Like a hilarious conversation with your feisty friend who doesn’t give a f*ck about fatphobic myths.
Brave stories, hot topics, and #truthbombs that will either balm your soul or light fire to your rage.
This week Bianca and Meg dissect the fatphobic myths around weight and health, taking a close look at how fatphobia affects health care for all bodies, but with emphasis on the pregnant body.
This week featuring:
Bianca Sprague feels especially passionate about creating access to quality pre & postnatal care for marginalized communities. She is an advocate for mental wellness for the entire family, and especially for the birthing parent, after suffering from PPD in silence and losing her father to suicide in 2012. She recognizes the barriers put in place for female entrepreneurs and believes that understanding the evolving online space can even the playing field for women in business.
Meg Kant has been providing support to families in Sudbury since 2015. A summary of Meg’s education and credentials include: Certified Doula through bebo mia, Honours Degree in Psychology, Certified Infant Sleep Educator through bebo mia, professional contributor to www.PregnancyAfterLossSupport.com, and professional collaborator with The Northern Ontario School of Medicine.
Hot + Brave The Blog-Cast:
In this week’s podcast Bianca and Meg sit down to discuss fat-phobia and how discrimination against folks in bigger bodies shows up in the healthcare system and some fatphobic myths. Fat-phobia is like any other form of discrimination in that it takes one aspect of our identity, a part of our human experience and uses it against us or as an excuse to treat us poorly.
This said, many areas where fat folks face discrimination goes unnoticed. It is common to have people comment on our bodies, and when it comes to weight this commentary is often brought forward as “care”. We hear that weight loss is something to be praised. Who has not rewarded someone because it looks like they lost weight, or heard someone attribute value and worthiness to another person because …”you look good, have you lost weight?”
Bianca and Meg are challenging these narratives this week in sharing their journeys of unlearning fat-phobia/ fatphobic myths (for themselves and so that they can help others do the same). Our society associates being fat with negative attributes time and time again. We hear, (and even repeat); “fat is unhealthy, fat is bad, fat is lazy”. It is these platitudes that uphold an overly simplistic binary of good/bad with thin/fat – where thin is good and fat is bad. People of all sizes internalize these ideas, and it causes immense harm.
People say they want to love their bodies, be positive but fat-phobia is pervasive and lingers to challenge our process of unlearning. Moving beyond fatphobic myths is a process that requires work, but that work can save lives.
We see this clearly in the connection of fat-phobia and healthcare.,Negative health outcomes are more likely for those in bigger bodies; evidence supports this discrimination yet we allow for discriminatory and dangerous practises against the de-valued fat body. This is pointed out clearly in this week’s episode, with research and evidence, that a person who is seen as fat does not receive the care they need when seeing a doctor, based on the assumption that their weight is the reason for whatever ails them.
A doctor is less likely to examine a fat patient for their actual symptoms and instead – without the necessary information – jumps to the conclusion of “you need to lose weight”. Couple this with the truth bomb Meg provided for us this week that, even if weight loss may help improve one’s condition, the rate of success for this goal is so low that without a proper care plan, patients are doomed to fail without any alternative option that may have provided actual help.
Fatphobic myths; Patients who hear from their doctors, “you need to lose weight”; go home and restrict food, de-stabilizing their body’s systems and making it more difficult to actually stay healthy. Further, those who do manage to lose weight have now spent months or years undertaking in weight-loss only to find that they are still sick. It almost seems like those months and years could have been better utilized!
In order to challenge this unhealthy process people need to advocate, actively, for themselves within the health care system. It is suggested that when seeking a medical practitioner that patients assess their degree of fat bias present and how those biases impact people’s experience with their healthcare providers. If a doctor suggests weight-loss as prescriptive for whatever ails you, ask “do you have the research on that?” and if they cannot provide proper research, it is their responsibility as a health care provider to provide you with treatment based on evidence. In other words, to evaluate your symptoms and not judge your body and assume their practise-based approach will work for you – because it really does not. Another option, if weight loss is suggested is to ask, “what the success rate is of weight loss for this issue?”. If the success rate for weight loss is low (which it always is) ask for another solution with a higher success rate.
Patients in bigger bodies are seen not only as the trope of “fat and lazy” but also assumed to be uneducated and non-compliant. As such symptoms are often dismissed as something that would be fixed if one was not fat; when really it has nothing to do with weight. Using the tools mentioned above can help us become our own advocate towards receiving the care we deserve.
What else is going on at bebo mia?
New Freebie Alert!
The 2023 Social Media Calendar for Birth Workers is now available!
Social media is a crucial part of promoting your business as a birth worker.
Coordinate your social media schedule, create goals for yourself and track your to-do lists all in one easy tool! And it’s totally free! 🥳
Download your copy now and rock your social media like the pro that you are. Don’t forget to add your branded hashtags
If you’ve been considering adding Fertility Specialist to your offerings, now is an excellent time to register in our Fertility Support Specialist course!
This one-of-a-kind course is designed to provide birth workers (aka doulas) and other wellness professionals a deeper understanding of the (in)fertility journey.
Classes start February 7th, 2023 and between now and January 20th, 2023 at 11:59pm EST, when you use the code FERTBIRD, you can get $200 off your tuition plus this discount code works with payment plans.
Go to https://bebomia.com/fertilitysupportspecialist/ for more info or to register!
Support a great cause!
The Ember Blueprint is raising funds for tuition for women in trades as well as stipends for students to provide care to under-resourced families. With over one thousand applicants in the last 5 years, it is clear that access to tuition is a barrier for women entering the trades.
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