Big Birtha’s Good Morning Britain Update

Well, if you didn’t already know by now, Big Birtha (aka Amber Marshall) appeared on Good Morning Britain to talk about obesity in pregnancy.

It had been set up as a debate/fight between CEO of the Royal College of Midwives, Cathy Warwick and I as part of their #obesityfocus week, and I’d also been warned that Piers Morgan might be difficult!

Good Morning Britain Big Birthas Tweet

For anyone who missed the segment (understandable, it was at the crack of dawn!!) here’s the direct link:
http://www.itv.com/goodmorningbritain/news/serious-consequences-of-obesity-in-pregnancy

And as if to prove a point, Good Morning Britain lead the segment with some scaremongering…

Autism misrepresentation by Good Morning Britain

The study they are referencing is here:

The Association of Maternal Obesity and Diabetes With Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities (94.7 KiB)

and surprise surprise, it does not say that children born to obese mothers are 3x more likely to develop Autism. The conclusion is quite clear – “Maternal prepregnancy obesity and maternal diabetes in combination were associated with increased risk for ASD” [emphasis added]

Unfortunately, I wasn’t familiar with the study, so couldn’t make this distinction on air. I also don’t know the base numbers, so again, if you are concerned because you have diabetes – either pre-exisiting or gestational, we don’t know if this is another one of those ‘3x a very small number is still a small number’ cases – it certainly seems to be.

Of course, all Twitter cared about was that my necklace looked like sweets…
GMB Twitter Skittles GMB Twitter M&MsBut all in all, a much less scary interview than I had been led to expect, and it was over in seemingly moments! Cathy Warwick was exactly what you’d hope for in a midwife – sensible, well informed, and supportive. It wasn’t a fight at all. We had a nice chat both beforehand and afterwards in the green room, and there was a lot of common ground between our points of view (seemingly to the disappointment of the production team!).

Big thanks to Piers Morgan (who would have thought I would ever have cause to write that!?!) for spelling out the name of this site, albeit without the ‘s’, and Hello! to the new visitors the exposure national television brought. Pull up a chair, get yourself comfy. You’re among friends here.

x

Big Birtha

Big Birtha on Good Morning Britain Tomorrow!

Exciting news!

(If you’re a morning person. If you’re a night owl like me it’s slightly horrifying!)

Big Birtha has been invited onto Good Morning Britain to discuss the site and the cause of us plus-size pregnant mums, and the discriminatory treatment we sometimes experience.

I’ll be on the couch with Piers Morgan (I’ve already been warned that I’m likely to get some difficult questions) and they’ll also be speaking to someone from the Royal College of Midwives to get the professional perspective.

It’ll be quick, just 4 minutes on screen, at 6.40am. So don’t blink or you’ll miss it!

Wish me and my sleep deprived brain good luck! Slightly scared, but very pleased that the cause is getting this exposure!

Big Birtha X

***UPDATE***
For anyone who missed the segment (understandable, it was at the crack of dawn!!) here’s the direct link:
http://www.itv.com/goodmorningbritain/news/serious-consequences-of-obesity-in-pregnancy

and here’s my update on the encounter.

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.