One of the scariest things for me while I was pregnant was finding a size-friendly healthcare provider! (And since my beloved doctor has since retired? I’m getting anxiety again as we start talking about TTC!) I have such anxiety over doctors, and am blessed with a fabulous general practitioner for my every-day needs.
Before I jump into my tips, I need to be honest. This part of pregnancy can be less than fun. When I was pregnant with my daughter? I went through three doctors before I finally settled on one. (And I was 50 pounds lighter back then.) But having a great (size-friendly) health care provider is a hugely important thing!
4 tips for finding a size-friendly healthcare provider
1. Think about a midwife.
Many of my local friends (plus size or not) use midwives for their pregnancies. While we were at a recent homeschool event I bumped into another mom who happens to be a midwife, so I took the chance to ask her a few questions! She told me that a lot of plus-sized moms have told her that they feel comfortable because she (and midwives in general) focus on knowing that your body knows what it’s supposed to do, no matter the size.
This specific midwife told me that she does monitor weight, simply to watch for other complications, but that it very rarely plays a roll in the success of the pregnancy. (And for the record? She told me that 3 of the 5 most recent complications that have come up? Were average size women, not plus-size. Sure, us plus-size women have more risks, but most often? Those risks are just that, risks. Nothing comes of them.)
2. Ask around.
If you know other plus-size moms? Ask who they recommend. If you are fortunate to have a general practitioner that you love? Ask his/her recommendation.
(When I was pregnant with my first, I didn’t have any mom-friends. So I had no one to ask, which is part of what I attribute to my switching doctors so many times.)
3. Interview Them.
A lot of times you can do this with a simple phone call! Ask to speak to one of the nurses (or if you’re lucky the doctor) and then you can (anonymously) question their experience level! Find out if they have experience with plus-size moms.
During this phone call you can also gauge how accepting they are of your questions. Do they seem annoyed? Or more compassionate?
4. Trust your gut
If you’re making that initial phone call and the nurse seems annoyed? You’re at the check-in desk and the receptionist makes you feel off? You’re stepping on the scale and the nurse makes a huff? (This happened to me!) The doctor seems patronizing? Trust your gut!
I know I mentioned that I went through THREE different practices before I found one I felt comfortable with. You have to be able to stand up for yourself – even if it’s as simple as just not scheduling another appointment with that office.
Finding a doctor that’s a right fit for you is sometimes stressful, and I know it’s easy to feel stuck when it’s not the right fit! Especially being plus size and feeling like your healthcare provider is judging you or looking down on you. Hopefully a few of these tips can help you to determine early on if this medical practice is going to be a good fit for you or not!
Do you have any tips for testing the waters of a new office? If so, I’d love to hear them, so please leave a comment!