I have spent hours this weekend reading through the Plus-Size Pregnancy website. I first stumbled upon it while researching some details on pubic symphsis pain. And uncovered so, so much more. This website is authored by "Kmom", a plus size mom of four and childbirth educator. After a tumultuous first pregnancy that turned into a "self fulfilling prophecy" of high risk, multiple complications and many, many interventions, Kmom sought out a different way with each of her subsequent pregnancies. In the process, she has become an important advocate for the needs of plus-size moms-to-be. While at first her website started as a directory of resources for larger women (maternity clothes and bras, baby carriers for big moms, support groups for plus-size pregnancies, etc.), her work soon turned to advocacy as she delved deeply into the pages of medical journals uncovering much disagreement in the medical community over such critical issues as gestational diabetes.
Her website is almost all text…and a lot of it. Sections range from articles she has written for midwives and other providers on how to have Plus-Size Friendly Practices to special issues well-endowed women face with breastfeeding. Larger women have higher rates of c-sections and other interventions, much associated with the medical communities fear that larger women will have complicated deliveries, excessively large babies and possibly babies with birth defects. Kmom tackles the numbers and reminds women that while a larger size does make their pregnancy and birthing experience potentially a little more complicated, healthy larger women have healthy pregnancies and babies all the time.
*Choosing a size-friendly provider
*The importance of large blood pressure cuffs
*Avoiding surgery: lowering the c-section rate in big moms
*Dieting and pregnancy
*Weight Gain during pregnancy
*Facility and equipment concerns
*Connections between Obesity and Birth Defects: Don’t Panic
Her work is heavily researched and has an extensive bibliography, and, very importantly, she strives to be very self-reflective as an author — making it clear when she is expressing her own opinion and bias. She is continually encouraging her readers to seek out more information elsewhere and ask even more critical questions. Quite refreshing in the birthing community when so many experts are so righteous about "the right way" to give birth and care for moms and their babies. And quite refreshing in an industry that doesn’t always understand that moms are smart, thinking people who can understand complex issues.
I highly recommend her website if you are curious about navigating the birthing world as a plus-size mama-to-be, and/or if you are looking for deeper information on gestational diabetes.