No really....I'm 5'4 and my weight for the past 8 years has fluctuated between 200-250 lbs. During that time and just a little before I have been pregnant 9 times.....2 very devastating very early (2-3 weeks gestation) miscarriages, 6 full term beautifully NORMAL pregnancies and I am currently 25 weeks pregnant and have no 'fat girl' pregnancy issues. All my babies were born vaginally and I have even had 2 (planning on 3) midwife attended home water births. In fact aside from what was diagnosed as pregnancy induced hypertension (blood pressures 140/95) with one pregnancy I have had NONE of the issues my "healthier" skinny friends have had!!
With that said....Why is it an automatic assumption that a bigger pregnant woman equals a plethora of problems during pregnancy, labor and delivery. WHERE IS THE MAGICAL TEXT THAT SAYS I'M BROKEN??? Anyone.....still waiting?? I didn't think so. In my opinion plus size women are at no more risk for problems than any other women. So why do we get treated differently?? Why is the OB/GYN throwing in a glucose test into my first trimester pregnancy panel blood work....Why couldn't I just have been asked if I've had glucose problems in the past?? Why am I being told not to eat McDonald's cheeseburgers because I might gain too much weight or cause baby to be HUGE when I would almost rather starve than eat that! Why am I made to feel like a liar when I say eat healthy and exercise? I do....I think because there is such a stigma around plus size women I fear complications therefore I make a conscious effort to be more active and eat much healthier.
I'm not trying to say EVERY plus size mom will have an easy time conceiving, being pregnant, laboring and delivering.... But what I am saying is your chances are just as good as any other woman! Medical problems that seem to plague plus size women are also just as common in non plus size pregnancies! We shouldn't have to deal with the added stresses because doctors and staff don't like to deal with us. That alone can almost guarantee you a high blood pressure reading during your prenatal visit, even if you check it at home and get normal numbers.
Some things I have realized are..have the right to change my health care provider at any time should they make me feel uncomfortable or I just don't care for their bed side manner. I also have a right to a second opinion, the right to discuss PRIVATELY with my partner our options, and the right to simply say NO. So, lets do other women like us a favor and stand up together and say I will no longer accept substandard treatment because of my weight, I will not be scared into unnecessary interventions or tests and I WILL be treated the same as all other women because I'M FAT!!!! My body and vagina are not BROKEN!!!!!
Guest Post written by Kristina Sharrer, a doula-in-training and crunchy plus-sized mom of 6 beautiful children with another on the way! You can learn more about Kristina at her business website