'This Is Us' Tackles Pregnancy In a Totally Relatable Way
We're all cheering on this exciting new storyline on This Is Us.
The Big Three is about to get a Plus One! This is Us fans were treated to an awesome plot twist on Tuesday night: Right at the very end of the episode it was revealed that Kate Pearson (played by actress Chrissy Metz) is pregnant!
"Your poppy seed is now the size of a lentil," her doctor tells her. "Congrats, you're now officially six weeks along."
So Kate's going to be a mama—very exciting news, since her character has had a pretty rough go of things lately. And Kate's pregnancy storyline is sure to be totally relatable to so many women these days—given the fact that, like many of us, she's considered of "advanced maternal age" at 37, and she's starting her pregnancy overweight. And while those factors make Kate's pregnancy a relatable one, they also make it more unusual in TV-land—a fact the show apparently plans to address in upcoming episodes.
"It's very exciting—and it's uncharted territory," Metz told Entertainment Weekly. "I love that they're talking about plus-size pregnancy. I love that it's not like, 'Oh, here's a plus-size girl just sitting in the corner, wishing her life would start.' She's actually living her life, and all of these really exciting things are happening, and it's really nice. Because I don't think it's been portrayed—well, really anywhere. Especially network television."
She's right—we haven't seen a lot of plus-size pregnancies on network TV. So kudos to the team behind This is Us for tackling the topic. In fact, they started tackling it right out of the gate at the beginning of the episode before any of us were clued into the fact that our girl had a bun the oven. Instead, we were led to believe Kate was working out nonstop in order to fit into a dress for an upcoming singing gig. But of course we later find out her newfound health kick is actually about her fear of losing the baby.
"It's just because of my age and my weight, I want to follow the instructions," Kate tells her doctor. Whether this stays the case for the entire nine months remains to be seen, but for now, we definitely respect the diligence.
"She's doing everything right," executive producer and co-showrunner Isaac Aptaker told Glamour. "She's getting the prenatal vitamins, she's exercising, she's eating very carefully—but there's a lot of anxiety that she's experiencing. We're telling a very, very specific pregnancy story here, and that could look a little different for Kate."
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To that end, we asked Monica Lee, M.D., an ob-gyn in the LA metro area, what Kate (and any plus-size mama-to-be) might need to think about throughout her pregnancy. Because of her weight, "this is a high risk pregnancy," Dr. Lee says. Her recommendations: keep weight gain to 11 to 20 pounds during pregnancy; exercise (walking and swimming are good choices) at least 30 minutes a day; and keep an eye on carbs, since overweight moms-to-be are at an increased risk for diabetes. (Dr. Lee also said that there's also a higher risk for hypertension, preeclampsia, and blood clots—but let's hope that doesn't give the This Is Us writing team any ideas!)
Frankly, we can't wait to see how Kate's pregnancy plays out this season—and fingers crossed that the mom-to-be, who has lots of issues with her own mom, finally gets the maternal happy ending that she deserves. We're rooting for you, Bug!