Every pregnancy is different, but most pregnant ladies need the same stuff: clothing to cover their growing bodies, a bra that makes it easier to nurse a new baby, a safe and comfy way to carry babies around.
But as People of Size have no doubt already discovered, sometimes it feels like product manufacturers assume that every mom is average-sized. Hey, we offer it in small, medium and large, what else could you ask for? Well, stuff that fits us if we happen to range out of a size 14 or 16, specifically.
By the way? You should know that I don’t consider the following woman plus size.
None of the women pictured here are, sigh, nor are there bigger bodies in the slide show. I do apologize — I am not a photographer and PR photos of bigger bodies in the gear that will fit them simply do not exist (YET! I am hoping things will change!). Yes, I find it fabulously irritating too that even those who make gear to fit our bodies (I am a size 26) do not show them on plus size bodies, but tend to use skinny women or photograph their wares floating in mid-air. It drives me crazy too. Forgive me! I did my best, and these products are still phenomenally useful and will fit many if not most of you larger moms. Can we suspend our annoyance for a sec and move on?
With that in mind, here are 7 types of gear you might find comes in handy when you’re pregnant/nursing/raising your child. See the slideshow at the end for specifics on brands and sizing, and know that you’re not the only plus-sized mom out there, and there are plenty of products made to suit your specific needs.
1. Baby carrier: Though just a few years ago bigger moms were out of luck if they wanted a non-wrap carrier, these days manufacturers like Ergobaby, Moby, Beco, Onya and BabyHawk make structured carriers that generally handle waist measurements up to 54 or 57 inches. See the slideshow for specific brands that plus-size parents particularly like.
2. Breastfeeding comfort: Many of the things average-sized moms use during breastfeeding will work just fine for you: Nipple shields, nipple cream, ice packs and the like. A few supportive helpers that plus-sized moms may appreciate are breast support pillows (to hold up your heavy jugs while baby is attached) and a hands-free pumping bra.
3. Maternity clothing: Back when I was pregnant a decade ago, big mamas were lucky to find a pair of basic jeans to fit them. Now manufacturers have responded to the swelling (get it?) numbers of curvy moms. Major retailers likeMotherhood Maternity, JC Penney and Old Navy have plus-sized sections on their sites (though the offerings still trend towards cheap fabrics and ugly prints), and plus-sized manufacturers like Simply Be are beginning to make their own, more stylish dresses, pants and tops.
4. Nursing/maternity bras: Again, you larger ladies of today are so lucky! A decade ago I had to special-order a 2X nursing bra the exact color of a Band-Aid. Hey-aaaa, try wearing a milk-stained one of those things all day long and then pouncing on your husband at night.
These days, your nursing udders can be contained in absolutely magical plus-sized numbers from Dita Von Teese, Cake Lingerie, and Hotmilk Lingerie, both of which have plus-sized sections of their site (we wish you could shop by size though — get on that!). If you’re willing to order from the UK, Bravissimo, which makes lingerie, swimwear and sleepwear for women with cup sizes D-L, has stunning nursing bras with cup sizes up to a J (but band sizes only up to 40, bummer).
By the way, some of the cute numbers I’ve put in the slideshow only go up to a 40 band size like the above bra, which is not enough for many supersized moms. Lots of lingerie companies make bra extenders that you hook on to give you a bigger band. I like Braza brand, which offers a wide style for the thunderous jugs of the multi-hooked, and gets you up to 3 extra inches (most bra extenders only go 2 inches).
5. Helpful reaching products: Never has access to your extremities been so restricted. Use reach-y things to make difficult tasks like putting on your shoes or shaving your legs simpler. The slideshow has exact brand recommendations.
6. Belly band/belly support: Bigger bellies may be heavier and more uncomfortable to carry around. Give your body some loving support with a belly band or another supportive undergarment.
7. Easy-fold stroller: Even at the best of times (i.e. when not pregnant or recovering from birth or a C-section), some larger moms have trouble doing a lot of bending and folding. Choose a stroller that folds via one pull on a seat strap and your problem is solved.