I’m overweight. Should I find a doctor with experience seeing patients like me?
You probably already know that being overweight carries some risks to your pregnancy. So you want someone who’s aware of and knows how to manage those risks, but you also don’t want a doctor who focuses so much on your weight and forgets about everything else. You don’t need lectures about how you should have lost weight before you got pregnant. You just want positive advice about what you should do now.
Start by getting recommendations from friends. Or scan your insurance benefits book or website to see which docs are covered by your health insurance. Then schedule an appointment to meet the prospective doctor and get a feel for their personality and practice.
During the interview, ask pointed questions about their experience and approach to caring for plus-sized pregnant women. “Ask the OB/GYN if they are comfortable with managing plus- size women, and whether the facility they’re using is,” says Debra Goldman, MD, ob/gyn at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island. “You want a provider who knows how to identify, reduce and manage the risk that can come with a plus-sized pregnancy.”
Pay attention to how the doctor interacts with you. She should treat you with respect and make you feel comfortable and positive. “I don’t want my overweight patients to get discouraged. They shouldn’t feel that the cards are stacked against them to have a successful pregnancy. They’re not,” says Goldman. “They may have some extra challenges, but those challenges are not insurmountable.” That’s the kind of attitude you want to look for in your own doctor.
“Just because a plus- sized woman is at an increased risk of complications, it doesn’t mean that she will have complications,” says Goldman.
Plus, More from The Bump:
How to Interview an OB
What to Ask During Your First OB Appointment
When to Break Up With Your OB