Getting pregnant in a fat body

Here are tips for how to cope with getting pregnant in a fat body.

Weight loss is heralded as the gold standard treatment for anyone in a fat body who wants to get pregnant (or any other ailment for that matter!).

Even if you are *only thinking about* growing your family, you likely won’t have escaped the idea that somehow your weight will be a problem for getting pregnant, being pregnant and becoming a parent.

This pressure to lose weight and judgement about our bodies can lead to difficult conversations with our healthcare providers, if we ever get through the door.

It’s so common to put off seeing your doctor due to experiences of feeling judged and shamed in the doctor’s office. You just *know* the conversation is going to focus on your weight, so why even bother right?

No matter what your body size, you are worthy of appropriate and respectful care. So how can you go about getting that care and how can you support yourself when things get difficult?


Getting respectful care

Exercise your right to choose your healthcare professionals

Depending on where you live and how you access healthcare, you will hopefully have some choice about which healthcare professionals you can see. If you are able to choose, ask questions beforehand about their experience treating people in bigger bodies and any BMI/weight restrictions they have. You can check the HAES expert directory for local providers who are fat friendly. Ask any friends you have in bigger bodies for their recommendations too.


Find a support person

Having someone on your side is such an important tool when you are having difficult conversations. Do you have a partner or friend who would be happy to come to appointments with you and support you? Do you have someone on your healthcare team, like a dietitian or coach, who is on your side and able to help you to prepare for appointments?


Learn how to advocate for your health

Advocating for your health may mean that you have to be difficult!

Decide what you want the outcome of your appointment to be and go into the appointment prepared to back up your request with evidence.

If you are able, book your appointment when you’ll feel your best, have the most energy, be able to get support and be able to rest afterwards.

Set your boundaries at the beginning of your appointment. Think about if you want to be weighed, if you want to discuss weight or diet. Yes, these are choices and you can decline to be weighed or to discuss weight. Decide what is and isn’t ok for you and be clear with them about that.

For any tests or treatment they recommend, ask for the evidence that supports it, ask for the risks and benefits and any alternatives. Having ALL this information means you can make an informed decision about your health. It’s your body and it’s your choice.

If they aren’t forthcoming with ideas, ask what they would recommend for someone in a smaller body and ask for that.

If they say no to any of your requests, ask them to document that in your file and ask to see they have done so. This holds that doctor to a level of accountability and often this may sway doctors to providing the test

Don’t be afraid to ask difficult questions and be a difficult patient. It’s your right to get this care.

Getting pregnant in a fat body

Coping strategies for when things get hard

Relearn how to trust your body.

Your body is not broken. It is not betraying you. It’s doing the best it can to keep you alive and well. The culture we live in feeds us the idea that we can’t trust our hunger, our tiredness that we’ve got to push through, hustle, work hard and play harder!

You and your body are both on the same side. When you start listening to what your body needs and reacting to those needs, you are able to support your health and well-being much more easily.


Find a support network.

Finding others who are going through the same thing can make such a difference to your mental health. You are able to share similar experiences and know that you are not alone. You can ask questions from others who you know will get it and will have experience to share with you about how to get through it. There are so many Facebook groups and online communities available now. Find one that is supportive and filled with others who are going through what you are right now.


Forgive your body.

We can hold so much anger and resentment towards our bodies when we feel they have failed us. Maybe you’ve been told your hormones are unbalanced or that you’re anxious or depressed. Maybe you’ve tried for years to make your body smaller but it hasn’t done what it was told to do. Whatever decisions you have made for your body and whatever way your body has responded, forgive it. You were doing what you thought was best at the time. Your body was doing its best to keep you alive. Forgive your body and focus on ways you can take the best care of it with what you know now.


Be gentle with yourself.

Advocating for yourself is hard. It’s work we should not have to do. It’s ok to cry during appointments. It’s ok to forget to say things or mess up the argument you want to make. Treat yourself with kindness and do the best you can in that moment.

You’ve got this lovely.

fat and pregnantNicola Salmon is a fat-positive and feminist fertility coach and author of “Fat and Fertile”. She advocates for change in how fat people are treated whilst accessing help with their fertility. Nicola supports fat people who want to get pregnant using her unique FAT+ve fertility framework to find their own version of health without diets, advocate for their bodies, relearn how to trust their body and believe in their ability to get pregnant in their current body. Find out more about her work at or


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