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Old 05-04-2009, 11:10 AM   #1
Miss Vickie
 
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Default "Are You a Size-Friendly Midwife?"

I had this article posted to me at Facebook. It's excellent. Check it out.

Here's just a little sample of the article, which I highly recommend reading.

Fat women are tired of being marginalized by the medical community. They tell stories of egregious bias, of being treated as less than human. They also tell stories of subtle bias, of providers who seem to be size-friendly but ultimately are not.

The very thought of a fat woman reproducing is extremely threatening to some people. Some fat women have actually been told they should terminate a pregnancy because of their size. One mother was told that her baby would have a heart attack and die during labor, so she should get an abortion. Another doctor told a woman that she was too fat to get pregnant, but that if she did, he would insist that she have an abortion. Even family members have been known to pressure fat women to abort their children.

If a fat woman defies her family and providers and becomes pregnant anyhow, she is often faced with tremendous pressure to avoid having more. Some women report strong pressure in the middle of labor to consent to sterilization afterwards. One supersized woman would not agree to sterilization, so her OB punished her by using a classical incision during a cesarean, and then told her she should not have any more pregnancies because her uterus "would explode." Afterward, the doctors and midwives took turns coming in her room and berating her for her size. They told her that she would never live to see her child grow up, that she would not be able to adequately care for her child as he grew, and that her son would hate her for being fat. She has not had any more children.

Fat women are often punished with harsh treatment for daring to be pregnant. Some are yelled at during prenatals or humiliated during weigh-ins, and any problem is automatically blamed on their size. Staff and even friends and family often make rude remarks about their increasing size, tummy, shape, etc.

Fat women experience a higher rate of surgical birth (1). Some of this is undoubtedly related to higher rates of complications such as pregnancy-induced hypertension and gestational diabetes, but some of it is due to size bias, both overt and subtle. Some fat women regularly report that their doctors told them all along they'd probably need a cesarean or that their fat would prevent the baby from being born vaginally. Some fat women have been required to sign elective cesarean permission forms at the first prenatal exam for no reason other than size.....
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:03 PM   #2
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This one is going in the Health Forum's hall of fame - the "Most Useful Threads."

Excellent material. Thanks, Vickie!
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:21 PM   #3
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Uhm... thanks!

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Old 05-06-2009, 11:16 AM   #4
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Thanks for this Vickie! A good read and an upsetting read at the same time wasn't it? I have to say, I was so terrified about being yelled at or treated badly due to my weight, but so far no one has really batted an eyelid. I still get frightened going to each appointment though in case I meet that one person who takes issue with my size.
I have spoken to girls who attend different hospitals who have been treated like scum for daring to be pregnant and fat.
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