Is it selfish for fat women to fall pregnant?
Heading in to work this morning, I was listening to a debate on 2Day FM’s Kyle and Jackie O Show as to whether or not it’s selfish for fat women to fall pregnant. The discussion started after Gemma – one of the show’s staff members who’s currently trying to fall pregnant – told Kyle and Jackie that her friend suggested she give up smoking as, should she fall pregnant, it would be selfish to her baby. Gemma admitted that she felt annoyed by her friend’s comment, and more so felt that her friend was the selfish one as she had a young child, but was so overweight that it prevented her from being active with her child. And so the debate began.
Many callers agreed that it was selfish, given that extremely overweight parents are not always able to do everyday things like pick up their child, take them for walks, or play with them in the park. And indeed, studies have shown that children of overweight parents are twice as likely to become obese. However, others raised the point that some parents are of a healthy weight but, due to illness or injury, are also prevented from doing those things – so does that make them unfit parents?
Likewise, it got me thinking, is it unfair to fall pregnant when you’re in your late thirties or early forties knowing that you may not have the same energy levels as a younger parent? According to a study by the AIHW, of all first-time mothers, 13.7 per cent were aged 35 years or older in 2009, compared with 10.3 per cent in 2000, which suggests that women are waiting longer to have their first child, possibly putting their career, social life or travel plans first. Now, does that make them selfish?
What are your thoughts? Did you hear the debate this morning? Do you think overweight women should try to lose weight before falling pregnant? Do you think being overweight has an impact on how you raise your children?
And speaking of topics sparking debate – click here to see bh’s Deb on The Project, discussing the controversial new Carefree advert…