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concerned about my size but no one else is.

(18 Posts)
lolee777 Sat 14-Jun-14 22:00:10

Hi, I just need to know if there is anything i can ask or anybody i can ask for to give me reassurance that I can give birth naturally with no higher chance of complications than normal. I am five ft tall and was seven stone before I pregnancy, small frame and no hips. I'm now 25 weeks. My mum is small too and had cs with both me and my sister she actually had an xray while pregnant to confirm the opening of her pelvis was too small to give birth naturally. I know xrays are a no no but is there really nothing done to make a decision on ability to give birth until I actually start giving birth. I am so worried something will go wrong, that my baby will get stuck, not move down or have complications like brain damage from difficult delivery. My widwife is just not concerned at all and says cs were carried out to often in those days needlessly.

whiteblossom Sun 15-Jun-14 08:44:26

you need to share your concerns with your mw/gp/consultant and push for an answer you are happy with. No point waiting until you into labour to confirm you need a c section like your mum. No point spending the whole pg worrying. I think as you have family history and the same small frame you are right to get this checked out but don't panic!

Mw's can be....lets just say if your not happy go over her head. They don't know everything and have a habit in my experience of being too dismissive and not reassuring. Demand to see the consultant, peace of mind is the least you will get along with a answer.

lolee777 Sun 15-Jun-14 16:42:43

Yeah you're right, I guess I'm relying on the midwives to agree with my worries and do something constructive to ease them but I'll mention to my gp. I need more reassurance than don't worry we will sort out on the day and work with what we got which is not good enough when it's such a big worry. Thanks whiteblossom. Hopefully my gp can direct me to the right consultant.

lolee777 Sun 15-Jun-14 16:44:45

Just wondered if there may be anyone out there who has been in the same situation and got assessed in some way.

RedToothBrush Sun 15-Jun-14 17:36:27

My mum is small too and had cs with both me and my sister she actually had an xray while pregnant to confirm the opening of her pelvis was too small to give birth naturally.

1) There is NO link between the experience of your mother and you. No research has yet established any sort of correlation.

2) Women who are 5ft are not considered higher risk. It is only seen as a problem for women who are considered abnormally short. 5ft is regarded in the normal range.

3) The position of the baby is far more important than your size and has a bigger impact on whether you can give birth naturally. Some positions for labour also favour a natural birth by increasing the size of the pelvic outlet.

4) Xrays have been found to be largely useless in trying to work out if a woman is capable of giving birth naturally.

I spent a LOT of time researching the average as I am pretty much the same size and my mother had a similar experience. What I found really surprised me. If anything I was probably searching for something to back up my preconceptions and beliefs, but it doesn't exist.

However I do understand that knowing this, may help but not necessarily. It also may not offer your the reassurance you are looking for. Humans assess risk both emotionally and logically. It can be incredibly difficult to let go of what happened to people who you know well, because it is closer to you and therefore represents a 'real experience' whereas statistics are numbers that I you have emotional connection with. What you end up doing is trying to get your head round something that is counter-intutiative.

This is why I suggest you try and talk to someone about your fears, as having support and being listened to is probably what you need more, rather than just being armed with statistics. Try and see what services are on offer for women suffering anxiety - I am under the perinatal mental health team at my hospital and they have experience in doing exactly this.

I personally suffer from extreme anxiety with my anxieties going much further and deeper than just these. I am having an ELCS on these grounds, but this isn't necessarily the way forward for everyone. I know the team that are supporting me, have had a lot of success in dealing with women with all kinds of anxiety related issues, and many have gone on to have a natural birth with the aid of that support. It can be an issue about building up trust and talking through the possibility of things going wrong so you have the confidence you need.

There is no right or wrong answer here. Only what you feel happy and comfortable with. If you have anxiety that is affecting you to the point that it is dominating your thoughts and/or giving you regular nightmares and/or stress that you are not coping with, ask for help. Your fears are important and are not petty and should not be dismissed or belittled.

Good luck. I hope you can find the reassurance you are looking for.

lljkk Sun 15-Jun-14 17:40:55

I used to greatly admire my 4'10" tall Bangladeshi neighbour who could easily pop out 8+ lb babies when I found a 6-7 lbers an ordeal (I am about 5'8" tall).

ohthegoats Sun 15-Jun-14 18:22:12

My SIL is a 6 stone darling - she had two natural births, first with episiotomy, second completely tear/cut free. 6lb babies.

RedToothBrush Sun 15-Jun-14 18:29:28

Oh the other thing I meant to say, was that in the past many women were told they were too small to give birth naturally. This 'science' has now been shown to be a load of utter bollocks and that cephalopelvic disproportion (the medical term) is exceptionally rare, and where it occurs is usually down to accidents which have caused damage to the pelvis or congenital abnormalities (of the kind you would be likely to be aware of as there would be related symptoms). In the cases where women have been told this, there is likely to have been another factor that prevented them from giving birth naturally, but CPD has been wrongly diagnosed.

I'm 5ft and was 7st when I fell pregnant with DS1 when I was 16, I had a straight forward vaginal delivery.

2 births after that have been "blink and you'll miss them" births. I'm sure you'll be fine but please do talk to your midwife and stress the point that you're feeling worries about it.

busyDays Sun 15-Jun-14 18:59:15

I'm also 7st and wear a size 6, sometimes even that is too big on my hips. I've managed to give birth to two babies with no problems and am now pregnant with my third, so I wouldn't worry too much. My grandmother is even tinier, well under 5ft and has always been as thin as a pole but she gave birth to two children naturally too. If you are worried about the baby getting stuck then I recommend you look into having an active birth. That is what I had the second time round and it seemed to make a big difference. I could really feel the baby move right down the birth canal in one contraction, whereas when I was lying on my back it seemed to take forever and I was far less aware of what was happening.

lolee777 Sun 15-Jun-14 20:10:02

Thank you so much for all your comments, advice and experience its helped so much (having a little blub, bloomin in hormones).

redtoothbrush thank you for your advice its nice to hear the science behind it. I have had problems with anxiety in the past, CBT and counselling mainly low self esteem related. My GAD has clearly peaked again now I'm getting to the birth plan stage. I too have been hunting down info but googling obviously not good. You're right its important I get this sorted before it gets out of control. I didn't want to bring up my previous anxiety a lot (although it is in my notes) but you have made me realise I do need to.

ohthegoats, lljkk the more people I hear about that do give birth naturally the more I really want to have a natural birth.

Titsalinabumsquash thank you, you don't know how good knowing that makes me feel.

busydays thank you, I have voiced my preference for the birthing centre with active birth and hopefully even pool but just so worried that a pool will mean problems will be harder to see. I really don't fancy laying on my back pushing and I have read standing will naturally help move things along.

My worst fear is that I won't have the strength to push and it will be my fault if something goes wrong, I never thought a cs would appeal to me but at least she would be out.

squizita Sun 15-Jun-14 20:18:13

Lolee I think everyone fears "but what if the baby just doesn't come out?". Its natural to worry- but as you say do get support for anxiety.
If you're in a birth centre and the baby looks stuck, they'll have you prepped for a c section anyway. Thankfully we live in a day and age where we can try for natural but most hospitals have surgeons at the ready.

lolee777 Sun 15-Jun-14 20:33:15

squizita thank you, you right i do tell myself we all worry, its only natural but I did check and the hospital beds and theatres are in the next unit so its a good thing to tell myself.

titsalinabumsquash and busydays did you have a baby heart monitor on during your births?

RedToothBrush Sun 15-Jun-14 20:39:17

It is NEVER your fault if your birth doesn't go to plan. Thats the first thing you need to know. It sounds like you would like a VB from what you've just said, and there are lots of things that you could do to try and feel better about this.

You need to find people who can help give you that emotional support - you said that you have low self esteem and then said you didn't feel like you would have the strength to push... I reckon this is a good place to start dealing with whats going on in your head. You feel like you don't think you will have the strength to push because of the self esteem issues by the sound of it - thats quite different from physical problems. You are looking for reasons why you will fail, rather than thinking "well it could go wrong, but it also could go right. Whatever happens I know I can cope". Sounds like you are low risk and in good health, so thats a big plus for starters!

Active birthing, hypnobirthing, cbt, counselling, reading books which promote natural birth, exploring mindfulness, hiring a doula - are a few that have helped women feel more confident in themselves. Whatever works for you.

Anxiety in pregnancy is very common, and if you've had previous issues, then naturally its a time when they are likely to rear their heads again and be a problem. But its not really talked about too much and its often dismissed as 'normal' levels of worry that all women face. Don't be afraid of admitting you are struggling and pushing for help if you are ignored.

I've had a positive experience without judgment. In fact I've been told I've been brave to admit how I feel so candidly and they see that as a strength not a weakness.

lolee777 Sun 15-Jun-14 20:57:07

That's really interesting Red i think the fear of me doing something wrong is more of an after thought from the small pelvis thing and mw saying we will find out on the day. I.e. they won't know if it's me or the fact that the opening isn't large enough. The thought of forceps and cutting doesn't help.

I have invested in natal hypnotherapy CDs to see if they help. I am also thinking of taking up meditation again, it has helped a lot in the past. I don't talk about my previous anxiety problems with friends and family, dealt with it on my own really. I will definitely discuss what you have mentioned with my gp.

lolee777 Sun 15-Jun-14 21:06:11

I was surprised given my Dr notes that I would have some sort of support for my anxiety but in my mW notes it was cleared as OK. Strangely they did a quick set of assessment questions on depression to make sure and that was obviously OK. She actually put mild anxiety in my notes.

RedToothBrush Sun 15-Jun-14 21:19:29

I hope you get a positive response. If you don't then a) keep trying b) there are plenty of people on MN who have had a variety of experiences of anxiety and will offer a lot of different perspectives c) remember you are not bad for feeling like this. Lots of women do, but not so many talk about it, particularly in real life d) there is no RIGHT way to deal with anxiety, only the right way for you.

My biggest thing at the moment is to try not to think about things as one massive issue as it makes it feel like something so massive and huge that that I can't cope with it. I start breaking it down and this is the approach that I've been encouraged to try and take by the hospital. They are then helping me to try and work through the list.

lolee777 Sun 15-Jun-14 21:28:14

OK, yeah that sounds good. Thanks again red for taking the time to respond and sharing your experiences I really appreciate your kind comments.

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