When I fell pregnant, I was already on the plus size. Ok a fully fledged plus member at a British size 20-22 who already had a problem finding decent clothes outside the Asos Curve range. Add my already burgeoning belly to this (people exclaim at its size already and ask if I’m having twins… thanks) and the lack of maternity wear available and we have a problem, Houston. But, there are some pros, you just need to know where to look…
1. Bare that Bump!
The great thing I found with being pregnant is that your shape changes enormously. I went from someone who had excess baggage on a pear frame to someone with a ‘baby on board’ badge who was showing off a new family member. Ok my bump is bigger, ok my bump is nowhere as neat as other peoples’ and looked like I was just getting fatter for a while but its growing a life and I love it. Many woman feel self conscious that their bump just looks like weight gain but I say ‘ladies – show off yourself. You look great’. Gone are the days of hiding a bulge, I show it off proudly! So what if it’s big, it’s beautiful.
There are a lot of negative things to say about plus size maternity wear. Next are pretty decent and go up to a size 22 as do Dorothy Perkins. I’m living in these from next at the moment which are comfy and look great no matter your size and have definitely been worth the expense. They look great with most things and go really well with all my winter boots.
That being said, the largest size I’ve seen in Maternity wear has been 22 and that’s only been found at the two retailers mentioned. The other place is Yours but I tend to avoid as the quality of their clothes and design are 99.9% time enormously lacking for me. Asos go up to a size 20 which is great for tops, leggings and coats this winter but my pear shape just can’t accommodate the size 20 jean!
However, there is hope. You can still wear your own jeans relatively easily by using extenders and buying some belly bands to cover up your bump. Amazon sell a good line of varying styles of waist extenders and over the bump bands that you can easily make your own clothes last. The pluses of this of course are cost and escaping the limited availability of Maternity wear. Double win.
I have also found that a lot of my floaty tops are still looking great and an empire line is your very dear friend. They cover the bump (and the extender!!) without looking stretched and therefore giving far more options from my wardrobe than I could ever hope to have from shopping for a Maternity wardrobe – plus more money to spend on things for baby! Or in my case, bags. Oops.
3. Health Care
I freely admit that I had a lot of concerns and a few unpleasant experiences as a plus size mum to be. It can be hard when your health carers (midwives, doctors, consultants etc) make a big deal about your BMI and shape. Most of my scans state a restricted view due to ‘adiposity’ or ‘maternal habitus’ which basically means restricted due to a fat belly. I didn’t know what adiposity was when I went for my 12 week scan and felt very clever at my working it out through an episode of Dr Who only to realise the point of the statement. I was also immediately high risk due to my BMI so I have to have a lot of tests done and be more closely monitored. Bye bye any chance of a birthing centre…
That all being said which are some definite cons of the bedside manner of some people who work in what is quite frankly undervalued healthcare, there are some definite pros to this as well. I get to hear my baby’s heartbeat pretty darn regularly and the extra attention gives me a lot of regular reassurance into his well being. This outweighs a lot of the negativity of extra attention…
There are of course risks to being a larger lady when pregnant, don’t put on weight just to get the extra attention!!
So all in all – don’t despair ladies. Big is beautiful (along with everything else) and has it’s own positive experiences for you to look forward to.