Sharing the love

The BigBirthas website has been active for a little over two years now. While I haven’t ever got as much time as I’d like to work on the site, it isn’t hard to stay motivated, as every so often I get a lovely email from someone in the BigBirthas community about how the site has helped them.

I don’t usually share them, but thought maybe it’s time I did (with permission!) so here is my most recent lovely email from ‘Jo’:

I just wanted to say an enormous THANK YOU for your website! I have just discovered I am pregnant after trying to conceive for some time so am over the moon! But am already being body-shamed and fed so many scare stories from the medics that I fear they will make me high risk purely through scaremongering! I’m certain sure my body is not high risk and needed some evidence and research to back it up!

Your wealth of information and reassuring guidance on your amazing website has calmed me down and empowered me to advocate for myself during appointments and in particular, push strongly for a water birth which I have always wanted. This must have taken an awful lot of time and effort (there is so much info there!), but it is a lifesaver for women like me. I will be visiting your page often throughout the next few months!

Thank you

Jo

So for Jo (huge congratulations!) and everyone else reading this, you are most welcome. It has been and remains truly a pleasure.

I’m only sorry I still haven’t got round to finishing researching and writing the many articles that are still languishing in my ‘draft’ box – many of which are little more than titles. I still think I will get round to it! But it seems the right time to reflect. I’ve been involved in a few campaigns over the time that BigBirthas has been active – trying to positively influence birth treatment and outcomes, for everyone, not just the larger ladies in our community, and now the Maternity Review was just published yesterday. I’ve not read all of it yet (there’s over 100 pages!) but it does seem to be suggesting more woman-centred care, which can only be a good thing, in my opinion!

So if you’ve just found out you’re pregnant and are apprehensive of what the future brings, welcome. There’s a community here. Be strong. Have faith in your body’s innate abilities. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself. Request to see the evidence base on which treatment is being recommended, and object/refuse/work to find an alternative where you experience prejudicial treatment that has no good evidence for its imposition.

And if you’re ever feeling low, or as though you’re not ‘supposed’ to be pregnant, do a Google image search for ‘fertility goddess’ or ‘mother goddess’. See those carvings and sculptures of women with big breasts, big hips and big tummies?

The ancient people who made those figures knew what they were talking about.

You are a goddess.

Don’t you forget it.

Why you shouldn’t make assumptions based on size

It really frustrates me when I hear that a health professional, when faced with a larger patient, has said that they need to exercise ‘more’, without actually establishing what exercise the person does in the first place.

This interview is an excellent example that size is not an indicator of activity levels:

http://totalwomenscycling.com/lifestyle/interviews/interview-plus-sized-athlete-krista-henderson-on-focusing-on-fitness-not-weight-loss-53606/#73Hb9MOR2gU9FSHm.97

http---cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com-twc-wp-content-uploads-2015-07-krista-race-680x380

How many medical personnel would take one look at Krista Henderson and assume (wrongly!) that she barely gets herself off the couch?

One of the arguments for not allowing bigger women access to a birth pool is ‘the difficulty in getting in and out’.

I can think of a better way of finding out whether I can get myself in and out of a pool, and it’s not by looking at me and making a snap judgement based on prejudice.

Similarly with blood pressure. Don’t assume that I’m going to have high blood pressure because I’m heavy – you can check my blood pressure easily enough, so let’s do that and then change my treatment if need be, not assume the worst case scenario and restrict my options based on assumptions rater than facts.

In the event, my blood pressure was always on the low side, and more than once it was commented on with surprise how’ sprightly’ I was getting in and out of the pool and up stairs etc. We, Krista Henderson included, should be judged on what we’re capable of, and not our clothes size!

Nearing the end of your pregnancy? Feeling huge?

Whether you’ve enjoyed your pregnancy, or found it a trial, the last few months when you’re at your most huge/uncomfortable/tired/grouchy test us all.

So here’s a little chuckle for you. Four guys – ‘The Try Guys’ test out wearing pregnancy simulator bellies for the day. Guess what? They moan. A lot.

 

Documentary Maker Looking For Plus-Size Pregnant Ladies

Hi all, I’ve had yet another request from a documentary maker for plus-size pregnant women to feature in a programme!

As always, I have no affiliation with the production company and have not seen their previous work so cannot vouch for them, you would need to do your own research about whether or not you’d like to be involved.

Here’s the blurb I’ve been sent:

Curve Media logo

Are you expecting a baby? Is there such a thing as a ‘straight forward’ or ‘easy’ pregnancy? Do you think you’re having – or you’re likely to have- an exceptionally interesting pregnancy?

Curve Media have been commissioned by Discovery to make a second series of 6 x 60 minute episodes on the subject of pregnancy called “My Extraordinary Pregnancy”.

We’re looking for mums-to-be from all over the world, who are juggling the usual excitement and anxiety of a typical pregnancy, with an unusual situation or condition.

Something we would love to cover in the series are the antenatal differences in care for plus size Mothers. Have you been advised to lose weight during your pregnancy? Or is being plus size allowing you to have a pregnancy that you are comfortable with?  

We want to explore the realities – the highs and lows, the excitement and the inevitable anxieties that being an extraordinary pregnant mum brings, and help you share your pregnancy story.

If you’d be interested in an informal chat with a member of the My Extraordinary Pregnancy production team, please email us at extraordinarypregnancies@curvemedia.com

or call 020 3179 0099 – we’d love to talk to you.

(And of course – congratulations on your pregnancy!)

Please note: We will use and store the personal details contained in your email and any further response, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, for the sole purpose of producing the programme.