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fat bashing.

(32 Posts)
spookshowangellovesit Thu 08-Sep-11 11:46:31

i have had 3 SDV all healthy pregnancies, currently 16 wks i to my 4th so far perfectly healthy pregnancy and am told i am being rushed for a consultation because of my high bmi i was a bit hmm at this. not because i mind overly talking about my weight but i was bigger with my last pregnancy and i didnt have to go and have a chat with any one about the potential risk involved in the pregnancy or the labour??
is there any risk involved in the labour if you are over weight? my bmi is 32/34 i was given a leaflet that actually asked the question will i be able to give birth naturally? i was a bit shocked i have to say, is this what they tell people what they asr telling us over weight people now that being fat will mean that we may not be able to give birth naturally?
i have always known about possible gestational diabetes and high blood pressure but are they trying to scare pregnant women into not eating?
chuffed that i get to have extra scans though grin being bigs got to give us some perks.

BedHog Thu 08-Sep-11 12:12:48

They seem much more keen to put people in 'boxes' these days. My BMI is 17 as I'm naturally tall and lanky, but this puts me in the same category as people with eating disorders, drug addicts and people who generally don't look after themselves very well, so I get the extra scans too grin.

Also I fit into the 'box' for the gestational diabetes test too as DS was over 10lb at birth - they don't take into account that I was nearly 10lb at birth, my cousin has just had an almost 11lb baby etc., so big babies are probably genetic.

All their requirements for various tests seem to be based on statistics for risk factors, which I suppose they have to do with such a large number of women in the system at any given time, but don't let that scare you into thinking your personal risks will be higher this time. If you keep eating healthily they'll have nothing to complain about!

missmehalia Thu 08-Sep-11 12:19:57

Hmm.. I know where you're coming from. I'm a bit suspicious about the whole BMI thing. I'm not a doctor, but I'm puzzled at how a 'one-size-fits-all' method of health assessment gets relied on such a lot. Lots of things can come into play. I've been pretty big with both my pregnancies, waking up hungry in the night, cramming the food in as if I couldn't stop myself. It must have been hormones, because the instinct stopped both times at around 3/4 months in. All the same, my BMI was assessed at 30, the pressure on me was suddenly huge. GTT tests, doubtful looks over the top of the clipboard, etc. I had to be extra assertive and found myself patronised a lot, as if I should have complete control over my hormones at all times, had been careless with my food and was just using pregnancy as an excuse.

Needless to say, GTT was completely normal (no family history of diabetes) but had to fend off many really stupid remarks from hosp staff and they tried to railroad me into being in hosp when I wanted a HB. All because of my BMI.

Don't let them bully you into things. I decided to play the game and submit to all the tests to prove my suitability for a HB, but I still had to threaten legal action before they 'agreed' to it.

missmehalia Thu 08-Sep-11 12:22:24

PS Don't forget just how antiquated some of the NHS habits still are. They relied on a tape measure to try and tell me my last baby would be huge. (Another factor for pressuring me to go into hospital.) She was 7lb 13oz. Only my mw much later admitted they'd all been barking up the wrong tree.

spookshowangellovesit Thu 08-Sep-11 17:30:42

hmmmm well my first was 8.10lbs my second 9.10lbs and last was 10lbs 5. i was 8 and a half pounds when born as was my partner so big babys are just in the family i had no problem so i am not going to be rail roaded in to a c section which they have mentioned several times as they said babies just get bigger as a general rule.
i see no real reason this one can not be a natural delivery as well people have 11lb babies with no bother grin

missmehalia Thu 08-Sep-11 17:35:19

Absolutely. I think NHS is trigger happy with CS these days so the anaesthetists can plan their round of golf at the end of the week. But then, I'm a cynic...

zdcgbjm Thu 08-Sep-11 17:43:05

The only thing I've had from a thirty something BMI in three pregnancies is a GTT. Actually even that got forgotten in the second one. I had one emergency C/S, with the first (due to the position of the baby), and as a consequence was under consultant care for the second two pregnancies and nobody batted and eyelid about my weight. I had two very straightforward births with the second and third babies despite being bigger and bigger again! My experience is that they really wanted to avoid doing a CS if they possibly could. I actually wanted one with my 2nd after the first experience but glad I didn't in the end smile.

notlettingthefearshow Thu 08-Sep-11 18:45:49

My BMI is 31, it's my first pregnancy, and I do have to have the GTT to test for gestational diabetes, but apart from that, no one has really said anything about my weight since my first appointment. They haven't even weighed me since I was 12 weeks (24 weeks now). I'm relieved as I was fearing there would be problems or fuss.

squinker45 Thu 08-Sep-11 19:59:28

I had a bmi of 30 but didn't get put in for any extra fatty tests because the midwife said it had to be over 30 which she read as 31 or higher.... am feeling cheated of extra scans now

hairylights Thu 08-Sep-11 22:39:57

It's not fat bashing. it's health professionals looking at potential risk based on any exacerbating circumstances.

I your bmi is over 30, you are considered obese - it's a medical term not an insult.

Just like I'm "elderly" in terms of pregnancy.

spookshowangellovesit Thu 08-Sep-11 23:23:22

hummm i did not suggest it was an insult and i am aware what having a bmi over 30 means, i was asking if it was appropriate for health care professionals to use scare scaremongering tactics on pregnant woman.
any woman can get GD and woman can get high blood pressure during pregnancy regardless of their weight so to point these out has high risk is a bit ott, no harm in saying you have a slightly higher risk because you have a higher bmi but say that it would be pretty much because of my weight is wow to me. then to say things like you may need a cs etc all seems mad considering i have had 3 children before and never heard a sniff of this.
i worry mostly because i am happy with myself and know my body during pregnancy pretty well but for a first time mum my who was a self-conscious about herself this kind of information could potentially make her upset and make bad eating decisions at a vulnerable time.
i was mostly just shocked at the blatant agenda pushing, but i shouldnt have been really.

hairylights Fri 09-Sep-11 09:10:03

I think you're over-sensitive. Anyone with a bmi over 30 is at risk of health problems - in and outside of pregnancy.

In the same way smokers and drinkers are. For example - anyone can have problems getting pregnant but smokers and drinkers are more likely to have problems.

I speak as someone with a bmi over 25 so overweight.

Your title "fat bashing" was what mde it sound like you found it insulting.

zdcgbjm Fri 09-Sep-11 12:08:19

I've never heard of anyone being told they should have a cs because they are overweight!

MeconiumHappens Fri 09-Sep-11 16:39:45

Agree with Hairy. Its health care, it has to be frank and assess the risks rather than compromise health through worrying about offending anyone. Raised bmi increases risk in pregnany, labour and postnatally, its not nice reading but unfortunately it doesnt make it any less true. Of course its more likely that things will be normal. Its certainly not 'fat bashing'.
Its a bit unusual that you are having extra scan etc if your bmi is 32/34. Its usually the case that you become higher risk and thus consultant care when bmi gets above 35.

Allboxedin Fri 09-Sep-11 17:17:03

Gosh, seems a bit OTT. I have a bmi of 32 this time and I had to go for a blood glucose test this time around (I didnt last time 2 years ago with dd1)
Anyway I was talking to a couple of mums there at the time and one of them said they had brought these tests in for lower BMI's now and seem to make a big deal if anything over 30.
I didn't have any extra scans though, I am only being consultant led because of previous clotting problems not my weight.

Allboxedin Fri 09-Sep-11 17:19:03

is over 25 overweight? shock
The mission is really on after this birth. I put a lot on with dd and didn't lose it inbetween, but I am determined to get this extra lot off after this one!

hairylights Fri 09-Sep-11 17:31:51

yes, it is. My BMI is (or was, pre-pregnancy) about 27 - I am 5'4 and was 10st 7 - definately overweight.

I will also be trying to get rid of my excess weight after my baby is born (probably when the baby is about 6 months old as I will be BF and busy!).

PedigreeChump Fri 09-Sep-11 17:52:49

I'm not sure about all the BMI stuff. I'm 5'3 and roughly 10 stone making me hover around the 25 mark, but I'm definitely not fat (size 10/12). I used to think BMI was quite a good measure - and I guess it is, but only as a fairly rough guide. I've lost a bit of faith in it lately!

hairylights Fri 09-Sep-11 17:59:01

I'm size 10/12 too. but I am definately over the weight I should be.

sorry but a lot of people seem to really kid themselves on this - it's all about the amount of extra flab we have on ourselves, and I definately have more than I should.

I think perspective is often lost in a 'oh I'm not that bad' kind of way.

MissRee Fri 09-Sep-11 18:04:20

I had a bmi of 31 at my booking appt, to which my midwife replied "oh, I wouldn't have said you were overweight at all" and I had a choice of whether I had extra monitoring or not. I chose not and so far am having a very happy and healthy pregnancy! Having a bmi Of 31 puts me in the obese range but considering I'd already put on weight in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (especially my boobs!) I doubt I would have been "obese" had I been weighed before pregnancy iykwim?

I think every PCT is different with their dealings with these things though!

Allboxedin Fri 09-Sep-11 18:49:34

10 -12 is a nice size. I was 12 before I had dd and I certainly wasn't overweight beforehand. (I'm about 5'6) I realise now I have put on too much though and need to make a change. Would love to be a size 12 again. Again, I didn't having my booking in appt until after 1st trimester so I'm not sure how accurate it would be. I was very pear shaped though so very little weight up top but large hips and bum, whereas now I'm just an apple all around.

hairylights Fri 09-Sep-11 18:57:37

It's a nice size but it isn't nice being overweight. I think the look of a person is a totally different issue to their bmi, when they are overweight or obese.

PamBeesly Fri 09-Sep-11 19:18:34

I think pregnant womens' bodies in general are open to so much public scrutiny, I think its because womens' bodies generally are.
On the medical side of it, health care workers probably over state the effect of a high BMI or a low one for that matter because they have to cover themselves insurance wise.
Good luck with your pregnancy OP

squinker45 Fri 09-Sep-11 19:20:19

I think BMI is not a good measure as it doesn't take into account natural build or fitness levels. Even in 2006 it was discredited

www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2006/nov/28/healthandwellbeing.health1

PedigreeChump Fri 09-Sep-11 19:40:58

Well, I'm not kidding myself on. I'm definitely not fat and don't have much extra flab. My BMI says otherwise. Ergo, I don't really rate the BMI method other than as a rough guide.

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