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I'm very overweight. Is homebirth still an option??

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm 25 years old, 5'5" and weigh 214 lb.s. I have no known health problems.
I had hoped to lose some weight before becoming pregnant again. But my DH and I found out about our little surprise about two weeks ago. My first child was born in the hospital with no complications, but I had always wanted to have my next baby at home. I haven't seen a doctor or midwife yet, but I was hoping to hear some others' experiences before I go to see someone. I would love to hear about anyone else's experiences or advice on this issue. Thanks
post #2 of 21
You can definitely have a homebirth. Just talk to your midwife about it and be careful about weight gain and you'll be fine!
post #3 of 21
Homebirth is still an option if you are overweight. I am overweight and have had 3 homebirths and nobody has ever said anything about my weight.
post #4 of 21
I am proportionally more overweight than you, and it did not affect my ability to have wonderful, healthy pregnancies, and one wonderful, complication-free home birth. I am planning my second any day now.

Gestational diabetes may risk you out, depending on the midwife/ state/ situation, but I never developed GD, nor high blood pressure, or any of the complications that can be more common in women who begin pregnancy overweight. I stayed active through my pregnancies, and actually lost weight at the start of my last pregnancy. This pregnancy, I just maintained for awhile. I have gained about 25 lbs at this point.

Last pregnancy, I only gained 17, probably because of the initial weight loss.
post #5 of 21
I was quite overweight during my pregnancy. I had GD but controlled my blood sugar with diet. I might have considered a home birth just as long as there was a hospital close to my house. As it turned out, I had enough risk factors that warrented a hospital birth.
post #6 of 21
I am overweight and have had 6 hbs. I am 5'2 and started out at 175. No one has ever blinked an eye.
post #7 of 21
I'm 5'6 & started this pregnancy at just over 220 (I forget the exact weight) & I'm planning a HB. Hasn't been an issue at all.
post #8 of 21
I am just shy of 5'5" and was 175ish when I first found out I was pregnant. Right now I am 193 at 23wks. MW has said nothing and shows NO concern. I have been gaining 1lb a week. So I expect my whole weight gain to be around 34lbs total. And maybe even 40lbs total, because I tend to gain a little extra in the very end. I have those cravings that no one can deny! When I told the MW what I was expecting, she didn't bat an eyelash. All she has said is that as long as I am not a lazy bum till the very end (which I cant be anyhow with a 3yo and 1yo at home with me all day) and not loading up on fast food and processed thing then I should be fine.
OP you very well and PROBABLY WILL go on to have a normal and healthy pregnancy. Load up on the protein, and then eat your good carbs afterwards. This will slow down the sugar in your blood. Also believe it or not, eating fat with your meals is also good (olive oil on your salad, or baking your chicken in olive oil, or a lean beef burger) because this also helps the blood sugar levels. These things along with moderate exercise will keep your risk of GD to a minimum. And your weight gain to a minimum too, since your cravings wont be to crazy.
post #9 of 21
I really think this is something you need to discuss with midwives while interviewing. No, weight should not risk you out. That does not mean that some midwives aren't going to have an issue with your size - they're still people, and plenty of people are fat-phobic. I'm bigger than you are, and when I was interviewing practitioners these questions really told me a lot about how they viewed fat (and whether or not I wanted to work with them).

How much weight do you recommend I gain? If the answer is less than 20 lbs, ask what happens if you go over 20 lbs, and chances are this is not the midwife for you.
What is your opinion on GD, and do you require I take the GTT? Would you consider post-prandial glucose monitoring and a food diary sufficient to take the place of the GTT? If they require GTT and wouldn't consider glucose monitoring instead, chances are this is not the midwife for you.
Do you carry a fetascope, and are you practiced in using it? Regardless of how you feel about doppler, the answer to this question can tell you a lot. I've had several practitioners tell me I'm too fat for a fetascope to work on me. If they say anything of that sort, chances are this is not the midwife for you.
What food intake/diet do you recommend for pregnancy? Oftentimes the answer is going to be Brewer, which is good. If the answer is at all restrictive in calories or fat, chances are this is not the midwife for you.

If at any point during the interview any random comment is made that makes you feel that they are fat-phobic, do not dismiss that feeling as "pregnancy hormones". Trust your instinct on that.

post #10 of 21
I am also more overweight than you, and had 2 UC's. No complications due to weight.
post #11 of 21
I've attended multiple home births of heavier moms. As long as they stayed healthy during their pregnancies (no pre-e, etc.) then it was fine to do home birth.
post #12 of 21
Congrats on your new pregnancy!

The first thing I did when I found out I was pregnant was email local midwives to ask about 'risking out'. (I am not overweight, but have asthma and mitro valve prolapse) Most MW in my area have great websites that talk about risk, and I got emails back within days. Good Luck!
post #13 of 21
I am greatly more overweight than you and I had a fabulous FSBC birth with DD1, an even more wonderful homebirth with DD2, and am getting ready to have another homebirth (unassisted this time) with DD3. Weight is just a number. Your HEALTH is more important. As long as you're healthy in general then you should have NO problem. It is true though that some midwives are fat phobic. They're human after all. But if you run into one don't let that discourage you... just keep looking.

Weight ALONE is not PROVEN to increase risk of GD, PIH, pre-e, etc. However if you are genetically predisposed to any health problems THEN weight can sometimes aggravate that and cause it to develop during pregnancy. That happens in thin women too.

So bottom line, eat healthy, don't try to lose weight, stay active, and you'll do fine. And don't worry about what you gain during pregnancy. With #1 I gained 3lbs. With #2 I gained 50lbs. This time around I've lost weight. But each time I've been eating (reasonably) healthy, so that's ALL that matters.
post #14 of 21
I was your size pre-pregnancy. I had a wonderful HB this past summer. I told my midwife during the phone interview that I was concerned about being over-weight (not telling her how much I weighed). When she met me in person, she said that she expected me to be much, much larger from talking to me and that even if I had been she was willing to attend. The key is finding as midwife that isn't fat phobic. None of the ones I spoke to were. I hope you have the HB of your dreams.

BTW, weight was never an issue during my prenatal visits. She didn't even do weigh-ins, just measured my belly occasionally and asked about my diet (it was a struggle for me to eat enough veggies). The only time my weight came up during appointments was when I voiced concerns about gaining enough/too much.
post #15 of 21
5 foot 2, and 220 when I got pg. I don't have a history of GD, I eat healthy, etc.......
My mom was always overweight and she had HB's.
post #16 of 21
It shouldn't be a problem and if a midwife tells you it would risk you out, then look for another midwife. I am overweight and it wouldn't stop me from having another homebirth if I were to get pregnant. I also wouldn't risk out potential clients for only being overweight. They would have to have another problem such as out of control blood pressure or diabetes and then it is the blood pressure or diabetes that risks them out, not their weight.
post #17 of 21
I started out at 228 (thanks to the 30 I still had on after DD1) and the midwives had to have the OB that oversees the practice ok me, he didn't see a problem at all. Just wanted me to not gain TOO much weight, but stay healthy, and have a 1 tri and 3rd tri glucose (we did finger prick in the 1st) I was ok with that and had a great birth, no GD or any other problems. I do think yoga helped keep me healthy and limber, which is important too.
post #18 of 21
It sure is! I am slighlty more overweight than you and my midwife has never even mentioned it. She just makes sure that I am eating healthy and staying active but I am pretty sure she's like that with all her clients. Fat and thin alike.
post #19 of 21
Originally Posted by scrapadoozer View Post
It sure is! I am slighlty more overweight than you and my midwife has never even mentioned it. She just makes sure that I am eating healthy and staying active but I am pretty sure she's like that with all her clients. Fat and thin alike.
I would take on a client with that weight/height ratio, no problem at all. I would ask you to focus on good nutrition though and like scrapadoozer said, that's something I will ask of all my future clients.
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
thanks to everyone who responded. I will be contacting a midwife in my area (there aren't many) today. I feel much better about this :

I have pretty good eating habits, but I never deliberately exercise. Since I found out I was pregnant I've been doing a walk with my husband everyday for about a half hour, and I'm enjoying it so much that I feel silly for not doing it before.

I've had really bad morning sickness this go around and I've actually lost 10 pounds since I found out I was pg
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