Saturday, 24 September 2011

No More Plus Size Mamas?

So I came across this article which I found kind of disturbing; it’s about doctors refusing to provide fertility treatment for obese women with a BMI over 35.  And yes, this article is from Canada.  Click here to read the article, go ahead, I’ll wait.

I would like to point out that even though obese women may be at slightly higher risk for complications during pregnancy, there is no guarantee that a woman will have complications just because she’s heavy.  Overweight and obese women have beautiful, healthy babies every day.  I’d also like to point out that thin women are not immune to pregnancy complications; they too can get gestational diabetes and have difficult births.  I don’t know, but I have to wonder if anyone has actually proven that losing weight decreases pregnancy complications, or if it’s really some third factor that is causing the pregnancy complications in overweight women.

Now, when people talk about “obese women” most people probably get a certain picture in their head.  You may be picturing something that resembles one of those pictures of a headless fat person we usually see attached to news stories like this.  You know the ones that are close ups of fat women with their heads cut out of the shot, usually in an unflattering position and dressed really badly.  Well let me give you a different picture.

That's me with a friend's brand new daughter.

I am a healthy woman, as evidenced by my yearly check up a few months ago which showed that my blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and everything else are all in healthy ranges.  I try to live a healthy lifestyle and eat variety of foods, and participate in enjoyable movement.  I am reasonably active, doing yoga and pilates and walking on a regular basis.  My friends might describe me as curvy or voluptuous, maybe even fat, but probably not morbidly obese.  But with a BMI of 41, that’s exactly what I am.  And if these rules are imposed throughout Canada I could be refused the chance to become a mother.  Not because I’m unhealthy or unfit but simply because of the ratio of my height to weight, which doesn’t tell a doctor anything besides the ration of my height to my weight.  Seems to me like that is kind of a lazy way to decide who is at risk for serious complications.

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