, and its not just education), and some of these reasons contribute even if you are making perfect food decisions.

      So the end result is that once all these factors come into play, for some people losing weight is akin to a brisk walk around the block, and for some people its like running a marathon with a broken leg.

      Does that mean everyone should assume they are that marathon runner and not even try? No, because people can run marathons with broken legs (no seriously, the have been cases. With one guy his thigh muscles were so strong they just held the bone together like a cast. Cool stuff). But when you look at someone, its hard to tell if they are too lazy to even take the walk around the block or if they are doing their damnedest to limp

    • Blueathena623

      August 23, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      Disqus, why are you suddenly not letting my type? I had a fabulous closing sentence which you made me break in half.

      Damnedest to limp all 26 miles.

      The end result is that maybe it would be more worthwhile to start working on those factors that contribute to obesity beyond portion control. Because I’ve just explained, it goes beyond that.

    • Kc

      August 23, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      If you are making perfect food decisions and you don’t have a hormone or thyroid imbalance, you will not be overweight. It’s that simple. It’s impossible to eat perfectly and be overweight.
      People in poverty have access to food stamps if they have children. They have access to more food than most working families I know. THAT is why obesity is correlated to poverty. It’s not that they are limited to crappy food, it’s that they choose crappy food and then over eat it.
      I think depression correlated to poverty may factor in and I’m willing to also take into account the wide wide variety of reasons that you didn’t list as well that could possibly correlate. But at the end of the day…it’s simple. If you don’t have a hormone imbalance or a thyroid imbalance and you eat perfectly – you won’t be overweight. And that’s the truth.
      So people need to be honest with themselves about what is going on with them. The fact that yes they are depressed, or yes their life situation sucks, or whatever it is that causes them to overeat. Own that. Take responsibility for it at least. Try to help your children not follow the same path, care. Truly care.

      I also would like to say I realize people are built differently and that BMI scales aren’t accurate for everyone and I agree with that. However all of my posts have been about obesity, not someone battling with some extra weight or who may be built thicker naturally. Morbid obesity is something in itself entirely and the woman in the original article described herself as such. Not just someone carrying a bit of extra weight.

    • CMJ

      August 23, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    • Blueathena623

      August 23, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      Ok, lets see. Not touching on the povery-foodstamps thing cause we ain’t got all night.

      One thing I will say is thank you for not talking diets. I’m glad we both agree that strict dieting is a shitty and usually not successful way to lose weight.

      When you say eating perfectly, I’m assuming you mean “eat the calories needed for your goal weight”. That is not a bad plan, in theory. And it is a good place to start for people who do want to lose weight. But lets also not pretend that weight magically comes off. I’m 194. According to the BMI, 164 is the highest I can weigh and not be overweight. 30 lbs. Looking at the difference between calories burned at those different weights (plus various weights in between), and adjusting for minor decreases in metabolism as I age, I should lose that 30 lbs in about 5 years. Is that an incredibly long time? Maybe not, but its not insignificant. And if I were 60 lbs overweight? Can you see how its difficult to be motivated for a decade? A decade before they stop being a PROBLEM?

      And speaking of which, you’ve danced around it, but I would still like to see some definitive information on how you calculate ok weight, overweight, obesity, etc. Because in many of your comments you have used obesity and overweight interchangeably, but now you’re saying that some extra weight is ok, and maybe a thicker build is kinda ok. If the simple soultion is to have people eat less, then there should be a way to simply determine who needs to be eating less. And the author said she crossed into the morbid category after she put on 30 lbs during pregnancy.

    • Leigha7

      August 27, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      It is, in fact, not that simple. First of all, how are we defining overweight? Are we only talking about WEIGHT, or are we talking about body fat percentages? My future brother-in-law is morbidly obese from a pure weight standpoint, but it’s because he lifts a lot. He has a very low body fat percentage and is extremely in shape.

      Second, it is extremely possible to eat horribly and not be overweight, so why wouldn’t it be possible to eat well and be overweight? If you define eating perfectly as “eating perfectly for your metabolism and actively level,” then I suppose you’re mostly correct, but if you just define it as eating healthy food, then you’re dead wrong. Plus, there are conditions that aren’t technically hormonal/thyroid imbalances that cause people to be overweight, as well as medications. I knew a girl in high school who normally weighed about 110 lbs, but jumped 20-30 pounds after being put on a particular type of medication, and there wasn’t really anything she could do about it.

      Scientists actually don’t fully understand what causes people to be overweight. It is actually more complicated than calories in/calories out, and is largely genetic, but they aren’t entirely sure why or how. There are numerous studies suggesting that if you’re genetically predisposed to being overweight, it would be extremely difficult to keep from being at least on the high end of normal without drastically limiting your caloric intake and/or exercising a ton. Obviously, how much you eat is important, but it’s not the only factor, no matter how unintuitive that may seem.

      Also, speaking as someone who grew up in an area with a lot of poverty…you don’t know what you’re talking about. Yes, people living in poverty have access to food stamps. A lot of people refuse to get them because they’re ashamed. For those that do, most try to stretch them as much as possible, because you only get about $150 a month. The majority of people will buy the cheapest foods available so they can get the most food with that money, and that often means unhealthy food. Why? You can buy Ramen noodles for like 4 for $1. Banquet TV dinners are about $1. Meat is usually about $3-4 a pound. You can feed a family of 4 Ramen for less than $1, TV dinners for $4, or pork chops and mashed potatoes for closer to $10 (I don’t know exactly how much, but you’d have to buy pork, potatoes, milk, and butter, so while you wouldn’t be using it all for that meal, you’d have to spend about $20).

      Then add in the fact that a lot of poor people live in the middle of nowhere. My hometown had a grocery store, and it did have fresh produce, but it also cost more because it was so small. People usually drove 25 minutes to go to Walmart, but you can only do that so often (though most people worked near there, since the town itself had very few jobs). Many people live in places that don’t have grocery stores, and they may also not have a car. Some people are stuck picking up whatever limited foods are available at the corner gas station, which are almost always pre-packaged foods.

      Oh, and people living in poverty aren’t really known for overeating, on account of how they typically have just barely enough food to eat in the first place…

    • Eyelet

      August 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      “If you are making perfect food decisions and you don’t have a hormone or thyroid imbalance, you will not be overweight. It’s that simple. It’s impossible to eat perfectly and be overweight”

      If I understand you correctly, eating erfectly means eating nutrient rich food and taking in exactly the same number of calories as you spend. If someone is overwight and eats perfectly, they will not loose weight. Being in calorie defecit causes weight loss. Perfect eating is by definition not being in calorie deficit. Therefore, its possible to eat perfecty and overweight.

    • Tawrens

      September 3, 2013 at 11:53 am

      KC stop being proud of your ignorance. Food stamps or not you don’t have ‘access to more food.’ Food stamps is associated with poverty because the people who get them are poor!! They’re poor because they barely have any money and contrary to urban myth those on welfare and disability make what some guy who has never been poor or struggled for anything thought would be enough to survive. Most with food stamps buy unhealthy food cause it’s cheaper then healthy.

    • Tifanie

      August 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      I’m sorry, but you are making some very harsh generalizations. Not every person who is obese/overweight is that way by choice. You may like to think so, and you go right ahead and call it an addiction, compare it to smoking, whatever you want, but have you ever been stuck in a body that fights against you?
      Oh, and are you aware that the BMI is a piece of crap tool and not a true indicator of a person’s health (even though it seems to be used that way more and more often). No where in the calculation does it take into consideration a persons build or muscle mass.
      I know thin people who suffer from a huge variety of health issues because their body fights against them. You know, the stick thin people that can eat enough food to feed a family and never gain a pound. BMI’s might be great and on the outside, they may look like the picture of health, but look at their blood pressure, cholesterol, and more, and you might see a whole different picture.
      There are also obese people who look like they are probably horribly unhealthy, but have excellent cholesterol levels, perfect blood pressure readings, and eat a very healthy balanced diet.
      Yes, there are a lot of overweight people that with a change to their lifestyle and eating habits would lose the weight – but they choose not to make the effort. There are also plenty of people out there that eat healthy, exercise, and still can’t lose the weight because something is off in their body. You may think it is an excuse, but try walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.
      I am one of those people. I gained 60 pounds in 3 months because of a medication to try and get my thyroid to function properly. I gained another 30 pounds over the course of another 6 months. That’s 90 pounds in 9 months time. I didn’t CHOOSE to gain that weight! And I sure as heck didn’t gain it because of how I was eating either. I ended up weighing 260 at the time I got pregnant, and there was no way I was going to continue to mess around with medications during pregnancy. Luckily, my hormones/thyroid seem to have started operating at normal levels so I have only gained 8 pounds in the last 8 months of pregnancy. I’m praying that continues post baby and that I will be able to lose weight like a “normal” person. But I don’t know what will happen.
      Finding maternity clothes was a horrible experience. I lucked out and found a few pants in the plus size section of Motherhood and just went with tunic style shirts from Woman Within (way cheaper anyway). But I don’t think it is fair that I can’t find proper fitting clothes just because I carry extra weight. I don’t want to be overweight and I pray my child doesn’t get my medical issues to deal with. But it really sucks to hear people make so many generalizations about people who carry extra weight. Not everyone is overweight by choice.

    • Blueathena623

      August 23, 2013 at 9:23 pm

      Ok, I gotta let this go because I have an awesome book waiting, but one last thing:
      The problem with trying to shame people into doing anything, is that shame is isolating. People who are embarrassed try to avoid being in public. Know what is hard to do when you’re trying to avoid people? Enjoying a wide variety of exercise. Unless you are very rich or live someplace very deserted, if you isolate yourself you miss out on a lot of exercise activities. Do you know how many people avoid the gym because they are embarrassed? That’s sad. And that’s not even including more fun activities, like swimming at the beach or dancing in a club or even walking with a friend in a store as you pick out clothes.

    • Edify

      August 24, 2013 at 12:36 am

      Wait – you don’t want to put anyone down but 2 sentences earlier you said they were delusional?!?

    • Rachel Sea

      August 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      You are under the misapprehension that people who are overweight have diets less healthy than average, or that education makes very much difference. Neither of those things are true.

    • CloudySkies

      August 25, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      I’d much rather my birth mom had been fat/obese than a smoker. She ruined my health for life by smoking while pregnant with me. Oh and I was low birth weight. Much more unhealthy than being born fat.

      And try looking up food deserts when shooting your mouth off about poverty and obesity, which you clearly know nothing about it.

    • Rachel Sea

      August 23, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      Thresholds for underweight, normal, overweight, and obese have been dictated by insurance companies. They are medically meaningless.

    • AugustW

      August 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      Being overweight itself isn’t what will affect the baby, it’s the effects that being overweight can have. If you have good stats, blood pressure, cholesterol, you exercise so your heart is healthy and you actually have a good diet, I don’t think they extra weight has an effect on the baby, except for maybe being an extra layer of warmth?

  13. Andrea Rundell

    August 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Love this, Kate!

  14. Blueathena623

    August 23, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Lets put some numbers down — I’m 5’8. I was a FAT kid and teen, hitting my highest weight of 265 the first year of college. Thankfully (ha ha ha) my bipolar decided it was time to start up the crazy, developed an eating disorder, and got down to 135 by the next year. Getting that under control, I weighed 175 at my wedding. 175-180 is my dream weight because I look good and its easy to maintain.
    Anyways, was 190 when I got pregnant. Was 270 right before I delivered. I sobbed and sobbed the day I went over 265. I cried at many of my OB appointments because I was gaining weight so fast. Part of it was fluid (lost almost 30 lbs within two weeks after birth, and no, I had no eclampsia). Part of it was that I was off some of my medications, which meant I was exhausted and kinda depressed my whole pregnancy, and tired+depressed=snacking for me. Plus I just felt starving allll of the time. And my job suddenly went from pretty active to mostly sedentary. Not great combinations. And I craved greasy foods for the first time in my life, and you know what? I rolled with it. Probably would have gained less if I didn’t eat so much pizza.
    But my OB was so nice. Every time I cried she had the best sort of “shit happens, it will all be ok in the end” attitude.
    With an 18 month old, I’m at 194. Want to lose at least 10 more before trying for kid number two.

    • Blueathena623

      August 23, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      Meant to write more (cause I’m loquacious like that).
      I’m a fat mom. I will always be a fat mom. I’m also a mom who makes exercise an important part of my life (for physical and mental health) but I’m content with 35ish minutes 5 days a week. I eat a variety of foods, mostly healthy, although too much.
      If my son becomes Fat, I will treat it seriously, because bipolar runs in families and my weight is linked to my level of depression. But if he turns out fat, but generally happy and healthy, ehh. There are worse things in the world.

      And for me, the worst part of being fat and pregnant was waiting to “show”. At 8 months or so I “popped” and loved it. So jealous of my thin friends who we showing at 4 months.

    • JLH1986

      August 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      I love that you used loquacious! At my biggest (and I’m not a mom so no baby leftovers to cause my fat ass) I was 220, I’m 5’5″ I’m down to one 165 now and still healthy but decided eff it. I work out about 30-45 minutes 4 times a week and eat well most of the time. Eff everybody else. I’m too tired to do more! Good luck on baby #2 (when you’re ready).

    • MoD

      August 23, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      We are height and weight twins! I’m also 5’8″, weighed 190 when I got pregnant, and was just under 270 when I delivered! Within two weeks after delivering, I was down to just over 230. So. Much. Water.

      But, yeah, what the hell? Weight twins? Haha!

    • Blueathena623

      August 24, 2013 at 8:53 am

      Yay! Weight twins! And I bet you look fabulous 🙂

  15. Jessica

    August 23, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I was a size 4/6 when I became pregnant with my daughter. I gained about 30 lbs total. I am a swimmer and I swam throughout my pregnancy right up until the day before I delivered. Also, I had gestational diabetes! The (rude) nurse informed me over the phone that I “failed so bad they were skipping the three hour test and sending me right to counseling”. I am currently pregnant with my son, started about 5lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight from before my daughter, am 5 months along and have only gained 6 lbs. And…..again I have gestational diabetes. Aside from being 36, I have ZERO risk factors, and yet I have a double diagnosis. I am so sorry that you were treated disrespectfully by some medical professionals. It seems easy for them to forget that “risk factors” and “statistics” are derived from a numerically vast size of the population and as an individual patient it’s often irrelevant to your personal situation.

    As a side note, I have a cat named Duncan. He is the most awesome guy and the only regret I have about his name is that I chose it way before the thought of having a child was on my radar, and now it would be totally weird if I used it for my son haha.

    Best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy.

    • JLH1986

      August 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      Yep. Just like with the rest of the world who are not pregnant. Skinny does not mean healthy and fat doesn’t mean “unhealthy”. I’m probably what most would attempt to define as “thick”. But I eat well and exercise I have no health issues despite horrific genetics. My bestie? A freaking gorgeous skinny minny beanpole (think 5’10” and MAYBE 130, I’m 5’5″ and 165) she is borderline diabetic, has high cholesterol and blood pressure issues. People are floored by this because she is skinny she “must” be in good shape. Please, while I love her the only thing she does to maintain her shape is drink diet soda…by the 12 pack.

  16. Tara

    August 23, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Okay, I’m still laughing from “in between fatty”, and I totally get you on all those things. Unfortunately, my body responds to pregnancy by packing on the weight. Seriously, I had HG with this one, and even needed a permanent iv line because I was puking so much. But I still managed to gain 20 pounds in the first trimester. Good luck getting a doctor to believe that you’re vomiting 3-7 times a day when you’re a fatty. And when my gestational diabetes test came back negative I really wanted to call my OB and tell her to suck it for all the fat shaming she had done to me up until that point. I gained 60 lbs each with my first two pregnancies, so I thought I was doing pretty awesome when I made it to the third trimester this time with only a 33 lb weight gain. Not sure how much more I’ve gained since then, because I quit looking at the scale!

  17. AlexMMR

    August 23, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    I got pregnant when I was approximately 100lbs overweight. And that’s AFTER the IVF clinic made me diet like a mad woman to lose 20lbs while on the bloating hormones so I would be under a BMI of 40 when I hit egg retrieval. I got pregnant with twins.

    You wanna talk about maternity clothes shopping? I was Fatty McFatfat with a twin belly! I ended up at Value Village to find a few dresses to wear as shirts. I couldn’t fit in the booths at some restaurants. Now that was embarrassing.

    Just to make the rest of you feel better about yourselves, here’s a picture of Fatty McFatfat 3 days before giving birth at 35 weeks. I can only imagine how bad it would have been if I had gone to full term.

    • BDHA

      August 23, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      Honestly, I don’t think you look like a “fat” pregnant lady. I think you look like how most “normal” women would like if they had to undergo all the hormones usually associated with IVF and were pregnant with twins. That’s just my opinion, but based on the details you provided, you look pretty damn good in that picture.

    • AlexMMR

      August 23, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      Thank you.

      But I did experience a lot of the things this article mentions. No one ever tried to touch my pregnant belly. I think people really didn’t know if it was babies or cupcakes.

    • Eve Vawter

      August 24, 2013 at 4:39 am

      I agree with everyone else plus now I wanna have a cupcake baby 🙁

    • AugustW

      August 24, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      I don’t think I looked pregnant until the week before I had my daughter, and at that point I was already overdue.
      The biggest difference I’ve noticed when looking at others is….baby bellies are hard. They don’t jiggle. They also point kind of upwards until the end.

      Ironically I get asked now if I’m pregnant. A quick response of “nope, just fat!” shuts them up real quick.

    • Baricakes

      October 4, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      Hahaha! “Babies or cupcakes” I had to show this to my hubby because he’s brought an unusual amount of cupcakes into the house since the 2nd trimester started. My belly is apparently a combination of the two, and I am happily looking forward to nobody touching me inappropriately. 🙂 Thanks for the giggle!

    • chickadee

      August 24, 2013 at 12:42 am

      You look pretty awesome to me. You also look like you would be fun to hang out with. Congrats on the babies!

    • AugustW

      August 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      You look like a happy healthy mamma. I’ve seen bigger, and they didn’t have babies growing inside of them!
      Go you, mamma. 😀

    • Momma425

      August 24, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      You look beautiful!

    • Frances Locke

      December 10, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      You look beautiful. And that shade of green is really flattering too!

    • vera09

      October 17, 2014 at 10:10 pm

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  18. MoD

    August 23, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Oh my god…so number 5 for me. I went to get a haircut at 39 weeks pregnant, the girl cutting my hair asked if I had any kids. I told her nope, just the one in my belly. She goes “Oh, are you pregnant? I didn’t notice.”

    What the hell? I’m 39 goddamn weeks pregnant! Are you crazy?

    The thing is, I’m just on the big side of average. I weighed a lot for me at the end of my pregnancy (almost 270), but I’m usually 180 or 190 at 5’8″ and a size 12 or 14. I had a very obvious pregnant belly, or so I thought. How could someone not notice I was pregnant? But very, very few strangers ever commented on my belly.

    And the clothes were a pain in the ass for me, too. I was able to buy larges or extra larges for awhile, but those stopped fitting near the seventh or eighth month. Luckily I wasn’t working at that point. I lived in XXL Target yoga pants and stretched out hoodies. I rarely left the house. I didn’t even have proper shoes since my feet grew an extra size. It wasn’t like I couldn’t have bought some of these things…if I wanted to spend an arm and a leg on something I would only need for a couple months. In retrospect it’s kind of awesome I wasn’t working because I have no idea what I would have worn to work.

    And can we talk about nursing bras for large-breasted women? Why in the world are there so many A and B cup nursing bras? Realistically, who remains an A cup while breastfeeding? The biggest cup I could find in nursing bras is DD in the stores. That’s just dumb. I’m an I cup, for chrissake, and there are women with a lot bigger boobies than me out there. Thank god for Amazon.

    • Blueathena623

      August 24, 2013 at 9:13 am

      Haha, oh man, I feel ya. I got my teeth cleaned at 39 weeks and they were going to do x-rays. I said no because I was pregnant. The x-ray tech also said she hadn’t noticed. I also cried.

      I did work, and for most of my pregnancy I lived in a collection of maternity and non-maternity heavy jersey dresses and rotated cardigans. I later got some clothes at a maternity store and I was lucky that my Target did have plus sized maternity. It did kinda suck working, because I felt embarrassed that I pretty much wore every outfit I had every week. I had a few friends half-heatedly offer to let me borrow their clothes, but we both knew it was an empty gesture since I wouldn’t fit into their maternity clothes even pre-pregnant.

      However, here is where we differ — I’m small boobed but have a really wide rib cage. Even the XL and XXL nursing camis were too tight around my chest. I finally found two mini-camis in I don’t know how many X’s at Walmart, and ordered a few (two) special nursing bras, but they were way too big because apparently a high band size means you must have DD boobs.

    • Kate

      August 24, 2013 at 10:35 am

      Yep. Yep. I wrote this post a while back. I’m a grad student and my son was born in May on the first day of finals, so I spent pretty much all of spring semester on campus in maternity jeans, “boyfriend” cardigans from Target, and rotating the two maternity tops I had.

  19. alwaysmoving

    August 23, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Okay, so not about fat, but using a military cemetery photo as an illustration for a pity party is totally inappropriate. I’m not denigrating you in any way, but those that died for freedom and our country deserve more respect than to be used like a GIF from as movie. Add a military spouse and grandchild of a WWII Soldier, I am offended. Visit an American Battle Monuments cemetery sometime, and maybe you’ll see why it’s so wrong.

    • ElleJai

      August 24, 2013 at 1:05 am

      I believe Koa chooses most of the pictures so it may be more constructive to find out who made the choice before attacking. Albeit mildly, but it was still attacking.

  20. ElleJai

    August 24, 2013 at 1:10 am

    Yep, everything but life insurance happened to me too. Even the breastfeed to lose weight lecture.

  21. Renee J

    August 24, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Anybody remember in Father of the Bride II when mother and daughter got up to *gasp* 135 pounds while pregnant? And they were soooooo large, they couldn’t fit behind the steering wheel?

  22. AugustW

    August 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Because of really awful first trimester morning (and afternoon and evening) sickness, I “technically” only gained 1 lb during my pregnancy. I lost 20 lbs in the first trimester, and gained 21 lbs in the rest of the pregnancy.
    I was a big girl (still am, but working on that) so I heard all about high blood pressure and blah blah blah.
    One day my OB remarked “it’s like your body doesn’t know it’s overweight!” because I have consistently low blood pressure, excellent cholesterol levels and am in generally good health.
    I wish people didn’t always equate fat with bad health.
    Oh, and I had a 7 lbs 12 oz baby at 10 days overdue….no diabetes, and she is a tall, thin, beautiful and active almost 3-year-old now.

  23. Talija

    August 24, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    My Doctor sucked when I was pregnant with my son. I was just hovering between overweight and obese pre-pregnancy, and by 18 weeks had only gained 2.4lbs in total since my first appointment at 7 weeks. Which my doctor congratulated me on doing so so well at not putting on too much weight. 2 weeks later a scan diagnosed he was small for dates and there were problems with the blood flow through the cord. I bet if I’d been 100lbs pre pregnancy someone would have looked into my low weight gain sooner.

  24. Gangle

    August 26, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Ugh. Body stereotypes. Apart from discussing weight with your doc to make sure there are no issues or health problems, your weight, no matter if you are fat, thin or in-between, should not be an issue that anyone else should feel they have the right to discuss.

  25. WinifredFletcher

    August 26, 2013 at 7:52 am

    Basically In actual way woman should always follow the Precaution during the Pregancy period.

    http://www.prlog.org/12197637-how-to-download-youtube-videos-youtube-video-downloader.html

  26. StSpiggy

    August 26, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    I feel your pain. I was plus sized before I got pregnant, and now I am4.5 months pregnant with twins (so I look at least 6 months pregnant) and there is a dearth of cute, comfy maternity clothes. Considering that I’m having to wear 2XL clothes, and I’m nowhere near how big I’m going to get I have no idea where I’m going to get clothes in the third trimester. There are so many adorable maternity clothes out there and all I get is the boring, plain and/or mumu type clothing. I feel cheated. I did find some shirts that work at Target (at least for now) but they won’t last forever. It’s frustrating.

  27. Corinne Clay

    January 10, 2014 at 8:16 am

    This was so enlightening. I am so happy I ran into this post. Thank you a million times. It’s very reversing to know that you’re not alone.

  28. Rachel

    January 23, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    “It’s very confusing to be a woman who has been taught to be ashamed of her body in public (belly in particular) then suddenly be prompted to “show it off” for joyous, pregnant virtue.”

    I can totally relate. It’s good to know I’m not alone in feeling this way.

  29. CILLIAN'S&E'smama

    January 25, 2014 at 4:27 am

    Hi simply be is an online plus size store from the UK and they have maternity clothes as well.

  30. BiggerFatterPolitics

    June 7, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    How
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    People need to grow up and stop living to be offended but instead have a witty comeback. I OINK at them and smile.

  31. aenflex

    June 18, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Just a thought – you could lose weight. For yourself, for you child(ren).

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  33. Jessica N

    September 3, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    I just wanted to thank everyone for sharing. I am fat and 28 weeks. So now, instead of looking pregnant I look extra large. I also currently live in South Korea where the people are generally slender. I’m used to getting noticed as a foreigner but now it’s much worse with the, “hey, look at that really fat woman” not so inconspicuous nudges to friends.

    I am healthy and my baby is healthy, that’s the most important thing but sometimes the negativity just gets to me. Just reading all of your comments has helped me feel not so alone in ‘skinny land’.

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