Embargoed for release until 00:01 a.m. Monday, 15th November 2010
Katie Hide, 22, of Uxbridge
Before Katie Hide, 22, a child minder, of Uxbridge, became pregnant she weighed 20 stone. Born a big baby, she said she has always been this weight. After going to college and eating canteen food, she said her weight “erupted.” Before she was pregnant, she said she “lived” in McDonald’s and would eat junk food from McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut. She said: “Junk food is so addictive. I work eleven hour days and my partrner works shifts so that was the easiest food for us.”
She ate junk food “out of laziness” because it was convenient for her to pick up a takeaway. However, when she became pregnant she started eating “proper meals” like Spaghetti Bolognese and roast dinners and watching her diet.
During her pregnancy, she said that the midwives were “really good,” very supportive and she could ring her midwife at anytime. She even joined Slimming World when she was pregnant. Before she was pregnant, she was in the “obese” category and had a BMI in the 40s and she also suffered from arthritis.
When she first found out that she was pregnant, she wanted a natural birth but she was scanned every four weeks and after 30 weeks and wanted a caesarean-section.
She said about her pregnancy: “If something is going so well, I thought something could also go wrong. They kept saying to me that I was going to have a big baby.”
But she was told by her obstetrician that she could only have a caesarean section for medical reasons. In her family her mum and aunt have had caesarean sections.
Her daughter Lexie was born 13 days overdue by emergency caesarean section, weighing 10lb 2oz and Katie had an epidural, which she said was “amazing.” But it took doctors three and half minutes to resuscitate Alexia. She went into special care, had pneumonia and a high temperature. She is fine now and has made a full recovery.
Since giving birth on March 20th, 2010, Katie has put on two stones because she says, “I love being a mum” and has not bothered weighing herself and no longer goes to Slimming World. She went back in June or July, lost a few pounds but then gave it up.
She said: “Celebrity mothers do not lead a normal life like a working mum like me who has to work eleven hour days. Myleene Klass does not lead a normal life. They have a totally different world to ours. They and the media put too much pressure on women to be perfect.”
Kirsty Shaw, a beautician, from Carshalton, South London, wanted a water birth but the hospital said that her weight put staff at risk. She was also told by hospital staff that she was “too big” to use its birthing pool.
Kirsty was banned from the birth centre at St Helier hospital in Carshalton after her body mass index (BMI) was measured at about 36. Mothers with a BMI of 30 or above are at a greater risk of complications. She said the hospital told her she was a potential health and safety risk because midwives might have to lift her. Consequently, she was sent to a maternity ward where she gave birth to Lily, her third child, without any complications in July 2010.
She said her BMI was high because she had only recently given birth to her son Harry when she was measured at her first booking appointment. She said her blood pressure was normal and when she had Harry in the birth pool it created a strong bond with him. However, with her third pregnancy she was told that midwives would need to hoist her out of the pool if there were complications.
She said: “I was shocked and disappointed because I wanted a choice about how to give birth and control about how I could give birth. I feel that I have been denied my choice and the opportunity to bond with my child in a unique way by not being allowed a water birth. It is not fair to judge a woman by her BMI, as this is constantly shifting.”
“There is a lot of pressure on mums to lose their baby weight, especially when you look in magazines and all the celebrities are so slim. I had my baby at about the same time as Dannii Minogue had her child; you look at her and she looks amazing and really slim. It makes me feel like I should do more about my weight. But I am still breastfeeding and I don’t want to cut my food intake, as I feel it would impact my the nutritional value of my breast milk. I have three children and don’t have the time to cook separate low-fat meals for myself. All the mums are put under a lot of pressure by celebrity mums and it is not fair that we should be a certain way like celebrity mums. We should just be able to enjoy our children.”