Plus-Size and Pregnant

You know you're pregnant, your partner and family and friends know you're pregnant, but you might be worried that other people aren't able to tell. In fact, this can be one of the most upsetting parts of a plus-size pregnancy. You're getting bigger every day, but strangers just give you those dismissive or disgusted looks they reserve for heavy people. They don't have a clue that you're pregnant and don't usually walk around with a tummy this big.

But here's a secret: Every pregnancy goes through the invisible stage. Even the skinniest of skinny women who develop the cute basketball bellies go through periods where they are just thicker and bloated instead of adorably pregnant.

So how do you deal with invisible pregnancy syndrome? First, it's important to recognize and honor your pregnancy in your daily life so you're not relying on other people to provide the sense of joy you seek. Do things that affirm your pregnancy, like shopping for baby clothes, decorating the nursery and registering for your shower. Telling people you are pregnant can also make you feel better and put them at ease.

Here are some tactful ways to deliver the news:
-- You don't mind if I sit down, do you? I'm five months pregnant and get so tired sometimes.
-- I'm sorry to be in a hurry, but I've got to get to my OB appointment.
-- I'm trying to get all of these things done before my baby is born.
-- That's a beautiful baby! I'm due in September.
-- Would you like a piece of gum? I'm pregnant, and it seems to help with my nausea.
-- Yes, I do have an awful cold, but I'm expecting and my doctor won't let me take anything for it.

From the book Your Plus-Size Pregnancy: The Ultimate Guide for the Full-Figured Expectant Mom by Brette Sember. Copyright © 2005. Published by arrangement with Barricade Books, Inc.

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