Jul 262010

“New studies are showing that obesity causes miscarriage.” -Midwife to larger sized mother at prenatal who had previously had a miscarriage and was now pregnant again.

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  92 Responses to “"New Studies Are Showing That Obesity Causes Miscarriage."”

  1. This is terrible! I want to comment but I can’t even find the words!! OP I’m sorry for your loss. Obese women can have happy healthy pregnancies, without miscarriage, high blood pressure, diabetes or any other complications! Just because we are big doesn’t mean our pregnancies or labours will be any different then anyone else. I am obese and I just had a happy, healthy pregnancy, with a 3 hour un-medicated un-augmented labour (arriving at the hospital 20 minutes before she was born helped). Oh and we can breastfeed too, despite common beliefs (although it’s hard to find nursing bras!)
    Good luck OP I hope you found a practitioner who understands that obese women are individuals not a category and that despite our weight we can be healthy and have healthy babies!!

    • SIDE RANT: Overweight women are told they can’t breastfeed? So if your breasts are too small you can’t breastfeed. And if they’re too big. You can’t breastfeed if you’re too fat or too skinny. Come on! Nearly all women can breastfeed with a little information and support (and extra food and water, of course).

      • Overweight women and women with very large breasts are told all the time that they shouldn’t try breastfeeding, that they’ll make too much milk, that it will be too painful for them from all the added weight, and/or that their large breasts will pose a smothering risk to their babies. It’s total rubbish, of course, but unfortunately, it scares off too many zaftig women from nursing their offspring.

        About the only thing I could see that would cause a problem would be backache from added weight, since milk is dense. That’s not an argument against breastfeeding, it’s an argument for a good supportive bra or under-the-bust demi-corset, the kind that leaves the nipples either exposed or easily slipped out over the bra cups.

        Flat women like me (I’m naturally a AA cup) sometimes get told we’ll have a hard time making enough milk. I always laugh when I hear that. I am a human dairy.

        Size doesn’t matter.

        • Yep, I’m a plus-sized mom. I wear a 44 DDD (well F now); was told I could *try* to BF, but I probably wouldn’t be able to. That was 7 months ago. My little girl is still breastfeeding! I never have found a nursing bra that fits right…

          • Rachael, have you tried any Goddess/Elomi bras? I’m a 42H and I’ve had great luck with them! They aren’t as bulky as other plus size nursing bras and they are often available on Ebay!

    • Thank you! This was mine. I had a wonderful pregnancy and birth with my first, despite nasty morning sickness. ;) This comment was said at my first prenatal appointment with my second living child. I am currently pregnant for the 4th time- 3rd living child and my new midwives are amazing and have encouraged healthy lifestyle rather than attacking me. the pregnancy that began with the submitted comment was such a horrible experience I am so relieved to have new midwives this time around.

  2. I call this the “obesity card.” Doctors tend to blame EVERYTHING on weight. Now–to be fair–excess weight can cause physical problems, like bad knees and such. But I get tired of hearing doctors blame, oh, I don’t know, a broken nose on obesity. My best friend of 30 years is obese. She complained for about 3 years of constant bleeding, pain, and feeling “full” all the time. Doctors kept telling her it was her weight. Finally, on a really detailed ultrasound, a skilled technician spotted the real problem–a football sized tumor (12 pounds) on her ovary. They feared it was cancerous, but thankfully it was benign. After a difficult recovery, she was fine. So much for the “it’s your weight” card. Hate this!

    • I experienced something like this as well. I was about 20 lbs “overweight” as a teenager. For 6 years, every doc I went to told me I was fat and needed to lose 20 lbs. (I was 135 at 5’4″.) When I went to join the military, they had trouble finding one of my ovaries in the physical exam. (I had bruises for weeks from that “exam”.) They sent me to a gyn who took 5 seconds to take one look at my abdomen on the ultrasound and stated that I had cancer. Then they sent me home. No military for me, right?

      Anyway, I went to another very nice gyn doc, and 2 months later they removed a 25(!!) lb. tumor from my ovary. Benign, thank god. The next time I went to my regular doc, he raved about how much weight I had lost. I get sick to my stomach just thinking about this.

      Between that, and being held down with VELCRO STRAPS “for my comfort” during my first birth, and the generous epi cut because I was crying, I have a lot of issues with Doctors of all stripes, especially ladybits docs.

      • Held down with velcro? Wow…I am soooo sorry!

        • OMFG. Why did they bind you with Velcro straps? What could possibly have been their justification? That isn’t even standard procedure in hospital births. It went out of fashion when twilight sleep went the way of the dodo. What barbarians!

          • This was in 1995 in a military hospital. My legs were slipping out of the broken calf cuffs that were uncovered (and so slippery with sweat) and too big while I was in the stranded beetle position, and annoying the doctor who was trying to catch. He got so annoyed he had me strapped down and he cut me a really large 2nd degree episiotomy which led to a 3rd almost 4th degree tear. I’m lucky I didn’t end up with a punitive cesarean. Considering I was a lowly seaman, and he was a captain, I didn’t dare say one word or I could have been court martialed for insubordination.

          • My mind is boggling. Childbirth should not be subject to considerations of rank.

          • I want to add, in case it wasn’t clear, that I was eventually admitted to the Navy, because they don’t discriminate against NON-cancerous tumors that have been removed. Once it was removed and I recovered, I was highly sought after by the Navy.

      • Wow, that’s very similar (and yet worse) than what happened for my friend. I can’t believe you were treated that way in birth!

        • I hope this doesn’t come out wrong.

          I’m actually glad to know that I’m not the only person something like that happened to. Not that I’m glad it happened to someone else, but that it’s not just something weird about me. It makes things a little better.

      • Oh my that is horrible and sickening! It’s so disgusting how pregnant and overweight people are treated by medical personnel- and worse if you happen to be both. It makes me sick to think about what you went through. **HUGS**

      • That is terrible. The undiagnosed tumor is terrible…but so is the attitude about your weight! Depending on your frame, 135 might actually be a good weight for a woman who is 5’4″ tall. I’m 5’3″, and when I’m 135, I’m a size 8, which is a very nice size.

    • True and so disgusting! I can’t think of any off the top of my head because I try to block out the horridness of it but I’ve heard some doozies of things that were blamed on obesity that had nothing to do with it.

    • Obesity isn’t the only card they play. There is a new (and disturbing) trend in young, pregnant women. They eat far too few calories in an attempt to not gain weight during the pregnancy. If you are not capable of eating for your baby, you shouldn’t have gotten pregnant.

      • They do this because if they gain more than the recommended 20-25lbs throughout their pregnancy, the doctor gives them a hard time about their weight.

        • Also about the size of the baby. If even a mother whose weight is healthy or even on the underweight side gains Too Much Weight during pregnancy (thirty five pounds used to be the golden standard, now it’s twenty to thirty pounds unless the mother looks like Twiggy, in which case, thirty five pounds is grudgingly allowed) she is warned of the dangers of foetal macrosomia. The baby will get stuck! It’ll be shoulder dystocia unless a c-section is scheduled in advance! The baby will be fat and diabetic all its life!

          So stay away from that ice cream. You *may* allow yourself a couple of extra baby carrots for a mid-day snack. But nothing fatty!

          • One more reason I’m glad I was only weighed at my first 2 appts, and not after that. I’d gotten below my pre-pregnancy weight when I fell pregnant again (I’m thin to begin with – add wearing/chasing a toddler to that, and I lost weight). I don’t know how much I gained, but my bump was huge, even with me being able to eat very little because of constant nausea throughout most of the pregnancy. My daughter was 8lbs 11oz. Oh, and she was birthed just fine, with me on all 4s. No one had predicted she’d be that big – they were predicting around 7lbs because my son was just under 7lbs.

    • Yep. When I have a bad experience with a doctor–and there are many of those, because I have health issues that are completely non-weight-related–and people don’t understand why I’m annoyed, I explain it thusly: “Basically, if I suddenly became a vampire, this doctor would tell me to lose 50 pounds and I’d be cured.” Usually shuts ‘em up real quick.

      Except for my sleep specialist, who is determined to discover cardiac problems. Damn my low blood pressure and low cholesterol and normal blood sugars!

  3. I hate this card. It was played a lot with my first pregnancy. I was too big for the birthing ball, my legs were too heavy for me to birth in any position other than flat on my back after I had the epidural, and I was told I gained too much weight and that I’d end up with a big baby that would be hard to deliver. All this without anything actually wrong with me. No high blood pressure, no bad knees, no diabetes. The only thing wrong with me was a number on the scale and they never let me forget it. And all this from midwives. You would think they’d know how sensitive a topic this can be for women and not throw it around so much.

    • You would think midwives would have the sense to encourage healthy lifestyle and not bully mommies about their weight if they are eating properly and active. :( I have found that not all midwives have this sense apparently. WHY a person is overweight is more important than whether they are or are not or by how much. If they are overweight from eating twinkies in bed all day then their body is likely fighting toxicity and may have problems providing nutrients to a baby or energy to a birthing mother if she does not improve her dietary and exercise habits. If she’s overweight because she has a desk job and wasn’t blessed with a properly working metabolism however, there’s no reason to assume that she will have any more problems than a skinny person who also has a more sedentiary lifestyle. People can gain or loose weight from prescription (or non) drugs, depression and other emotional or psychological hurdles, lack of access to good quality food, too active or inactive of a lifestyle, other existing health conditions, and many more things. Most of these things are not even the person’s fault or are things they cannot control or do not know are hurting them. But it’s become a societal requirement to blame everything on the fat instead of seeking out what the real cause is. Got diabetes? It’s gotta be because you’re fat! No matter that you had diabetes BEFORE you became overweight and that the weight came on slowly as a result of lifestyle changes to accomodate the diabetes… we are living in 2010 and this is the day and age in which we must blame everything on the fat. :(

  4. The obese – one of the last remaining groups of people it is still socially acceptable, and in fact encouraged, to mock, belittle and discriminate against.

    Even IF that theory were true (which it is NOT. There is NO definitive proof that excess body weight, in and of itself, can CAUSE a miscarriage), what would be the actual POINT of saying this to a pregnant woman? Can she safely loose a bunch of weight while pregnant? No. Can she safely go in for bariatric surgery while pregnant? No. Will holding the doom of her child over her head magically cause the evil weight to fall off? No.

    So basically this sO.B. is using shame and fear to punish this woman for her appearance.

    • HEAR HEAR!

      Exactly right. There’s no point to this except to make the woman feel bad about not being pleasing to the eye. And for this to come from a midwife makes it worse. My only good birth was with a midwife (some might call her a medwife, but I was happy with her) who never once mentioned my excess weight, except to tell me that I still had to gain 15 pounds, even if I was emotionally uncomfortable with that.

    • Thank you! This was my submission. I think the compassionless fat-aphobe actually thought she COULD scare and bully me into losing weight. With my following pregnancy, this current one, she told me I HAD to loose 10 pounds in a month or she would drop me. Even though I started out the pregnancy at almost the same weight I began my previous pregnancies, she thought she could scare or blackmail me into losing weight. See my full explanation further down…

  5. Ahhhh the obese card I know it well…….

    In the UK they use BMI far too much!! Using the BMI I am classed as morbidly obese and should drop dead from a coronary any second. As it is I am a uk size 14-16 but very muscly!!

    This didn’t stop the consultant telling me I was in extreme danger of gestational diabetes and severe birthing issue.

    I gave birth to my 2nd child whole under an over administered epidural because they had used too much based on my ‘supposed’ size.

    Needless to say my 3rd was born at home even with severe SPD (none weight related, injury related) with no diabetes involved!

    • BMI is overused everywhere. It isn’t even accurate. At my worst, I had a BMI of 16.5 (or something like that) but I have large bones, so effectively my BMI should have been a LOT lower. I looked like a concentration camp victim. You could actually count the vertebrae of my back and see my ribs poking out when I wasn’t even inhaling.

    • Crazy, isn’t it? Stupid charts. Like the 28 day cycle myth and other medical urban legends.

    • BMI is WAY overused!!! My DH is in the military and the Wii Fit we bought for me told him he was overweight. Oh yeah, he can get a nearly perfect score on his PT test but he is “fat”. I on the other hand was at a great weight (I’m 21 weeks pregnant, up 12 lbs and still a ‘normal’ BMI) but I couldn’t run a mile in less than 10 minutes if my life depended on it.

    • Yep. BMI was never meant to be a diagnostic tool. And it’s only accurate for those with an average frame and who live a sedentary lifestyle. So if you’re small-framed and active, it’ll tell you you’re way underweight, and if you’re bigger-boned and/or muscley, that you’re overweight. Wonder if I can opt out of my height being measured next time. LOL

  6. I’ve heard being female can cause miscarriage. So can being pregnant.

    • Don’t forget the stress of having to put up with a controlling, discriminatory, tactless care provider. That’s got to be a risk factor as well.

    • Considering that 30% of pregnancies end in miscarriage (by some studies) it’s also true that being underweight and being of normal weight are associated with miscarriages.

      So are wearing sandals, liking the color blue, knowing any French, being a Pisces, reading more than five books a year, breathing, and listening to Kelly Clarkson. :-b

      • “More than five books a year.” So THAT’S why I’m classified as high risk in my files! ;)

        • Eyup. Reading four or fewer books a year is *also* associated with a certain risk of miscarriage. ;-)

          • And here I thought it was because I’m forty, have had one caesarean and one premature birth in the past, have slight asthma (controlled by coffee and Benadryl with the occasional albuterol hit in hay fever season), have used social services in the past and am on pregnancy-package Medicaid, have autism, and adamantly stick to homebirthing with as little assistance from my midwife or anybody else as possible.

            Now I know it’s just my reading habits.

            Or is it because my eyes are hazel?

    • Precisely! Although “knowing” in my head she was full of poop didn’t make her nasty treatment of me hurt any less. (I’m the submitter.) I am so thankful to be with a different birthing center this time!

  7. Wow sOB, a little sensativity! Ok so there are things related to obesity that can cause misscarriage like undxed hypothyroidism which CAUSED obesity, like PCOS which can be treated with metformin and like diabetes which also can be treated. Blaming the poor mother for her miscarriage is sick. I don’t know a woman anywhere who doesn’t blame themselves for their losses, if only I hadn’t lifted x, if only I hadn’t eaten y if only I hadn’t done z blaming the mother doesn’t help and it doesn’t make her feel any better. How about “if you’re concerned about this baby lets run some bloodwork to rule out a problem”. I’m obese too, morbidly obese. OP, i’m so sorry for your loss and it was NOT your fault. Some babies just don’t make it and there’s often nothing that can be done to prevent the loss. *hugs*

    • Thank you so much! It’s words like yours that take the guilty sting out of those memories. I know now there was something amiss from the beginning. I never did get a positive pregnancy test with the miscarried pregnancy though I knew in my heart I was pregnant from very early on, and then at 7 weeks I knew I’d lost the baby before the spotting started. I was so depressed that I never went in to get checked and let myself nearly bleed to death when I finally cleaned out a month later. I wondered for years if my knowing that I’d lost the baby at 7 weeks was wrong- if I really just “gave up” on the baby and that my body killed it off because I already thought it was dead. I miscarried in July and got pregnant again in November so at my first appointment in December when the midwife said this it really crushed me. Like you said, it’s not like I wasn’t already blaming myself in the form of 30-trillion what-ifs already. What she said at the time and in the way she said it served only one purpose- to crush my spirit and bully me into doing whatever she wanted. It was so far from beneficial it’s crazy. SO glad I have a new midwife now!!!!

  8. Copy the article you read, and let me read it, and research its references if it has any. Otherwise, keep your agenda to yourself. I do not like alarmism couched in the form of pseudoscientific horse pucks.

    Having never been overweight, I can’t say I’ve ever experienced this form of discrimination and disrespect. However, I have been severely underweight. The first time I got pregnant I was more than thirty pounds underweight (five feet ten, large boned, a hundred ten pounds) and shouldn’t even have been able to conceive in the first place – I’d stopped having periods long ago – and the doctor on my college campus pointed out that the constant fainting spells I was having and the chest pain were signs that the pregnancy was putting too much stress on my heart. I did not have anorexia nervosa – I simply couldn’t afford food. Didn’t matter. Oh, and I was informed that the situation was pretty risky to the baby, also. Being malnourished creates a very high risk pregnancy. More chances of miscarriage, preterm birth, birth defects that result from a lack of folic acid, stillbirth, problems with the placenta.

    Malnutrition is much riskier than being overweight. I’ve known plenty of overweight people who ate well, exercised, watched their cholesterol, had good blood pressure, and basically were in excellent shape even though their particular shape was “round.” There is no such thing as healthy malnutrition. There are no healthy anorexics.

    Shame on the midwife. If she has a prejudice against large clients, she should state upright that she will not assist at a large client’s birth, but is willing to provide referrals to other widwives who will.

    • Thank you! I wish she HAD just referred me to another midwife. In fact, at the beginning of my current pregnancy, the one after the one in the submission, she told me I HAD to loose 10 pounds by my next appointment in 4 weeks or I’d have to go to an OB and she actually said to me “Don’t you DARE” go to a different midwife and “make” them take me on instead because think of how I’d be destroying their life if something went wrong with my pregnancy or birth and I wound up dying and they got sued out of house and home for it. I guess I’m a terrible potential home-wrecker then since I left before the appointment was over and went straight to a new midwife, who has never not even once said a negative word about my weight. I’m due in a little over 6 weeks.

    • Underweight is a bigger issue. I’ve been “Wisp Thin” as my mom liked to say, due to the withholding of/lack of access to food. Guess what this equaled when awful woman from H*** left our family and I had access to all the food in the house? Puking from over eating and an obsession with food that still lingers. I had a nurse tell me (at 16, 5’3″, 107 lbs,) that I was *100* pounds overweight according to her chart. I can’t imagine if she’d said this to one of those anorexic teenagers. Eating is bad, not eating is bad, junk food is bad, health food is bad. We must all look like Barbie and always wear high heals. Ick.

  9. This midwife should not call herself a midwife. I can think of a few choice words for her! I am a large woman, recently made a mother by unnecessary c-section. My friend’s dad is a doctor. He is also very fat-phobic. She told me recently she thinks it’s because in med school his cadaver was a quite obese woman. He was, I think, a bit traumatized from knowing her body so well. He now eats an apple and fat free yogurt for lunch everyday. Unhealthy reaction to fat? Yes! I am sure it affects his practice every day. Fat doesn’t mean unhealthy and skinny doesn’t mean healthy. This is a stupid and simplistic view of the human body, which is vast and miraculous in it’s complexity. I am stuck trying to understand why SO MANY doctors are fat-phobic, completely ignorant about birth, treat women so badly, are so reluctant to admit when they don’t have an answer, etc. I think med schools are doing a piss-poor job of training them. They are supposed to be training them in healing. It seems their training includes a lot of poor information and no training in listening or keeping up with actual research. It is shameful and a national (world-wide) epidemic. I know now why people forgo treatment for curable diseases. I have absolutely no faith in doctors anymore.

  10. If you’re read the origins of fat-phobia, you know how utterly ridiculous this garbage is. If you realize that doctors look specifically for more problems in “obese” persons and therefore, of course FIND more (you can’t find something you aren’t looking for), you realize how much the stats are screwed up. Any doctor who mentions anything fat-phobic, I run from. They are unable to objectively view a larger person correctly and will continue to try to find things wrong just based on weight. They’re more likely to perform unnecessary interventions and look for problems and call a few numbers off a problem that they would normally dismiss.

    Obesity was originally a “problem” for snake-oil salesmen who found they made a LOT of money on “diet pills” (that killed more customers than they “cured”) and doctors, who were mostly paid in trade at the time, looking to earn more money, picked up on it and people’s fears of being “immoral” (fat) and started preying on them, linking diseases to being fat that had no real link.

    It’s a long-running bit of self-perpetuating garbage. Yes, certain kinds of weight gain are unhealthy. Anything in extremes is unhealthy (being supermodel thin is unhealthy, too–and just like there are perfectly healthy supermodel-thin people, there are perfectly healthy fat people… though no doctor would call them perfectly healthy because they see bing fat as a disease in and of itself, so we’re “all” “sick”). /ramt

    • I’ve heard women say that doctors blame everything on their weight and refuse to pursue a real diagnosis, even when there are clearly diagnosable problems.

      And if that’s the case, then think what a blessing it is to fall into the “overweight’ portion of their splendid charts, since being overweight renders a woman immune to any disease, any illness, any health problems EXCEPT for being overweight!


      • I never once said that! That’s a ridiculous inference from what I said. But for crap’s sake, I have a friend with Cushing’s who couldn’t get it diagnosed at first, because her doctors just said “You’re just fat, lose weight.” They said “Oh, that side of your body is bigger because your obesity is catching up faster there.” That was the only response she could get. The doctors kept blaming the symptom.

        But, of course, I think that being overweight is meaningless and we should all just listen to our doctors. Because that’s ever what I’ve stood for–or you, for that matter, Jane. I’m disappointed that you’re the one who made that ridiculous response :( That really hurt my feelings and dismissed the entire point.

        • Of course it’s a ridiculous response! The idea that a woman who falls into the “overweight” portion of the blessed all-knowing BMI chart can NEVER have anything whatsoever wrong with her is stupid, and doctors who listen to a woman carefully detailing a problem and then brush it off with “Well, it’s probably due to your weight” need to be launched into outer space to treat patients on the moon.

          Because seriously: that’s what they’re implying. If I go to the doctor and tell the doctor about a lot of symptoms and the doctor brushes it off with “You’re overweight and need to lose about 50 pounds,” then the *doctor* is implying that as an overweight woman, I am immune to every disease, illness and syndrome known to mankind. Right? They should send me in to treat plague victims because I can’t get it. Since EVERYTHING is actually just being overweight.

          I’ve heard the same thing about women with depression. No matter what the symptoms (“Doctor, I have horrible pain in my back”) the doctor will blame it on the depression. So now that’s two categories that render women impervious to getting other illnesses: being overweight, and being depressed.

          It’s stupid. I was *agreeing* with you and I’m sorry that wasn’t clearer. I need a little sarcasm smilie that’s better than a *headdesk*, and I”m sorry I hurt your feelings.

          • Okay, that makes SO MUCH more sense! I’m sorry for getting all butt hurt. Having an attack of real life around here and my stress levels are way too high right now. So venting at doctors who can’t her me? Priceless.

            Yeah, it’s an epidemic of idiocy is what it is. I’ve thankfully never had a problem with doctors blaming my weight (probably because most of my physical issues developed when I was underweight, which I was from ages 7-12, except the genetic arthritis in my hand)… except one midwife who actually had the audacity to say that a vaginal exam might be harder on a fat woman… I mean, wtf? She, herself, was overweight and I might be overweight in a lot of places, but my vulva is NOT one of them! (no one ever had a problem performing any of the multitudes of unnecessary vaginal exams on me, either)

            My husband actually won’t go to a doctor for a checkup, because he’s certain that even if he’s in perfect health, they’re going to insist on tons of tests because he’s overweight (which he spend most of his teen years being poked and prodded over because even on a healthy diet with daily exercise and biking everywhere he went, he kept gaining weight) and telling him to “just lose weight” and the standard “diet and exercise” that has done him no good thus far in his life :(

          • I should have been more clear that I was being teh stoopid on purpose.

            I’m laughing at the idea that it would be harder to do a vaginal exam. What. the. heck?

            It’s this ridiculous blinder thing, the observer bias where a doctor simply stops looking after finding the first “obvious” thing to blame. I’ve begun asking doctors, “I want a differential diagnosis too,” and then when they come up with something, I say, “And what’s the likelihood of that being the case?” because it forces them to re-think the same symptoms they’re looking at and put them all into different boxes.

            Let’s get rid of the “overweight” and “depressed” boxes and have the doctors put real symptoms into real context and give real diagnoses.

          • I have seen my dad gain and lose extreme amounts of weight over the years. It took several tests and a brand new, shiny from med-school doctor to tell him he had a thyroid problem. At one point, a doctor told him he was depressed because he was fat and if he would lose the weight he’d feel fine. Mind you, my dad is a hard working pipe fitter, who loves to hunt, fish, and camp so he’s always been pretty active. A lot of older doctors miss thyroid problems, and its just as prevalent in women as it is in men. Weight gain (or loss) in extremes is a symptom. Your Doc’s job is to figure out what it’s a symptom of. Not tell you to lose weight and feel better.

          • No kidding. He’s pretty sure his thyroid was tested, but they’ve changed standards since then, fairly significantly, so I think he should be tested again.

    • I totally agree with you ladies- being overweight is not the be-all end-all they are so fond of making it out to be. I have no health conditions as an overweight person that did not exist before I became overweight. Yet if I mention the few things I do have wrong with me to anyone the first and only conclusion they jump to is that it’s because I’m fat. *sigh*

  11. OP, I am sorry for your loss, I am obese, and had a miscarriage 8 years ago. Got pregnant in 06 and the dr’s and nurses kept saying I had high bp and kept thinking I would have everything wrong in the book, because of my weight, the only reason my bp was up was because the idiot nurses kept taking it with a small cuff.. They thought for sure I would have diabetes, pre-e, a difficult labor.. I now have 3 healthy happy babies, with no complications,

    • Thank you! And I’m so glad you had 3 babies with no complications- that’s awesome and just keeps on proving that they like to blame fat for everything more than they like to find out what, if anything is really wrong. When you say that fat people can be healthy too, people look at you like you just said Bigfoot lives in your backyard. It’s crazy how cultural bias can obscure medical truth even in those who are supposed to specialize in medical truth, isn’t it?

  12. This was mine.
    I’m overweight. Not to the point it affects normal life functions, and my 1st pregnancy was pretty much uneventful and nobody said a word to me about my weight the whole time. I’m hypoglycemic and control it with diet. I have been hypoglycemic since long before I was overweight- it’s not related to my weight it actually runs in my mother’s side of the family. I eat pretty healthy, and I always have. As a child when I’d raid the fridge for a snack I’d go straight for last night’s leftover veggies or a slice of cheese. I became overweight while on hormonal birth control pills and it has not come off. In fact the only time since getting off the pill that my weight fluctuates up or down more than a few pounds is during pregnancy where I am usually drastically sick and losing during the first trimester and then gain it all back plus some in the third trimester and wind up post-birth at about the same weight I began the pregnancy. I have 2 toddlers, one of which is potty training- I think chasing 2 tots around doesn’t qualify as sitting on my butt all day, although I don’t have an official exercise routine. So I’m healthy, eat healthy, and chase kids all day.

    My 2nd pregnancy was a surprise and ended in miscarriage at 7 weeks. I was devastated. Somehow the loss is what triggered my husband’s readiness to officially start trying for the next baby. I wasn’t emotionally ready- still very fragile, but I knew people who had tried for years to get pregnant and thought that it’s been a few months since the miscarriage, we should probably start trying now. I got pregnant almost immediately.

    Thus my 3rd pregnancy began, with severe ovarian pain for many weeks. In the time before my scheduled first prenatal appointment, the midwife told me on the phone it could be an ectopic pregnancy. I weighed about 7 pounds less this pregnancy than at the start of #1. Finally at the first prenatal appt. for pregnancy #3 the midwife (who is also an ultrasound tech) said to me, as I was laying on the table waiting to be reassured that my current baby was not ectopic, was alive and well, “New studies are showing that obesity causes miscarriage.” She knew I’d just lost a baby to miscarriage a few months prior and took the opportunity while I’m laying there vulnerable with my shirt up and pants down and cold goop on my belly waiting to see if I was about to loose another baby to say this to me. I asked if she was saying that my fat killed my baby and she looked half-smug and half-sheepish as she replied that she ‘wouldn’t say it didn’t.’ After FINALLY confirming my baby was alive and not ectopic, the midwife launched into a 20 minute long lecture in which she told me, “I forbid you to gain any weight during this pregnancy! You know what can happen…” or she would “make” me go to the hospital to have my baby. She threatened me with making me go to the hospital multiple times during this pregnancy any time I didn’t do what she wanted and this was the first of many incidents that showed me she is phobic of fat and thinks that she can bully people into not gaining or into losing weight. I was so devastated and cowed by her horrible comment and constant bullying that for the duration of the pregnancy I swung wildly back and forth between binging and starving, a true eating disorder for the first time in my life. I was very depressed, constantly in a state of nervous panic, and too scared to call and ask for help when I developed a bladder infection- also the first and only bladder infection of my life.

    Pregnancy #4, living baby #3, is due in 6 weeks. My current pregnancy at my first prenatal appointment, this midwife told me that she would refuse me as a client and send me to the hospital if I didn’t LOOSE 10 POUNDS IN A MONTH – yes while pregnant and severely sick with hyperemisis gravidarium she told me to purposely drop 10 pounds. I had just gotten my emotional eating and depression from the damage she caused last time under control and decided that for the health of my baby I would run like the wind if she treated me like that again, so when she did I dropped her – walked out before the appointment was finished and have never been back. I am now with a new birthing center, the midwives of which are supportive and praise me for my healthy eating habits and do not try to blackmail me into starving myself or losing weight during pregnancy. They support healthy eating and exercise and according to them I’m doing fabulous- they have commented on it several times. I lost weight during the first trimester due to the hyperemisis and have been gradually gaining back the weight I lost and they have not given me a hard time about it at all, even though I’m following the exact same pattern of weight loss and then plateau and then gain as I did with my other pregnancies that my first midwife seemed to find so unacceptable.

    I can still barely think about the things she said without crying. That was 2 1/2 years go and I’m still scarred to my soul from what she said about it being my fault for being too fat that my baby died. The pain of the loss dulls a little, but the sting of that comment still brings me to tears. No matter how many times other friends and healthcare providors tell me that most miscarriages, especially those in the first trimester, are unexplainable and happen to fat, skinny, tall, short, black, white, educated, and uneducated alike, I still cannot get the haunting pain and guilt of that comment out of my mind. I’m so glad I’m out of there. I began going to a midwife with my first child instead of an OB after seeing how horribly my sister was treated by hospital staff at her son’s birth. I thought all midwives would be pretty much the same and support the same things but I was wrong. I was too scared to switch care providors my whole pregnancy with my son and I think I must have been crazy to have even scheduled an appointment with her this pregnancy. I had had such a terrific prenatal and birth experience with my first with her that I hoped my second experience was a fluke I guess. I see it was not, she just took a while to show her true colors. If I’ve learned anything from this it’s that midwives are not all the same, and that if you’re being mistreated, no matter how scary it is to switch, do it for you and baby! It’s better to be scared and switch than to put up with bullying from your healthcare providor!

    • First, congrats on Baby3. You must be reaching the excited to see your little bub stage?

      And second, what a nasty, hateful creature that woman was. You sound like a wonderful mother, and shame on her for being so negitive. Best wishes for you and your kiddos.

      • Thank you so much! Yes, I’m so excited to see my little baby! My toddlers are already crazy about their baby sister and she’s not even born yet, always kissing and hugging and talking to my belly. :) My husband was feeling her kick the other day and said to me, “I have never seen her but I love her already!”

    • Your former midwife appears to have SERIOUS mental problems. She reminds me of a local homebirthing midwife in my area who the grapevine had warned me about – very interventive, often doing things at birth that seriously jeopardize the mother’s health such as forcibly stretching the cervix way before it’s ready to speed up a “stalled/dysfunctional” labour, or yanking the placenta out only to have to treat the mother for bleeding later – by herself, of course, not transporting the haemorrhaging mother to the hospital ER, although some of her clients wind up there anyway. And it’s amazing how often the ones that stick around sing her praises, calling her heroic, lifesaving, an angel of mercy…

      I bet she likes hearing that. I bet she likes hearing that so much that she creates problems just to solve them.

      Your former midwife reminds me of her, for some reason. Maybe it’s just her way of shameless bullying.

      • Yes she is very controlling and then if something goes wrong she has a cover, or an excuse. And everyone who has gone there sings her praises like she’s some hero, like the midwife you describe. Now that my blinders are off I keep remembering other things. More and more things. And it makes me mad and I have to purposely put it out of my mind and go on with my life.

    • I’m sorry you were subjected to such bullying behavior. :-( That’s just awful.

      Please don’t let her terrible comments hurt you anymore. The fact is, your body is fully capable of carrying a pregnancy, and your weight had no bearing on your miscarriage.

      The only thing your weight “caused” was her hateful treatment of you (or rather, revealed her prejudice and bullying nature) and you did the right thing by getting out of there. Whatever that woman’s issues, she had no right to inflict that kind of pain on you.

      • Thank you! I’m trying not to let her get to me anymore. I think I’m in the beginning stages of labor right now and I’m really nervous and excited looking forward to the birth, hoping it goes as well with my new midwives as the pregnancy has so far. Hoping that with this fresh miracle in the front of my mind it will help those unpleasant memories from the other midwife to stop popping up to hurt me. And hoping that maybe those unpleasant memories will fuel my inner rebel to have THE BEST BIRTH EVER just to spite her! Ha! ;)

  13. I cannot believe this Midwife!! How DARE she tell someone that? There is absolutely NO evidence to back up here answer. Actually here is an article done by an Oxford University study that PROVES that obesity does NOT increase risks for miscarriage (let alone “cause” miscarriage)


    So sorry to this OP. I have struggled with weight for a while. I’m not obese (I’m 5’7 – 140 lbs – 6 months pp)I know that obesity increases risks for different pregnancy issues, but that doesn’t mean its inevitable. You can still be healthy even though you carry extra baggage. Very sorry to the OP, you shouldn’t have been treated like that.

  14. Cause and effect is extremely hard to PROVE, and medical people who think they have proof only prove that they are not scientists. New studies Never and I repeat NEVER show cause and effect. New studies always show where the next study should focus. They only suggest links and show tendancies. New studdies show (read this carefully) that there appears to be a link between… Now if that link is that women with thyroid issues tend to have weight issues and miscarriage issues. Then the next study needs to be designed in such a way to explore only women with thyroid issues and follow their pregnancies long term. NEW studies NEVER show cause and effect.

    • Your link doesn’t prove any such thing. Your link shows that while there is no difference in rate of later miscarriage, there is a difference in the rate of early miscarriage and Repeated miscarrage. It doesn’t prove cause and effect. It doesn’t claim to. It only points to an assoication. I personally don’t agree that the difference in early miscarriage is significant. I don’t think their groups were large enough for the math to mean that much. But it does warrant further study. Not so we can blame women for their miscarriages, but so we can find the true chemical source that triggers the miscarriage and find a way to stop it from happening.

  15. Ugh… when I had my miscarriage I was 30lbs overweight and I was telling myself that my weight had caused it. I would have truly lost it if a “care”provider had told me that. I conceived 2 months later at the same weight and just had a healthy baby boy.
    OP-I’m sorry your “care”provider did this to you.

  16. Doctors need to make up their mind about how they ASSume weight will affect us. I am 5’5 and was 100 lb. when I got pregnant with my first. OB told me that I didn’t weigh enough, and baby would be premature and my hips weren’t wide enough to deliver. I went on to gain 60 lb. so then he reprimanded me for being too heavy, that baby would be huge and that I would have a horrible delivery. In a 2-hour 40w 2d delivery my 7 lb. 13 oz. daughter was born.
    Pregnancies two and three followed suit.
    And after my third, I switched care providers. My new one declared me underweight at 117 lbs. Which is heavier than my usual due to me breastfeeding.
    What I am rambling on trying to say is that they *don’t* know your body as well as we do, we know what is healthy and normal for us, regardless of what the scale and our BMI says. The numbers don’t automatically mean health problems or pregnancy loss. OP, I am so sorry you had to go through that during such a trying time.

  17. My mom complains of this treatment. She’ll go in with a headache and its cuz she’s fat. It’s horrible that everything is blamed on weight but it was ESPECIALLY horrible to say to someone after a m/c.

    I call this the “obesity card.” Doctors tend to blame EVERYTHING on weight. Now–to be fair–excess weight can cause physical problems, like bad knees and such. But I get tired of hearing doctors blame, oh, I don’t know, a broken nose on obesity. My best friend of 30 years is obese. She complained for about 3 years of constant bleeding, pain, and feeling “full” all the time. Doctors kept telling her it was her weight. Finally, on a really detailed ultrasound, a skilled technician spotted the real problem–a football sized tumor (12 pounds) on her ovary. They feared it was cancerous, but thankfully it was benign. After a difficult recovery, she was fine. So much for the “it’s your weight” card. Hate this!

    • Interesting, given that I’ve noticed that my migraines are more frequent and severe when I’m BELOW normal weight – and the books I’ve read on migraines say skipping meals, going on drastic diets, and letting your body get out of whack from being underweight are all bad for migraineurs.

      So much for evidence-based medicine. The researchers find the evidence; the internal medicine primary care providers, general practitioners, etc then apparently ignore it.

  18. What a horrid person this medwife was. I’m sorry you were treated like this, and at such a vulnerable time, too! I hope you complained about this medwife to supervisors! This behavior must not go unchallenged.

    As others have pointed out, establishing causality is very difficult in studies. Some studies have found an *association* between obesity and miscarriage, but it’s likely that the real association is between PCOS (PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome) and miscarriage.

    Many women with PCOS are fat, therefore it looks like obesity ’causes’ miscarriage, when really the issue is PCOS, which causes hormonal imbalances that may not support a new pregnancy. In addition, many women with PCOS also have hypothyroidism, which can also cause problems with pregnancy. But these can be treated, and just chalking them up only to weight means that the real problem often goes untreated.

    I encourage all of you with stories of fat-phobic care to submit them to “First Do No Harm,” a blog which documents fat-phobic care at http://fathealth.wordpress.com. Their section on fertility, pregnancy and birth is woefully small; I *know* there are SO many stories out there to document in this realm but first folks have to submit their stories.

    Also, for more neutral information about pregnancy and birth at larger sizes, don’t forget my website, http://www.plus-size-pregnancy.org, and my blog, http://www.wellroundedmama.blogspot.com.

  19. Hmm.. There is also an association between being a total dolt and having a god-complex.

    I agree with the people who are citing thyroid/hormonal disorders and the association between miscarriage and obesity.

    It’s really not that difficult to explain why insulin resistance caused by PCOS or excess weight gain caused by a thyroid being wonky could make someone fat and then lead to a higher incidence of miscarriage – miss holier-than-thou medwife (Wow would I love to raid HER fridge, cabinet, cupboard and tear her a new one).. and it’s also not that difficult to explain why most women these days tend to be a bit chubby even if they are healthy (and PLENTY of perfectly healthy women have M/C .. MORON!!) – anyway (genetics, stress, environmental toxins, the USDA’s version of “healthy carbohydrate heavy diet” which has been refuted as really being that healthy by controlled trials against the Mediterranean diet which is much heavier on fat and protein and produce than USDA’s idea of healthy).

    Plus. I know a lot of heavier people than me that are a lot healthier than I am. I weigh in the 90ish pound range right now and I’ve had life-long battles with a variety of health issues that my heavier family members/friends (one of whom lived to 102 and was always a CHUBBY WOMAN) haven’t had to cope with…

    How about you close your eyes, and when you wake up, Ms StupidFace Medwife, I’ll have lost ALL of my mass and therefore you’ll be pleased as punch that at least SOMEONE really listened to you and lost ALL that weight!

    And I’m curious if this medwife is perhaps some sort of addict (has she gotten into the pain killers/alcohol?) or has a personality disorder (and something illogical triggered her “dislike” of this woman) or brain tumor or something. I would wonder those things because I have a hard time with the idea that someone with a normally functioning brain would be OKAY for a first pregnancy and then turn into such a psychopath randomly.

    Sorry you were so stupidly and terribly treated OP.

    • Thank you! I think she’s just a control freak but knows how to lure the first timers in so they feel like they should stick around. My sister went there for her second after having a horrible first birth in the hospital and then hearing how well my first pregnancy and birth went with this midwife. My sister, having had as perfect of a second birth (her first at this birthing center) as I did my first with them, now defends this nasty midwife to me, as I would have done after my first wonderful experience against any ill-mention of her. :(

  20. Wow. What kind of an idiot says a thing like that? *Even if* she sees some *correlation* between obesity and health problems, the way she stated it betrayed her ignorance.

    Fat woman here. Really, really fat. 3 healthy pregnancies, 3 natural births, two miscarriages (one molar, which is definitely not caused by obesity). Even my lovely midwives were bowled over to find my blood pressure remained normal thorughout pregnancy and I did not develop gestational diabetes.

  21. <- Fat chick who has had 2 kids and no miscarriages. And, yes, I was fat when I got pregnant the first time. :) Also breastfed with F boobies.

  22. Hello! I’m Heather, and yes, I’m fat. I’m a fatty fat fatty. Fatty McFatterson. I’ve had 2 miscarriages, and two live births. I had the miscarriages in 2003, and I gained weight and had two live births four years apart. Those docs are full of meconium.

  23. I’m sorry but I can’t believe all these comments. Why r we encouraging each other to be so unhealthy. I’m 30, 4 miscarriages, horrible arthritis and I weigh 195. Yes I need to lose weight. No matter how bad it sounds to hear the truth is yes I am fat and it’s a painful life for me. I can’t imagine being pregnant again and having to carry even more weight around. Why do we do this to ourselves? I wish I could run and be flexible but I can’t I’m fat. Now I’m learning how to reduce my weight in a healthy way with the support of my family and friends. I’m very motivated and yes I can do it I will do it! I know no one like to hear about their weight but does that mean we should just let it happen before it’s too much and too late to lose? I’m thankful for all the tough love I’ve gotten because every time I heard I was fat it made me wanna do something about it. I used to be thinner and now I look in the mirror and can’t believe I let this happen. I did this to myself. It’s not about looking attractive. This is not an argument on being stubborn and trying to prove one weight more hotter than the other. It’s about health. It’s our responsibility to care for our bodies not mistreat them

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