Understanding Plus Size Pregnancy

Plus size women should certainly understand the risk factors and issues involved in carrying a baby to term.  Certainly, we all want to be healthy and to be a normal weight. This is, however, very difficult for some women; it's important for plus size women to understand what to expect from a pregnancy and to know what complications can be involved for them during this time.

Clothes for Plus Size Pregnancy

Certainly, any overweight woman knows that it's often difficult to find clothing that is comfortable and stylish. This problem is even more evident while pregnant.  There are some plus size maternity stores, and you should look in these locations to find cute, comfortable clothing.  You deserve to feel and look great during this time.  Bras are often difficult to find as well, and nursing bras pose their own challenges for any nursing mom.  Try to find a specialty store that caters to plus size women so that you get the right undergarments to carry you through your pregnancy and nursing.

Complications for Plus Size Pregnancies

There are two main complications during pregnancy that are more pervasive for plus size women.  These are gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia.  Gestational diabetes is tested for during pregnancy, and it can usually be controlled once the doctor knows that you have it.  You'll have to be careful about what you eat during the pregnancy, which may be difficult, but it is certainly important for your health and the health of the baby.  You'll also be asked to exercise.  You may have to have daily blood glucose testing done and insulin injections.  Having this treatment helps you to lower your chance of Cesarean section, since untreated babies are usually very large in size and often have to be delivered through Cesarean means.  Untreated babies are also more prone to obesity and other complications in their own lives.

More Miscarriages for Plus Size Women?

Some plus size women also worry that their larger size puts them at more risk for miscarrying.  Extra weight does not, in itself, lead to more miscarriages.  However, PCOS is a common problem in overweight women, and this complication does increase the chances of pregnancy loss.  Hormonal imbalances with elevated levels of LH and testosterone are both linked to miscarriages.  Insulin issues are also more common in larger women, and these imbalances can also lead to miscarriages.  There are treatments for all of these issues, and it's very important to discuss these factors with your doctor to help to reduce the risks.

Twin Luck

Interestingly, one other factor that's important to know about plus size women and pregnancy is the chance of having twins.  Researchers have discovered that women who have a pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) of over 30 are much more likely to have fraternal twins than are women who lower BMI levels.  This research was reported in the March 2005 issue of the Obstetrics and Gynecology journal.  Fraternal twins are ones that are formed from two separate eggs and sperm.  This has been an interesting finding that researchers intend to continue to study.

Certainly, if you are able to decrease your weight before becoming pregnant, and can keep your weight at a steady level throughout your pregnancy, you may experience less complications and risks.  In general, however, plus size women have every reason to assume that they can carry a healthy baby to term and enjoy all of the benefits of pregnancy and motherhood that others enjoy!

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