The reality of being obese and pregnant is recorded in a new documentary series that opens eyes.
Big Birthers, premiering this evening on 5Star, follows seriously overweight women as they navigate through the final stages of pregnancy.
Tonight Leicester plays mothers NJ, 41, and Amiee, 30, both of whom are faced with medical complications due to their weight, but follow two very different approaches when it comes to tackling the problem.
Mother of four NJ – whose BMI of 48 hair & # 39; extremely obese & # 39; makes – decides to shed the & # 39; s after the arrival of her fifth child, a son, who says she & # 39; fit and healthy & # 39; must be for her children.
The 22nd Amiee, who has gestational diabetes, responds less well to the warnings of doctors and refuses to take the advice to curb her high blood sugar levels, even though it could affect her unborn twins.
NJ, 41, from Leicester, is obese, with a BMI of 48. In Big Birthers, which is broadcast tonight on 5Star, she gives birth to her fifth child (photo) Arthur David
& # 39; It's just another needle in my leg & # 39 ;, says Amiee. & # 39; I shouldn't let them weigh so much, but they just love their caterpillar, right? & # 39;
She adds jokes: & I know they are worried about them, but what about me? Nobody worries about me. & # 39;
NJ is brought in on the day of its planned C-section. Doctors decided against a natural birth because the baby is in a difficult position and the age and weight of NJ means that complications are more likely.
But a C-section is far from easy for a mother who is seriously overweight.
Advising midwife Julia Austin explains that obese women who undergo C-sections are at greater risk of various complications, including infections. Obese women also take longer to recover from the procedure.
NJ, who also chooses to be sterilized, says she understands that she is already suffering from her high BMI and admits that she is fighting heart palpitations, body aches and high blood pressure.
Midwife Jet and Dr. Karen are hospital staff and take care of expectant mothers and ensure that they can safely deliver their babies.
But she says she is determined to make a change for the benefit of her children.
& # 39; I have to be fit and healthy for them, they are my priority & # 39 ;, she says. & # 39; If I can't do anything for them, it breaks my heart. & # 39;
During delivery, the midwife must use a specialized piece of medical equipment to lift the excess fat around her belly to have a full view of the baby.
NJ welcomes son Arthur David, who weighs just over 9 pounds. The baby is taken to the neonatal unit due to respiratory problems, but is eventually stabilized and transferred to its mother, who looks to the future.
I want to do everything I can to get fit to make myself strong and increase the possibility that I will be recovered quickly
She adds: & # 39; I want to do everything I can to get fit to make myself strong and increase the possibility that I will be recovered quickly. & # 39;
Meanwhile, mother Amiee, who already has a son, expects twins and hopes to give birth to her children soon.
Doctors advise Amiee, who has a BMI of 52, to check her blood sugar level four times a day to identify any peaks.
Specialist obstetrician Angela Stack explains that when a larger baby is born from an obese mother with gestational diabetes, & chances are greater that that baby will become obese at a later age to develop type 2 diabetes & # 39 ;.
She adds: & # 39; We're not saying you can't eat or treat fun things, but it's all about moderation and portion control.
Amiee reveals that she has tried to go on a diet in the past, but that she tends to eat whatever she likes & # 39; – and this is largely unhealthy food. She also tells her sister that she cannot only have water and drink juice instead.
Midwife Jet, Dr. Chandrima & Dr. Karen help with the delivery of NJ. They must use a special piece of technology to proceed to her C-section
After her 32-week scan, Amiee is told that her babies are already weighing 4.1 pounds and 4.11 pounds.
& # 39; I'd rather have a fat baby than a small squirrel, & # 39; she says.
Amiee further says that she does not see the usefulness of a diet now that she is ready.
She continues: & # 39; It makes no sense to change anything, they naturally get bigger, but they don't shrink now, do they? & # 39;
Helena Maybury, an obstetrician consultant, explains that a high blood sugar level means that the baby & # 39; s have a high blood sugar level.
& # 39; If a baby produces more insulin, it is a very powerful growth factor & she adds.
Helena tells Amiee that she needs to keep track of her blood sugar, as this can have negative consequences not only for the size of her children, but also for their health.
But the mother is not happy with the idea of getting her blood sugar under control.
At the end of the episode we learn that Amiee gave birth to the twins two weeks earlier than planned.
Big Birthers: On the Maternity Ward will be broadcast on 5Star tonight at 9 p.m.
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