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Why would my consultant want an extra scan to check the size of my baby?

(14 Posts)
Maenad Mon 11-Aug-08 20:29:19

Any knowledgeable folk out there?

I know I should have thought to ask this morning at my appointment, but I was busy asking all sorts of other questions and this one didn't occur to me till later.

I had a very prolonged labour last time round, culminating in massive blood loss (est. more than 3 units). I have a small frame, and my baby was 8lb 9oz, and the consultant did mention that failure to progress can be associated with a 'tight fit'.

I'm 31 weeks, and consultant is suggesting a scan in a few weeks' time to check on the size of this baby. How might it help to know the size? Do you think this means they are thinking of a c-section, or would the information help in some other way?

whomovedmychocolate Mon 11-Aug-08 22:58:51

True pelvic disproportion is really rare, it's much more likely your last baby wasn't in a good position for birth. Consultants often cite 'baby too big' because that's something you can't control (ie a good excuse for why things went awry). wink

Obviously if you had a caesarian last time it's an option for you - and it's up to you if you want a growth scan or not. One thing it can do is confirm presentation - which might be helpful - if your baby is deeply engaged head down that's a real thumbs up for you!

But it's entirely optional - you can decline any scan or test you like.

MrsBates Mon 11-Aug-08 23:01:38

Not sure - they might just want to be forewarned as to possible reasons if things not progressing in labour. I had a 38 week scan with my son (not that I knew he was a son until the scan!) and it was because he had been over the average at 20 wk scan and I wanted a home birth. They wer worried about complications of various kinds due to size. Luckily he's gone back into the average band and it went ahead. He was 9 1/2 lbs but I think I have what might be called child bearing hips. Great when you're having them, crap when shopping for jeans.

Good luck for this one.

GrinningGorilla Mon 11-Aug-08 23:05:08

I wouldnt say it was because they are thinking of a C section necessarily. I heard growth scans arent that accurate anyway its a lot depends on the expertise of the sonographer.
I had growth scans every 3 weeks from 24 weeks and I didnt have a caesarian. I guess they need to make sure the baby is o.k and will not cause you serious internal damage trying to come out.

fledtoscotland Tue 12-Aug-08 08:55:45

i had growth scans with DS because i had had surgery at the beginning of pregnancy and they were making sure that he was growing properly. 8lbs 9ozs isnt really that big these days and as has been said it was probably more to do with positioning.

I was encouraged to sit on a birthing ball for the last couple of months of pregnancy to get DS to turn as back to back position is a longer labour.

Maenad Tue 12-Aug-08 10:25:09

Thanks everyone. As far as I'm aware, positioning was fine last time round (obsessive use of birthing ball!) but the contractions were just really irregular and ineffectual. I suppose what I'm wondering is what they would do about it if they do decide this is a big baby - ie what is the actual point of doing the scan.

I know I can decline tests etc, but after my last experience I have chosen a consultant I trust (she's very pro active birth etc) and have decided to put my faith in her judgement. Last time I was adamant that I wanted no intervention at all, and I now think that was a mistake!

Tangle Tue 12-Aug-08 11:45:41

If you're unsure, ask for another appointment to discuss things before the scan. I think you've got the two big questions there already (why do you want to do it and what difference is the result going to make). Having confidence in your consultant is fantastic, but you're still entitled to know why things are happening if you want to wink

slinkiemalinki Tue 12-Aug-08 12:00:24

Maenad - wouldn't worry too much - my consultant does a scan on all his private patients at 34 weeks anyway, to check size and position. I've discussed birth plan with him, I've had a straightforward pregnancy so far, #1 was an easy delivery, but I am having a growth and wellbeing scan later this week anyway. He just prefers the precision of it to a touch and feel of the tummy. You may find it's just her standard practice anyway? Good luck.

poppy34 Tue 12-Aug-08 12:59:28

maenad- agree with other posters as more likely to be checking size/posiition - I think its fairly standard for consultants who are cautious esp if you had previous difficult delivery.. had one at 32 adn one at 38 weeks to do just aht.. and really helped set my mind at ease re everything (fwiw scan was spot on re baby size too).

Anchovy Tue 12-Aug-08 13:12:32

I had cephalo-pelvic disproportion with DS (ie my pelvis was quite small and DS's head was so big he looked like a Mekon when he was born).

This was picked up at about 35 weeks and I was scanned several times between 35 and 39 weeks to check. Apparently a v large head can be suggestive of several things, although in DS's case it was only indicative of having a large head, and in fact DH had been exactly the same.

I ended up having a planned section because of it, but it was all entirely straightforward - the section was at 40 weeks and was a very easy experience. There was no medical emergency etc - DS simply never engaged at all - and it was honestly very relaxed and peaceful delivery.

My advice would be to go with the flow and not worry unduly - even if you have to have a planned C-section it honestly is fine as an experience.

Maenad Wed 13-Aug-08 19:44:40

Thanks so much everybody, that is very reassuring. I think I was just panicking a bit!

Amberc Wed 13-Aug-08 19:51:31

I had extra growth scans as they thought my baby would be huge. It's to check the size so that if it is big you will not be forced to push for hours also you will not be given any grief if you ask for an epidural. You will also be monitored more closely by the midwife/consultant during labour.

Helen16 Mon 18-Aug-08 21:42:56

Go for the scan, I had several throughout my pregnancy. It may be nothing and they just want to check things are still going smoothly. Great to know what to expect and found it all reassuring in the end.

waldorfsalad Wed 20-Aug-08 11:21:36

I had extra scans with my 1st because they thought he had a giant head like dh (he does)and might get stuck because I'm tiny. They concluded that he did have a big head but would see how it progressed and everything was fine.

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