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Is my baby going to be safe?

(26 Posts)
SianPattison Tue 24-Oct-17 21:22:24

So I'm absolutely mortified to be writing this, but me and my partner are going to try for a baby, but I'm overweight and I'm worried about the affect it will have on my baby. I've done some research and I've read that your weight doesn't necessarily mean that your baby will be unsafe during pregnancy, but I don't believe that. My partner wants to try as soon as possible but I've told him I want to lose weight first and make sure I'm healthy enough to carry my baby. I know all the dos and don'ts and what you should and shouldn't eat during pregnancy, I don't drink or smoke and I don't do drugs, and trust me I will be exercising and eating much healthier, making sure I get at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, enough sleep and enough water. I wear a size 22/24 at the moment and I haven't stepped on the scales in years as I don't have it in me, but I'm guessing I'd be about 19-20 stone which I know is classed as morbidly obese. My goal is to lose 9-10 stone but I know it will take a long time, over a year most likely. I also am planning to take folic acid prior to conception and I read somewhere that it is advised you lose at least 10 percent of your body weight before getting pregnant as it will ensure you have a healthy pregnancy but I know I'd still be overweight and I'm wondering how much weight I should lose before getting pregnant and if anyone else has been in this situation? And if they have been overweight while pregnant how their pregnancies went? I don't want to risk losing the baby or putting them at risk. I can't be the only one who's been in this situation surely? Thank you so much xxx

MamaOfTwos Tue 24-Oct-17 21:29:58

It's fantastic you're ready to make a positive change and it's not just about pregnancy, it's about coping with the physical demands of parenting when the baby is here. Getting down to 13-14st depending on your height would be wonderful and you could do that by June/July next year with effort. Good luck!

AccrualIntentions Tue 24-Oct-17 21:31:49

Being overweight or obese while pregnant increases certain risks to the pregnancy, it doesn't automatically mean that they will happen.

I was losing weight before I got pregnant but not fast enough, and I had a BMI of 33 at my booking in appointment. I was diagnosed at 24 weeks with gestational diabetes, and my weight may well have been a factor in this (although thin women can also get it, and there were hereditary factors at play for me). But apart from that, I've had an incredibly easy pregnancy with no issues whatsoever and the baby is developing just fine.

I'm 35 weeks now and still feeling good. I haven't had any back pain or issues like that and part of me wonders if it's because actually I've been more than this weight before so it's not that much of a shock to the system for my body!

You should definitely try to lose some weight, just 10% can make a massive difference to your health - but getting pregnant while overweight or obese doesn't necessarily mean things will go wrong, just that risks are higher. But if you want to lose the weight first and you're happy to wait a while before TTC, then go for that approach. Good luck smile

SianPattison Tue 24-Oct-17 21:42:46

Can people tell that you're pregnant? Do you have a bump? It's just I've read that bigger women don't tend to get bumps and they just look more overweight so I wasn't sure if that was something I'd be able to look to or not xxx

JoJoSM2 Tue 24-Oct-17 21:56:08

I think worrying about what your bump might look like is slightly beyond the point... However, I’ve got an obese friend who is 5 months and she does look pregnant. To be fair she never had a massive belly, though, the weight is more in hips, legs and arms.

In terms of losing weight, it’s definitely a great idea regardless of trying for a baby. I think there might be some support available on the NHS so it might be worth asking your GP. And the 5 a day is a myth - aim for 8+. Some veg or fruit with every meal.

NoCryLilSoftSoft Tue 24-Oct-17 21:58:17

What age are you and why is your partner in a rush? Is this a new relationship?

AccrualIntentions Tue 24-Oct-17 21:59:12

I think it depends on a lot of things including how tall you are, body shape, how you carry your weight etc. For me it took a lot longer to show than some of my thinner friends have, but I have a definite bump now (and have done since about 28 weeks) - I definitely look unmistakably pregnant. I'll miss the bump when it's gone, it's been nice not holding my stomach in for the first time in 15 years grin.

ChocolatePancake Tue 24-Oct-17 22:39:48

Yes you can tell they're pregnant! Even with fat bellies, they turn big and round. I was underweight with my first son, normal with my second, im now with a BMI of 41.6.
I've known lots of bigger pregnant ladies and they've all had happy healthy pregnancies with big healthy bumps. Of course it does increase your chance of certain things but it won't harm your baby, just be sensible!

Moanyoldcow Tue 24-Oct-17 23:30:34

Hi OP. I was about your size when I got pregnant (currently 23 weeks).

If I were you I'd try to lose a bit before you actually start trying. If your BMI is 50 at booking (mine was sad ) you are much higher risk for preeclampsia, GD and blood clots and will probably have to inject blood thinners daily (which I do). If you could get to BMI 45 even it will help. I was BMI 42 for first pregnancy and it was generally easier.

Having said all of that, my baby is doing well, measuring normally and seems very happy. I have been very careful this pregnancy with my diet and have not gained anything yet at 23 weeks and I've not found that difficult.

There are risks but register with a good hospital and you will be well looked after - my care has been utterly fantastic and I'm consultant led.

Over BMI 40 you're almost certain to be deemed high risk and consultant led so will have to be on a Labour ward rather than midwife led unit too.

I hope I didn't scare you but I wish I'd made more changes earlier but I can't change the past - I can only do the best I can now. I'm aiming not to gain any weight at all until about 30 weeks which seems doable.

And I definitely look pregnant rather than just fat.

SianPattison Tue 24-Oct-17 23:41:52

Thank you so much I feel a bit better now 😊 It's nice to not feel judged which is what I was expecting xxx

PerspicaciaTick Tue 24-Oct-17 23:45:36

I think it is excellent that you are doing research and making plans to get healthy.
I was over 20 stone during both my pregnancies. DCs were, and are, absolutely fine. I did make sure that I didn't put on weight while pregnant - I ate healthily and stayed about the same weight throughout.
I did get a bump and was visibly pregnant. My scans were mostly fine as well - just one where baby wasn't playing ball and they couldn't get a good picture which may have been exacerbated by my tummy. As a pp has said, I did receive consultant-led care (I had other, non-weight related health issues as well) which was fine. Relatively straight forward vaginal deliveries too.

dontquit Wed 25-Oct-17 00:13:03

Hi sian, I think it's great you are researching this now and aiming to be as healthy as possible for you're baby. You don't mention your age and if that is a factor to consider...clock ticking and all that!
Being overweight can have huge implications for pregnancy (I'm not trying to kick you down here but I feel you are looking for honesty). Pregnancy puts a huge strain on the body but for healthy women with a normal bmi and the ideal age the body adapts well and copes. With a raised bmi you would have a higher risk of gestational diabetes/preeclampsia/clots/cardiac issues/symphysis pubic displacement/ high blood pressure..most of these can have an impact on baby especially if not controlled well. Being monitored (and you would be closely monitored) is necessary but unfortunately can't always prevent everything. Also monitoring baby during labour is more difficult. Siting an epidural is very difficult likewise a spinal if a Caesarian is needed so they may need to convert to general anaesthetic which is also riskier for obese people.
So if time is plentiful and you are in a loving supportive relationship I would advise to lose as much weight as possible. You have to do it for yourself but having a pregnancy to look forward to is great motivation (it's the only time I succeeded in giving up smoking). There will be plenty to tell you they had straightforward pregnancies while overweight and there are plenty that do but if you can lower your risk for both you and your baby it's the right thing to do.
Losing weight is hard going (have done that too)..one week at a time and slow and steady wins the race.
Wishing you the best of luck. X

SmileSunshine Wed 25-Oct-17 00:22:32

It's worth booking an appointment with your GP to cat about it. I have read about needing a higher dose of folic acid if you have a higher BMI but I don't know the correct dose. It'd be no harm to start tracking your cycles to see length and symptoms throughout each month. Your lifestyle changes sound positive and you are realistic about researching everything so you are prepared.

SmileSunshine Wed 25-Oct-17 00:23:27

*chat not cat!

ChocolatePancake Wed 25-Oct-17 00:31:36

^ its 5mg (x10 standard ones) folic acid on top of regular dose

Phryne Wed 25-Oct-17 02:02:39

It's great that you want to be got and healthy for your baby. I would be a little wary of only TTC at a certain weight as I know so many people who struggle to lose weight or keep it off particularly when it's more than 10% of your body weight. If you've got time, might it be better to give, eg, a year to getting your life in order for both you and DP (get regular exercise, eat less sugar, save up, do a few last mad wonderful things...) Rather than hoping for a goal weight you may never get to? Dieting puts it's own stresses on the body and they're not well studied

AnUtterIdiot Wed 25-Oct-17 07:10:49

19 stone, BMI 39. 31.3 weeks with twins who are growing well. I was borderline for GD but that's as much a twin thing as a weight thing. Slight pelvic achiness which again is a twin thing (I have 7lb of baby plus 2 placentas etc so am carrying what a singleton mum carries at 36 weeks!).

RCOG advice is that whilst it's good to lose some weight before TTC the vast majority of obese mums go on to have healthy children. Some risks are elevated but it's worth looking at how much - a doubled risk of something from 3% for thin women is 6% for e.g. so you would still have to be very unlucky.

WutheringTights Wed 25-Oct-17 07:20:13

Don’t do it for the pregnancy, the baby will most likely be fine, do it for the child. Children of overweight parents tend to go on to be overweight themselves, with all the health risks that brings, because their parents (with all the love in the world) tend to unknowingly pass on an unhealthy attitude to food.

Also do it so that you live a long and healthy life, able to run around with them at the park, go on the climbing frames and slides at soft play/adventure playgrounds, roll around on the floor tickling them etc. Do it so that you can run around with your grandchildren. That’s what keeps me motivated to exercise to be honest.

Good luck!

NapQueen Wed 25-Oct-17 07:22:51

I.know not all MNers are fans of slimming World, but it is a structured and sustainable weight loss plan which is safe to continue in pregnancy.

zebrapig Wed 25-Oct-17 07:43:05

I was a size 22 in my first pregnancy. Everything was fine, I had a pretty easy pregnancy but didn’t really look pregnant until around 7 months. I did get pre-eclampsia at 35 weeks and my LG was born at 35+5 but this was more than likely due to other health conditions I had.

I’m now 25 weeks with no.2. I lost over 3 stone on slimming world before falling pregnant this time. It’s made a huge difference to how I feel and I’ve had a definite baby bump for a few weeks now! That was one of my big motivations for loosing weight, but it’s also helped us fall pregnant more quickly and lowered my blood pressure too.

Good luck!

LumpySpaceCow Wed 25-Oct-17 08:52:37

Positive diet and lifestyle changes will always benefit yourself and any baby if/when you get pregnant.
Being overweight can affect fertility so it may not be as simple as just TTC and trying to get pregnant and if you do have any issues, the first thing that will be recommended is for you to lose weight. If it were me, I would seek help/support/advice from GP now regarding losing weight/improving lifestyle. Something like slimming world may be appropriate and you can carry it on when pregnant. If you do get pregnant, you also don't want to put on any more weight so changing things now will only benefit you when you do get pregnant.

I am classed as obese (BMI 30.1) and even though I'm just over the threshold, I hate the stigma associated when it comes to being overweight and pregnant (the highest my BMI has been in pregnancy is 32). I may just be sensitive though!

SmileSunshine Wed 25-Oct-17 11:05:43

Worth getting a smear done before ttc so you're up to date before pregnancy.

Kragghooooooullllll Wed 25-Oct-17 11:19:32

I've had two pregnancies whilst being obese. Size 20 and about 110kg when I got pregnant the first time round.

No issues, no diabetes, no giant babies (I grow small ones apparently that worry the consultants) and I did eventually get a pregnantish looking belly but it took a while. I have what I call a B belly where it dips in the middle this never really went away so I never got a big round belly, my bumps were always a bit funny shaped.

Stripy top is me at 34 week, burghandy top is 35 weeks and last pic is just over 37 weeks which was 9 days before she was born at 38+6

Also I lost weight during both my pregnancies due to nausea etc.

thingymaboob Wed 25-Oct-17 17:23:38

My friends are midwives and obstetricians and they find it really challenging with very overweight women. You certainly do put yourself and baby at more risk but then plenty of overweight women have healthy babies. My obstetrician friend said it's very challenging to do a c section on someone large and there are added anaesthetic challenges too. If something does go wrong it's more difficult to treat, but obviously not impossible. Also, the pregnancy will be really uncomfortable for you and your recovery might be longer. You will need to take 5mg folic acid a day, which is a prescribed dose that you'll need to get from the doctors. You will be limited in your birthing options too.

Read this leaflet:
https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/patients/patient-information-leaflets/pregnancy/pi-why-your-weight-matters-during-pregnancy-and-after-birth.pdf

I had a BMI of 31 and weighed 12 stone. I am short and I was advised to lose weight. I took the extra folic acid and went to slimming world. My BMI was 29 at booking in and I've been losing weight in pregnancy too (not on purpose but due to hyperemesis).

BendydickCuminsnatch Wed 25-Oct-17 17:32:15

It's a tricky one because it's all well and good to say you'll exercise throughout pregnancy and eat your 5 a day and get enough sleep, but pregnancy can render you unable to do all 3 of those.

Having said that, I've had 2 pregnancies while obese and during my first pregnancy I genuinely did crave salad and had a massive one every day, I did exercise every day and I got a lot of glorious sleep. I wasn't on extra folic acid although this time around (same BMI, different area) I did have to, I also didn't have to have a GTT and did this time. This time around I have barely done any exercise (pelvic floor can't take it) and eaten a ton of crap. I've always had perfect blood pressure, urine samples, always measured exactly the number of weeks I am, both babies thoroughly healthy as far as I know! Hard to say whether to try and lose wieght before TTC though as I'm sure that would be ideal medically, but maybe not for your family.

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