In today’s episode, we’ll explore fat fertility & pregnancy with Nicola Salmon & Ashley Dorough
It was a Tuesday night in early December and I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and started watching stories from my friend and client Ashley Dorough.
What I saw was highly disturbing… it sent a chill down my spine. Testimonial after testimonial of women’s fertility journey:
“I had to get a lap band surgery to be accepted in a fertility treatment”
“The fertility clinic is refusing to treat me because of my weight”
“I don’t want to go on a diet nor don’t I believe in intentional weight loss but I have no choice… no weight loss no baby according to the specialist”
“At every appointment, both the nurse and doctor shamed me because of my weight… they say I put my baby at risk because I’m not trying hard enough to lose weight… and this, while being pregnant.”
“I have PCOS and my specialist is refusing to do any treatment before I lose weight. No choice but to diet.”
Yes, all of these testimonials are 100% true… all of these are from real women.
… and yes, before you ask, these were from the year 2020.
Daily, women in “overweight” BMI body are refused medical fertility treatment because of their body weight and if they do get pregnant then they are fat-shamed once more because of their body weight.
When You’re Told You’re Too Fat to Get Pregnant
As a good professional, I started doing my research… I googled fat fertility. I found this June 2019 article from Virginia Sole-Smith, “When you’re told you’re too fat to get pregnant.”
‘Patients are told to lose weight to have a healthy baby. But it’s possible that by doing so, you may be at higher risk for complications than you were before.’- Dr. Legro
Dr. Richard S. Legro, a professor of public health services and chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Penn State University is quoted “I think we’ve been overexaggerating the benefits of preconception weight loss, in fact, a fixation on weight may be leading health care astray.”
The article was filled with research on fertility and pregnancy in higher BMI. Must read for every woman.
After much reading and research, I realized that I didn’t know much about this topic and I needed to educate myself. Most importantly, I needed to raise this issue and use my platform to bring awareness and resources to women struggling with this topic.
This is how this podcast episode was born.
In today’s episode, we have two experts on fat fertility and pregnancy.
Being able to say “this is not my area of expertise” is essential in any health professional. Being able to refer to the expert is a sign of wisdom.
So, I sought two experts for today’s episode. One health expert and one lived experience expert.
Nicola Salmon is a fat-positive and feminist fertility coach and author of “Fat and Fertile”. Nicola is an acupuncturist & naturopath practicing in the UK and she supports fat people who want to get pregnant using her unique FAT fertility framework to find their own version of health without diets, advocate for their bodies, relearn how to trust their body and believe in their ability to get pregnant in their current body.
Ashley Dorough is a stylist and fashion blogger at the House of Dorough, the website on her recovery journey from chronic dieting and lived experience in fat fertility and pregnancy. She’s a mama of two.
What you’ll learn listening to this episode:
- Is it true that people in bigger bodies have difficulty getting pregnant?
- How do you stay positive while trying to get pregnant in a fat body?
- How do I stop focusing on my weight and what to do instead?
- Proactive things to do when you want to get pregnant in a bigger body
- How to Advocate for your body with doctors who won’t treat you. Can they legally decline you?
- The risks of being pregnant in a bigger body? Any?
- PCOS. Do you have to lose weight to ovulate?
- Treatments for fertility in bigger bodies – Does IVF work for people in bigger bodies?
- Fertility Diets. Should I cut out carbs?
Mentioned on the show:
Nicola Free Resources:
Freebie – Fat Person’s Guide to Getting Pregnant
Free Resource – IVF and BMI Research Summary