Dec 212012

“You’re so fat, what did you expect? Obese women have no business getting pregnant anyway.” – Nurse at OB’s office, following a miscarriage at 14 weeks

Share Button
 December 21, 2012  Fatness, L&D Nurse, OB, pregnancy loss  Add comments

  44 Responses to ““…Obese Women Have No Business Getting Pregnant…””

  1. I’m so angry at this comment.

    1) Fat-shaming
    2) Mother-blaming
    3) Deflection from the fact that the medical practice could do nothing to prevent a miscarriage
    4) Insulting the mother’s intelligence
    5) Criticizing the woman’s desire for a child
    5A) Criticizing the woman for having an unintended pregnancy
    6) Denying the legitimacy of the woman’s feelings

    And all this from a nurse, not even from the doctor. OP, I hope you didn’t even finish the exam, and went back the next day to collect your records and at the same time handed a written complaint to the office manager and the OB.

    I’m so sorry you were mistreated this way. :-(

  2. And your insensitive ass has no business being a nurse.

    I am so sorry for your loss, OP.

  3. If the world was fair, this nurse would have been fired right after making this comment. I’m so sorry, OP.

    • fired? I’m saying struck down by a bolt of lightning.

      • She said fair, not perfect!
        Yes, people who kick other people when they’re down are a special kind of sick.

        • Ah, but people who are so nasty are probably surrounded by people as uncaring as themselves, right? So when someday this nurse experiences a tragedy, and tragedy happens to everyone, this nurse will be surrounded only by people who will say garbage like this. It takes longer, but it’s just as effective as a lightning strike.

          • Takes longer? Pshaw. I am part of the INSTANT GRATIFICATION generation.

            I would have punched her. And then said “You’re such a jerk, what did you expect? Mean, nasty women have no business being nurses anyway.”

          • I don’t think violence would get through to people like that. They’d just write it off as “those stupid patients, getting mad when you tell them the truth.” It cuts much deeper when it’s Life teaching the lessons.

          • Frankly, I don’t think even “life lessons” get through to people like that. Especially if there’s enough time between the two events, what’s to say they’ll even remember what they did and associate that with their present misfortune?

            The punching wouldn’t be so much to “teach her a lesson” as it would be to satisfy ME. And also, because maybe even if it wouldn’t change her mind or viewpoints, she might think twice before opening her trap again with such rude remarks.

            (Of course, I *say* all of this but in all likelihood I wouldn’t do anything violent. However, I would give her a verbal rake-down like no tomorrow- I have zero issues doing that).

          • This comment cannot have come out of the blue, though. This woman doubtless thinks similar things all the time and has developed an iron-clad loathing of the women who come to the practice. Over time she probably started by thinking “It sucks that we can’t help” and then felt helpless, then as a defense against feeling helpless began blaming, and after the blaming comes the recrimination: not only is the woman to blame for her miscarriage, but now the woman should be ashamed that she feels sorry it happened! In fact, this woman shouldn’t even have wanted to get pregnant in the first place, because if she hadn’t the nurse wouldn’t now feel helpless.

            Put this nurse into a helpless position herself and when people treat her like she’s been treated, she has two choices: get mad and blame them because of whatever reason she concocts, or else grow as a person and realize that the patient on the receiving end of that treatment doesn’t deserve it — and that includes when she’s the nurse.

            At that point, the nurse’s choices are to improve herself or to wither away into a husk of a human being.

            Sometimes, the worst possible punishment for a person is to be who they are. Imagine all the chances this peson must have missed to become helpful, generous and kind-hearted. She temporarily hurts her patients, true, but the one she most consistently hurts over time is herself.


    • I don’t know Kristin… I wish I could have been there to give her a piece of my mind! I mean, I’m overweight too but that doesn’t give anyone the right to say such a mean and uncalled for thing.

  5. So, I’m guessing it’s not Thursday anymore?

    I’m sorry for your loss OP and for the way you were treated :(

  6. “Obese women have no business getting pregnant”?! Really?! Then why do we have periods and ovulating? Ugh! What a bitch! OP, I know your pain. I’m sorry.

    • (Technically, drug addicts, raging alcoholics, homeless, murderers, impoverished, and child abusers still ovulate too. )

      No one should be told they have no business having children though.

      • I get your point, and I hate how sometimes this site becomes very attack-y, but I want to point out that the impoverished and homeless do not belong with the others in your category above.

      • I was talking about medical-wise. Not all the others you mentioned. BTW: skinny/normal weight women can be all those things, too. Normal weight women aren’t talked to this way. Normal weight women aren’t blamed for their miscarriage.

        • Normal-weight women who have miscarriages can be blamed for getting pregnant too young, getting pregnant too old, getting pregnant out of wedlock, not being married long enough before starting a family, waiting too long to start a family, getting pregnant in their current economic situation, having too many kids… If a nurse wants to blame a woman for her miscarriage, there are a thousand ways to do it. (And in all likelihood, all of them wrong.)

  7. UGGGG!!!!! I should have called for my first prenatal before going to this site, cuz now I really don’t wanna call!!!
    Very sorry for your loss OP.

    • Most OB practices don’t have this degree of nastiness. If you’re worried, though, a midwifery practice, or an OB practice with CNMs, will probably not start screaming “OH HEAVENS NO THE SCALE!!! THE NUMBERZ!!!” :-)

      And if you do get a comment like this, then it’s perfectly reasonable to gather your things, proceed to the front desk, and inform them that your care will no longer involve that particular nurse, either because they ensure it or because you’ll be leaving the practice, and they get to choose which option they prefer.

      • My practice was borderline with my daughter 2 yrs ago…toward the end when I swelled up like a balloon and showed concern they just told me I had to stop eating so much..this one is VERY unplanned so I haven’t had time to research or interview with anyone else, I just want to check on the bean and get my vitamins and my records because i don’t think I’m comfortable letting them deliver me this time around.

        • Then it might be worth finding the new practice initially, rather than changing. They’ve already proven they’re not a good match for you, so why give them another chance?

          If they were unconcerned about sudden extreme swelling at the end of pregnancy, they’re not actually a good match for anyone…

  8. What the hell does BMI have to do with uterine tissue health and genetic viability?

    What the hell does BMI have to do with uterine tissue health and genetic viability?


    I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again: fat fear is the new phrenology.

    • I’m afraid you’re right, especially in obstetrics.

      I had no idea fat-shaming was so high in obstetrics until I experienced it myself–although in the form of “you can’t attempt a VBAC if you were obese when you got pregnant.” I was upset enough by that.

      OP, I’m so sorry that you had to have this experience. I can’t believe someone would think this, let alone say it out loud.

      • oh dear god are you serious? im obese and there was no issue with my vbac, although im sure if id had a bmi over 45 (requiring me to go to another hospital) there might have been a few more ums and ahhs. so sorry they gave you that excuse to get you under the knife :( did you get you vbac?

        • Yep, unfortunately, I’m serious. My BMI was exactly 30.0 when I got pregnant with my daughter. They found another reason to ditch me (said they couldn’t let me VBAC since my son would be eighteen months old five days before my due date and “hospital policy” wouldn’t allow them to “let” me VBAC with less than eighteen months and they didn’t want to cut it so close), but yep, I got my VBAC. Unmedicated, to boot. So my first doc can kiss my butt! ;)

  9. You know, everytime I hear a fat shaming comment from an OBs or doctor’s office/hospital in reference to pregnancy I really wish I was rich. I have an almost overpowering urge to just flood the office with about a thousand fertility goddess sculptures. You know, those old fashioned ones with the hugely fat woman with stomach all but covering their legs and breasts hanging to belly button. Fat women, before our current society, have long been regarded as the ideal for bearing healthy children.
    If you are too fat to say walk or get into a car, then, yes, for health reasons you probably shouldn’t be getting pregnant but being even 100lbs over an ‘ideal’ weight is still not contraindicative of a pregnancy.

    • if you are talking about the venus de wilendorf (or other various “venus’s” by other names) then she doesnt actually have arms and legs, they are just suggested as they arent necessary for the bearing of young, (raising on the other hand lol) and i think that would be awesome, people have forgotten that women were once worshiped for their ability to bring forth life, what a sad world we live in today :(

  10. Because being thin automatically means you’re healthy…
    Like my stick thin brother who lives on fast food.
    Or like 17 year old me with the eating disorder and anovulatory cycle for 3 months (I had a period every 18 days that was light for 2-3)


  11. Underweight ,overweight,young,old, should nobody have children? Nurse,the proper wording is “I’m sorry this is happening. Do you want the number of any type of specialists?”

  12. And heartless trolls have no business being nurses.
    OP I am so sorry.

  13. There are no words for the stupidity and idiocy of that nurse. :(

  14. OP I am so sorry for your loss, and for the way you were treated. I will never understand why so many medical professionals are not trained in how to speak with a patient experiencing a loss, it seems that many of them have to rely on their own good sense which is clearly lacking. It is such a shame. Even without formal training, I don’t see why they can’t just say “I’m so sorry for your loss, I’ll be back in a few minutes after you’ve had a chance to collect your thoughts so we can discuss your options.”

  15. I had something similar happen when I was having my first m/c. My GP had sent me to the hospital for an emergency ultrasound and the tech who did the scan was disgusted by my body. She cringed when she had to scan my belly and told me to get my fat out of her way (where my belly hangs over). She then made the comment that she was surprised I even got pregnant in the first place. Oh, and I wasn’t allowed to have my dh with me in the room… So, I’m miscarrying, being profoundly insulted, and forced to be alone.

    OP, I am so very sorry for your loss. Some people just shouldn’t be allowed to work with the public.

  16. OP – I’m so sorry for your loss.
    This makes me so angry! I am a morbidly obese woman who also had a miscarriage, and thank goodness nothing like this was said to me! In fact, that cycle I had gotten pregnant with the help of a RE who had no issue with my weight. I went on to have a healthy child 1 1/2 years later, and am currently ttc again. Just last week I had a consult with my ob/gyn, and she called in meds to help us along in getting pregnant again, and didn’t bat an eye at the fact I am still quite obese.

  17. A couple of y’all’s stories made me tear up. What was said to you (especially at a very distressing time) was horrible beyond belief. I’m so sorry for your losses and what was said to you at the time. :-(

  18. And people think fat-prejudice doesn’t exist.

Leave a Reply