Monday, 14 March 2011

My Big Fat Pregnancy

I thought I would post about something that might be of interest to other plus sized women out there: pregnancy.

As a lass of ample proportions I was concerned that my size would firstly stop me from being able to conceive, carry a baby without significant health impacts and have a 'normal' birth (if there is such a thing!).

Being fat isn't the ideal for conception, so the scientific studies tell us. There is some solid medical evidence behind this in terms of hormones and of course the relationship between PCOS and weight gain. However, even at a BMI of near 50 I managed to get knocked up within four months of not that much trying. Oh, and I should point out that I was 35 at the time so I was also worried that all my eggs had got bored and lost the will to do their job.

Is this likely to be the experience of all women, fat or not? No. The one thing about the whole pregnancy marlarky is that the term 'normal' is meaningless. The length of time it takes for someone to conceive appears to vary greatly, often with no defined reason. Pregnancies can vary hugely not only between women but also for the same woman if she has more than one child. As for childbirth, well, out of our NCT class of five couples I don't think any of us had a birth that was without any complications or a little drama. Mine required the least intervention but more of that later...

SO, got knocked up. Went to doctor expecting to be told that I was Mother Earth, Gaia and all things wonderful and fercund, only to be told I was 'barely' pregnant and to come back at 8 weeks when they would take me seriously.

At 12 weeks I had my first scan. Now, this is something that might be affected by your weight. It was by mine in any case. Some scan photos are amazingly clear and detailed. Mine throughout my pregnancy were like trying to see a baby through a thick fog with the lights out. Details were few and fair between but we could at least tell there was something in there. Hearing the heart beat with a monitor was more successful. At the stage when skinny minnies can start to hear their darlings heart beat so could I. My birth was long, but had the least intervention of any of my friends. All skinny.

Being fat and pregnant means that your pregnancy will be different from that of your slimmer friends in at least one regard because you get extra scans (excellent, more fuzzy baby video) and more appointments with various people who will get to judge you because of your weight (not so good). The one piece of advice I want to impart is this: don't hope that medical professionals will ignore your weight. They won't and you need to be aware that your weight will have a possible impact on your pregnancy. If they don't tell you what you want to know -ask.


  1. This is interesting. We've been trying for a long time to have a kid, IVF is now on the cards unless hormone treatment works. So the fact that getting pregnant is going to be my first hurdle and not the last is an important thing for me to remember.

  2. Argh the whole thing is a hurdle isn't it? I wish we all came with stickers that gave us some indication of how fertile we are and how long we have to wait to get pregnant just so it was less stressful. Now we have one I'm thinking that if we start trying for a second that it won't happen.
    Good luck! We have friends who went through IVF (both of them stick thin btw) and they now have two very sulky 6 year olds)