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Too fat for a decent scan @ 23 weeks - so ashamed

(88 Posts)
NorthernGirlie Thu 10-Nov-11 19:15:05

I'm so ashamed - just been for a follow up anomally scan (the baby was lying in the wrong position at 20 weeks for them to check the heart properly) and the sonogropher really struggled to get a decent image because of my BMI - not sure exactly what it is but I'm 5'3 and a size 16. I was so embarassed I could have cried - anyone else had trouble with scans? Got to try to keep my weight under control!! sad

Fisharefriendsnotfood Thu 10-Nov-11 19:17:55

Why don't you ask your midwife to work out your bmi and to help you improve things?

GwendolineMaryLacey Thu 10-Nov-11 19:18:15

That's ridiculous! I'm a size 22 and they were able to do my anomaly scan with no discernible problems. Did they say it was because of your BMI? That's really odd. sad for you

NorthernGirlie Thu 10-Nov-11 19:19:32

Will do Fish. Yeah - the image was really grainy and she said she was having problems - when I asked why she said it was because of my BMI.

Fisharefriendsnotfood Thu 10-Nov-11 19:23:10

I hope that didn't sound heartless.. But maybe this will help you focus on being a bit healthier. Do you do any exercise? Obviously you don't want to take up acrobatics or anything but how about swimming? Do you eat enough fruit and veg?

Foxinsocks Thu 10-Nov-11 19:33:01

I'm sure that's a load of bollocks

I have a friend who has a bmi of 33 and she never had someone tell her that fgs

Having said that, they struggled scanning ds because he seemed to have buried himself in my internal organs so he was also grainy and they struggled to get a pic so I imagine your issue was more to do with positioning.

You can work out your own bmi. Just google a bmi calculator.

Foxinsocks Thu 10-Nov-11 19:33:49

Should have said my bmi normal so it was nothing to do with fat!

lalabaloo Thu 10-Nov-11 19:36:39

Don't let it upset you, how about using this time to work on getting healthier before your beautiful baby arrives. I agree about asking your midwife for support, she can advise you on diet and gentle exercise that will be suitable for you. Best wishes for the rest of your pregnancy x

bibbitybobbitybloodyaxe Thu 10-Nov-11 19:40:07

How very odd! Have never heard of anyone being too fat for a decent scan before.

And you are a size 16 so, ok, on the chubby side but not covered in huge rolls of fat.

Are you absolutely sure that you have given us all the facts?

LadyOfSnowdon Thu 10-Nov-11 19:44:45

Not a very good scan lady then! I'm bigger than you and none of the ladies who did my scan had any problems, I saw everything clearly (so did they). I was told that because of my age and weight I might also have problems getting pregnant and I proved them wrong with that as well - took me two months only. Don't let people hound you - enjoy your pregnancy, eat healthy for your baby and to avoid gestational diabetes (which I've got) and go for walks or swimming. It's a lovely time and people should respect it rather than make you feel guilty. I've changed my eating habits and started moving more during pregnancy and I managed to maintain my weight with the idea that once the baby's out I'll start losing weight so my son can have a mum who's happy and can chase him around the park without running out of breath :-)


NorthernGirlie Thu 10-Nov-11 19:45:22

I will do Lala smile Bibbity - yes, that's definitely what she said. She said her arm was killing as all the ladies she'd had in today had high BMI. I was a size 16 pre pregnancy and am now in size 16 Next jeans.

reastie Thu 10-Nov-11 19:47:22

aww please try not to be down on yourself. I started off a size 16 when I was first pg (put on alot so am more now), I had a private scan at 6 weeks and they did it externally no probs. At 12 weeks the NHS lady got me to have an internal scan to get a better view because of my tummy fat blush. I don't know anyone else who had a 12 week internal scan shock . I might be wrong but I sort of think my 20 week one may have been internal too, but I could be completely wrong on that one.

You're not massive as a size 16. It could just be baby was in an odd position - it could happen to anyone skinny or not. I had to have 4 blinking scans before they could see the sex of my LO shock . IME certain scanning ladies who have an attitude for some reason can be really nasty for no reason and unnecessarily.

ilovemydogandMrObama Thu 10-Nov-11 19:49:07

Doesn't make sense. I had a very inexperienced sonographer who was having difficulties getting measurements, and kept blaming the baby hmm. yes, babies move, and finally asked diplomatically whether another sonographer might have better luck as it was difficult for me to come back in for another scan, and she got another more experienced sonographer who didn't have any problems.

In any case, ultra sound is based on detecting sound and am fairly sure that sound travels through most particles.

mrsrvc Thu 10-Nov-11 19:49:36

I simply dont believe that!
I actually had a lovely sonographer at my last scan who said that sometimes a bit of podge can really help with a good scan, and she was a consultant at one of the best sonography departments in the country.
I'm also AMAZED at some of the comments above about you needing to be a bit healthier, asking if you eat fruit and veg shock
For gods sake, you are a size 16, that is not MASSIVE although I am always amazed at how many people on MN who think that during pregnancy you need to gain about 5 lbs and survive on lettuce. SOme of the healthiest people I know ( in terms of diet and excersize , and their relationship with food) are a size 12 +
Im sorry that this has made you feel bad and think you should speak to your MW about the whole experience, rather than as suggested above, to help you loose weight.

Guitargirl Thu 10-Nov-11 19:50:31

My BMI was 29 when pregnant with DC1, the sonographer didn't say anything but when I read the notes afterwards, the report said something like 'poor quality picture - BMI'. A friend of mine who was smaller than me was told at her scan that she would have to have an internal because of her BMI, hers was probably 27(?).

thisisyesterday Thu 10-Nov-11 19:54:08

it is true that your BMI can affect the quality of your scan picture.

it doesn't always, hence why some of you/your friends have had no problems. And I also suspect that it may depend a great deal on the equipment the hospital has... some have better machiines than others.

northerngirlie did they give any advice? what will happen now? do they need to do a scan again?

pruney1977 Thu 10-Nov-11 19:55:15

That's ridiculous, my BMI is a whopping 56 and they managed to do my anomaly scan without any problem. Yes I had to lie in 3 different positions (both sides and on my back) but she still managed to check all the relevant bits. I'd say she either couldn't be bothered or she isn't very good at her job.
Even at my 12 week scan when they couldn't check the nuchal fold she said it was because the baby wouldn't lie still. She never said it was to do with my weight even though I'm sure it could've been.

Fisharefriendsnotfood Thu 10-Nov-11 19:55:25

Mrsrvc I was responding to the op saying she needed to get her weight in check, not to her being a size 16. Most of us, me included, could always improve our diet. And I put on a couple of stone of each pregnancy and had big healthy babies so cut the attitude

thisisyesterday Thu 10-Nov-11 19:58:07

interesting article here which discusses both sides (the actual reasons being overweight can interfere with treatment, as well as HCP's blaming obestiy unnecessarily)

if you scroll down to the bit about diagnostic tests it does explain why ultrasounds are harder to do

ZombiePlan Thu 10-Nov-11 20:05:31

Reastie - do not fret, i had internal scans at 12 and 20 weeks (size 8 - while not a complete twiglet I'm also not fat by any stretch of the imagination). They said that the internal scan allowed them to take measurements that you just wouldn't be able to do accurately from an external position - nothing to do with being fat, just that the tissue got in the way even if there wasn't much there anyway.

ricecakesrule Thu 10-Nov-11 20:06:47

Same as guitar girl, I had BMI of 28 ish (5'4" and size 12) and on the notes it said I had high BMI affecting the images. Really upset me when I read it afterwards and made me a bit paranoid! Actually I didn't put on a great deal of weight when pg and am probably slimmer now than I have been for a while (DS1 is 7 months). So don't worry too much and certainly don't start worrying about dieting whilst pregnant. Just try to stick to healthy food to make sure the little one gets the best start in life. I think sometimes HCP are factual to the point of being completely insensitive!!

ENormaSnob Thu 10-Nov-11 20:08:03

Ridiculous to suggest the sonagrapher couldn't be bothered or isn't very good at her job hmm

maternal body habitus does affect the quality of scans.

More so if the excess fat is around the abdomen.

cece Thu 10-Nov-11 20:09:08

I have a high BMI and I had to have my scan at 21 weeks, not the week before or the week after, apparently because of my BMI! Sadly it meant DH missed it as he was away with work.

ricecakesrule Thu 10-Nov-11 20:12:37

ENormaSnob - are you a HCP? I rest my case.

McQueasy Thu 10-Nov-11 20:13:41

Did you have a full bladder? My scanner said this was helpful even beyond 20 weeks.
Your sonographer sounds like a cheeky cow!!
Don't be upset, you can loose weight if you want but she'll always be an ignorant witch

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