The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA


A Dad Talks about His Wife's Experience as a Large Woman

Easy Steps to a Safer Pregnancy - View e-book or Download PDF - FREE!
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.

Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy

These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.

Well, I'll try to keep this half way short. I have posted thousands of lines on my opinion, and our experiences. My wife is quite heavy. We had our second child at home 2 months ago. Our first, in the hospital was a bad experience. Is this your first child?


I'm new to this whole thing, as I just subscribed last week. I just found out I'm pg. I'm running the whole spectrum of emotions. We were aiming for next spring, as I have some weight that NEEDED to come off first, but there's no waiting now!
I would not worry about it PERIOD. As long as in all honesty you are in good health. "Fat" does not mean you are any more unhealthy than skinny means you are in good physical condition. As to weight gain in pregnancy, the midwife we finally found, said so what. You are expected to gain weight, and a weight loss plan now is a bad idea. There is a lot of prejudice against overweight people. That DOES extend to a lot of midwives unfortunately. We ran in to it with several we interviewed.

My question is this: I need some input on the risks of a home birth for someone so overweight. I am about 65lbs. overweight.
In my opinion, no more than anybody else. There are some issues, but they are not directly "Homebirth" related, the way I see it. I don't agree with all of these assertions, but they are the common ones...
  1. Higher risk of high blood pressure.
  2. Higher risk of gestational diabetes.
  3. Higher risk of macrosomic infants due to diabetes.
  4. Higher risk of dystocia or CPD.
1-3 are or should be detected LONG before the labor. If you are not at home, in labor, how is "Homebirth" any different than sitting at home with the intention of going to the hospital for delivery in 3 months. You are still sitting at home either way.
  1. may be true.
  2. GD is now under fire by many as not even existing. Sure, things may be different in pregnant women, is it diabetes or is it "being pregnant".
  3. If you do in fact have Diabetes, you can have extra large babies, it that happens you may have some choices to make in late pregnancy. Don't discount homebirth because you may have to change your plans.
  4. Is often repeated, I have never seen any factual data to back that assertion. Often the only reason is larger women have larger babies, Duh... The assertion larger babies have more problems being delivered by large mothers does not seem to hold true at all from what I have seen.
We had problems with the hospital and our refusal of a C-section for our "Huge" 9# 2oz first baby. I had taken it at face value, she was big. After talking to more homebirth people, she was good sized, but not THAT big. Our Bradley class teacher had her last one at home, he was 10-6 or 8 or something. She probably weighed 150# if that and is probably 5'10". Both Our midwifes kids were all in the 9-11 range, and one was 12#+.

I do think the national average is in the low 7# range, but I think a lot of that is due to interventions and delivering them early through various means. Our homebirthed son was 8# 6oz, and seemed to be a lot smaller than the first.

I was not able to find any risks associated with delivery itself, and obesity, as long as you are in good health and physical condition. Labor is a lot of work, and you will need to be up to that.


I had started about 6 weeks ago really getting down to business, eating right, exercising 4 x's a week, but now this.
Don't worry about it. We were in the same situation, she needed to loose a lot more than 65#. She did not loose any weight, but she continued her water aerobics class every morning, she thinks that helped her a lot. Eat right and exercise but don't worry about the weight per se.

I have wanted all my life to have a home birth.
There is absolutely no reason to give that up now. In fact, I think being overweight, and classified high risk makes a hospital birth even more risky. The more reasons they have to worry, the more prone they will be to interventions. With no signs of trouble and before she even went into labor, they were pushing for a C-section, the only reasons were her weight and the "Huge" 9# baby.

Frankly, I may continue with one even if I can't find a provider.
I wouldn't do that, and you shouldn't need to either.

My husband is very supportive and I've attended/"coached" several friends.
I think it is different when it is you, and not having proper support from someone with experience cuts the odds you will end up having a homebirth in the end, and does increase your risks, if there is a problem.

You should be able to find a good and supportive midwife.


I do want to know my risks though--providing I continue my exercising and eating right. I've scoured many books and most are either silent or very vague like, "If you are already overweight, this is not the time to diet." or "The obese women usually gain much more weight and have difficulty." Nothing concrete, ya know? So that's what I was wondering.
If you are in good health, don't worry about it, find a midwife that will truly support you.

We haven't started looking for a care provider yet.
Find one now, and don't be afraid to ask the hard questions and really get down to attitudes and details of care and concerns.

Please--there's gotta be someone who has been in my place or knows of someone who has.
We were/are and you shouldn't worry much.

I do want the facts square on--for either side.
Well, there are a few risk factors, BUT they are risks due to pregnancy, NOT homebirth.

If anyone has any real facts or statistics that show I'm wrong speak up.

You will need to feel good about your choices, you will need to search for yourself in your situation to find out what your risks are. These ARE life and death decisions, and YOU as a couple need to be confident in your choices. Don't just base it on my opinion and experience.

This Web page is referenced from another page containing related information about Miscellaneous Prenatal Information


SEARCH gentlebirth.org

Main Index Page of the Midwife Archives

Main page of gentlebirth.org         Mirror site

Please e-mail feedback about errors of fact, spelling, grammar or semantics. Thank you.

Permission to link to this page is hereby granted.
About the Midwife Archives / Midwife Archives Disclaimer