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How "big" is a big baby?

(22 Posts)
June2009 Mon 15-Jun-09 17:24:21

I know this probably depends on mummy's size and seeing that this is my first I don't know how "stretchy" I may be.
I'm now 41+1 and induction is set for this Friday.

I am asking because I was due to give birth in a birth centre and they have told me yesterday that the baby is too big to be delivered there.
The doctor on labour ward said that the baby is not "too" big, still in the norm but just over the 90%tile which seems to over be criteria at the birth centre. (I was never made aware of this before and a bit shock that they never mentionned anything until after they did a sweep yesterday.)

The last measurements that were taken at a 38 weeks scan are as follows:
Head circumference: 32.69cm (which seems below average)
Abdomen circumference: 35.43cm (which is the one that looks above average - but still in the norm from what I can see on the chart.)

The estimated weight at 38w was 3502 +/- 511g. (that's 7.72 pounds.)

So is my baby a big baby? Or is the birth centre being over cautious? (preparing myself mentally for tear/episiotomy/c-section).

Singstar Mon 15-Jun-09 17:39:09

My second was 7.7 pounds at 36wks and I was told there was no way I would be able to deliver naturally and so was booked in to have a c-section at 38wks+4. In the operating theatre all the drs and nurses were taking bets as to how big the baby would be (the dr reckoned on 11.7lb shock) When he arrived my son weighed in at 9lb 7oz.

Big but not the mini elephant they had predicted - I think they sometimes err on the side of caution although having said that I'm glad I had a c-section as he did have a massive head and the thought of having to push him out naturally did make me wince !! If you have to have a c-section really don't worry, its not that bad. Good luck hope all goes well

goblincandoa5k Mon 15-Jun-09 17:57:47

Your baby doesn't sound too big, but i suppose the birth centre don't want to take any risks.

My ds was 9lb 9oz and delivered naturally, although i did have a 2nd degree tear. But my ds was absolutely gorgeous - like a mini michelin man, and i didn't care grin

Good luck in the coming days

Habbibu Mon 15-Jun-09 19:05:18

My consultant, who runs the ultrasound unit, says that US isn't that accurate a predictor of weight for very big or very small babies - best for middling ones, which is ironic. My dd was 10lb 11oz, and I had a normal delivery with no intervention - cons said he'd be happy for me to go to a MW-led unit if I had another that size or bigger, but I guess that's easily said given that he knew I'd done it before.

neolara Mon 15-Jun-09 23:09:13

I had a scan at 36 weeks which suggested my ds would be huge because of a tummy measurement which was literally off the scale (computer couldn't deal with the figures and sonogropher had to work out his weight manually). I was planning a homebirth and the registrar tried to talk me out of it. My midwife was fantastic and said a large tummy was absolutely not a problem - it is squishy, unlike a large head! She also said that she had delivered 11 lb babies at home without any problem, so delivering a big bagy is not necessarily an issue at all.

My scan proved to be accurate and I delivered a 8 lb 10 oz baby at 36 + 6. At home. No problems with getting him out at all. I was, however, quite relieved that he hadn't stayed in much longer.

lechatnoir Tue 16-Jun-09 11:22:57

My DS was 8lb 7oz and I was told he was going to be huge - despite a long labour he came out naturally & I only had a couple of grazes so no stitching needed.

I'm booked in at a birth centre and I've certainly never heard anything about baby size being a factor - I know they won't allow me to deliver there after 40+13 (currently 40+4) so I'd have to be induced in the hospital then I could be transferred back to the birth centre for post natal care. I didn't know they could be that precise about baby size when it was still inside (& certainly my previous scans never proved to be that accurate). I'd have another chat with them as it does sound rather vague hmm
Good luck whatever happens!

bamboobutton Tue 16-Jun-09 11:28:21

my ds was 12 days over due. he got very stuck but im not sure if thats because of size or because he was in an awkward posish. he was 8lb6oz and was born by cs. he had a circular dent where he got stuck toogrin

June2009 Tue 16-Jun-09 11:58:24

Yeah I was a bit hmm when the doctor said that the BC told him they wouldn't handle the delivery. I've been booked in there since January and been to all the classes, appointments, discussed my birth plan and asked about a million questions about heir criteria etc and that issue of weight has never come up, I never imagined that there would be a problem.
Especially since I've been there at least once a week for the past 3 or 4 weeks, they've felt my tummy everytime so why is it an issue all of a sudden, I don't know.
I've booked in for another sweep tomorrow at the birth centre so I could ask them to reconsider or explain the exact reason (there is nothing in my notes) but to be honest I'm not entirely sure that I would want to give birth there anymore.
If they're not comfortable delivering my baby then maybe I should just go somewhere else. It's not like I've been overly impressed with their service so far. The doctors and midwives in the labour ward actually sounded more clued up.

BennyAndJoon Tue 16-Jun-09 12:06:40

My DH, who was a "surprise" 3rd child for my MIL was 13lbs, and was delivered vaginally.

Mind you - she did decide to make sure she didn't have any more after that wink

Walkingwiththighosaurs Tue 16-Jun-09 12:09:50

Doctors always tell you the baby is big I think they get a kick out out of scaring you. I was told the same thing, my DS was 8lb exactly, not small I grant you, but not exactly a giant.

HecatesTwopenceworth Tue 16-Jun-09 12:10:10

ds1 was 10lb4oz and ds2 was 10lb5oz. I certainly considered them big babies. <wince> grin

MollieO Tue 16-Jun-09 12:13:06

I would have thought anything over 10lbs is big. Ds was supposed to be over 10lbs but decided to arrive 7 weeks early at 5lb 3oz which was an excellent weight. Still hard work though as he had (and still has) a really large head!

seeker Tue 16-Jun-09 12:13:50

And big doesn't mean a difficult birth. I had a 9lb9 in 12 hours and a 10lb 6 in 2 hours 46 minutes with no pain relief. I've known people have hideous labours with a tiddler.

merryberry Tue 16-Jun-09 13:42:16

i had a big baby at home in water with some gas and air. He had a shoulder dystocia. All very well managed by our midwife. since then i've read around a bit.

9lb 15oz and over is considered 'macrosomic' or a big baby. the rule of thumb i've heard everywhere is that you can expect a baby to put on an average half a pound each week so you could discuss with them the expected birthweight now of 7,7 bls plus 1.5 lbs. maybe getting large by the macrosomic definition. and consider the +/- half a kilo as well! ask around both families if you tend to run to big babies.

ask the birth centre what the increased risks of using them is in their opinion. was 'they' the MW of the birth centre? do they lack confidence/experience in delivering large babies? What is the protocol for shoulder dystocia, which is usually their concern. Do you have a high BMI? that does increase shoulder dystocia risk.

MW manouveres of large babies in 2nd stage are i think safer than or as safe as medical interventions. if they and you are confident to have a go, then argue your case with them. but sounds like they are not confident in their skills. the BC i wanted to weren't very confidence building either, hence going it at home with indy MW. 2nd baby mind you. and you may well be lucky and get an active birthing kind of MW in the medical side. which always helps.

have a look at the big baby site. will try and find it for you later, having no luck at present.

merryberry Tue 16-Jun-09 13:43:41

big baby site with useful info

Sycamoretreeisvile Tue 16-Jun-09 13:53:04

Mine were 9.9 and 10.2

I suppose they were big but I know other mums with similar sized babes so i didn't think too much about it...

DD was supposed to come naturally but ended in crash section...but that wasn't to do with her size, it was a chord complication .

DS was elective section due to concerns about him being a whopper, my previous crash section, and abnormal volume of amniotic fluid.

doulalc Tue 16-Jun-09 16:21:19

Estimated is the key word. They won't know how big is too big until you are given the opportunity to deliver. It is rare a woman will grow a baby too big for her to give birth to.

It is important to keep in mind that your pelvis is not in a fixed state and neither is baby's head.

I truly wish they wouldn't even give estimates of size unless there were an obvious concern of baby being unusually large or small...although I know it has become a common practice in the last several years and many parents ask. "Big baby syndrome" has become one of the more common reasons for the increase in inductions.
At this rate few midwives will even have much opportunity for experience with the maneuvers sometimes needed for good sized babies.

Obviously birth centres, as well as individual care providers, will have a line they aren't comfortable with crossing as it appears is the case with your birth centre. Fair enough.

When you do give birth....utilise positions that will allow gravity to help with baby's descent. Change positions to help with comfort and to help your labour progress. Your changing position can often help baby get into a better position. Try different positions during second stage as well if need be. Lying in a semi-reclined position is not the best for a suspected good sized baby. These can be helpful whether or not your baby does indeed turn out to be fairly big....which you will just have to wait and see.

JigglyPiggy Tue 16-Jun-09 22:54:00

I've heard of birth centres turning mums to be away on the basis of mums weight but not the estimated weight of the baby.

I had my second dc 4 weeks ago in a birth centre and he was 9lb13, he arrived just over 4 hours after my waters went and with nothing but a tens machine for pain relief!

All I can suggest is speaking to someone in charge at the birth centre who can examine you and explain their criteria. I did this when at 37wks they tried to reject me due to my BMI. As long as you understand the potential risks you should push for what you feel is best for you.

Another thing to consider is how close the nearest hospital is to the birth centre so you could transfer in if needed.

June2009 Wed 17-Jun-09 06:32:56

Thanks, I think I will ask today after the sweep the reason why they're turning me down now exactly as I cannot see anything in my notes.

It's really quite unsettling to be honest. I've not been explained how the labour ward works, whether I can still have an active birth or if I will need to be constantly monitored.
I've tried to just accept their decision and be calm about it but after 6 months of visualising a "positive" birth experience at the birth centre, where they talk about "downstairs" (the labour ward) like it's the last place you want to be at, this has really stressed me out.
I've been quite emotional thinking about it and it's all kept me awake at night worried I won't be able to deliver my baby and that I am helplessly heading for a traumatic experience. I think it really could have been handled differently.

Jiggly: the birth centre is upstairs from the regular delivery ward, and across the road from the hospital emergencies. I don't think you could be closer if you tried.

merryberry Wed 17-Jun-09 07:09:45

good luck today june. tell them exactly what youve told us!

blondissimo Wed 17-Jun-09 07:10:02

Hope things pan out ok for you June2009 - I gave birth in a lovely hospital labour ward which was very calm and all dimmed lights etc, so they are not always that bad (sorry, haven't read all posts - perhaps yours is not like that?)

Am shock shock shock at BennyandJoon's Dh being vaginally delivered at 13lb!! Poor MIL!

June2009 Tue 15-Sep-09 00:53:37

just thought i'd update this, baby was 7.5 pounds at birth...hardly the "clinically large" they had predicted!

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