Mar 122010

“If you get pregnant, you will get gestational diabetes, have high blood pressure, and oh, you will probably just die anyway.” -Gynecologist to a young, obese woman who was not pregnant at the time of the gyn exam.

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 March 12, 2010  Fatness, Gyn  Add comments

  33 Responses to “"If You Get Pregnant, You Will Get Gestational Diabetes, Have High Blood Pressure…And…Die…"”

  1. I’ve met women who were skinny with high blood pressure and GD. I’ve also met women who were obese and had perfectly healthy pregnancies.

    Your crystal ball might not be working right doc. Or was that your magic 8 ball?

    • Exactly! I am overweight, my sister is very skinny. With her last baby, she was told to cut out cream in her coffee because of (what I suspect was) GD. I have never been told to cut anything out of my diet while pregnant :) (Well, except ham…but I was due at Christmas time and everywhere I went there was ham, yum!)

      • LoL about the ham! When my dad was still alive, my mom had to buy two hams for Christmas…one for Christmas dinner and one for my dad so the other would survive ’til Christmas!

  2. Young-check
    Gestational diabetes-no check
    High blood pressure-no check
    Dead-no check
    Multiply that times two doc!

  3. My very fat ass is living proof that this isn’t true.
    No GD, blood pressure borderline low, and still alive. Twice.
    Fat really is the last acceptable prejudice.

    • I my search for prenatal care while living in Illinois (the land of the hard to find homebirth midwives b/c they are so underground, you have to know the double secret probation password to find them) I had to go with an OB for prenatal care.

      I will admit, I could have probably lost 100 pounds back then. I was told I would have to meet with the Maternal Fetal Specialist. He was a great guy. Took one look at me and said I was fine. We ended up spending a half hour talking about home birth and he told me how to have a home birth if I really wanted to. :)

      Thankfully we moved to a more homebirth friendly state and I had my little one at home.

      ps (as a side note with a bit humor)…wanna take a guess at who lost 25 lbs in the first trimester? Second question: Wanna guess what happened at each appointment when I got past the first trimester and wasn’t gaining anything back?

      • Lemme guess: “What! You need to eat more! Just have some extra _____ insert crappy unhealthy food for you here _________.” can’t win for losing, apparently.

        • Bingo! It was laughable. The reason I was losing the weight is because I cut out the crap. (I developed an intolerance to anything that had corn syrup in it, a good start).

          We went to Paris at about 18 weeks and did a lot of walking, causing more weight to come off (interestingly since I at every pastry and loaf of bread that came my way!!) Fortunately, the office screwed up the appointment that was to follow my 20 week ultra sound, so I was never weighed there again!

  4. Speaking as an obese woman, there is a way to tell someone that they need to lose weight or even just get in shape (skinny does not equal healthy).

    This was not the way.

  5. There is a lot of prejudice against overweight women in obstetrics, though. I saw a study a long time ago (so I have no hope of finding it now) showing a direct correlation between a woman’s weight and the likelihood of a c-section. (And yes, they were accounting for gestational diabetes.) Doctors just seem to have the notion that an overweight woman is going to produce a huge baby and she won’t have the muscle power or the willpower to push the baby out.

    But this is the first time I’ve heard that being overweight is a death sentence. I’d like to see his studies to back that up, and then talk to anyone I could possibly complain to.

  6. Why oh why isn’t it socially acceptable to just turn to him and say, “Yes, and you will probably die anyway, too, especially after I kick you in the head,” in a calm voice. LOL Picturing the scene …

    • LOL. Agreed.
      “Yes, and you’ll just die anyway too, because you’re the kind of personality that gets heart disease and keels over dead in the middle of boinking his mistress.”
      *shrug* Pretty much equal on the offensiveness scale, totally legit response, right? =P

  7. And yet my older sister is still alive, despite having gotten pregnant while obese and going through not only gestational diabetes but a liver problem they never did diagnose. She and the baby were fine and she’s on her second pregnancy now, which I fully expect her to survive despite having these same problems.

  8. This comment is typical of the medical community. If you are obese or overweight, you are unhealthy. I was told when I was 34 weeks that I was ‘too big’ because I was 260 and drinking juice. This comment had me LIVID especially since I am 6’3″ tall and after every previous birth I loose ALL my pregnancy weight and am back to right around 200, which is healthy for my height.

    • Uh…yeah…you’re HUGE. *snorts* Don’t you love doctors? Come on!

      I mean, if I was over 6 feet tall, I’d expect to weigh more than 125 pounds. But maybe that’s just me. We all know common sense doesn’t reign supreme in the OB ward. ;)

  9. Oh noes, I’m DOOMED to die in pregnancy! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!! *panicpanicpanicpanicpanicpanicpanic*


    Yes, being obese increases your risk for TONS of things, and most of us obese people know that. But this is not the way to help.

  10. In my second pregnancy, I was discussing how I didn’t want a routine IV. He gaped at me and told me how he hate “his moms” to not do that and there is nothing worse than a morbidly obese woman on which they can’t find a vein during a labor emergency.

    At the time:
    - I had already agreed to a hep lock.
    - I was 22 weeks.
    - am 5’8″ and weighed 185 at that time (heavy yes, but nowhere near morbidly obese).

    I had a homebirth attended by a midwife.

  11. Congrats, Doc! You just turned a teachable moment into a crappy experience. Since she WASN’T pregnant, wouldn’t it have been better to educate her on healthy habits so that if she chose to have a baby later, she might be healthier?

  12. How terrible! Scaring women before they even get pregnant!

    For the record, my first pregnancy, I was an obese 18 year old, and I had a completely GD-free, Hypertension-free, unmedicated, complication-free birth. Oh, and I’m nowhere near dead due to my excess fat stores, the closest I got to near-death was because the idiot ped wouldn’t let me nurse my DS and I hemorrhaged. And my DS’s near-death was caused my my MW thinking I needed AROM at 9cm(why? no one knows!)

  13. Ugh. This is just the latest tactic that some docs are using to try and scare fat women out of even contemplating pregnancy.

    Rest assured that lots and lots of women of size have had healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.

    You can read more about healthy pregnancy in women of size (and many of their birth stories!) at my website,, and my blog,

  14. Seriously????

    At 5′ 6″ and 190 lbs, I not only went through fertility treatments and got pregnant through IVF (my IF issues were completely unrelated to my weight), I also had a completely normal, healthy pregnancy and non-complicated labor/vaginal delivery of a full-term baby.

    I lived to tell the tale (and so did my perfect, beautiful son!).

  15. [...] “If You Get Pregnant, You Will Get Gestational Diabetes, Have High Blood Pressure…and…Die” [...]

  16. [...] At a time when the media messages around obesity and pregnancy are almost uniformly negative and scare-mongering, it is important that birth professionals create a place for women of size to discuss their unique [...]

  17. This doc needs to go read himself some Michel Odent!

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