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Birthing pool and BMI - peed off!

(18 Posts)
Jill72 Mon 06-Jun-11 12:15:43

I am a curvy girl - 16 -18 dress size - not huge but BMI is just over the limit accepted for the mid wife led unit. Have been put under a consultant. I am fit and healthy otherwise. I have lost half a stone and am 21 weeks, (not through dieting). The consultant said today that I will not be able to use the birthing pool and MIGHT be allowed to use for pain relief EARLY on in the labour but probably not. When I asked what the MEDICAL reason for this was she said it was a health and safety issue - would the midwives be able to get me out if needed? Now I could understand this if I was really big but I am not!! I have seen plenty of women on programmes using the pool whose builds are similar to mine or bigger!! Feeling very angry - absolutely no room for manoeuvre on this apparently!! Any experiences???

H007 Mon 06-Jun-11 14:04:52

Take it further, and request justification for their decision.

reddaisy Mon 06-Jun-11 14:06:26

Weight has never been mentioned as an issue for the birthing pool/birthing unit at my local hospital. Take it further or consider a homebirth if that is feasible/something you would want.

Valiant1 Mon 06-Jun-11 14:10:37

I am going stay at home in my own bath as long as i can as mine say that too xx

maxbear Mon 06-Jun-11 14:23:17

No midwife should be lifting anyone out of the pool regardless of her size, surely the hospital has a hoist or something that can be used in the extremely unlikely event of a dire emergency. Bear in mind that some consultants have little or no experience of waterbirth and are fearful of it so find any reason at all to advise women not to do it. If you continue to experience negativity about it I suggest you contact a supervisor of midwives at the hospital, her job is to be there to support women in their care choices and she should fully discuss it with you without pressurinsing you about it.

PinkFondantFancy Mon 06-Jun-11 15:48:16

Another alternative if you can afford it is to consider an independent midwife - they'll often do home waterbirths for people that the NHS refuse.

Other thing to think about it that at my local MW led centre, out of the 8 birthing rooms, there's only 2 with a birthing pool so for me, there's a low probability of being able to use a pool anyway sad Fingers crossed yours is less rubbish though.

CBear6 Mon 06-Jun-11 16:13:54

We did a class at our hospital when I was pregnant with DS about using water during labour and they said that if there was an emergency you would need to be lifted out of the pool but that this was done by a minimum of two staff and that it was more of an assisted exit rather than a physical lift. They even demonstrated using a few members of staff, they draped what looked like a sheet into the (empty) pool, got the "lady" to rest her bum on the edge of the pool so she was sitting on the sheet, and then used it to help her get herself out of the water. Weight was never mentioned as an issue.

I would definitely take it further!

Joannezipan Mon 06-Jun-11 16:14:22

I have a BMI of over 30 (i'm about the same size as you) I'm having a home water birth with my community midwife. I would ask for some more information as the birthing pools at the hospital here have hoists for getting people out in an emergency. I would ask if this is the case at your hospital and if you can discuss the options with a midwife who would be able to give better hands on advice.

TitaniaP Mon 06-Jun-11 16:28:24

I'm in the same position as Joannezipan I have a BMI of just over 30 and also a size 16ish. I am planning a home water birth. They have warned me that in an emergency (i.e me passing out) they may need to burst the pool to get me out (they've never had to do this and my area has a high home birth rate), but as my Midwife says - you're pregnant not ill and if you need to get out of the pool then in most instances you can just climb out.

I've been using our local hydrotherapy pool regularly to help with my SPD/PGP and they have hoists for use in an emergency - I would imagine that the hospital water birth pools have a similar set-up.

I would challenge their decision and push for the birth that you want and deserve.

NoseyNooNoo Mon 06-Jun-11 16:32:11

take it further - ask the Head of Midwifery to explain and point out the relevant policy. If the worst comes to the worst, couldn't your husband lift you out of the pool?

VivaLeBeaver Mon 06-Jun-11 16:34:26

With a higher BMI you have an increased risk of a shoulder dystocia which is why many hospitals have policies that say no to waterbirths over a certain BMI.

Jill72 Mon 06-Jun-11 17:58:58

This is all making me think that I will plan a home water birth if the hospital won't support me but I can see them not being amused at that either!!

Northernlurker Mon 06-Jun-11 18:08:42

It's not up to the hospital to dictate where you give birth. They can however govern what happens in their own facilities - however crazy their rules. Equally though you can ask them to justify this.
Shoulder dystocia happens in women of all physical shapes and sizes btw. It's not easily predicted in anybody. Best way to avoid it is to adopt a kneeling position that allows the pelvis to open up. Of course many hospitals like to slap high BMI women flat on their backs and attach a monitor - so what's the chicken and what the egg in this situation? hmm

VivaLeBeaver Mon 06-Jun-11 18:12:26

My BMI is 31, in the unlikely event I got pregnant again I wouldn't consent to being weighed or measured. Then they wouldn't know and I could do what the hell I want. grin

nannyl Mon 06-Jun-11 18:54:12

INSIST on a homebirth and provide your own pool

you might then be able to "compromise" and use theirs? wink

Icelollycraving Mon 06-Jun-11 18:58:22

I was told this originally but mw said that's rubbish & has put it in my birth plan. I was so pleased! Does depend on if there is one available though. I was also told I'd probably have a cs which my mw also said was rubbish. The baby is getting so big I wonder if I will have to have a cs as I'm seeing consultant in 10 days time.

allthefires Mon 06-Jun-11 19:05:36

I have a BMI in the high 30s. I was all set up for a fight but midwife said that as the BMI was the only risk factor that it was fine.

In my first pregnancy I experienced the same as you are experiencing- I think the combination of first birth and BMI was too much of a risk
However the consultant supported me and I was lucky that on the day so did the midwife in charge.

As it was I ended up being transfered due to long labour and exhaustion but I was active all the way through. I am not ending up in that hospital again unless there are very compelling reasons.

Fight for what you want as it is worth it.

Jill72 Mon 06-Jun-11 20:00:24

It was my consultant who put her foot down today - I have seen her at teh MLU and will be going to the hospital half and hour away - will presume I will see a different consultant at the other hospital??? I think I need to speak to someone at the hospital - It just infuriates me that they are so inflexible with these policies that seem to be different from midwife to midwife, hospital to hospital NO CONSISTENCY whatsoever. Grrrr I am going to buy a paddling pool and set it up in the hospital carpark and see if I don't get shifted into the real deal!!!lol!!

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