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  • Writer's pictureMidwife Pip

Plus Size Pregnancy

Updated: Jan 2

Midwife Pip Podcast Episode 87.

High BMI, Plus size, Obese, High Risk … all labels you may have heard or being told

in pregnancy. How does a plus size pregnancy alter your care, should it? What are

the possible risks and what can you do to ensure a supported, positive and

empowered pregnancy and birth regardless of your body’s size.

Listen HERE

Plus Size Pregnancy

BMI or weight are sensitive topics and add pregnancy into the mix and the

conversation can become challenging perhaps even taboo in nature and the waters

get muddied. I think it is about time we ditched the shame for body size in pregnancy

and empowered women to embrace a healthy and confident journey to motherhood.

Plus Size Pregnancy Midwife Pip Podcast

Guidelines on Weight Gain in Pregnancy:

First up- let’s be clear on weight gain in pregnancy -the amount of weight gained is

individual to each woman and is dependent on many factors including BMI prior to

pregnancy, activity level, pregnancy variations such as multiple pregnancy and co-

morbidities. There is no exact science to this topic and no robust evidence to really

provide much insight.

However, there is some suggestion that women who are in a normal healthy weight

range may gain on average between 25 and 35 pounds (11-15.75kg). Women who

are underweight prior to pregnancy may gain more and women who are overweight

or obese prior to pregnancy may gain less.

What does the Weight Gain breakdown look like?

This can be broken down to be conceptualised to those who may find this an

overwhelming change:

o Your baby= 7 1/2 pounds by the end of pregnancy

o The placenta = 1 1/2 pounds

o The uterus = 2 pounds

o Increased blood volume = 4 pounds

o Increased fluid in the body = 4 pounds

o Breast volume increase= 2 pounds

o Amniotic fluid = 2 pounds

o Storage of protein, fat, and other nutrients= 7 pounds

For many women gaining weight can be daunting - but you are growing a new

human being inside of you, every single day your body is performing miracles.

Therefore, the concept of restricting your energy intake or allowing a number on a

scale to dictate anything to you is unhelpful. Remember - You are strong,

empowered and on your precious journey to motherhood and let’s focus time and

energy on wellness instead.

Why am I offered extra monitoring and appointments because of my BMI in Pregnancy?

If you are plus size, you will be offered some additional screening and appointments

during your pregnancy, and this is because a raised BMI does increase the chance

of certain conditions such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure however it

is important to remember the overall risk remains low and most women have an

uncomplicated pregnancy and birth experience.

How can I optimise the health of myself and my baby during Pregnancy?

The great thing about pregnancy is it is a powerful time to focus on your nutrition and

embrace some daily movement, not only does it help reduce those elevated risks but

also comes with a whole heap of benefits for you and your baby. In fact, a mother’s

diet in pregnancy can influence their future child’s taste preference as they can taste

the foods you eat in the amniotic fluid and supports your child’s gut microbiome

which has a powerful influence on their immune system, risk of allergy, asthma,

eczema and much more.

I really hope that a take home note is to focus on a nourishing, nutrient rich

and varied diet in your pregnancy over body size, shape or numbers on the

scale. To understand more about foods to boost you and your baby’s health

during pregnancy and the importance of omega 3 fatty acids during this time

For more on ‘Plus Size Pregnancy‘ listen to Midwife Pip Podcast Episode 87 HERE.

Available on all Podcast Platforms.

'On this weeks episode I am joined by a specialist plus size pregnancy midwife, Alice

Keely, with 15 year’s experience working with plus size pregnancy she is here to

give such holistic and supportive advice and information which is really lacking in this


with love from Midwife Pip

p.s. have you checked out Midwife Pips Courses

The Author: Midwife Pip

Midwife Pip

Pip is a Mum, Podcaster and practicing Midwife in the UK, currently working as a Delivery Suite Sister she has a wealth of experience supporting parents-to-be through all aspects of pregnancy, birth and the postpartum. Pip has trained and worked in some of the leading maternity units, has completed a master's programme and is passionate about all aspects of women's health and wellness.

Don't forget to follow Midwife Pip on social media and SUBSCRIBE to her Midwife Pip Podcast:

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