When you’re plus size and have fertility struggles, you feel invisible. Healthcare providers tell you to lose weight and fertility clinics have BMI restrictions. Fat fertility matters and let’s talk about it!
Fat fertility coach, Nicola Salomon, joins the Plus Mommy Podcast to have a frank conversation about plus size fertility struggles.
Fat Fertility Struggles
It can take the average couple twelve months to get pregnant and that can feel like an eternity when you’re actively trying.
If you’re unable to conceive after a year or have gone through a loss (or multiple miscarriages), you need fertility support.
When you have a BMI of over 30, it can be incredibly challenging to find an OB-GYN who will support you with fertility tests or medication. The conversation, with a provider, will almost always revolve around weight loss.
If you need a lot of fertility support, like IVF, most fertility clinics have BMI restrictions.
Related: Nicole’s Plus Size IVF Success Story
Having so many doors closed in your face can feel hopeless.
Fat Fertility Options
Thankfully there are size-friendly care providers and fertility coaches like Nicola to want to help people of all sizes along their journey to motherhood!
View this post on Instagram
It’s the start of Fertility Week here in the UK. So many fertility taboos are being broken down as more awareness is created around infertility and people feel more able to talk about their fertility struggles. . But one taboo still remains. And it affects a huge proportion of our population. . Fat fertility. . If you are fat, the chances of you being able to get access to support and treatment for fertility issues are dramatically reduced when compared to others. . The advice you’re given? “Lose weight” . The problem with this advice is threefold. . You are assuming that the fat is causing fertility issues. . You are assuming that losing weight is easy. These women have more than likely been trying to lose weight their whole lives. 95% of diets fail. It’s not the fault of the women, it’s the fault of the diet. . Typical weight loss strategies such as calorie restriction and excessive exercise are actually detrimental to fertility. . We need to change the conversation around fat fertility. . Being fat does not mean that you are any less worthy of being a mother. . Being fat does not mean that you are any less able of getting pregnant, having a healthy pregnancy and healthy children. . Being fat does not mean that anything more than you have fat cells on your body. . It’s time to stop weight bias and inequality around fertility support for fat women, non binary and trans folk. . Support #fatfertilitymatters by sharing this illustration . Illustration by @hannahpresdee
In Nicola’s work, she encourages people to look at their whole picture of health and let go of weight.
How much sleep are you getting each night?
Are you eating food that fuels your body?
Are you under a lot of stress?
Have you connected with a care provider who doesn’t just tell you to lose weight?
All of these things contribute to fertility!
When it comes to finding a size-friendly care provider, it starts with asking your plus size friends if they have someone they recommend? Ask pointed questions when you have an appointment with a provider, like what’s their experience supporting people of size.
Related: Q&A With A Fat-Friendly Midwife
There’s hope, and throughout my interview with Nicola, we don’t just talk about the challenges but also why fat fertility matters and how to get support!
Recording & Show Notes: Plus Mommy Podcast Episode 46
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Resources Mentioned On The Show
- Connect with Nicola via her website and Instagram.
- The Fat Girl’s Guide to Getting Pregnant by Nicola Salmon.
- PCOS Stories And Resources
Nicola is a fat-positive and feminist fertility coach. She advocates for change in how fat women are treated on their fertility journey.
She supports fat women (and others with disordered eating) who are struggling to get pregnant to find peace with their body, find their own version of health and finally escape the yo-yo dieting cycle.
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