Plus Sized Birth
Let's chat plus sized pregnancy. By BMI standards, having a body mass index greater than 25 is overweight, having a body mass index greater than 30 is obese. More birthing people than you imagine fall into that BMI greater than 25 and above category. So the reality is, A LOT of babies are being born to people in larger bodies. Dr. Google would have you believe that being overweight or even obese means you are destined to have an unhealthy pregnancy and are on the fast track to a cesarean, that is not an accurate picture.
It is true that if you are diabetic or have have high blood pressure pre-pregnancy that these conditions are likely to complicate your pregnancy, but being overweight without previous metabolic conditions doesn't make your pregnancy high risk. Many pregnant people who are not overweight develop high blood pressure, preeclampsia or gestational diabetes. Your relative vs. your absolute risk of developing these conditions during pregnancy are not as high as you might think.
So if you are living in a larger body and are pregnant, or are pregnant living in smaller body, your focus should be the same, taking good care of yourself. Eat a healthy diet, rich in protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, fibre, fruits and vegetables. Take your prenatal vitamins, exercise (always check with your care provider) and try to relax and get good rest.
Yes being larger increases some risks during pregnancy and birth, even if that happens, you do not deserve to be treated poorly or to feel ashamed of your body. Seek evidence-based care and arm yourself with facts. Look for a size-friendly provider. Hire a size friendly Doula! Studies have proven there is inherent bias in the medical community against people of size. Try and surround yourself with supportive people who will help you work toward the birth that you deserve too. A positive pregnancy and birth experience is not solely reserved for thinner people!
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