High BMI pregnancy often leads to the pregnancy becoming ‘high risk’ and that can affect a woman’s maternal mental health. However, there are many different reasons you can have a High BMI pregnancy and it does not have to relate to health. Many women facing a high risk pregnancy have fears and obstacles in their way. This can make what should be a happy time, very stressful.
I have had a high bmi pregnancy twice and both times have been vastly different. This is because of the information I have learned over the years of parenting and my desire to be at peace, gain love and respect for my body. You are more than what you weigh. Your body is doing an incredible thing carrying a baby and you should not let your mental health suffer because of your BMI. BMI, in pregnancy, is not a true reflection of how healthy your baby is. Your BMI does not define you. You do not owe anyone any explanations and you can agree to or refuse any treatment, procedure or recommendation in pregnancy. Women forget that they have rights in a high risk pregnancy.
High Risk & High BMI Pregnancy Resources
Below you will find relevant links to all of my blog posts relating to my high risk high BMI pregnancy with my second child, Felix. You can even read Felix’s positive birth story by c-section.
High BMI Pregnancy: Birth Doula & Maternal Mental Health
I have talked about my mental health in pregnancy
I recommend hiring a doula for your prengnacy. Here is how and why I hired a doula. There are benefits I believe you get with having a doula as your second birth partner. For those on a low income and want to hire a doula I have written about how you can make it affordable.
Birth Planning Help
When it comes to planning the birth of your high bmi pregnancy there are lots of things I recommend. This is how I planned my birth with my doula. I have created some of positive birth affirmations I used. I am an advocate for birth planning and believe a birth plan should exist for every birth, especially if you are high risk. I have also talked in depth about the pros and cons of a VBAC or C-Section birth for High BMI pregnancy. I loved having Hypnobirthing sessions (with Positively You) too. I had some great results with Hypnobirthing during my high risk pregnancy. There are lots of other amazing Hypnobirthing resources to use too.
Routine Midwife Appointments
There are several Midwife appointments you can attend during your pregnancy. In your second pregnancy there are slightly less but you can request an appointment at anytime. If you are concerned at any point during your pregnancy it is vital to call the assessment centre and get checked out. Call any care provider you feel will be able to settle your mind from movements to complications, migraines or anything that isn’t normal for you. Every pregnancy is different and should be treated as such for your wellbeing and the health of your baby.
We had our first midwife appointment around eight weeks after calling my local GP surgery to make an appointment. We then had a scan arranged for around 12 weeks. My 12 week scan was very uncomfortable having had a previous c-section. The sonographer pressed hard on my scar which resulted in an external bleed and it was quite uncomfortable. A high BMI pregnancy often relies on you holding up your tummy if you have a bit of a pouch so that they can access the correct area to scan.
16-30 week appointments
I had a further scan and midwife appointment at 16 weeks as my midwife struggled to find the heartbeat. Sometimes it can be hard to find at this time due to the baby being so small and a little hard to locate. The scan really helped to settle my mind and we even got a guess at the gender at this point from the sonographer.
We had two anomoly scans around 20 weeks because baby Felix was in a funny position and there were a few things that needed checking again when he was in a different position. We did a blog post and sibling reaction gender reveal after the scan to tell our friends and family we were having a baby boy.
At around 28 weeks I had a further appointment and vaccination against whooping cough. This is optional but I believe vaccinations are incredibly important and I was willing to have it to give Felix that extra protection just after birth. I also met my consultant obstetrician at this point who was happy with my plan for a VBAC, recommended me to the consultant midwife for a birth plan and further growth scans.
30-42 weeks pregnant
Between 30 and 42 weeks pregnant I had more regular appointments with my midwife and discussed many options from home birth, water birth and pain relief options. My doula was a great help during this time and we arranged a tour of the maternity unit in the hospital I had chosen to care for me and my baby during and after my pregnancy. If you’re interested in finding out about inducing labour that is something many women are willing to try by 40 weeks as they’re tired of pregnancy!
It can be quite stressful when it comes to your due date especially if you go past 40 weeks. Felix was born at 42 weeks, as was my first child so I knew those last two weeks would be difficult.
Other High Risk Pregnancy: Useful Content
I have written a pregnancy wishlist of products that I have had and used that were helpful.
Read a review of a pregnancy pillow that I still use now post natal because it’s comfortable for my hips.
You can read an overview of the second trimester of pregnancy.
My mental health was all over the place and I’ve written about how I was dealing with my emotions in the third trimester of pregnancy.
This is my essential what to pack for a hospital birth guide helps you think of items to help during labour and birth.
I’ve written about items to help with expressing breastmilk.
There are loads of amazing pregnancy books supporting positive birth. I have a list of must read positive birth books.
There is lots of fantastic information around. Here are some links you might find helpful
AIMS for a better birth
The Positive Birth Company for hypnobirthing resources
Hampshire Doulas for Doula Enquiries, Birth & Postnatal support for those based in Hampshire
The Positive Birth Movement meet up groups for encouraging and supportive pregnancy, birth and post natal