Mar 292011

“Since you are already overweight, the OB will probably request that you only gain 10-15 pounds this pregnancy.” – OB resident to mother who was 5 ft 5 inches and weighed 155.

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 March 29, 2011  Fatness, OB, prenatal  Add comments

  46 Responses to “"…The OB Will Probably Request You Gain Only 10-15 Pounds…"”

  1. What weight charts are they looking at… At 5’6″ my optimal weight per my doctor is 155. I know there are other individual differences but should not be criticizing healthy weights!

    • Yes, very true. And that doesn’t even take into account body type (large frame or small frame) the size of the mother’s breasts, or the amount of muscle mass she currently has.

      Obsessing over WEIGHT never does anybody any good. Eating healthy and getting regular exercise should be encouraged for every pregnant woman. Obsessing over what the scale says should be highly discouraged.

      • At a guess, they are going by BMI charts–which are worse than worthless. According to a BMI chart, such people as Arnold Schwarzenegger and George W Bush are overweight. How many people have been abused by the medical and insurance communities because of this useless metric?

        • Yes, exactly! My husband is in the same boat…his BMI is almost 35. He has a bit of a tummy pouch, but he also bench presses 300 pounds regularly and is insanely ripped. But it doesn’t take any of his muscle mass into account, and the Wii Fit scale moans every time he steps on…

        • I just realized from my 6 yr old’s height weight and vision done by the school nurse that he has a very high bmi. He is short for his age, and I’ve always considered him small. But he’s very muscular. By BMI he is borderline obese, when in reality he is just a very strong, muscular 6 yrold boy.

  2. So… if she has a 10 pound baby, the placenta, fluid etc. should weigh nothing?

  3. Weight is just a number when taken out of context. If the OB cant accept more than the number he obviously isn’t providing adequate care

  4. Yikes! I’m 5’5 1/2″ and I’m trying to get down to 150-155 before getting pregnant again to avoid dealing with b.s. like this.

  5. Huh. That height/weight is juuuuuust over the line for overweight, according to the charts. I’m only slightly taller and I was about that heavy several years ago. It wasn’t a health problem. I didn’t even stand the cold any better than I did when I weighed in the 130s. I don’t think this mama will be in any danger if she doesn’t make herself thinner during the pregnancy.

    Heck, if you’re not allowed to eat up while you’re pregnant, then WHAT CAN YOU DO?!

    • Well, you could have a lot of unprotected sex. No wait, your partner might cheat on you and bring home an STD, can’t do that either. Being pregnant isn’t near as much fun as it used to be! :-)

      • LOL. Totally unrelated but this reminds me of something my husband’s roommate told us (we weren’t yet married at the time) when I was pregnant with our first. “Well, have fun! You can’t break it twice!” :D

  6. I thought it was a bad idea to lose weight during pregnancy because toxins were stored in the fat and they would be released to the baby in large doses as the fat melted off. Or aren’t they teaching that in medical school anymore?

    • I don’t think they teach *anything* in med school these days except how to prescribe drugs, apply flawed formulas based on averages to individuals, and cover their asses. Oh, and that their personal beliefs and opinions are right even in the absence of supporting evidence (and especially when presented with conflicting evidence obtained by the patient).

      I am 5’9″. At the start of my first pregnancy, I weighed 185lbs. I had hyperemesis…and more than one provider in the OB/CNM’s office told me that they weren’t worried about the fact that in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy I lost 30lbs…because I was “overweight” to start with, and “the baby will be fine at this stage because it will just take what it needs from your body”. I struggled to gain weight back once the worst of the HG passed…my “official weight gain” for the pregnancy was -3lbs. And within a week of giving birth, I weighed 150lbs.

      A week after my second child was born (pre-preg. starting weight 170) I weighed 120lbs.

      The worst part of it all? HCPs (who didn’t bother to read the chart) at the hospital when I’d go in for IV fluids lecturing me on how dangerous it is to diet during pregnancy or how I needed to *force* myself to eat “for your baby’s sake”. One went so far as to tell me that I should expect a home visit from CPS o.O

      • I totally do the sameish thing… I started my first pregnancy at like 225 and when I gave birth I weight 185… and started my second pregnancy at 217 and ended up at around 190… not a bat of an eye for losing 20-30lbs both pregnancies at the beginning but the NP at an appointment miss read my chart and thought I gained a whopping 6 lbs after a month… (it was a 9lb loss) so sorry you were treated that way mama!

      • I do the same thing. 220 when I got pregnant with #1, ended at 188. 188 when pregnant with my second, ended at 167. Now I’m hovering at 177, though, and it makes me crabby as all get out because I can’t lose weight when I’m not pregnant, but I can’t keep it on when I am.

    • yikes! I didn’t know this. They say obese moms shouldn’t gain hardly anything so that means we are losing as baby’s gaining right? I haven’t gained at all these few weeks.

  7. I weighed 150 pounds at the beginning of my pregnancy, was 5’3″ tall, and gained 30 by the end. According to my doc’s office, I was a “model patient”. I exercised every day, also.

    What charts were they looking at?

    However, I did have the first doctor that I saw at 12 weeks told me that I only needed to gain 15 pounds. I don’t see how that could have been possible, given that I ate healthy and exercised every day. I would have been happy only gaining 15 pounds, but apparently my body wanted all 30 of them. 2 weeks pp most of that was gone, so no harm done, and 9 months later I was another 20 pounds down. It will be interesting to see what happens with the next pregnancy- will I gain 50 pounds?!

    • I was overweight with my first pregnancy–203 at first appointment. I weighed 218 when I went to the hospital to deliver. Within 2 weeks of giving birth I was down to about 185.

      When I got pregnant with my second, I weighed 157. I have never been so hungry in my entire life. I was STARVING. STARVING. I had to get up in the middle of the night to eat. I carried food with me everywhere. I delivered at 211 pounds.

      Unfortunately, it took me 6 months to get back down to 157 again.

    • I started out weighing 168, weighed 216 when I gave birth, and two weeks out weighed 185. My midwife never said anything about how much weight I gained, other than to say that I would lose most of it by 6 months and that I’d gain what I needed to gain. (I love my midwife).

  8. I was 292 when I got pregnant (yes I know I’m huge…thyroid and eating problem) anyway I was down to 270 at my 20 week checkup. I just started taking a new medication for my thyroid, and I just DIDN’T want to eat anything at all. OH and I’m still nursing a 17 month old. Anyway I just had a 25 week check up and I’m now 280 and my Dr’s a freaking…

    Did I miss something…aren’t I still lower than pre-pregnancy??

    • I started writing this personal rant, but half-way realized that all I needed to say was that I wish you personal health, a healthy, happy baby, and that your medical provider stops freaking and trusts in your ability to have that healthy happy baby.


  9. I know it’s just more anecdata, but I weigh like 160-165 at 5’2″ and wear a size 6-8 on average (sometimes 10, and yet I have tons of size Smalls in my closet as well). I wear plenty of designers who are not “vanity sized” and am mostly boobs and booty.

    In other words, few Americans would look at me and say I was overweight/significantly overweight.

    If weight had much (if any) direct correlation to health, then yes, I’m borderline obese and must be stopped.

    But no.

    If you can “tell” by looking at someone whether they’re healthy or not by “how fat they look,” then I’m totally fine.

    But no.

    This same person following the same logic could have told me to gain NOTHING during pregnancy. That’s not just insane because I “look” “fine.” Because if fatphobia weren’t about the way people look, then okay. If it were really about how much people weighed relative to their heights (which is ALL BMI is), then I’d be in trouble. I wouldn’t get a special pass. But then we’d have to agree that every female who weighs 160-165 at 5’2″ was at risk for health problems SIMPLY BECAUSE of her weight (or height, LOL). And no one wants to agree to that– even the most die-hard BMI-supporters allow for exceptions for weightlifters (and heavily pregnant women, usually!) and such. But are we really ready to agree that you can tell if someone’s (apparent) fat is bad for their health– by looking at them?

    Or could it be that the whole thing is a load of cr@p?

    • I’m the same way! 5’2 and weighing 155-160 pre preggo but I wear a size 4 or 6 depending on the pants. I didn’t look overweight at all. My dr has voiced concern that i have only gained 10 lbs this pregnancy but i eat all i can! People need to learn to ignore the scale and go by how they look and feel.

  10. Well, we all want a lot of things. The OB can request whatever he or she wants, but some things aren’t under their control.

  11. More anecdata – I’m 5’2″, size 6 (8 skirts), and I weigh 144 lbs. I work out with weights so I can massage my clients or squat with them without tiring. It’s not all muscle (I wish it was) but a significant amount of it is.
    My sister weighs the same amount as I do, and she’s 3 inches taller than me, and a size 10.
    This height/weight thing really ticks me off.

  12. I’m 5’6, and was 155 when I conceived (10 lbs higher than my normal weight). I had a little extra squish, but my doctor has never referred to me as anything other than “slender” and “in perfect health”. Overweight my slender, perfectly healthy a**. OP, sorry for the unfortunate experience. I hope things went better for you after this.

  13. The OB can “request” all he wants. Doesn’t mean I’ve got to follow it all to a T

  14. I was 185 when I found out I was pregnant (Jan 2nd!), and weighed 174 a month later, and went to 178 4 weeks after that. Today, I weight 183. I had a weight loss surgery last July, so controlling my calorie intake is my main goal. My midwife says with balance the baby will get and take what the baby needs! I am 5’8. Your weight based on height is ridiculous!

  15. And that will do what???? I had a net gain of 0 with dc#1 and she was 5.15 @36 weeks, a net gain of 45-50 with dd#2 and she was 7.04 at 38 weeks and a net loss of 20 with #3 and he weighed 10.14. Weight gain doesn’t mean jack.

  16. Since the OP is apparently such a fatass, why not have her *lose* weight this pregnancy instead? I heard Jenny Craig makes a fat-free, low glycemic prenatal vitamin…

    Pounds/Inches in height means jack. OP, congrats and enjoy that baby! :)

    Fat American from last week.

  17. I had a nurse midwife tell me the recommended weight gain for me was 28 pounds. I said to her, “But what will happen is that I will gain 40 pounds and have a ten pound baby.” This was my ninth. I gained 40 pounds and baby was 10lbs 4 oz. Slid right out. Knew myself pretty well by then.
    She didn’t harass me about it, either. At one point there was some question of possible GD, and she gave me diet information and I worked on reducing carbs…and wound up losing weight between one visit and the next. She said no, no, that’s not what we want either, don’t try so hard. At one point she also tried to tell me that my baby was normal sized, like 7 1/2 pounds. I looked skeptical, but said, well, there is nothing wrong with that, it would just be different. But no way, another 10 lb baby, and she and I were healthy. Once you are pregnant you need to gain a decent amount of weight whether you were overweight in the first place or not. However you should do it eating good stuff. There are a lot of debates about which kinds and amounts of which good stuff, but I think we all know what “bad stuff” is, anyway.

    • I love that stupid GD stuff. My first kid was big, and I lost weight, which then made a doctor when I was at the clinic for something else say “Weight loss is a sign of GD!” And I shrugged it off because I tested fine. Tested as GD with baby #2, and they put me on the meal plan (I had been losing weight again) and within two weeks I had gained like 8 pounds, and I was miserable. They had me eating way more than I could stomach, plus my digestive system was so slow I ended up incredibly backed up and uncomfortable. So my midwife stepped in and said “You eat what you want and how much you want, as long as the numbers are within range.” Stopped the weight gain, didn’t lose as much as I had before, but it evened out. Their food plan was too much food for me! It was horrible!

  18. The new weight gain guidelines say that women in the “overweight” and “obese” categories should gain 11-20 lbs., not the 10-15 quoted here.

    Of course, many doctors are actually telling these women that they should gain only 0-10 lbs, if that….and some are actively recommending that fat women lose weight DURING pregnancy.

    Many women of size do gain less on average than other women but making that a GOAL to strive for has risks, especially if you encourage women to restrict in order to make that goal, or punish them with more intervention (induction, c/s) if they exceed their goal, which many doctors are doing now.

    Restricting weight gain in women of size is a very popular trend, but one whose safety has NOT been proven and which has significant risks (like increased risk for SGA babies, especially for women who are just barely in the “plus” category). I’ve blogged about it extensively on my site….see the entries on prenatal weight gain and on bariatric obstetrics.

    We’ll be seeing more and more of this kind of advice, visited on smaller and smaller-sized women. Some docs even propose that average-sized be allowed to gain ONLY 10-15 lbs, basically the weight of the baby and fluids.

    It’s what I call the “anorexation” of standards these days……if a little lowering of diagnostic thresholds is good, even more will be better, regardless of whether we actually have evidence of its benefit and lack of harm.

    Encourage good nutrition and regular exercise? I’m all for it….for women of ALL sizes. But restrict them to meet some arbitrary wt gain guideline, one that may actually have significant risks associated with it? No way.

    • “Encourage good nutrition and regular exercise? I’m all for it….for women of ALL sizes. But restrict them to meet some arbitrary wt gain guideline, one that may actually have significant risks associated with it? No way”

      THANK YOU!

  19. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, these docs need to STOP being hung up on numbers. When I got pg, I weighed about 200 lbs on a 5′ 6″ frame, definitely overweight. I gained 23 lbs during my pregnancy. By some MIRACLE (read with sarcasm), I had a completely textbook, uneventful pregnancy, labor and vaginal delivery with no complications of any sort. I think docs should look at the individual patient (gasp!) rather than make stupid, blanket statements. Ugh.

  20. I had kinda sworn off commenting on these because i could comment something sarcastic on every single one and then i feel bad when i manage to offend people because i didnt word my response correctly….

    i’m 5’4″. i weighed 175 starting my second pregnancy and not only did NONE of the OB’s i saw tell me to gain less, but in addition, at my 9w appt the u/s tech told me “you’re not very big, we should be able to do this over the belly” instead of transvaginal….. and when i gave birth to a 8lb 11oz boy i weighed 212 lbs and the OB called me a “nimble little thing” because i could adjust from one position to the next with rather flexible hips and i didnt need any assistance.

    and at my post partum appt yesterday they told me i was doing great getting back to my starting weight and i weighed 186!

    i suddenly love my OB.

    the only thing i was EVER told weight wise is when i went for my annual check up after #1 was born they told me to aim for a gain of 25 lbs instead of 30 for my next pregnancy….. and i gained 35 and nobody said anything!

  21. My favorite part of this quote is that it’s being said by a resident. The resident doesn’t know what the OB is going to recommend — what’s going on here, I’d bet, is that this resident knows s/he has no authority over this patient but at the same time, the resident has a whole lot of textbook knowledge that s/he would love to share. This resident has waited for YEARS to be able to treat patients and still doesn’t have one of his/her own.

    So the resident borrows the OB’s authority, gives advice, and then puts it in the OB’s mouth. That way if the OB doesn’t say anything, the resident has had his or her input. If the OB does say something, the mom will follow that. And if the OB says exactly what the resident says, the resident looks like a hero.

    Why do I recognize this scenario? Because my children do it all the time. “Mom’s going to say you can’t do that.” Or, right after I tell one kid to do something, another kid says, “Yeah, do that!”

    I just didn’t think they let five year olds into medical school.

  22. Wow…I am VERY overweight(morbidly obese-is the medical term) and have 3 children, the only doctor who didn’t chastise me for gaining weight and actually told me he was glad to see I wasn’t starving me and the baby and I gained 25 pounds during my first pregnancy. His exact words were, “Wow, yo have gained 25 pounds, great job, and I am so glad you don’t listen to the idiots who say if you are fat to start not to gain weight.” They also had a 3 CNM’s and 6 Doctors at that center, and were focused on Natural as much as you can, but we are here if you need medical interventions as well.

    My other 2 babies one i was told to Lose weight during pregnancy and the other I was to try not to gain anything but a few pounds is ok…

  23. I was told WORSE than that. The nurse seemed worried that I lost a pound in the second trimester. When I asked the OB if I should be concerned, she said “No. I’d be happy if you didn’t gain any weight at all” and proceeded to lecture me on what I should and shouldn’t eat, that I should only drink water, absolutely no milk unless it’s fat free and I could get calcium from Tums. It’s like she forgot that I asked her about losing weight.

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