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WLS is a baby killer

In the Metro: Mother reveals how gastric bypass op starved unborn baby to death, subtitled "A once obese mother has revealed how her gastric bypass killed her unborn baby by starving it of nutrition in the womb."

They're now saying that women between the ages of (roughly) 14 and 55 shouldn't ever drink or smoke, just in case we become pregnant. It's called preconception care.

But, doctors are all too happy to subject fat women of childbearing age to medically enforced starvation.

Almost everyone in my generation (I was born in the sixties) was born to a woman who'd smoked and/or had a few drinks while pregnant. Not before they got pregnant or accidently, a couple of times afterward. Throughout the pregnancy, without knowing there were any risks involved in doing so.

We lived. Starvation kills.

The article ends with:

Dr Ian Campbell, a GP and obesity expert, said it was likely that baby Juli died from ‘micro-nutrient deficiency’.
A spokeswoman for Imperial College Healthcare NHS, which runs Charing Cross Hospital, said patients who have a gastric bypass operation should avoid pregnancy for two years.

But is the situation really going to be better after two years of undereating? Isn't it more likely going to be worse, the longer post-surgery people are? I suspect that (semi)starvation - especially when accompanied by the nutritional deficiencies that come along with weight loss surgery - isn't good for anyone, not even fat people. Especially not for women who want to have healthy babies.

You might want to read this. | 1-800-Get-Thin claims fifth victim

DeeLeigh's picture
September 24th, 2011 | Link | It's true that people are

It's true that people are able to eat more two years after the surgery, but it's my understanding that the micro-nutrient deficiencies that go along with gastric bypass, in particular, only get worse over time. My friend who had one five years ago has to go into the doctor's office weekly for vitamin injections. I'd imagine that not everyone is able to do that, especially if they lose their insurance. It probably varies by person and by the type of surgery, too...

BigLiberty's picture
September 24th, 2011 | Link | This is particularly heinous

This is particularly heinous in that some doctors are telling fat women that they shouldn't get pregnant until they've lost a significant amount of weight through WLS. So the doctors are in effect putting babies at specific risk for real problems and possible death due to the nature of WLS -- which works to shrink bodies by starving them -- and its aftereffects, micronutrient deficiencies.

I see a giant class action lawsuit in the not-too-distant future.

wriggle99 September 24th, 2011 | Link | They're now saying that

They're now saying that women between the ages of (roughly) 14 and 55 shouldn't ever drink or smoke, just in case we become pregnant. It's called preconception care.


DeeLeigh's picture
September 24th, 2011 | Link | Yeah, it's completely

Yeah, it's completely absurd, like something out of frickin' Handmaid's Tale. Follow the link.

AndyJo's picture
October 1st, 2011 | Link | Big Brother is Watching

Oh yeah.

I read some time ago in the NY Times that there was a cadre of physicians suggesting that women between menarche and menopause should be treated continuously as being pre-pregnant or ready-for-pregnancy. This would justify all kinds of intrusive measures.

Just to highlight what it COULD look like is Romania under Ceaucescu. For those of us not old enough to remember that guy, he ruled Romania with a giant fist. He had compulsory pregnancy tests for women, imprisonment for abortion, prohibition of birth control... A whole host of horribles.

In the search for a perfect obstetrical outcome, these physicians would permit intrusions unto the person that would be otherwise impermissible.

Under most circumstances, I do not agree with many things that Libertarians say, but this is one area where they are ABSOLUTELY correct. Many have been talking about this for a long time. And no one is listening. After all, "think of the children".

--Andy Jo--

vesta44's picture
September 24th, 2011 | Link | The problem with WLS is that

The problem with WLS is that in some of them, part of the intestine is bypassed, so it doesn't matter if the small pouch that is also created stretches and allows you to eat more food at one time - that bypassed intestine is where the nutrients from the food you eat are absorbed, and no matter how much food you eat, you aren't going to absorb nutrients from it. Nor are you going to get much benefit from taking supplements in pill form because they're absorbed there too (that's why most WLS survivors have to have shots, it's the only way to get those nutrients into their system reliably). The other problem is that a small pouch doesn't allow for food to mix with the digestive enzymes needed to start digestion before the food goes into the intestines, so the food WLS survivors are eating is going into their intestines mostly the way they ate it, instead of being mixed with the enzymes, etc that are naturally in an unmutilated stomach. The intestines have to work harder to process the food (and doctors wonder why their patients come in with twisted intestines/bowel problems).
I was lucky, I had a VBG, and none of my intestines were bypassed, and part of the stapling came undone from all the vomiting I did when I went back to eating regular food (I couldn't chew it small enough to get it to stay down, I had a temporary upper denture which isn't the best thing for eating, but looks good). So the food I ate went from my small upper pouch into the rest of my stomach and I didn't end up with many deficiencies, that I know of (not that I've ever been tested for them, none of my doctors ever gave a rat's ass if I was deficient or not). I take D3, B12, and a multivitamin every day though, just in case. Should be taking calcium too, but can't afford it on top of the ones I'm already taking.

WLS - Sorry, not my preferred way of dying. *glares at doctor recommending it*

BigLiberty's picture
September 24th, 2011 | Link | This is horrible. The

This is horrible. The article engages in blatant victim-blaming. They say she did the operation after doctors warned her that her weight was hurting her health (was it, really?). Then the article writer snarks, "Ms Emms – who now weighs under 60kg (9st) – has told how she paid the ultimate price for her dream body."

Yes. Because it's Ms. Emms's VANITY that is the problem. When we receive over 350,000 fat-hating messages a year. When fertility treatments, surgeries, ambulances, and other medical care are being denied to fat people. When young fat women like herself are told constantly that they will never find love and happiness, or be worth a damn thing to anyone, unless they conform to the ever-shrinking thin standard.

Yes. It's VANITY.

And this non-statement from the NHS?

A spokeswoman for Imperial College Healthcare NHS, which runs Charing Cross Hospital, said patients who have a gastric bypass operation should avoid pregnancy for two years.

DUDETTE, your doctors bullied this lady into stomach mutilation and you're suggesting it was in any way her fault? Burn in hell!

Viola's picture
September 24th, 2011 | Link | I thought I responded on

I thought I responded on this thread, but I guess not. Have to remember to post submit after preview, I guess.

DeeLeigh's picture
September 25th, 2011 | Link | I've done that before too.

I've done that before too. I hate when that happens.

richie79's picture
September 25th, 2011 | Link | Deeleigh, thanks for

Deeleigh, thanks for promoting this from the Forums. As I mentioned on the IVF story, the current pressure on mums-to be (ie as you say any woman of childbearing age) to live the correct, scientifically-approved lifestyle is a whole other media / moral crusade in itself, a recent intensification of the policing of women's bodies 'in the interests of the child' to the extent you'd think the 60s and 70s never even happened and one of many fronts on which we seem to be rapidly regressing. And I know from my wife's experience that post WLS pregnancy, even many years later, can be anything but straightforward. As I've said before, what remains of the health system in the future is going to have a real job on its hands, not to mention huge outlay, in setting right the legacy of complications from this current frenzy of cutting, banding and stapling. But even leaving aside for a moment the rights and wrongs of WLS, it appals me that this whole horrible situation could have been avoided for want of a simple, inexpensive pre-surgery pregnancy test, which given the risks of ANY surgery (but particularly WLS) to an unborn baby, should surely be a routine part of any pre-op assessment.

And on the 'vanity' aspect? What BL said. If this woman hadn't taken the doctor's 'helpful advice' (which from what I can gather from others who've had the same procedure, tends more toward threats of certain death and bullying) she'd have been criticised as a bad mother unconcerned about her health and accused of setting her other child a bad example. Now she's being blamed for putting her vanity before the health of a baby she didn't even know she was carrying when again in my experience most of those having WLS explain their decision in terms of 'wanting to be healthier' (the fact that WLS gives only the illusion of health being the direct result of the way it is mis-sold and mis-represented both by a health service in bed with the surgeons and a deeply fat-phobic media being neither here nor there).

On a side note, Emerald makes an interesting comment elsewhere on the site about how how some of the UK women's weeklies (I'm not talking Cosmo et al but more the 'supermarket' variety) seem to be more willing to print stories and experiences that are critical of WLS than the mainstream media. Even the Metro's sidebar links to a range of WLS horror tales. By contrast typing 'gastric bypass' into the Beeb's search box generates 20-odd pages of items about how wonderful WLS and what an unholy injustice it is that it isn't available to absolutely everyone who demands it, with almost no mention of side-effects, dangers etc. Contrary to what certain 'experts' claim, the news that they're willing to scare a 'moderately plump' 250lb woman into having it done (presumably on the basis of BMI alone) suggests that it's in fact become much TOO accessible for something that was originally conceived as an absolute last resort for people whose health was in sufficiently immediate danger to outweigh the associated risks.

"What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right" - Albert Einstein

Viola's picture
September 25th, 2011 | Link | Well, I was just going to

Well, I was just going to say what Big Liberty also said, which is that instead of coming down on the side of telling women not to have WLS if they are going to get pregnant, the message is often don't get pregnant if you are obese--it's a risk to you and your baby, so better to avoid it altogether unless you can maintain a healthy weight. When I was younger, I actually thought that women who had WLS couldn't have successful pregnancies, but I had a family member who had her stomach stapled in 1982 when she was about 16. She did go on to have 3 babies later. I have a sister who had a roux-en-Y, but after she was done having children.

I had a homebirth with my second child, and the whole midwifery model of care with homebirth as an option is extremely contentious in this country. There are midwives who won't take obese clients, there are many in the mainstream who, even if they believe in homebirths, will say that being obese risks you out. Now we have seen at least one case where an OB practice is refusing obese patients. Preconception care often seems to include telling women to lose weight beforehand. It really does feel sometimes like many just don't want the Fats to reproduce.

BigLiberty's picture
September 26th, 2011 | Link | I don't think the general

I don't think the general public likes the idea of fat women having babies. I think the scientific establishment likes it even less. I think politicians and regulators don't know any better and base many of their decisions on whether it they can win more power or votes from some program or policy.

So, in sum total, no. I don't think most people want fat people to reproduce. And yes, it is a matter of eugenics, whether biological eugenics (like fatness being genetic) or what I call 'lifestyle eugenics,' where the next generation is protected from the sins of the previous by not being exposed to the wrong kind of lifestyle. Lifestyle eugenics is, unfortunately, popular on both statist sides of the aisle -- fauxgressives love it because it protects the next generation from people who should 'just really not have children, yanno,' and right-wing statists love it because it serves their exaggerated sense of nostalgia, when 'families were one thin mom, one strapping dad, and 2.5 golden-haired children' or whatever.

Meowzer October 2nd, 2011 | Link | They're now saying that

They're now saying that women between the ages of (roughly) 14 and 55 shouldn't ever drink or smoke, just in case we become pregnant. It's called preconception care.

Yeah, good luck with that, especially the drinking part.

So does that mean we all should always eat for two? In that case, it should be illegal to perform WLS on anyone of reproductive age, either. (Sperm can be affected by "preconception" lifestyle too, ya know.)

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