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34 week scan showed baby's head on 95th percentile....ouch!

(57 Posts)
inadreamworld Sun 02-Dec-12 17:52:00

I am expecting baby number 2 on 9th Jan. I went for a late scan as my placenta had been low lying at 20 week scan. Luckily it has moved and they say I am fine for a vaginal delivery and baby is head down. The lady who did the scan asked me to talk to the doctor as the baby's head measuring very big (95th percentile) but not abnormally big. The doctor said everything should be fine for a natural delivery and nothing to worry about - especially as it is my 2nd baby and cervix will open faster 2nd time around. Does a bigger head mean I am more likely to need forceps/c-section. Had natural delivery last time - just a 2nd degree tear which healed up fine.

mayhew Sun 02-Dec-12 17:58:15

If you've managed it once without dramas, you are very likely to do it again. Remember the head of a baby is not rigid but adapts to the mothers pelvis.

Many posters on here have delivered significantly larger babies 2nd time round but more easily.

As a midwife, i have just delivered a client that needed ventouse and stitches for 8lb first baby, quick labour, no stitches for 9lb 10oz 2nd.

inadreamworld Sun 02-Dec-12 18:05:44

Thanks mayhew - I must stop reading the traumatic birth experiences of others on Mumsnet!!! Wasn't worried 1st time round at all. Wow - a nearly 10lb baby!! They said mine was around 5lb now but expected to be only 7lb something despite the big head. DD was 7lb 4. Thx again smile

wouldyoupleasemove Sun 02-Dec-12 18:45:42

I'm just been told that I'm about to have a big baby DC2 over 9lbs. Had an extra scan as part of our research trial for the Harris research centre (kings college, London). Am low risk planning a home birth so wouldn't normally be scanned. They completely overreacted IMHO as I'm 6ft and DH is 6ft 3 and therefore should have a big baby. DD wasnt small at 8 lbs 3 oz and escaped with one stitch and no pain relief apart from the water pool. They are trying to get me to extra scans and a gestational diabetes test despite no other worrying indicators and blood sugar which was v much normal at 28 weeks. angry Having read around the subject a lot in the last 24 hours and spoken to my (sensible) friend who is an obs/ gynae senior registrar, growth scans are 25% inaccurate in the third trimester so please don't worry your um , head about it grin

inadreamworld Sun 02-Dec-12 18:55:30

wouldyoupleasemove - thank you - sounds reasonable - you and your DH are tall so you should expect a bigger than average baby.

They didn't even think my baby was big - just the head (!!). Luckily haven't asked me to come back for more scans as the doctor seemed sensible - it was the sonogropher who seemed worried. Glad to hear about inaccuracy of 3rd trimester growth scans.

wouldyoupleasemove Sun 02-Dec-12 19:32:33

Inadreamworld - really don't worry. Everything is easier second time round as mayhew has said and you'll push it out no problems especially after such a 'good' first birth. Its going to be brainy baby though.After careful consideration I'm going to decline all other growth scans. I'm not sure what use they will do other than scare me. My extremely sensible midwife did say just write it my birth plan in case of Failure to progress so they know it could be because of size

DyeInTheEar Sun 02-Dec-12 20:45:54

Am 40+1 with 97% percentile head.... I feel the same as you OP - bit worried about being broken! It's my 3rd so hoping things will move quickly. Do you want me to report back??!

inadreamworld Sun 02-Dec-12 21:03:56

Hi DyeInTheEar - yes, please do report back!! When are you due?

inadreamworld Sun 02-Dec-12 21:04:39

Sorry stupid question - you said you are 40+1 so it will be anytime now smile

discrete Sun 02-Dec-12 21:06:49

Late scans are notoriously unreliable for predicting baby sizes. Don't worry, you'll probably be fine.

DyeInTheEar Sun 02-Dec-12 21:08:33


SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Sun 02-Dec-12 21:35:26

It was predicted that DS would be 9 and a half pounds or slightly more when I had a growth scan. I actually started an almost identical thread, freaking out.

He came out 6lb1oz! grin

Don't worry about it. smile

PoppyWearer Sun 02-Dec-12 21:55:33

I wouldn't worry. My DC1 does have a larger-than-average head (runs in DH's family) but the issues I had with her birth were caused by what she did with her arms and hands as she came down the birth canal. Making her big head even more of an obstacle.

DC2 has a perfectly average-sized head and did the damage with his huge nose (the midwife told me that was what had happened, as before his nose emerged she thought I wasn't going to tear!).'s not exactly under your control! wink Good luck!

wouldyoupleasemove Sun 02-Dec-12 22:16:57

Schro- that's hilarious! I really do think that sometimes these scans do more harm than good

mayhew Sun 02-Dec-12 22:48:07

Head size and shape is strongly inherited. If you or your partner have big heads, then maybe the baby is the same. If you have average heads then the baby is probably in proportion to its weight.

As a previous poster said, its the hands by the head that are more of a problem for causing mum injury! A head is smooth and round, let it out as slowly as you can for a good stretch. It also not too late to do some perineal massage. Once a day, with oil, both thumbs inside the perineum, massage pulling outwards.

designerbaby Sun 02-Dec-12 23:03:27

Scans? Pah.

Said DD1 was "on the small side of average" maybe 6.5-7lbs. Told this at scans at 18 weeks and 36 weeks.

9lbs 8oz. shock

Ditto DD2, even with an extra late scan to check because of previous big baby (I am a petite 5ft 1", so proportionally my babies are a ridiculous size. Dh, on the other hand is 6ft 4". Therefore it is All. His. Fault.). Also 9lbs 8oz.

Good NCT friend. Booked in for a CS at 37 weeks because her DC2 was apparently MASSIVE, and she'd had a rough time with her DC1 who was only just 6lbs. The said he was "already 9lbs+". Luckily she went into labour the day before the scheduled CS. "Massive" DC2 was... 6lbs 8oz. She sailed through with no problems.

Useless feckers. grin

And anyway, you did really well first time around, and there's nothing to suggest big headed baby will cause you any problems. I managed to shove DD2 (9lbs 8oz) in water in four hours with just a bit of gas and air. She had a big head and a big everything else... grin.

Water is your friend, IMHO.

I'm never really sure why they give people this kind of information unless they're suggesting some kind of drastic solution (CS, for example) because of it. I mean, what good does it serve other than to freak out the mum?

Your body know's what it's growing. Trust it. Trust you. You'll do fine.


SingingSands Sun 02-Dec-12 23:12:33

I'm not sure late scans are accurate either. I had 4 late scans with DS, as they were concerned for his growth and estimated he would be 5lbs at birth. He was 8lbs 7 oz at birth!

cbeebiesatemybrain Sun 02-Dec-12 23:14:44

My dd was born with both hands on her head so although she was average size her head circumference was increased iyswim? Pushing took 45 minutes so not too bad and I didn't need any assistance. I did tear but only 2nd degree and all healed fine, I think I probably would have torn anyway as I couldn't stop pushing when mw told me to! Honestly don't worry about it, ime second babies come out much easier than first ones.

Good luck dye and op smile

SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Sun 02-Dec-12 23:15:54

WouldYou I really agree, wish they had never told me that, I was proper freaking out for ages. He ended up wearing tiny and early baby clothes! All the newborn clothes we had taken to the hospital drowned him. hmm

javotte Mon 03-Dec-12 09:01:54

I gave birth at 42wks. DD's head was at the 97th percentile at the last scan. I pushed for about 10 seconds and she was out!
Be sure you have an "active" labour so that the baby can position itself properly.

inadreamworld Mon 03-Dec-12 09:16:49

Thanks everyone!! Managed to push the last one out with no intervention in spite of having induction and epidural. Hope to have a more drug free birth this time if possible.

DyeInTheEar please let me know how your birth goes as not much longer to wait now surely? smile

DyeInTheEar Mon 03-Dec-12 10:17:10

Oh Javotte - 10- seconds? I love hearing those birth stories!! I want quick - but not "oh god I've given birth in the lift" quick!

I will absolutely come back and tell you inadream I went 42 weeks with my other 2 so not that optimistic. Gestation of an elephant. I am so huge.

DH has a big head as well. We had a 4d scan due to check why I was measuring 4 weeks ahead and clearly showed I am giving birth to my husband's mini me - big head and all.

javotte Mon 03-Dec-12 12:12:31

DyeInTheEar the MW didn't have the time to put her gloves on grin but I made it to the delivery room.
It was that fast. I thought "Ow! head! - Ouch! shoulders!" and it was over. Giving birth is actually one of the few things I am good at.

PickleSarnie Mon 03-Dec-12 14:23:21

My DS has a head circumference above the 99.6th centile. Not unexpected, I come from a family of massive noggined people.

He was born after 4 pushes, no pain relief other than TENS and had one stich afterwards.

I think I have a fairly average sized banjo too.

So, it really might not be anywhere near as bad as you expect.

PickleSarnie Mon 03-Dec-12 14:24:27

Fanjo. Not banjo. Banjos were definitely not part of my birth plan.

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