An alarming study out of Temple University reported that more than half of doctors characterize overweight patients as "ugly" and "non-compliant." 1/3 of doctors even called them "weak-willed" and "lazy."
This is what happened to Rebecca, a mother of two who is overweight. Her doctor flat out told her “Someone else who looked like you went in for an induction last week and was fine." Because apparently all fat women have the same medical histories and react the same?
Women who have a BMI indicating they're overweight are 56% more likely to be forced into a C-section, even though C-section risks increase with your weight. One study even proved that 24% of the nurses they surveyed were "repulsed by obese women."
One mom even recalls how her epidural experience was affected by her doctor's unwillingness to cooperate.
"He stabbed me in the spine seven time before he got the epi placed (wrong). I screamed every time. On the fifth time, he complained he was having trouble “because of all the fat back here.” I would have cried about it if I wasn’t already in tears from his bungling. I knew he placed epis in bigger women every day. He was just using my fat to cover his own incompetence."
The other discriminatory behavior revolves around gestational diabetes. Only 50% of women who have GD are overweight, and yet most overweight women are forced to take the glucose tolerance test every month during their pregnancy.
In fact, some doctors are even REFUSING to take on patients due to their weight.
"People don't realize the risk we're taking by taking care of these patients," Dr. Albert Triana says. "There's more risk of something going wrong and more risk of getting sued. Everything is more complicated with an obese patient in GYN surgeries and in [pregnancies]."
And while there is some truth to overweight patients being higher risk, a doctor's oath does not say "I will treat all patients except for the fatties who might be a little more difficult."
Patients who do end up finding doctors are often humiliated during check-ups.
"They're yelled at during prenatal checkups or humiliated during weigh-ins, and every problem is blamed on their size," says Pamela Vireday.
Were you overweight and pregnant? Did you feel as though your doctors treated you differently? Let us know.