From a very young age girls are taught they aren’t good enough.  These messages aren’t just perpetuated by the media.  Women, especially those who are overweight, are told their bodies are broken time and time again by healthcare providers.  This is especially the case for plus size women who are pregnant.  This is Hilary’s story

“You are too obese to give birth vaginally, so you will be having a C-section.” These are the first words I remember my OB-GYN saying to me. I was 5.5 weeks pregnant and weighed in at 211 lbs. I left his office stunned. As I drove home crying, the guilt washed over me. How could this be?
Hilary didn’t realize that she had options and had the right to seek a second opinion or fire her care provider. Hilary ended up having a c-section.    
There was a study done in 2013 that proved that shaming overweight people only made them gain weight and become less likely to receive routine medical care.  Our care providers work for us and it’s time to end this cycle of shame.    
Even with this evidence, stories of women being treated poorly by the medical community will continue to be shared until women are willing to stand up and demand compassionate care.  Sadly this usually doesn’t occur unless a woman has the confidence to find her voice.  Until a woman is able to find body love!  
I realized my body wasn’t broken when I gave birth naturally to my son on my knees.  Since that transformative experience I’ve become a childbirth educator and advocate for plus size women during pregnancy.  Women of all sizes have healthy pregnancies and positive birth experiences but there are some unique challenges plus size women face.  The main obstacle is finding a size friendly healthcare provider.   

I feel honored and excited to bring my knowledge and experiences to the Body Love Conference.  During my presentation we’ll have an open discussion as to why plus size women are at a much higher risk of having a c-section.  I’ll share my 3 keys to having a healthy plus size pregnancy and provide a list of questions to ask your care provider to find out if they are size friendly or not.  We’ll also talk about body love and ways to embrace your body during pregnancy and beyond!  
Don’t hope your care provider will treat you with dignity, expect it.  Your body isn’t broken.  Your body is amazing!

Jen McLellan is from the Plus Size Birth website and Plus Size Mommy Memoirs Facebook page. And I love her.

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