Thursday, March 12, 2009

Overweight, Pregnant, didn't know, in the Army

A Mother In Israel posts about a young woman named Meital who... never mind, I'll just copy and paste what AMiI wrote:

This morning on Channel Two radio show Seder Hayom, host Keren Neubach interviewed Meital, 19-year-old mother of a four-month-old baby called Amitai. Amitai was born while the mother was doing basic training in the Israeli army. Meital had no idea she was pregnant, and none of the army’s doctors considered the possibility despite Meital’s many medical complaints. She was already pregnant when she began her service.

Meital didn’t realize she was pregnant for the following reasons:

1. She is overweight, and didn’t feel the baby’s movements or notice the weight gain.
2. She has irregular periods.
3. She was on birth control pills.

At one point she got off the bus and crawled to the infirmary, where the doctor laughed at her and sent her away. Other times doctors prescribed antibiotics and painkillers. The army even required her to do another thirty days of basic training because she did not pass the first session. Meital was pregnant when she began her service.

When she began having contractions, Meital called her parents to bring her to the emergency room. The nurse diagnosed a urinary tract infection, and when the membranes ruptured, the nurse claimed it was urinary incontinence. Meital’s mother suggested that perhaps her daughter was in labor. A gynecologist checked her, and the healthy baby was born within minutes.

She received NIS 800 from the army, a release notice, and no further contact.

I really don't understand a couple things here. I'm overweight. I'm about 5'2" tall. According to a BMI weight:height chart my ideal weight should be between 50 and 60 kilo. When I started this pregnancy I was 84 kilo. At 39 weeks pregnant, I am now 94 kilo. So it's safe to say I was overweight when I began this pregnancy. Over 20 kilo from the high end of 'acceptable'.

HOW overweight does a woman need to be to NOT KNOW SHE'S PREGNANT??? How overweight does a woman need to be to know know she's 7, 8, 9 months pregnant? I didn't feel the baby all that much until about 20 weeks because of the way the baby was laying (arms and legs facing inwards). But man-o-man by week 30, I felt everything.

I do know of a young lady who found out she was pregnant... at 20 weeks. She suffered with infertility right from the start of puberty, had gone through fertility treatments to get pregnant the first time (which resulted in adorable twin boys) and just resigned herself (like many of us who have IF) to the fact that she'd need treatments to ever get pregnant again. So imagine her surprise when the ultrasound she went for because she was experiencing weird 'pains' showed an almost 5 month old fetus.

In addition to this new mother's issues of not knowing she was pregnant, what are the IDF guidelines for accepting overweight/obese kids into basic training? If a woman is that overweight that she doesn't feel fetal movement, how can she be fit (BTW, I realize one can be overweight and fit, yet this girl had to do extra basic training because she WASN'T fit) to go through basic training and then into the service?


Batya said...

Strange, but there are builds which sort of mask pregnancy, those big busy, never knew a waistline types. So did she think her "stomach was talking" or something when the baby moved? I admit not realizing some women with those builds were pregnant, but you'd think they'd notice it sans clothes. She may not have gained much weight. That happens, too.

I just hope the baby's healthy, considering all the unnecessary meds the mother took.

BrooklynWolf said...

Strange. Usually every other year or so, I hear of a similar story (woman didn't know she was pregnant until delivery) on the news, so it's more common than you'd expect. I could never understand it, but then again, I'm not a woman...

The Wolf

Miriam said...

But she was a single teenager who'd never been pregnant before. So she was probably in denial - if she felt movement she assumed it was gas, and maybe she didn't check her weight. She wasn't looking out for signs of pregnancy.

I hope she sued the army doctors for being such idiots.