Fat and Not Afraid

Respect and love are for EVERY body.

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On the Other Side of the Scale

April 9, 2012

Over the long weekend, actually probably last Thursday morning, I had a conversation over Facebook with a friend who is also pregnant, but is a) much much smaller in body size than me and b) roughly 8 weeks further along. She was sweetly asking her pregnancy to stop kicking her ass via FB post, so I gave her some *hugs* and we got chatting. Turns out the ass kicking she's getting is frequent dizzy spells and blackouts, even for something as simple as going to get a drink from the fridge. I asked her if her blood pressure was ok, which it is now, but the dizziness and blackouts are still happening much too often. Her midwife keeps telling her that it's just because of how small she is, and to drink more liquids.

I'm not a doctor, I'll be the first to admit that, but ever since Gabe was born I've done a ridiculous amount of reading on pregnancy, labour and delivery. I was a bit obsessed about it because I wanted to find out What I Did Wrong (turns out nothing!). If your BP is normal, no cause comes to mind as to why she'd be having dizziness and blackouts. The dizziness could be due to low iron, but I don't think the blackouts are connected. So, I told her what we in the Fatosphere would tell a fat person facing size bias from a health professional; stop looking at my size. What would you look for/tell me to do if I was of average size? Also, she's going to get a second opinion from her family doctor. 

In this case I'm glad I knew what to say and could be supportive of my friend. She gets a lot of flack for being so small-the usual 'eat a sandwich' garbage, but I wasn't expecting it from her midwife. Size bias, it's all over the place, and issues and incidents like this are why I'm proud to say that my personal views and writings are evolving from just fat acceptance to BODY acceptance.

Thank you for this post. Body acceptance doesn't just apply to fat people, although fat people seem to be the main target for body shame. But other body types are shamed too, so thank you for pointing this out.

You're welcome. It's all a part of the game noone can win, the body policing and bodies are public property thing. Shakesville has a good post up today on that, related to something written by Ashley Judd.

Size acceptance cuts in more than one direction. I'm well aware of that from my work with childbirth issues. As much as fat women are often told they "can't" birth a baby vaginally, small/petite women are often told the same thing. Puleeze. My best friend is under 5 foot tall and she has gotten this line many times. She went on to birth 5 boys, all sizable babies, with very short, fast, easy labors.

There is research to suggest that very short/petite women have a higher c/s rate, but as with fat women, is it truly something to do with their size, or rather the management of women of that size? More the latter, IMO.

I don't have a lot of experience or knowledge about her dizziness/fainting situation, so I'm glad she's getting a second opinion. My gut reaction is a couple of things. Could be a quick drop in BP upon standing (which happens to some people), could be dehydration (which is why her midwife mentioned drinking more), could be low blood sugar (like reactive hypoglycemia, in which case eating protein more often is the best help), or low iron status (has the midwife done a hemoglobin or hematocrit count recently?). Or there might be something I'm not thinking of.

Definitely something to be checked into further. Keep us posted!

Thanks for all the extra info, Mama! I shall point said friend in the direction of this post and your comment.

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