Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Because Of Your Weight, We'll Schedule Your Cesarean

Still find it hard to believe that fat women are being denied access to low-intervention care and are often railroaded into cesareans these days?

Try this story on for size, from the website, My OB Said What?!?

“Because Of Your Weight…We’re Going To …Schedule Your Cesarean.”

“Because of your weight, you’re just not a candidate for midwifery care, and we’re going to go ahead and get you to an OB to schedule your cesarean section.” – CNM to mother at 36 week appointment

Augh.  Just AUGHHHHH!!!  On sooooooo many levels.


Janeen said...

That was more or less what I was told too though in my case it was that because of my weight, I was likely to fail at a TOL and therefore, I cannot have a TOL but have to have a cesarean scheduled. Though the OB was at first saying MAYBE I could get the TOL but she would have to talk to the other OBs. The nurse I saw after that though wouldn't even look at my birth plan because above a certain BMI, the ONLY schedule repeat cesareans. I called later and canceled the rest of my appointments with her. She called and asked me why and I told her simply that it was because I wanted a VBAC. About all she said to that was "good luck" and that was it. I was not going back to her to get screamed at and bullied into a cesarean, no thanks!

Kit said...

I'm sure I'm far, far, far above whatever BMI cutoff the midwife in this story was using. And yet, when I asked my OB around 28 weeks point-blank if she had any reservations about my ability to labor successfully because of my weight, she responded with "No, especially since you've given birth vaginally before... and to be perfectly honest, we'd rather not do a c-section on you. We can, the surgery is quite able to handle bariatric patients, so nothing to worry about there. But frankly, it's major abdominal surgery and that's harder to do and harder to heal from for someone of your size. So all in all I'd much rather you birth this baby yourself." And lo and behold, I did! My daughter is two months old. She came into the world in three pushes (and landed on the bed, because no one expected her that fast! :) 35 hours after my water broke. I had a small bit of pitocin at 30 hours to get contractions going, no pain medications, no tearing, no complications to my recovery. And at the time I weighed somewhere around 375 pounds. (Yes, that is a three.)

Stories like this make me at the same time so grateful for the care I had this last time around and so mad for all the mothers who don't even get the chance to have the amazing experience I did. If I could figure out which street corner to shout my birth story on to help make a difference, I would.

And thank you so very much for this blog; I found it halfway through my second trimester and your fantastic research and writing made a big difference in how I approached both my interactions with medical staff and in my own attitude. I'm certain you get some of the credit for how positive my daughter's birth was. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that I've been reading your blog for a while and I love your website too.

I'm 37 weeks today. Prepregnancy BMI 52 (lost some due to hyperemesis). And I didn't realize until reading this post how incredibly lucky I am to have a pelvic kidney. Sure, it's getting slowly and painfully crushed by my ever-expanding uterus. But it's also situated perfectly so they can't do a cesarean without the risk of cutting it. I'm guessing that might be the only reason I'm being induced (for preeclampsia) when his lungs are ready instead of being gutted like a fish. Thanks, random birth defect! :)

Janie said...

Kit, I loved this:

"Stories like this make me at the same time so grateful for the care I had this last time around and so mad for all the mothers who don't even get the chance to have the amazing experience I did. If I could figure out which street corner to shout my birth story on to help make a difference, I would. "


manapan - please try treating the pre-e with natural methods and say no to the inductions - inductions are horrible!

MyaMaternity said...

Thanks for the post. I think it is important for every woman to have the opportunity to have a natural birth. It is sad that it is automatically an assumption that you cannot naturally give birth because of your weight. Stay confident. There are just some people out there who don't get it.

Unknown said...

I was denied both midwife care and basic OB care from one of the birth centers I had went to. I was told I was only to be seen by a high risk OB and had to switch to a different center in a different city.

I had never been so humiliated in all of my life.

I love my new OB, the high risk. She promised we would do everything to make it safe and easy and everything I want. I plan on having our birth plan in hand for our next visit with her so she can see everything I want and know that I won't be pushed into a c-section. We're 24 weeks today and the appointment is the end of this week. Hopefully, giving us enough time to find a new OB if she gives me any lip.

Who knew I could be made to feel like a criminal for doing something that other women have been doing since the beginning of time?

Eclectica said...

Just have to say that I had my daughter two years ago with a BMI of 49 and no mention of a C section was made (they did say I might have to get a Epidural earlier or in my hand - didn't bother in the end). I had a natural birth and was never pressured to do anything other than I wanted. I'm in the UK and was 'consultant' led.

DodiRose said...

I am so happy to be having a positive experience so far. At 8 weeks I was told by the midwife I was seeing that my BMI was to high and she could no longer see me. I went searching for a new midwife. It was terrifying! I got several answers of "No Way! We cant help you!" Then I got this in an email..."Women of size are perfectly capable of having lovely, natural births, and in fact, with the higher weight-related risks incurred in surgery, it's even more important to facilitate natural births." He then recommended this blog. Yes you heard right - HE!!! I not only found a midwife who so far is on board with me having a natural birth but its a guy! I feel so lucky.

Courtney said...

I'm not overweight or obese but that just seems ridiculous for an OB to say something like that. I can see if they would want you to be monitored more closely because of the weight but to force a c-section like that is wrong. A c-section seems like it would have more risks attached to it. It seems like nowadays some doctors are looking for excuses for unnecessary c-sections.

Eva B said...

I'm going through this right now :o( I'm almost 27 weeks. My OB told me last week there's no chance of a VBAC because I am high risk & I have already had a c-section. I am overweight......she also used that as a reason why I have to "have" a c section. I'm terrified. My first c-section was an emergency because I had developed pre-eclampsia, so my son was born at 28 weeks.
I just want to have a "normal" pregnancy & deliver my baby naturally, but it seems that won't happen :o(