Too fat for VBAC?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-09-2007
Too fat for VBAC?
Mon, 12-14-2009 - 2:09pm

Hi --

I'm new to your board, but thought it might be a good resource for a question/issue that was raised this week at my OB appt.

Ali, mother to DS 1/2008
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-1998
Mon, 12-14-2009 - 4:24pm

This was not my issue, but some folk say that "too fat" is really all in your caregiver's mind. I do know that a lot of people generally successful at vaginal birth are a lot bigger than you, and that a lot of people were told "too fat" who were smaller than you (i.e. Some allegedly pro-VBAC doctors will pick up on anything the slightest bit

Cthulu Crochet

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2009
Mon, 12-14-2009 - 9:06pm

Welcome to the board, Ali, and congratulations on your pg!

I've known several women who've vbac'ed who weighed over 200 pounds when they had their babies.


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2005
Mon, 12-14-2009 - 11:02pm

I'm also a big girl, similar in size to you. I had three successful VBAC's with three different doctors (tho' two doctors were in the same practice). With my last VBAC, my doc was out of town, but the on-call doc didn't have a problem with my doing a VBAC, either.

Also, with my first two VBACs I had induced labor due to overdue babies. My third VBAC I went into labor naturally but ended up getting pitocin since my contractions kinda stalled.

I've never heard anything about size making a difference. Admittedly my first VBAC was 13yrs ago, but all the literature I read at that time never said anything about size.

A couple of years ago I read an article that a lot more insurance companies and hospitals were requiring c/s due to fears of complications. Maybe the doc is just trying to find a reason to discourage you?

After my c/s I later had surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. My recovery from that more minor surgery was even harder than c/s recovery since I was chasing a toddler. I hope you can find a doc who is willing to work with you. I loved, loved, loved how much easier recovery was from the VBAC, even with significant tearing!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2009
Tue, 12-15-2009 - 11:00am

Completely agree with all the pp. I am 5'0" and weigh the same as you. I am due the first week in Feb. and have gained a total of 2# in this pregnancy. I have never ever heard of your weight being a factor in VBAC situation and you can bet I would have since I am vbacing after 3 c-sections. I attempted a vbac after my first section but it was due to fetal distress and lack of education on our part about the hospital and a variety of other things that it happened the way it did, but even that Dr. never mentioned weight and he prefers not to have vbac patients. My current Dr. is great and does vbac's after 2 and 3 sections so I am very blessed to have his support.

Funny as this is and as a pp mentioned, you have a far higher risk of complications having a c-section when you are overweight than delivering naturally. You have a higher risk of infections, longer recovery, and you may not but after the 3 sections that I have had personally, you have to be sooooo careful with the incision site because of excess skin there making it hard to keep it clean and dry.

Lastly, My only suggestion to you, besides talking to the Dr. about where the info is coming from, is to look into Bradley classes to prepare for the birth. IMHO it will get you in the best shape (this may be a factor in your Dr's opinion) for delivery while teaching you what you need to know to have a natural delivery- If I knew then what I know now, I most likely would have only had one c-section instead of three (BTW, I didn't even attempt one with my 3rd). Very Best Wishes!

Hugs and Angel Kisses,

Hugs and Angel Kisses, Theresa Lilypie First Birthday tickers
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-10-2005
Tue, 12-15-2009 - 3:42pm

That was worded in a very interesting way.

I wonder (and don't have any medical knowledge to back this up) if she was referring to the fast that as an overweight mama, you are more likely to develop high BP, and pre-e. Most practices will not (and for GOOD reason)

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-09-2007
Wed, 12-16-2009 - 2:17pm

Thanks've certainly helped me create a good list of questions and concerns that I will be addressing with my Dr.

Ali, mother to DS 1/2008
Avatar for mianator
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-08-2003
Wed, 12-16-2009 - 9:58pm

This was not my issue, but when doing research, someone pointed me to this website.

siggy.gif picture by mianator

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2009
Sat, 12-19-2009 - 6:50pm

Good Luck, Ali.

Let us know what your dr says. :0)



iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2007
Mon, 12-21-2009 - 9:25am

Hi, and welcome!

I wanted to second the pp who suggested

-Sarah, mom to Melissa Jeanne, born 9/4/07, and baby boy, due 4/9/10


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-24-2007
Thu, 12-24-2009 - 12:31pm

If you would like to talk to other women of size who have overcome 'fat phobia' in docs to go on to achieve their VBACs, they would love to talk to you, at in the email digest. You post a question and intro and they can email you in the digest or personally if you prefer.

Don't let those who assume your size will keep you from VBAC make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. They are making assumptions based on 'conventional wisdom' rather than good evidence or research.



Loving life as an 0ver-35 mom and Postal Wife, homeschooling, urban homesteading, relaxed crunchy/geek hybrid housewife, trying to live consciously in an age of media hypnosis

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