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Pelvis too small for natural birth?

(15 Posts)
Phewsers Mon 09-Jan-12 22:31:02

How can you possibly know if this is the case per-labour?

My first pregnancy ended in an emergency section after baby became distressed during induction. I want another baby (if I'm lucky enough!) but after my first birth experience I lack confidence and feel I am unable to give birth naturally. However I'm fully aware this may just be a confidence thing rather than a reality.

Baby 1 was 9lb and I'm guessing baby 2 likely to be even bigger? Plus I never have had a waist/hips - not very curvaceous, nearly straight down the middle like a male, small hips.... Does this mean I have a small pelvis?

Thanks for any advice / tales of others' experiences smile

Phewsers Mon 09-Jan-12 22:31:41

First sentence should say pre labour!

mildertduck Mon 09-Jan-12 22:46:25

A very similar thing happened to my mother-in-law during the birth of my husband - GA c-section, the works. She had my sister-in-law four years later and saw a consultant who examined her internally and told her that she had a sufficiently narrow pelvis that vaginal delivery should never have been attempted the first time round (she has no hips to speak of either). A c-section was scheduled and she had a lovely second birth having had to have psychiatric help after the trauma of her first.

This is going back 25 or so years, of course, but if/when you are pregnant again it may very well be worth your while asking someone to take a look in order to put your mind at rest.

(she was insistent I got checked out too; I, however, seem to have my mum's mile-wide hips... :grinsmile

lollystix Mon 09-Jan-12 23:41:50

Not necessarily - you were induced which is always a bad start. Intervention leads to higher section rate. Baby was also big but what position was he in?

I ask as my mum had section due to undiagnosed twins. She fed me a line through childhood that it was cos she had a small pelvis and failed to dilate and I would be the same. I believed her but I now know she more likely had a section as she was carrying 41 week twins that no one knew about.

So I have ds1, get to 4cm and end up with emcs. Mum says told u so - small pelvis (I'm small and no hips). See consultant for ds2 who said it was not necessarily the case and he was probably back to back. Worked on position for ds2 and had successful vbac ( and then went on to have 2 more babies vaginally. And my mum still claims no woman in our family has every delivered vaginally due to small pelvises hmm

Elsjas Mon 09-Jan-12 23:58:37

People always tell me how small I am. Size 6/8, wear size 25 jeans. Had 2dcs (8lbs 3oz and 9lbs 5oz) both delivered vaginally. Dc1 was delivered with ventouse, so needed a bit of help but being small and up and down doesn't necessarily mean that you can't deliver vaginally.

1944girl Tue 10-Jan-12 00:37:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FloydieDoydie Tue 10-Jan-12 01:02:54

When my mum was pregnant with me in 1979 she was confused as to why the midwife asked her what size shoes she wore (3 incidentally).

Apparently there is a relation between the size of your foot and the size of your pelvic cavity... hmm

Don't know how true this is. (the pelvis thing, not what my mum said grin)

mildertduck Tue 10-Jan-12 12:58:30

FloydieDoydie Interesting - mother-in-law is a size 2...

(I asked her more about it since posting - she has an odd-shaped pelvis. Apparently it's more like an oval than a circle)

4madboys Tue 10-Jan-12 13:02:41

the shoe size thing is an old wives tale!

i am small 5 2 and wear size 3 shoes but have had 5 babies, smallest 8lb, the others were all 9lb+ and ds4 was 10lb 13oz, all natural normal deliveries, it think postions in labour are important to help your pelvis to open up to its maximum.

1944girl Tue 10-Jan-12 13:02:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PlinkertyPlonk Tue 10-Jan-12 19:11:16

From what I've read/heard (can't vouch from experience - will let you know in a few months time!), it's unlikely that your pelvis size would prevent a VB. What's more likely is that a women isn't in the optimal position or state of mind (relaxed, focused, feeling secure, sufficient support to cope with the pain) to enable the pelvis to open as wide as it needs to. The ligaments need to stretch a bit too, but this is all the more difficult to achieve if you're flat on your back with people popping in left, right and centre to have a prod and check the machines that go ping.

Babies can get stuck or labour can stall, but there seem to be 101 reasons why this may be the case, not necessarily that you don't have a big enough frame. I have a few friends who are tiny but have given birth to bruisers without being told they are too small for a VB.

I've no idea if there are stats to back this up, but it does seem logical and makes a lot of sense to me.

FutureNannyOgg Tue 10-Jan-12 19:38:49

Your dress size isn't a very good indication of pelvis size, that's more about the padding on the outside. You also have a lot of muscle inside the pelvis and the shape, bulk and tone of that can be vastly different. The only real way to tell is to xray, which isn't an option when you are already pregnant, but you could always discuss your fears with your midwife and see what she says.
The position thing is key, squatting or being on all 4s, rather than lying in lithotomy position enlarges your pelvic outlet by 30%, now I haven't done a lot of quantitative comparison of different female pelvises but at an educated guess I would say that a small woman with the extra 30% isn't going to be vastly different from a large woman without probably larger.

Iamjustthemilkmachine Wed 11-Jan-12 19:59:46

lollystix i wish I was you or that you were in my family, I'd do anything to shut up my mum/aunt and granny on this subject! i sadly didn't manage and will not be having a dc 2 so really hope one of my cousins manage a vb.

Arwhen Fri 13-Jan-12 10:31:11

True cephalopelvic disproportion is extremely rare, and usually found in Asian women (Chinese/Japanese). As others have said, position is far more important than baby birth weight!

Tadah Fri 13-Jan-12 21:03:44

Thanks for replies (I've name changed) good to hear your perspectives; Still not sure but I guess will continue to ruminate on this one!

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