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larger ladies - how were you treated in pregnancy?

(26 Posts)
mumblecrumble Wed 26-Aug-09 22:10:46


Been asked to give feedback to NICE on how, as a cough, larger lady [can;t say the obese word] maternity services treated larger ladies in pregnancy and afterwards.

I wondered if you could add your own experiences?

mumblecrumble Wed 26-Aug-09 22:17:27

self bump

Littlefish Wed 26-Aug-09 22:24:30

As soon as the midwife filled in my forms at the booking in appointment, she said that I would have to be referred to the hospital as my BMI was too high.

I worried all the time leading up to my appointment with the consultant (AKA the fat police). As it was, they didn't even weigh me, and the consultant had to ask me why I'd been referred!

He said to me "do you have a healthy diet?", "do you eat a lot of junk food?". The answer to both was no. "In that case, don't worry".

That was the end of it really. A complete waste of time and NHS money!

The only problem was that I'd got in such a state about the appointment and what they might say, that my blood pressure was a bit higher than normal and they said I had to have my blood pressure checked every 3 days at my local surgery. Twas a pain in the arse.

I had a perfectly normal pregnancy and a wonderful waterbirth where I didn't even see a doctor. However, the label was attached to me at the booking in appointment which didn't really help my stress levels.

mumblecrumble Wed 26-Aug-09 22:28:20

AYe, I was similar, thanks.
ANy others?

LadyOfWaffle Wed 26-Aug-09 22:35:33

Erm... was treated fine. At booking in I was 100kg blushshock and maintained that throughout, but was referred to consultant care once she realised I was at the referal point weight wise, he just scanned me again and that was it. No pressure, no being made to feel bad for being so big etc. I did have a failed epidural though which I later asked if it was caused by my weight and the MW was very nice and said much larger ladies had epidurals fine, it was just my very late stage and waters being broken. I was congratulated for maintaining (sp) weight though (which meant in reality I was losing weight) which I am unsure is safe or not? Anyway, I felt no different treatment wise from when I was smaller. Hope that helps.

ash6605 Wed 26-Aug-09 22:58:23

Still early days,as I am only 15 weeks with ds3 but thought I'd share my experience so far. Went for booking in appt with mw at 10 weeks who weighed me,checked height etc. At 12 stone and only 5'2 it took my bmi to 30.5 so I am only slightly over the normal said that when I went for my hospital booking in apt they would probably want me to be reffered to a dietician.

Had hosp appt 2 weeks ago where consultant grilled me about my weight,spent half an hour talking to me about my diet,told me the importance of keeping weight down(didn't beat around the bush at all,said that obese people are more likely to DIE during labourshock )and that I must exercise daily for at least 30 minutes.They also made a refferal to a dietician.

Dietician called me yesterday to discuss my diet habits,told me it sounded as if I was doing everything right in the way of what I ate(skimmed milk,no sugar,grilled food,little fat,fresh fruit etc) but that my portion size must be a problem for me to be obese and that I am not exercising enough.

The most annoying thing is,in my last pregnancy I started out as size 8 and 8.5 stone.I put on 4.5 stone and NOTHING was ever said,I was never weighed or anything.hmm This pregnancy I have gained 4 pounds so far and I am being made to feel like an elephant!!!

BettySwollux Wed 26-Aug-09 23:19:37

I am size 24, BMI is 37 (I think) and I had to go for a glucose tolerance test.
Once, the midwife was measuring me and I was 2cm over. I asked if that was ok, within limits, and she said it was because I was a porker. grin

Ok, she just hinted at it, but was very nice and diplomatic.

Wasn't made to feel bad, and I only gained 10lbs.
DS was 8.8lbs, so was probably a bit lighter after pg than before blush.

Hangingbellyofbabylon Wed 26-Aug-09 23:27:34

not great here - couldn't deliver at my nearest mid-wife led unit or have a home birth as they have a bmi cut off of 30. My friend is big but very muscley, used to be a rugby player - couldn't go to midwife led unit because of bmi and ended up giving birth in the car trying to get the 15 miles or so across town to the consultant led unit. This time I have found that everything is blamed on raised bmi, it's always on my ultrasounds reports, I had to have 3 gtt's even though they were all normal and in fact the last one was lower than average. When I've got to hospital they have made a fuss about how hard it is to get a good ctg trace because of my 'raised bmi'. Finally, breastfeeding, bigger women need specific help on postioning which just isn't there. You can't hold the baby in the crook of your arm cos your nipples are by your waist blush. When your breast is twice as big as the baby's head, it can be a bit daunting. It is only through my own research that I was able to find effective positioning for those of enormous norkage. It's different having big norks and no fat tum, if you have a big tum everything is different.

AngelaCarleen Thu 27-Aug-09 07:08:05

At my ten week appointment the midwife weighed me and said that as my BMI was over 30 (only just) she was going to have to refer me to a consultant (I was a bit upset as I'd lost 5kg since finding out I was pregnant) blush. My Aunt (who's also a MW, but not in this area) said it was ridiculous and they only refer people with a BMI over 35. The midwife also advised me that they would be very pleased if I didn't put any weight on for the rest of my pregnancy, I laughed grin.

The consultant didn't weigh me, just asked if I thought it would be okay if he didn't see me again for the rest of my pregnancy, so he obviously didn't see any problem hmm. Anyhoo I have now lost 7kg since finding out I was pregnant, just because I have no apetite, but hopefully the midwife will be 'pleased' when I go back next week grin.

arolf Thu 27-Aug-09 09:58:18

I have been treated ok so far - except that I'm 36+4 weeks pg now, and yesterday was the first time I have been weighed - which makes my BMI HUGE. Midwife suggested I lose some weight - told her I plan to in about 3 and a half weeks time...

my mother keeps on telling me I will definitely have GD and PE - no sign of either so far - because of my weight, but no health care professionals have been too bad.

not sure what will happen after baby arrives though.

tots2ten Thu 27-Aug-09 10:15:58

I was refered to a consultant, because of BMI and also this is my 6th pregnancy, and I am prone to having high blood pressure towards the end, wasnt too bothered about seeing a consultant.

The consultant that I saw was awful, her actual first words were, 'as you are aware FAT people can stunt the growth of their baby's so we will send you for extra growth scans at 28, 32, & 36 weeks' My reply was 'thank goodness I am FAT as ds1 was 9lb 12, can you imagine his weight if I wasnt FAT' I have declind all growth scans, (unless at my MW asks for them)

KnockedUpDelf Thu 27-Aug-09 11:38:55

Gosh, I am very fat 117kgs at the booking appointment and I am 5'6". I do work out a lot though with weights, so perhaps don't look as big as I weigh if that makes any sense? I wear an 18/20.

My lovely midwife didn't say anything at all. Just checked I was looking after myself. I had a dating ultrasound that day and there was no problem getting the heartbeat/picture.

I was fat during my last pregnancy as well and no-one mentioned it. I had a natural birth with zero problems.

I have to say that at the antenatal clinic I was at a good proportion of the staff where quite large ladies (and beautiful with it!).

My body is made for the babies, my fat seems to act as a counterweight, I don't gain too much nor to I get uncomfortable. My son was born at a strapping 8lbs 5 and in excellent health.

BMI is bullshit.

TigerFeet Thu 27-Aug-09 11:48:25

My care during this pregnancy has been varied

At booking in my BMI was 35 and I was refused a (hospital) waterbirth and booked in for a GTT and 34wk growth scan.

When I went for the growth scan I was seen by a consultant and asked "Why are you here, there's nothing wrong with you!" and released back into community MW care.

I have lost weight during this pregnancy and find myself at pretty much the same weight now as I was when I delivered dd. I started my previous pregnancy with a much lower BMI and put on a LOT of weight whilst pregnant.

I'm frankly baffled as to why your BMI at booking in is seen as the be all and end all... I would have been able to have whatever birth I wanted with dd but this time I find myself restricted, even though my weight is pretty much the same, to within a couple of kgs.

LBSBCB Thu 27-Aug-09 12:08:39

I've had good experience with both my pregnancies. I'm a size 20/22 with a very high BMI. During my first pregnancy no mention of my weight was made, I did get referred to a consultant and have additional scans but this was due to thyroid issues rather than my weight at the time. I had no blood pressure issues until a couple of days after the birth. My second pregnancy I tended to bring up the issue rather than the midwife. She was really good and just said we're there for you and the baby what ever. When talking about a water birth however she did tactfully say that she didn't feel it would be the best idea because if there was an emergency there may be problems getting me out of the pool. When I was being measured at midwife appointments they just looked at what I originally measured and compared. After the birth I was given tablets to prevent DVT which I wasn't given after my first. This was to do with my weight, but as a final note I can honestly say I've never been made to feel bad etc.

bumpsoon Thu 27-Aug-09 12:37:30

I had a BMI of 30 when i checked in with the midwife ,she wasnt overly concerned and hasnt refered me to anyone else , im now 6 months pregnant and have put on just under a stone ,although 5 pounds of that are most likely due to a fortnight of holiday food !!My bmi is now 32 ,i can still just squeeze into my pre pregnancy jeans which are a size 16 .I carry my fat all over though ,not just on my hips /waist ,which is good when i lose weight because it comes off all over too .I think that with everything ,bmi is only one tool that clinicians should be using to assess risk in pregnant women .

ZippysMum Thu 27-Aug-09 12:48:50

I was overweight when I got pg (BMI 29). At 32 weeks with twins I was weighed for the first time and it came up with a BMI of 37! (surely BMI is meaningless when you are full of babies!?)

I was referred to the anaesthetist (I have to have a c-section), and he said 'why are you here'? I said "Because of my BMI". He had a look at my back (I am having a spinal) and said "No problem here, all looks fine, see you at the birth".

Anyway, everyone's been really nice. No negative comments, etc. Just a bit shock that they use BMI when you are carrying round a belly full of baby!!

gorionine Thu 27-Aug-09 12:56:06

I was actually very surprised that neither my GP nor any of the MVs in the team that was following me even mentionned the fact that I was overweight(self calculated BMI of 30). thinking back I am glad nobody said anything as it would probably have triggerd "anxiety binge eating" and not really helped!

Labella77 Thu 27-Aug-09 13:59:14

At the beginning i had a start BMI of 35.2, and was told that everyone with a BMI over 35 (obese) will get an additional scan to see the development of the baby, at the other scans i was told it could be hard to see anything as i was a larger lady, but everything is fine. I'm off for a scan next week 36+2 so I'll see then if anything has changed, also quite nice as I'll be able to see my little girl again before she's born.
No midwife or doctor has raised issue with my weight and none have weighed me either since my booking appointment. i have a 36 week midwife appointment on Tuesday and I want to ask if i can go to the midwife unit at the hospital so I'll see if they have anything to say about it then.

CommonNortherner Thu 27-Aug-09 14:08:16

My bmi at that time would've been 40.

I didn't get pregnant on purpose and with all the negative information around I felt sure the doc or midwife or someone would tell me off, no-one even mentioned my weight, much to my relief. My midwife didn't weigh me which again was a relief.

During pregnancy the only negatives were that I was automatically sent for the glucose test causing me no end of grief as I got the letter before Christmas for an appointment between Christmas and New Year. When I had my next midwife appointment she was disgusted as the last normal test I'd had was perfectly within limits.

Also when I had appointments at the hospital one midwife couldn't measure my stomach because of me "being overweight" even though the community midwife had been able to do it!

I was induced then ended up with a c-section because ds's head was tilted back and he wasn't coming down. All that was fine.

However, help with breastfeeding was terrible as the breastfeeding expert midwife (she had a badge) was quite clueless about people with large breasts and actually just left me alone when she couldn't work it out shock thankfully there was a nurse assistant who was marvelous.

My weight was also never mentioned afterwards. It was quite nice really. I am sure if it had've been the whole pregnancy and newborn time would've been much more miserable. Nice to be treated as a regular person.

Mamazon Thu 27-Aug-09 14:24:20

i don't think i was treated badly. although they did assume i had every fat person disease going.

but the attitude of some of the Dr's irritated me. i found some to be very rude actually

Labella77 Tue 01-Sep-09 11:55:12

Having been to the midwife they have told me that i can't go to the fancy midwife led ward with all the nice birthing pools and comfort area because i am to fat. Something about not being able to drag my obese, weak body from the pool in an emergency. But they were very nice about it hmm

londontj Tue 01-Sep-09 14:34:07

I'm a pre pregnancy size sixteen with a BMI of 34, have always been pretty fit and muscular but seem to have a very efficient metabolism that means however healthily I eat, I'm always curvy (if a tummy counts as curves!).

My midwife referred me to a consultant and at each subsequent appointment has proceeded to speculate on all kinds of serious health issues I could have in the future if I don't lose weight which, though I'm sure is sensible, leaves me feeling rather battered in the midst of an otherwise trouble free (touch wood) pregnancy. The consultant didn't really know why I'd been referred and had very little to tell me as I'm right at the bottom of his scale but I have been booked in for extra scans and blood tests.

It's great that screening on the NHS is so thorough and I have no complaints about that, but I have found it a bit of a shock that my weight is referred to so regularly as an issue in scan reports and even to the point that a nurse taking blood told me my arms are too chunky to take blood easily, which has never been a problem in the past.

I'm probably massively oversensitive, but I find it all a bit disheartening!

FifiForgot Tue 01-Sep-09 15:40:12

I was referred to a consultant when I was pregnant with DD (now 3) because of my raised BMI. My midwife did say she had to because the guidelines gave a cut off point (can't remember what it is now). I had previously been under the same consultant for fertility issues, so I suspect that might have had something to do with it.

My lovely consultant wasn't worried, saw me a 16 weeks and then again at 36 weeks and left me to the midwife for the rest of the time. No GTT test, no additional blood tests, no additional scans, in fact I had the easiest pregnancy in the world.

The staff on Labour Ward were great and let me get on with it and no mention was made of my weight. I ended up have a section and further surgery, but my consultant said that my insides are an odd shape.

I did, however, have problems with the sonographers. To a person, they all blamed the lack of clear pictures on my raised BMI, despite the fact that they couldn't get a clear picture with an internal scan in early pregnancy. My uterus tilts backwards towards my left hip which makes it difficult. It made me feel awful to see "lack of clear measurements due to increased BMI" all over my notes. I compared photos with other pregnant friends and their pictures were no clearer and in fact had spent far longer being scanned than I had. It felt like the sonographers couldn't be bothered and used BMI as an excuse.

I'm pregnant with No 2 now and no mention has been made of my weight, although the same excuses were rolled out at my 12 week scan. I have been referred to my consultant again, but only to book a section after last time.

gizzy1973 Tue 01-Sep-09 21:31:45

My BMI at first appointment was 31 but my midwife said that was fine and wouldnt need to see a consultant
am 21 weeks and only seen midwife so far and scans so will see what happens the rest of the way

Ronaldinhio Tue 01-Sep-09 21:45:26

No personal expereince but I know my friend was treated she would say fairly poorly
Also had the fat people have larger babies info trotted out and then countered with fat people have smaller babies

she investigated to find that fat and thin people have small medium and large babies

just need to treat people with dignity and not use something as a catch all

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