Supportive Doctor for Your Plus-Sized Pregnancy
Most women have literally hundreds of questions regarding their first pregnancy. One of the most important issues, especially if you happen to be a plus-size going into your pregnancy, is finding a doctor who is sensitive and treats you with respect and dignity. While there is no reason you cannot have a perfectly safe and healthy pregnancy, there are certain issues which could crop up when mom is a plus-size and you will want to make sure your doctor is not only aware of those issues but is prepared to deal with anything which comes up.
Researching Your Health Care Provider
Talk to your plus-sized friends or co-workers who have been through a pregnancy, and ask which doctor they used and if they felt comfortable with him or her. Once you have a list of possible candidates, set up a consultation and do your own evaluation. Although you may feel embarrassed, ask about size-friendliness, and make sure the office has large-sized blood pressure cuffs, exam gowns that won't leave you exposed to the world and weigh-in procedures which will not leave you humiliated or uncomfortable.
One woman told the story of how the tiny size 2 nurse would weigh the mothers-to-be in the waiting room where everyone could watch, then call out the weight with a "tsk, tsk" and shaking of the head. This first-time pregnant mom literally dreaded each and every office visit, and wondered later why she did not speak to her doctor about the issue. Your doctor and his office staff owe you respect and the same level of health care they give all expectant moms. Never feel like you must put up with doctors who scold you like a child, insult you or shows any type of insensitivity. If you feel you are getting less than the "regular" patients get, speak up immediately.
Questions to Ask Your Physician
You should feel comfortable discussing your weight, as well as the amount of weight you should gain for the health of yourself and your baby with your doctor. Most experts recommend that plus-size women should gain from 15-20 pounds during their pregnancy, however each woman is different, so ask your doctor what he thinks. Ask your doctor about the dosage of folic acid you need. Some doctors believe that plus-size moms need a higher dose to prevent neural tube defects in the developing baby.
Gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia tend to be more prevalent in plus-sized moms, so your doctor will want to keep a close eye on you for these health issues. Ask how your doctor feels about epidurals and C-sections for plus-size moms as some doctors just assume an overweight woman will have trouble with a normal vaginal delivery, therefore they are more likely to have the epidural line in place so they can go straight into a Caesarean surgery. It is simply not true that plus-size women cannot deliver vaginally in most cases, and if having a natural childbirth is very important to you, then let your doctor know this upfront.
The Plus-Size Pregnancy
Remember that at least half of all women who are childbearing age wear a size 14 and above, so you are certainly not alone. Remember too that no woman is risk free going into a pregnancy, so even if you are at an elevated risk for certain pregnancy problems, this does not mean you will have the problem. Take good care of your body during pregnancy-eat healthy foods and get lots of low-impact exercise. Remind yourself often that you are nurturing a human being inside your body, and that no matter what size you are, this is a miracle in itself. Go shopping in a larger city to find attractive plus-size maternity clothing that make you feel good about yourself. Most of all, get lots of support during this time. Talk to other women with similar body types who have had babies and ask them candidly about their experience. Most women are more than willing to talk about their pregnancy, and it can make you feel much better to realize you are not alone. This is a wonderful, magical time, so stay healthy and enjoy it!