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Big baby - c-section or early induction?

(215 Posts)
CoteDAzur Mon 06-Apr-09 17:45:27

It looks like I am having another big baby sad

DD was 4 kgs and I had the mother of all episiotomies. Trauma of birth and especially the weeks of agony that followed are still quite fresh in my mind.

Now 33 weeks pregnant with a boy and I was told today at 7 month scan that he looks like he will be 4.3 kgs at 40 weeks shock

My monthly doctor's appointment is on Wednesday. We have already talked about the possibility of c-section or 3 weeks early induction if baby turned out to be big. I would like to find out about pros & cons of each before then.

Any opinions?

flummery Mon 06-Apr-09 18:00:43

Consider that it could well be easier this time. DS1 was 4.25 and ventouse with episiotomy. DS2 was 5kg, 2 1/2 hours, minimal tearing. It really was just so much easier and the recovery was so much quicker.

I didn't know he'd be so big, which probably made it easier as I wasn't worried.

CoteDAzur Mon 06-Apr-09 18:07:40

5 kg!

<< faints >>

MrsMattie Mon 06-Apr-09 18:11:08

In all honesty I don't rate growth scans. I was told my last baby was going to be 'another biggun' (she was 7 lbs 2 oz), and that was after a 10 lb 2 oz-er.

I suppose the question is - if the worst case scenario happened and you needed another large episiotomy, would that be worse than a c-section for you?

I've had two sections and although they wer eboth fine (second one was positively pleasurable!) the recovery time is much longer than after most vaginal births.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 06-Apr-09 18:12:34

Message withdrawn

chappas Mon 06-Apr-09 18:12:36

I had all my 3 children induced at 38 weeks due to size, the last one being the biggest at 9lb 2½ oz just over 4 kilos I think. Although induction isnt always as straight forward as it seems, as sometimes need more than one gel to get it going, and depending how busy labour ward is, they sometimes delay starting you off - so can be a bit long winded,with a lot of hanging around - I still think it is a much better option then going for a section. I had a second degree tear for all of them, but to be honest, apart from the first, the last two healed quickly and I didnt suffer afterwards. Hope this helps?? and all the best! I swear all mine were so large due to the large consumption of chocolate I got through with each pregnancy, felt sure at least one of them would come out wrapped in a purple cadburys wrapper!

kidowner Mon 06-Apr-09 18:13:13

All mine were around the 4kg mark (I've had 5)
First was BY FAR hardest plus agonies after as you describe.

Second was quick and easy! (Natural, no intervention, just lavender oil in bath water)

Others ok too.

I did my research and found out the safest way to have a big baby was at home, squat position leaning forward (I also had water births for all)and minimal medical intervention unless baby is in distress (of course)

Inductions I heard were a nightmare as you are the throws of uncontrollable contractions
so makes for a horrible birth.

C sections I would avoid as not many can bf succesfully after.

Please try naturally, your body has tried out the muscles it needs.

I would not have gone on to have 4 more if I'd had a nightmare experience.

Some say bigger babies are easier to birth as gravity helps the process.

flummery Mon 06-Apr-09 18:13:20

Yes, but you see it's head circumference that really counts shock

After DS1 I'd have done just about anything to avoid another induction, but haven't had a c-section, so can't compare.

Best of luck either way, CD.

MrsMattie Mon 06-Apr-09 18:15:03

Misread your title. I certainly wouldn't choose early induction hmm. Who is suggesting that? Birthing a big baby when it isn't ready to come - no fun at all! been there and done that. Especially with ARM. Labour comes on much more abruptly and if your baby is big you need time and gravity and as active a labour as possible to have the best chance of not tearing - not really achievable with an induction/CFM etc.

MrsMattie Mon 06-Apr-09 18:17:01

p.s. there is absolutely no reason to think you cannot BF after a c-section. That's not true@kidowner. There used to be a load of codswallop thrown about re: hormones not being the same after a section, but actually, successful bf-ing is much more about getting the right support and being given the skin-to-skin a.s.a.p after the birth, no matter how you deliver.

Sorry, just had to add that!

pistachio Mon 06-Apr-09 18:19:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 06-Apr-09 18:25:35

Message withdrawn

MuffinBaker Mon 06-Apr-09 18:27:11

I would question scans determining weights tbh.

My scan was one pound out just 4 hours before the baby was born.

MuffinBaker Mon 06-Apr-09 18:28:40

I think your post might worry some people SM.

I had an emergency section and bf no problem.

HeadFairy Mon 06-Apr-09 18:30:19

Depends on the section really doesn't it? Planned cs less traumatic so you heal faster. I had planned cs and was able to pick ds up the next day with no pain. I also bf successfully for a year. I've no experience of delivering large babies, but just wanted to add that about cs.

CarGirl Mon 06-Apr-09 18:32:41

I would ask to review your birth notes and look at ALL the reasons why you needed such a huge episiostimy - were you too tired, were you being hurried, was she in a bad position etc etc etc

My first baby was small 7lb 6oz my next ones were much much bigger (2nd 4.74kg) the pushing stage was much much quicker & easier for all my subsequent ones despite being induced and despite one of those inductions being a 3 day event just like my first was!

mrsgboring Mon 06-Apr-09 18:34:31

Agree with StarlightMcKenzie - have read in various articles on BFing rates that section indeed does decrease the rate of BFing.

I have only ever had inductions and find birth fairly hideous TBH, but they are survivable and there is such a thing as a good epidural too.

I'm apparently having a very big baby this time which terrifies the life out of me. Am having an induction at 38 weeks, because I would have been anyway. My baby has a lung abnormality which means that vaginal birth is quite important to give the lungs the best chance after delivery, so really I have no choice.

So I don't know what I'm doing posting it really..... But I wouldn't choose a section because of recovery being so much harder - there is also a small impact on future pregnancies, if you're planning to do it again.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 06-Apr-09 18:43:33

Message withdrawn

MrsMattie Mon 06-Apr-09 18:46:55

I could pick my baby up as soon as I was in recovery with a tiny bit of help, and was walking around 24 hours later, so holding my baby was no problem. I wonder if those stats take into account the huge difference between an elective and an emergency section?

I'm not saying a c-section is a breeze or that the OP should have one (not at all), but I wouldn't even consider breastfeeding issues as a reason to have or not have a section.

CoteDAzur Mon 06-Apr-09 19:12:44

"Future babies" argument against c-section not relevant for me, as I'm 38 this year, so closing shop after this one.

And re "breastfeeding more difficult with cs because you can't pick baby up", I can only wish there was a [sad cackle] emoticon. After DD's birth and the huge episiotomy (which I can only assume tore through not only muscle but also nerves), I was unable to move from a 180 degree fully flat position. My mum & DH did everything for DD, including bringing her to me for breastfeeding. The first time I picked her up was when she was three weeks old sad I've spoken to many women who have had c-sections and none were crying in pain, unable to get out of bed for three weeks.

mrsgboring Mon 06-Apr-09 19:30:22

It sounds from that post that you're leaning towards an elective? It sounds like you had an absolutely horrific time last time, sad and that you would have a very good case for an ECS if that's what you want.

MustHaveaVeryShortMemory Mon 06-Apr-09 19:36:56

I would also go with neither and wouldn't consider induction 3 weeks early.

I've spoken to lots of women who had epi's and none have been "crying with pain, unable to get out of bed". But I know from your other threads that you had a really awful time (I think it was infected??) with yours. I don't know if you were unlucky or the staff were at fault but things can go wrong with a c-section too - I don't know anyone either but have read horrible stories on here about infected wounds etc.

Babies born at 37 weeks are less likely to be successful bf I think they are more likely to be jaundiced (sorry can't find a ref for this). I suppose they just aren't ready to be born really.

Given how worried you've been about having this baby, would you perhaps prefer a section?

childrenchildreneverywhere Mon 06-Apr-09 19:40:15

Neither, would do everything possible to have an easy, instinctive natural (home/water) birth with as little intervention as possible - and I say this after having a traumatic birth and lots of stitches with a 10lb baby and then going on to have two 11lb babies with no tears, no intervention and no pain relief!

In fact, I feel so passionately about this I have set up a website:


have a read of the birth stories before you make up your mind - I have a whole heap more I'm hoping to add this weekend too.

childrenchildreneverywhere Mon 06-Apr-09 19:43:22

sorry link didn't work

CoteDAzur Mon 06-Apr-09 19:44:38

I'm not decided, hence this thread. Several things I am considering:

If I have a c-section:
- the incompetent jackasses that the maternity personnel were last time around, they may actually manage to kill me if I go for a c-section sad
- Could there be long term problems - adhesions, etc?

If I go for vaginal birth:
- second births are easier than first births
- I'm better informed this time (having found mumsnet in between two babies)
- I have a new doctor who is sympathetic to my plight.
- Induction might mean I will be crying out for epidural and going down the same path of intervention, being helpless on my back through the whole thing
- Early induction might mean baby really not ready to come out (?) Can someone say if there is any research about this out there? Do early babies really suffer because their development isn't complete?

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