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Your height and weight are used to calculate your BMI, which tells you if you are overweight. Overweight pregnant women are at greater risk of difficulties than those with a normal BMI throughout their pregnancy (20-25).
These dangers, however, can be minimized with careful preparation and discussion with your midwife, obstetrician, and anesthesiologist. We’ll need your input, and we might make some suggestions along the way.
A consultant anesthetic doctor will meet with you if your BMI is more than 50 to address any concerns you or we may have. The last few weeks of your pregnancy, just before you go into labor, are the best time for us to do this procedure.
When you deliver at Southmead Hospital, an anesthetic doctor will come to see you if your BMI is higher than 40 but lower than 50. In addition, an anesthesiologist can be consulted in the prenatal clinic, and your obstetrician may also recommend an appointment if you want to see one.
Are there any other things to keep in mind?
High BMI women are twice as likely to need a C-section for the birth of their baby, and this may have to be done in an emergency. Having a general anesthetic (being put to sleep) because of a high BMI might be problematic. If you need a Caesarean Section, an epidural or spinal block is usually the best option. This implies that a numbing shot is sent to your lower body via your back.
Even though having the surgery while you’re awake offers several benefits for both you and your unborn child, it might be challenging to make you numb in this manner if your body mass index is excessive. If you have a higher BMI, it may be more difficult to find the right spot to insert the needle into your back, and the numbness may take longer to kick in.
We may have to rush the delivery of your child on occasion. However, in many cases, if you have previously had an epidural inserted during your labor and it is working well, we can utilize it to anesthetize you for a Caesarean delivery quickly or to deliver your baby using forceps or ventouse (suction cup). As a result, there are fewer delays and less likelihood that you may need to be put under general anesthesia (sleep) in an emergency.
Our recommendation is to consider an epidural sooner rather than later if your midwife or obstetrician believes that your labor isn’t going as smoothly as they would like. In this way, the anesthesiologist may spend more time putting the anesthetic in and ensuring it’s working properly.
Do you think it’s okay to eat when I’m giving birth?
We’ll give you medicine to lower your stomach’s acidity during labor. We strongly advise you to avoid eating or drinking anything bubbly when you’re at work. Water and sports-specific isotonic drinks are far more safe compared to other beverages. When you arrive at the hospital in labor, we recommend bringing a few bottles of water with you.
You’ve been at increased risk of developing a blood clot in your legs since the beginning of your pregnancy. Your risk is reduced if you are moving around, but you may spend a lot of time in the hospital bed during labor and the first few days following the birth.
We may have to administer the following medications to lower your risk of blood clots:
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The first seven days after your baby is born, you will get daily heparin injections to help thin your blood. If this is necessary, we will train you and your partner to do it.
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