Jump to content

BMI & Birth
is this legit?


38 replies to this topic

#1 Nataliah

Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:47 PM

I am a little upset at the moment and would like some opinions on whether I am justified or not.

Some facts about me:
I am 33 years old
I fell pregnant naturally it was unplanned
I have had a very normal pregnancy
All my blood results have been fantastic
I have never had any health problems in my entire life
Pre-pregnancy I trained 7 times a week doing Crossfit and powerlifting
I am physically fit and very very strong
Since falling pregnant I still train, but only about 4 times a week
I have eaten way too much, indulged and gained too much weight (20kgs at 32 weeks)

My BMI is now deemed to be in at a risky level and I need to be independently assessed by a specialist as to my suitability for giving birth at my low-risk hospital.

Personally I think its bollocks, I am the first to admit that I have put on too much weight, I am fat.  However I just don't see how that, by itself, is enough to cause me problems with birth.  I would accept this if there was any medical symptoms at all, i.e. diabetes, swelling, high blood pressure, cholesterol, anything... but on BMI alone? (which isn't very accurate for me given my weightlifting background)...  Is there something I am missing?  Can fatness, by itself, cause birthing issues?

#2 Red nut

Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:58 PM

Not usually, but if something goes wrong, which it can in even the most low risk pregnancy and may have nothing to do with your weight, then dealing with it may be much harder. From the IV, to the epidural/ spinal/ GA, to the surgery, everything is much harder when you are overweight.
Try not to take it personally, people only want to see that you and your little one are safe. And we'll done on keeping yourself so fit, I bet that is why you have avoided all the complications of your weight gain!

#3 crackles

Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:00 PM

Bmi is a load of rubbish IMO. There's a lot of things it doesn't take into account.
I don't reckon u have anything to worry about if u don't have any 'abnormal' symptoms

#4 Nataliah

Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:21 PM

Just as a point of clarity about my size/weight/fatness, I am currently wearing size 14 maternity clothes.

#5 fooiesmum

Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:47 AM

A BMI of 35 (sometimes 40 in larger regional areas) is the cut off for "low risk" pregnancies and being able to access midwife led care/birth centre's.  If you are over that point you will usually be referred to a larger tertiary hospital.  Not unusual - just not talked about http://www.couriermail.com.au/ipad/too-fat...j-1225962014007

#6 MrsLexiK

Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:02 AM

My hospital is low risk, once you reach a BMI of a certain amount you have to birth at the public hospital. Things like epis can be harder to guide in if you have too much weight on you. I am guessing I am about your size (I'm in a size 14 mat clothes as well) I am right on the edge and have been working my butt off to ensure I stay below the BMI so I can birth at the hospital of my choice.

#7 cinnabubble

Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:22 AM

Surely they can't use the BMI of a 30 week pregnant woman as an indicator of true weight.

#8 Nataliah

Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:27 AM

Thanks for the responses ladies.  I should be able to keep it where the doctor wants me to maintain my place at the hospital.  I guess I just find it so embarrassing, especially as someone who feels so utterly physically capable of doing this.  It's hard when you know in real fitness terms you could run rings around most women, this number cutt-off seems so arbitrary.  Particularly given it takes no account of build or muscle mass.  I asked if they could assess my body-fat percentage instead, but BMI is it.  My Obstetrician had been good about it, its clear he thinks it a beaurecratic thing and has praised my health and fitness.  I am feeling less upset today...  I do wish they would have told me about it earlier though.  I could have been more careful over xmas which is when I did lots of the damage sad.gif

Off-topic, my mum is an ED nurse and was saying they've bought in new BMI rules for her too.  They have to calculate BMI for every patient who enters the ED.  She said its insane, trying to get the height and weight of an elderly patient who is presenting with a suspected fractured pelvis...

#9 Feral-Lausii

Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:29 AM

I have been in the overweight or obese category for 4 of my 5 births. Size 16-18. I have  not had one issue with anything. No GD, no blood pressure problems, easy and quick labours with little or no pain relief and no interventions. I did stay active during my pregnancies though, which I think helps with my quick births.

I just roll my eyes inwards when a midwife brought it up, the doctor then saw me and looked at my history and said I didn't need to see the specialist.  I also wasn't planning on a epidural so I suppose that may be the one thing they were worried about.

Did the doctor refer you or a midwife? Do they know your fitness background?  



#10 ~Sorceress~

Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:31 AM

Makes me so glad I have a light frame and mostly homebirthed, because I put on 27kg with my first pregnancy (from a starting weight of 50kg - so more than half my weight!) and gained about the same with each subsequent pregnancy! My midwives concentrated on my overall health and didn't even weigh me! original.gif

Excess weight does make things harder for your caregiver - palpating the baby's position, assisting you into position when you're in labour, any surgical procedure - but it's a shame they use a non-discretionary cut-off point instead of actually assessing whether an individual woman is carrying weight in areas that would make these things problematic sad.gif .

OP, perhaps start working to keep the BMI down because it's going to be healthier for you and your baby to be treated as low risk...

#11 Carmen02

Posted 11 January 2013 - 07:04 AM

would be nice if they took everything into account, 2 of my 3 births i was considered high risk because of my size. my 3rd is the only birth where I came into trouble (6 weeks early) so kind of glad i was in a big public hospital. Hope things go well OP

#12 MrsLexiK

Posted 11 January 2013 - 07:39 AM

OP I am fit as well and felt like crap for a few weeks. My OB would prefer me at the low risk one as his rooms are there. But they can't be sure a doctor will be there that could get an epi or spinal in if it is an emergency. They have to have a cut off or a measurement. Yup it sucks (especially when you are short with big boobs original.gif )

#13 Nataliah

Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:31 PM

QUOTE (MrsLexiK @ 11/01/2013, 08:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OP I am fit as well and felt like crap for a few weeks. My OB would prefer me at the low risk one as his rooms are there. But they can't be sure a doctor will be there that could get an epi or spinal in if it is an emergency. They have to have a cut off or a measurement. Yup it sucks (especially when you are short with big boobs original.gif )


I am choosing to not let it get me down from now on.  If the BMI is the biggest injustice I have to deal with then I can't really complain... plus baby is going to come out the same whether I end up at another hospital or not.

#14 redmum77

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:11 PM

Hey, the only cut off I know is 100kgs for a water birth in my birth centre. It's purely health and safety, they aren't allowed to lift you out of the water at that weight etc. Seems practical to me and just a policy to protect the midwives. But that's totally different to BMI.

Muscle weighs more than fat, doesn't it? Surely a fat % test is more accurate? Hmmm I hope it works out, gee they like making us paranoid hey?

#15 CallMeFeral

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:20 PM

QUOTE (cinnabubble @ 11/01/2013, 07:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Surely they can't use the BMI of a 30 week pregnant woman as an indicator of true weight.


This is what I'm wondering! Surely there would have to be at least some kind of different 'pregnant-woman-only' scale. This makes no sense???

#16 MrsLexiK

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:28 PM

QUOTE (redmum77 @ 29/01/2013, 03:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hey, the only cut off I know is 100kgs for a water birth in my birth centre. It's purely health and safety, they aren't allowed to lift you out of the water at that weight etc. Seems practical to me and just a policy to protect the midwives. But that's totally different to BMI.

Muscle weighs more than fat, doesn't it? Surely a fat % test is more accurate? Hmmm I hope it works out, gee they like making us paranoid hey?


I booked into the public hospital as back up and even though I wouldn't be going through there went through the birth centre part/midwife program to book in.  They did laugh at the BMI restricition though and said they don't have a BMI cut off and how stupid.  

I do think that the fat test would be a good one, but as it currently our hospitals use BMI, and you have to suck it up unfortunatly.  I know there are some hospitals which do some test to fill a particular bone.  When it comes down to it though I would feel much more comfortable at the hospital where it is clear the experienced anthiests are as opposed to one who has never put an epi into someone whose bone you can't feel.

#17 No-pants Agnodice

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:31 PM

I think, before everyone gets hysterical, that we should remember that the OP has only been asked to see a specialist. She has not been denied the opportunity to birth at her local hospital.

If she is a weightlifter and a specialist deems that she just has a high muscle mass and is not obese, then he or she will give her the green light. This is a totally reasonable 'lets seek an opinion', in my opinions. She has not been excluded sight unseen.

And BMI IS relevant in pregnancy, as the added weight due to baby/placenta/boobs/uterus/circulating volume etc is actually reasonably universal (there might be a variation of a few kg either way, not 20 kg either way).

And all the research into risks and outcomes are done with term BMI.

#18 FeralPerthFembo

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:42 PM

From your OP it sounds like they just need the specialist to sign off on you not being high risk? That seems fair enough to me. If you ARE actually pretty healthy (which sounds to be the case at only size 14, its probably a lot of muslce cos your train giving you a high BMI) then they should say you're right to go.

If the specialist came back and said you are too high risk at size 14 I would be very surprised and then would think that's quite strange. But I can understand the need for someone other than the normal staff to make that call.



#19 Nataliah

Posted 30 January 2013 - 05:54 PM

Sorry I haven't been back to update the thread.  I saw the specialist, all prepared to defend my health and fitness.  It was a total non-issue original.gif  He basically checked my file, blood pressure and tummy, then asked me some questions about how my pregnancy has gone.  He said that he had no reason to think I would have anything but a normal birth.  He said the only real issue in relation to weight (when no other symptoms exist) is that obese people can sometimes react badly to anaesthetic, but that I was clearly not obese and would be fine.

So yeah, PPs were right, it was just a referral to a specialist where common sense prevailed.  This is a touchy subject for me for many reasons, hence my semi-vent.

#20 FeralPerthFembo

Posted 30 January 2013 - 06:13 PM

Glad to hear it OP original.gif


#21 Soontobegran

Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:32 PM

Glad it worked out OP but honestly I can not imagine anyone still wearing size 14 clothes being deemed too obese to deliver in any environment........unless of course they were extremely short.
BMI at the beginning of the pregnancy is usually the number focused on unless there is extreme weight gain and there are associated medical issues. Very many women end their pregnancies with a BMI that would deem them high risk and unless the hospital is very low risk there are always exceptions made.

#22 DreamFeralisations

Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:30 PM

I was not weighed in either pregnancy by hospital or obstetrician - and I wasn't size 14 maternity in either case.

#23 MrsLexiK

Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:43 PM

QUOTE (soontobegran @ 30/01/2013, 09:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Glad it worked out OP but honestly I can not imagine anyone still wearing size 14 clothes being deemed too obese to deliver in any environment........unless of course they were extremely short.
BMI at the beginning of the pregnancy is usually the number focused on unless there is extreme weight gain and there are associated medical issues. Very many women end their pregnancies with a BMI that would deem them high risk and unless the hospital is very low risk there are always exceptions made.


Can you tell my hospital that STBG?

#24 MissingInAction

Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:51 PM

Someone I know was told that if she wanted to give birth at her local (small town) hospital that she'd have to weigh under 100kg otherwise she'd have to be transferred to the closest regional hospital.  She lost the weight in time (seemed strange watching someone get smaller when they were pregnant!) and was able to give birth at her local.

#25 Soontobegran

Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:54 PM

Sent you a PM LexiK



Reply to this topic



  


1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Empowering bikini photo of 46-year-old mum goes viral

When a group of teenagers made rude remarks about her body as she walked past them in a bikini at the local beach, Julie Cross refused to cover up.

Devastated widow discovers she's pregnant the day before husband's funeral

They had been trying to conceive a baby for seven years. Tragically Kristy Kirchner found out she was pregnant the day before her husband Royce's funeral.

Gabriella Goat sues Peppa Pig

Every toddler's favourite television pig is being sued by an Italian woman who shares a name with a Peppa Pig character.

Meet the Mpregs, the male pregnancy enthusiasts

"Men can't have babies - that's something only women can do! But our community is full of like-minded people who wish otherwise."

Your new motherhood survival kit

Forget about the bright, pretty baby things - while you're in survival mode, all you'll need are the essentials.

More than 100,000 cars recalled globally after death of pregnant woman

The announcement of a mass recall comes as Malaysian police investigate the death of pregnant woman in July.

Win a family pass to Disney Live!

We have 4 family passes to give away to see Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, touring Australia this December/January.

I had a 'good baby' but still suffered from postnatal depression

I had a much wanted precious baby girl, a 'good baby' who slept well, self settled and was mostly content. It just seemed implausible to think I could succumb to depression.

There's no need to eclipse a babymoon

As long as pregnant women do their research, travelling during pregnancy can be done safely.

Mum and daughter have babies on same day

"It's not really something you ever want or think could happen. To have my mum going through it with me is probably the most special, amazing thing ever.”

Our baby's reflux caused the longest endurance test of our lives

I'm glad she wasn't my first child, or I would have thought that this was normal.

Win one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia?s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

The podcast that reminds mums they are not alone

A mum's complicated, gruelling labour gave birth to two lovely beings: her daughter and her delightful podcast, The Longest Shortest Time.

Is it too late to change my midwife?

My wife is nine months pregnant and we are planning a home birth - but we've had late problems with our midwife team.

The Very Hungover Caterpillar: a parody many can relate to

A new book released this month will be sure to have parents nodding and giggling in recognition the world over.

Babywearers unite against misinformation

Everyone has heard of people power, but what about passionate babywearing power?

Reliving the birth experience

When people ask about how my labour went, I usually respond: "Good, I think? Four hours long, and yeah it hurt, but I dunno, it's labour, it's giving birth, it's painful... but I guess it was good? As good as good gets?"

Literary baby name inspiration

From Harry Potter to Shakespeare and everything in between, we've scoured the library shelves for literary baby name inspiration.

Preparing your child to attend a sibling's birth

Thinking about having your kids at the birth of your baby? Here are some things to consider.

Counselling helps mum deal with triplets' early birth

When Kimberlee King's waters broke nine weeks before her triplets were due, she went into autopilot as she packed her hospital bag.

The women balancing babies with new businesses

Motherhood teaches us that we can be more tolerant, patient, and loving than we ever thought possible - and can also show us that we're innovative, creative and entrepreneurial, too.

It's true, kids grow up overnight

A dad ponders how his toddler daughter can change so much in just one 24 hour period.

Father sings to dying son days after losing wife

A heartbreaking video shows a new dad singing 'Blackbird' to his dying son just days after losing his wife.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia?s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

Join PADDINGTON on the red carpet!

To celebrate the release of PADDINGTON, we are giving five lucky winners the chance to win a family pass to the exclusive Australian Premiere in Sydney on December 7!

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

Why I am so emotional now I have kids?

There are so many ways in which parenthood changes us as women, but one of the most noticeable, for me, has been the changing state of my emotions.

Baby survives despite sharing womb with 'foreign body'

Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous "foreign body".

Video: Baby shows dog how to jump - or vice versa

They say dog is man's best friend, but this playful pooch seems to have chosen a jumping baby as her number one buddy.

10 ways to soothe a crying baby

New paernts can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can't settle down. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.

20 baby names that are becoming more popular every year

The data-lovers at nameberry.com have been at it again – this time, they’ve discovered the names that are continually rising up the ranks, ready to take out some top spots in the next few years.

10 great meals to make for new parents

Ideally, you want to give food that isn’t expensive to make, isn't too difficult to create, and freezes well; stews, bakes, soups and pasta sauces are perfect.

'It's not you, it's me': Boston bombing survivor mum to have leg amputated

Rebekah DiMartino is going through a break-up. She even wrote a farewell love letter. But it's not to her husband.

What it's like to go through early menopause

In a cruel twist, Carla had been breastfeeding and perimenopausal at the same time. But she's far from the only one to go through menopause early.

Restaurant served alcohol to two-year-old

Busy restaurants can be forgiven for getting food and drink orders mixed up from time to time, but not when the confusion leads to a two-year-old being served an alcoholic cocktail instead of the child-friendly beverage they ordered.

Julia Morris tells of miscarriage on a flight

Julia Morris has spoken about the devastation of suffering a miscarriage while on an international flight.

Woman's survival after birth 'a story of two miracles'

A US mother is home and tending to her new baby less than a month after surviving without a pulse for 45 minutes.

Eating ice may give mental boost to the iron deficient: study

A new study proposes that, like a strong cup of coffee, ice may give those with insufficient iron a much-needed mental boost.

Tiny lives in caring hands: Thank U NICU Day

Each year in Australia, over 40,000 newborns need the help of a special care nursery or neonatal intensive care unit. One day a year, the staff are honoured by the parents they help through those dark days.

I paid $50,000 to have a girl

This time my husband and I hadn't taken any chances. We had paid $50,000 and travelled 13,000 kilometres to make sure the baby growing inside me was female.

Weird pregnancy products

Some pregnancy products come to market and are just awesome. Others just leave you scratching your head.

Dear firstborn, I'm sorry

Being a first-time mum is tough for so many reasons – particularly because you really have no idea what you're doing.

A trace of sesame could kill my son

Helen Richardson son's had two anaphylactic reactions in a month. It's traumatic for everyone.

When you know before the test says yes

It wasn't a pregnancy test or missed period that told me I was pregnant with my second baby; it was too early for those things. A doner kebab told me I was going to be a mum again.

What not to do when your partner is in labour

Robbie Williams stole the show during his wife Ayda's labour, pretty much demonstrating everything on the "what not to do when your partner is in labour" list.

Best maternity swimwear and beach cover-ups

Thinking about a tropical babymoon but have nothing to wear? Here are some great swimwear and beach cover-up options for mums-to-be.

Parents face bankruptcy after birth

A couple has been slammed with a $1 million medical bill after the early arrival of their baby while on holidays.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.