372-Fat & Pregnant with Michelle Mayefske

by | Aug 31, 2023 | 0 comments

Fat & Pregnant

Fat and Pregnant

Fat and Pregnant with Michelle Mayefske author of the Fat Birth Book.

This episode is an interview talking about confident, strong and empowered pregnancy at any size

Michelle Mayefske is a certified birth and postpartum doula, childbirth educator, fat activist and author.She has made it her mission to change the way people approach pregnancy and birth with an anti-diet approach. 

Through her teaching and social media networks, she seeks to empower and educate plus size expecting parents-and their birth partners-so they may seek the positive birth they want and deserve.

What you’ll learn listening to this episode on fat and pregnant:

  • How diet culture impacts pregnancy and birth. 
  • How people experience weight stigmatizing care during their pregnancy. 
  • How can people practice body respect/acceptance during pregnancy.
  • Training & Certification for birth professional – size inclusive 

Mentioned in the show: 

Undiet Your Life Program

Non-Diet Coaching Certification

Connect with our guest:

Website – Michelle Mayefske

Instagram – Michelle Mayefske

Facebook – Michelle Mayefske


Going Beyond The Food Show-Episode 372-Fat & Pregnant with Michelle Mayefske


We're on. Welcome to the show, Michelle. Thank you for having me. I'm so excited to be here. I'm excited to meet you because Michelle is one of those person that I've Apparently, we've known each other for three years, but only one way. So, um, and this is the joy of having a podcast that's been around for a while is finally meeting my listeners.

And Michelle has a fantastic stories. And that's the reason why she's on the podcast. We're going to talk about. Being fat and pregnant and all the things that can come alongside to that, but I want you to share the story You started telling me when we started this interview about how you heard my voice and my message for the first time Do you mind sharing that for the listeners?

Absolutely. So I was postpartum. I'm a mom of five living in Ireland and I was trying to practice what I preach, which is relax, rest. You don't have to jump into all the things that you want to after having a baby. So I was enjoying my time reading, looking up different resources, scrolling through social media on occasion.

And there was a. There was a person, someone who's obviously interested in fat liberation and anti diet work, and they were talking about body positivity and body neutrality. And I had never heard those 2 terms side by side and your. Podcast whatever episode that was because now I don't even remember at this point was something that was linked and it was one of those things where I bookmarked it because I was just thought I have to listen to this.

I have no idea what this actually means, but I need to listen and I put my baby. And to the stroller, we went for a walk, we went up to the park, and she was at that age where she can sit in a swing, and I remember having my headphones on, pushing her in this swing, tears streaming down my face, in the middle of this park, on a cloudy afternoon.

And it was... There was a quote from that podcast that I ended up putting in my book, Fat Birth, because it obviously moved me at that time, and it was something I needed to hear. Because up until that point, the books I'd been reading and so many of the other resources were chatting about body positivity, and I really did not understand the difference at that time.

So it was like a huge sigh of relief, if I'm being quite honest, to just know that. You don't have, you don't ever have to get to the point of loving your body that you can be working on accepting what it is that you see and feeling, having these really neutral feelings about your body and that's okay too and it's not, it's valid.

was a big thing that I took away from it. So yes, that is how we met. I've been listening on and off ever since, dipping in and dipping out when I have, when I have the time. Usually I'm driving in the car, but yes. So, that was my introduction to you. It's nice to put a face and nice to meet you and I want you to help us understand, because that's your specialty, how diet culture, and we can even extend to wellness culture, um, plays into pregnancy and birth.

I have a lot of listeners that have had children or want to have children. And not enough people talk about diet culture from that perspective. Let me open the interview with this. How does diet culture impact pregnancy and birth? I think diet culture is a perfect primer. In getting people to feel really compliant within maternity culture, because diet culture essentially tells us that we're, we're doing something wrong.

We definitely definitely should be if we're not a small person, we should be, or we should be working towards that as a goal and. I truly believe it can create this mistrust within ourselves because if you are a fat person or a plus size person, however you identify, we're told, we're given these beliefs and these messages over and over that you're not doing the right things.

your fat because you aren't eating a certain way, you aren't moving your body a certain way, you're making all the wrong choices. You definitely shouldn't trust your hunger cues because you can't trust your body. And then what do you do? The, the solution for that is then here are all these experts, all these people who are going to tell you how to eat, who are going to tell you how to count calories.

And they're the real experts because you just don't know your body that well. And that completely transitions into maternity care, where, where we have all these really scary, what I would say, inaccurate depictions of birth and the maternity system, which really is focused on efficiency and productivity.

And let's face it, income, revenue, it is a business that if, what If that mistrust of your body continues, what do you then do you turn to the experts, the doctors, the nurses, the midwives, whoever it is, who then says, I know your body better than you do. I know what it is that you need to do for your birth.

And the reason this is problematic is because it reinforces this idea of compliance that we shouldn't be questioning anything. And the. The reason I have a problem with this. I think this matters is because we now have a maternity system in crisis where we have so many people experiencing birth trauma.

It's up to at the highest is 45% of people are leaving their births, feeling unheard, feeling disrespected, feeling like they weren't at the center of their own care like they did not matter. And this is. Extremely problematic. We have more higher intervention rates than ever before. These intervention rates that that we are told are necessary for life saving measure measures, which they are, but now we've gotten to a point where these interventions are now just being recommended routinely because they're convenient.

Or they make more money. Or you won't be in the hospital as long. Because again, that's part of the efficiency productivity is kind of let's get people in and out. And there's no individuality there. And there's a real lack of trust. So I think diet culture and maternity culture, if you put them side by side, there's a lot of similarities.

I love this, like, compliancy. I never thought about it this way. Never. And probably because I don't have any children. So I never, like, lived the experience of being pregnant. But it is a mindset. So if you're compliant with every other part of your life, obviously you will continue to seek compliancy when it comes to pregnancy and birth.

Makes so much sense. Yeah. This kind of good girl, good girl behavior of, I don't want to disappoint anybody. I don't want to ruffle any feathers. I don't like confrontation. So I'm just going to do everything that they tell me. Where, I mean, it's, it's completely fine. I'm all about bodily autonomy. If you want to do everything that is recommended for you, absolutely go ahead.

The problem is, is we're not creating any space where people can actually ask questions or they can take a step back and say, hold on a second. Why are 60% of people going to this hospital having a cesarean? Why, why are, why are 50% of people being induced? when labor is started with medications versus waiting for spontaneous birth.

So there are so many scary similarities. So this, this is an, I see clients from all different types of backgrounds where they may be plus size. They may not, they may have struggled with body image or they may have dieted during their, their lifetime so far. And A lot of people, this is not something that they even think about, especially, you know, it's when they become pregnant and then they start and then you encourage them to take a look at the maternity system, then they start to have more questions, but it can take a while for people to even get to that point if they ever do.

So, I have a question then for you. What you're saying, in a way, is that if we choose to not be compliant, then we should be asking a lot more questions, and we have options in both our pregnancy and our birthing process. We don't have to obey all that is being offered to us. Is that correct? Correct. It's, it's.

Looking inward and even accepting like I'm the only person who's been living in this body for this length of time. I'm the expert on my body. Just like I know when I'm hungry. I know when I'm full. I know what movement feels good. Hey, I also know. whether I want to have extra ultrasounds. I also know whether I want to have additional blood tests or, you know, one of the, one of the things that can come up for plus size folks, especially during pregnancy, is they may be treated like a And I'm using air quotes here, high risk patient.

Yes, I heard that a lot, by the way. Yes, there's definitely this weight equals complications. Having a higher weight equals complications risks. It can be a lot of fear based conversations. What I encourage people to do is just. Take a step back and I have this really I'm going to share this with you because at your listeners because I feel like this should be shared in elementary school, you know, grade school kids, this acronym brain.

So whenever you're making a decision about pregnancy or birth. Use your brain. And B stands for what are the potential benefits? If this test or procedure is being recommended, well, what are, number one, what is it that you're recommending, right? If this is a blood test or if this is some sort of invasive procedure, what is, what actually needs to be done?

Why are we doing it? So what are those potential benefits? And even going a step further, how likely is it that It's going to work. And then R is what are the potential risks? There's potential risks for everything, right? Walking outside your door, getting into a car. There are risks to everything. So, and then weighing up the potential benefits, the potential risks in the short term and the long term.

A stands for alternatives. Because there's always an alternative, even if that alternative, you know, it comes up and you're like, I don't know why anybody on this planet would choose that there is someone there's someone who would that would feel right for them. And I is intuition so that comes into again knowing yourself trusting yourself what feels good for me.

And n stands for now and nothing. So I always like to remind people that doing nothing. is an option. If you have a doctor who says, okay, you've been in labor for a really long time, we need to do A or B. C, which is nothing, is usually left off the table. So usually it's an option. It's always an option. And now is, do I need to make a decision about this?

Right now, and in the vast, if it's during pregnancy, most people are going to have some time. 99% of the time, you're going to have some time to think about it. And that can really be helpful. If you are someone who's a people pleaser, and you're 1 of those people who's more likely to smile and nod and agree because you don't want to upset anybody.

But then you go home. And you think, oh, I don't know why. I don't know why I agreed to this. I don't know why. That's me. That's, I'm definitely, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm in recovery, but I'm definitely moving away from my people pleasing tendencies. So, and even in labor, I support people in labor. There has not been a single situation in five years where somebody had to give an answer immediately.

They always had a couple minutes to ask questions, think about it, and come back. So, this is, and this is really popular within the birth world, this is nowhere, this is not something I created, but It is a process that I teach people who are pregnant and whoever's supporting them in labor because these things are going to come up and it might be something unexpected.

So to have a tool that you can pull out and say, hold on a 2nd, we just these are the things we need to think about going forward. I love this because it's really specific. To our people listening to this, when you talk about people pleaser, that's one of the side effects of that culture, right? We get validation from pleasing other people, but you said something and I want to talk about weight stigmatization and care because you talked about this whole ideology that as soon as you're plus size or higher weight, you're automatically high risk.

A, is that true? And B, how are other ways where weight stigma comes in during pregnancy and birth? So being someone with a high, and we all know BMI is problematic for one, so I always like to start with that, highly problematic, like in, in the United States, for example, you have the American College of gynecologists and obstetricians, they don't give a specific BMI that would classify someone as being high risk.

And every single country is different. And some explicitly will say a certain BMI, some won't. But what I have found is a vast majority of people, when they go to their first appointment, their height and weight is taken. And I talk to people about, hey, you don't have to be weighed if you don't want to. So there's advocacy bits and pieces that I inform people on.

But when you go to that first appointment, as soon as they calculate your BMI, The vast majority of providers are going to they may not tell you, but it might be put into your chart that this person is now a is now a complicated case or more likely to experience different complications. And the reality is.

Is that yes, plus size people are more likely to develop things like gestational hypertension, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, which can then lead to eclampsia, which is serious, and they're more likely to experience gestational diabetes, and there are other things, but this. Is what I tell everyone. We don't actually know from the research if people develop are more likely to develop those conditions because of their weight or not.

It's the whole causation versus correlation. Right? Exactly. And I'm a big, I would argue. That if we have plus size folks who have experienced really awful care during their life, they've gone to different medical professionals, they may be already feeling like these micro aggressions related to our weight, right?

If we have this accumulation of negative experiences, or some would even say traumatic experiences, what does that do to our stress hormones? Which then has implications for our hormones, which then has implications for all of the things I just listed. High blood pressure. So that's where the question is, is, you know, is it because, is it because of their weight?

Is it because of something else? And so I always tell people, for example, if somebody goes to their doctor and their doctor says, and this is what, I call and many other professionals would call a relative risk if their doctor says, hey, you're 4 times more likely to develop gestational diabetes just because of your size.

What does that tell you? Not a whole lot. Four times more likely. But what is the actual number? Right? So it's comparing a lower BMI group to higher BMI group. This is the absolute risk. So the actual numbers is somebody who has a lower BMI. They have a 6. 7% chance of developing gestational diabetes. And then the highest BMI group, which is Anything over 40 has a 20% likelihood.

So, about 3 to 4 times. But then we have to look at how is that being presented. You have a 20% chance of developing gestational diabetes. You also have an 80% chance of not developing gestational diabetes. And what's often left off the table is a conversation about hey, gestational diabetes actually isn't that big of a deal.

It's something that can be managed. Doesn't mean you or your baby are going to have problems. And there are things you can do like reducing your stress levels or getting in some movement where you get your heart pumping a few times a week and you reduce the likelihood. So that is something Those conversations are very typical, but there absolutely can be more serious and more awful cases of experiencing weight stigma.

So there, there has been research on this, thankfully, and it only came out within the last three years. There's been a couple studies looking at weight stigma during pregnancy, and they found that people were more likely to have disrespectful comments, such as, I can't believe you actually got pregnant at your size.

Yeah, or how could you do this to your baby? So these beliefs that you're a bad person or a bad mom just for getting pregnant because of your size and you know, other things like a provider saying. If, if you go in and say, this is, this is what I envisioned for my birth, you know, this is what I'm hoping will happen.

Of course, I know there's some unpredictability, but this, these are the things that are important to me to then have that provider turn around and say, well, actually, this is what we're going to do. We're going to do A, B, C, D. You're not going to create a birth plan, or you're not going to have any room for decision making here.

So, it can present, yes, yes, because you're now fat and you're high risk. And this is where I think a lot of the weight bias or anti fat bias comes in is providers also treating plus size folks Like a risk that has to be managed. You lose your autonomy to decide how you want your birth because you're quote unquote fat.

Yes. Yes. Now, there are wonderful providers out there. I don't want to forget about them. This isn't a guarantee, but when I started my Instagram and I was pretty much documenting my own plus size pregnancy, I then started having people come in and be like, have you ever experienced this? Or did your doctor say this to you?

Or, you know, the The amount of people that I had come to me with these really horrible, horrible situations was shocking, you know, like people leaving their ultrasound, which is supposed to be a wonderful, joyful experience, right? Where you get to hear your baby's heartbeat and see them. And that tech is pressing down so hard that they leave in pain with bruises with their like the top layer of their skin like in an abrasion from it dragging and it's just like all of this is unacceptable and we need to be talking about it because there are so many people experiencing and they may feel Shame or embarrassment and I always turn that around and say you have nothing to be embarrassed about the person that did this to you or said this to you.

That's what's unacceptable. So I try to educate. Every way I educate people of all sizes, but if somebody is plus size, and I know that they've had negative experiences. One of the first things I do is educate them on this is what weight stigma may look like in maternity care because they may not be aware of that.

Well, they may think it's normal because of their weight. And that's what I get. I don't coach on pregnancy, but I, I get people say, well, this is what should happen, isn't it? I'm like, I don't think so. It's cool. Find somebody who knows, but I don't think so. Right? Exactly. Exactly. And that's, that's what I, that's what ends up in my inbox is this is what happened to me.

Is this normal? And most of the time, the answer is no, like the average, a really good example of this is. Being tested for gestational diabetes. Yeah, when you're around 28 weeks pregnant if you're plus size and you're done and you and you Quote unquote past that like it's not a test like an exam But if you if your blood sugar levels were fine at 28 weeks, and then your doctor is saying at 34 weeks 38 weeks that you need to keep doing this test That's weight stigma.

That's them That is their belief system saying you are going to develop this at some time because you're a fat person or someone who is plus size and pregnant being told. Oh, no, no, no, no. You're not being classed as high risk. And then from 32 weeks, they're being told that they have to do these procedures or they're called non stress test.

They're being told from 32 weeks, twice a week, they have to go into the hospital and have all of these tests done and. It can create additional fear in people and a lot of times they're just confused. Like, hey, everything's going really well with my pregnancy. Why are all these tests being done? And are they normal?

So let me ask you this because I'm a coach. That's what my specialty is, right? I coach people on integrating peaceful eating and body neutrality. Is that what you do, is helping people navigate their pregnancy? Safely with autonomy as a fat person. Yes, absolutely. So when people contact me, I have, and now that I'm open about, I think now that I'm, I, when I used to say that I was a birth and postpartum doula, I had not niched down.

I was like anybody and everybody of course I'll offer support and I still do that for anyone and everyone. But so much of my passion now lies with plus size expecting parents because I know how they're treated differently. And they actually are more likely to experience different interventions simply.

because they're a plus size person. And I think that has everything to do with provider bias and nothing to do with their actual body size. So when people contact me, they, they really are looking for someone who, whether we want to call it a coach or a guide, someone who can help them navigate the terrain of pregnancy.

When. They're, they want to have, obviously, everybody cares about their baby. Everybody wants to have a safe experience. So we talk about like, what does maternity culture look like? How do providers have different attitudes? What is weight stigma and how might that crop up in your pregnancy? And then what can you do about it?

If you're working with a provider. Who clearly is weight biased and maybe you can't change providers because in an ideal world, we would just get out of there and choose somebody else. Yeah, but if you're in public care, it doesn't work like that. Like Canada, you can't just do that. Yeah, exactly. So some, and I'm in, I'm originally from the United States, but now I'm in Ireland.

So I've, I've seen the private sector of health and the public. So, yeah, we talk about how to set boundaries. how to work with a provider that you really don't connect with or who clearly is viewing your body as some sort of risk. And then we talk about like birth, what's important to you, and how can you stack the odds in your favor of having that type of experience.

With the knowledge that you still have to be open minded, there may be some decisions that you have to make that you wish you wouldn't have, but what's really important to me is that people leave that experience with their autonomy intact. So even if things are challenging, even if things are difficult, you come out the other side and go, you know what, Michelle, what was the shit show?

Everything that went wrong. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong, but I still felt listened to. I still felt like I was making the decisions, and I still knew how to ask questions to make sure I was involved every step of the way. And that's the most important thing to me, and I say that to everybody.

I'm lovingly saying this. I don't care what you decide. Just so long as it feels good for you. As long as you're in a position of choice, that's what quality decision is. As long as you know you have a choice, you can choose to do all the tests, but from a place of autonomy, not a place of compliance.

Exactly. Exactly. You, I was, I was scrolling through your Instagram and I want to ask you this, because I think that was a brilliant post and I want to talk about this. It said, being nice doesn't make you inclusive. And I know there's a lot of professionals listening to this podcast. And they want to do the good thing.

They want to, like, be fair to everyone and be inclusive. But tell me why being nice doesn't make you weight inclusive. And what should we do instead? The reason I posted that was because this is one of the things. I hear after somebody has come to me after they've had a negative experience, they've got to know their doctor.

They've seen them multiple times. Their doctor has always been smiling and nodding, saying all the right things. And then they go into labor and that doctor who had been smiling and nodding suddenly is saying all the wrong things and trying to control that experience. And it's one of those unfortunate situations.

And I always tell people that you need to explore further, right, when you get a provider or you're looking that you can ask more. This is why you prepare for any scenario for starters, right, is if you're in a public system, sometimes. Your doctor is on call and you may end up with somebody else, but When I share this about birth professionals and any type of professional really, being nice does not mean that you are inclusive.

Welcoming people to your program and saying everybody's welcome does not make you an inclusive coach or guide or provider or educator. Because you actually have to do the work yourself to unpack and unearth the biases that you have. And... It can, it can be a very emotional, very difficult journey to do, and even Someone like me who's plus size and has, you know, my weight has gone up and down my whole life and it's been up, it's been up for the most part of my life.

That doesn't mean that I don't have some level of anti fat bias. That doesn't mean that I can walk around going unchecked because there will be times when I'll watch something or I'll say something. And I take a breath and I go, Oh, Michelle. That was coming from the past, wasn't it? Some belief that I'm now has now become external.

You know, it's been unconscious, my subconscious for however long. So I really believe that everybody has to do this work, that we have to look at what biases we do have and what it absolutely being nice. is not enough. If you're educating folks, you actually have to consider what is important to them, not what's important to you, which is being nice and getting along with everybody.

What is important to them? What is the information that they need to know to have a better experience or more autonomous experience? And thinking about like for a birth professional, for example, one of the things I would say is if you're educating folks in person, What are the chairs in that room look like?

What is the equipment in that room look like? Is it suitable for any type of body that's going to walk through the door? What about your materials? Are you using stigmatizing language? Is there any representation in your materials? Are you, if someone's educating a big group of expecting parents, have you included anything about weight bias in your materials, even if you have 10 couples and there's one person who's plus size?

So it goes so much deeper than just having a smile and treating people with respect on the surface. You really have to think about the content that you share and if you really are thinking about their needs and ensuring that they're met. And I'm gonna, I'm gonna share a personal example, not about pregnancy, but about medical.

A doctor, my physician, who was being nice, but she had never thought about the impact of placing her table for a gynecology exam with fat people, which is me. Like, we have to spread our legs differently and wider. And the table was right against the wall. I had to tell her, like, This is not going to work for me.

And she felt terrible that I could not sit properly on the table, but because she had not examined. Her environment ahead of time, because she wasn't aware of her own bias, she thought everybody spreads their like the same way. That's what you mean, or not having the proper cough for blood pressure. Yes.

Yes. Right? That happens to me every, now I'm at the point where I go for blood pressure and I say. Where's the bigger cuff like I just don't don't let them put the small cuff. I mean, it's just I need the big cuff But people don't mean some people don't mean arm. They just don't think about it. Is that what you mean?

exactly exactly and I was I went through a training recently where One of the questions they they threw out was yes, you need to think about your intent My intent is to be nice, is to be respectful, but what impact are you having? Being nice is not enough. The impact is almost zero. Because anybody can be nice.

And I've had I've had clients who, you know, have worked with doctors who on the surface were very, very nice, appeared very, very respectful. And then when they're very close to giving birth, that's when all this weight biased information comes out. Or they realize that their doctor, it's sometimes, you know, whether we want to call it a bait and switch or not, sometimes it is completely unintentional.

But I also think there are times when it's very intentional. Well, I think if you look at the nervous system, when people are in a high state of Like activation, giving birth, that's when all the bias will come, like there's no more filter to be nice. It just comes out. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And there's no time.

Yeah, there's no filter. There's no time in those situations. I'll, I'll say this and I'd love to have your opinion on this. So I'll come back to my example of the table placement in the cuff. When I went to the next appointment, the table was moved and the cuff was there. Right. So she clearly didn't know what she didn't know.

Yes. For me, I'm okay with educating the doctor on those matters. But at the same time, I know there's a lot of people listening to this who get frustrated of having to do the education. What's your thoughts on this and how do we navigate this? I am very much in the camp that you have to do what, what feels right for you and what you have the capacity for and what you have the energy for, because I have some people in my life.

They're not doctors. They're not professionals in any way. They're family members that I love very much. And if they say something or do something, there are times when I have the capacity to say, hold on a second, I don't want you saying stuff like that in front of my kids. I don't want you talking negatively about bodies in front of my children.

So there are situations like that, but then there are absolutely situations where, you know, somebody says something to my daughter, like, Oh, she's getting a bit of a belly on her. And I'm like, I don't care, capacitor of the energy. I'm going in because this is something that's very important to me. So, and again, as is a, uh, people pleaser in recovery.

That's also part of my process is. Do I just do I have the energy do I have the energy now I will say I'm I'm taking more of those moments and opportunities to educate definitely, but I would never say, you know, as far as my clients that it's an obligation. For example, if they're setting boundaries with a provider saying, hey, I don't want to be weighed or I need the bigger cuff or.

Do you have, like in labor, people might sit on those exercise balls, sometimes called birth balls. There are people who will absolutely advocate and tell the hospital. I need a bigger ball, but there are also people who say, hey, I brought my own. I don't want to put up with asking. Yeah, I don't want to put up with asking.

I don't want to educate. I'm not I'm not even going there. I'm just bringing my own. So I think. Do whatever, do whatever you have the capacity for, but I 100% don't think it should be on fat folks or plus size folks to do that education. I just wish there was more of a willingness for people to find those answers and to learn themselves ahead of time.

And that's where I know you work with professional on this. of time so they don't have to come up with the situation, but they go in and examine this stuff ahead of time, clean up their practices, their physical environments, so they don't have to come up with their patient, educating them. Absolutely.

There's, I think there's a lot to be said for people who are proactively going in and saying, I want to learn everything I can because I want to make, I want to invite everybody. I want to think about their needs and I want to make sure they're being met versus being reactive where now there's this really uncomfortable, awkward situation where you're educating folks and you don't have equipment that's suitable for them.

How somebody listening to this, who is fat plus size want to get pregnant? Or is pregnant, what could be 3 things that you would coach them, tell them, guide them on to practice more body respect and acceptance and autonomy during their journey of having a child? The 1st thing. I would encourage them to do is to learn about their body and learn about all the changes and what to expect and what is normal.

Because I think that's where a lot of plus size folks can have a bit of a wobble during pregnancy is because your appetite might increase. You may gain weight, you may not gain weight, but learning what is normal, I think is part of is Absolutely helpful and I, I know it's cliche, but I do think knowledge is power and just knowing what to expect throughout the pregnancy process and birth process can help you eliminate or reduce any doubts that you may have.

The second thing I would say is, this is what I would recommend to everybody, is of course intuitive eating, find somebody if you're struggling to reach out for support sooner rather than later, and of course to find someone who is Not going. Unfortunately, there are folks who are telling people to diet during pregnancy or telling people that they should maintain their weight during pregnancy, like avoid all of those people at all costs and find someone who can help you.

And sometimes that also is with intuitive eating, but if you need help with anything else. Mental health stuff, right? That is a part of our health and part of body respect is taking care of all of you, including your mind. And the last thing I would say is there's there's a lot of things I could say. The last thing I would say is make sure that the people around you are clued into what it is that you need to because I think one of the.

One of the struggles of our modern world is so many of us have left our village. You know, I truly think we were not meant to parent alone by ourselves, hundreds, thousands of miles away from our family and friends. So pull in your village, whoever that is. Because they can absolutely support you during pregnancy, but also don't forget about that postpartum piece and making sure that you're thinking about your recovery and who's going to be there following birth to help you during that time.

And that's why you wrote the book. That's why I wrote the book. Where can people find your book? What's the title of your book? Because I think that should be the first step. I was hoping you were going to hit that on number one, get my book, because it's going to address all the specialty. Like all the things that thin provider don't know to think about you thought about that in your book.

Absolutely. So yes, number one, I'm teaching her how to sell right now. It is called fat birth. Confidence, strong and empowered pregnancy at any size and there's paperback, ebook, the audio book will be coming out hopefully yet in 2023 and you can find me online at fatandpregnant. com. That's where you can also get my assigned copy of my book if you like and on Instagram, same name, fat and pregnant.

Yeah, get people that like, follow people that look like you, get advice from people who look, feel and are like you. So, you know what to expect and what to think about. And you have a podcast coming out in October. I do, yes, coming out in October. I'm very excited about it because I will have experts like yourself, Stephanie.

And I'm also going to have plus size parents on who are sharing their experience through fertility, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. So, lots of stories and journeys that people can relate to there. And will it be the same name, the podcast? Yes. Fat and pregnant. Amazing. Well, thank you very much for the time you spent with us and the education and talking about a topic that we don't talk enough of.

Thank you for having me.

Podcast Stephanie Dodier


I’m Stephanie Dodier – Non-Diet Nutritionist and Coach. I help women fight diet culture by reshaping their mind not their body. I have been hosting a million downloads podcast- It’s Beyond The Food for over 8 years and created the Going Beyond The Food Method™️, which was born from my own journey with a 25 years dieting career  and has since grown into a global movement.

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