Baby with a big head!(21 Posts)
I have had a number of scans throughout this pregnancy and it appears that the baby is big with a big head, on the 95th centile. I am due to see my consultant next week to discuss what to do, they are talking about perhaps having a caesarean or the midwife says they may try to put me into labour first and then if it doesn't fit go for the caesarean. I am not particularly keen on the sound of this. Does anyone have any experience of babies with big heads, were they able to deliver naturally? I am not keen on a caesarean as I have a toddler to look after.
Both my DSs had 91st percentile heads and neither were c-sections - DS1 was a ventouse delivery. These scans can be inaccurate so, personally, I'd go for a normal delivery and see how it goes.
How far along are you? I had a growth scan at 38 weeks with DS2, they said he was going to be another big one and the consultant started talking c-section or induction and in fact, I had him naturally 2 days later.
My DS's head was on the 98th percentile and he was two foot long! He came out with forceps but I don't think it was his head that was the real problem - more the position he was in and the length of labour.
How tall are you?
Rach13 - there is no evidence to support caesarean section for big babies detected on scan (if there is, someone let me know).
Alarm bells would ring if the baby's ead did not engage prior during labour and that to me is a better indicator. Can I say that I delivered a friend of mine whose baby was 12lb 5oz. That was 2lb bigger than her last one.
What kind of delivery did you have last time?
I am 5ft6 and usually weigh about 9.5st and size 10-12 clothes. My ds's head was on the 98 centile when he was delivered (naturally, no tears/stitches) and he is on the 98th for length and 95th for weight. Really don't think you can look at size of mother/size of bump to guess the size of baby. Scans can help though.
My dd was 10lb 1.5oz and head was on 99 percentile - just a big baby - I was 2 weeks overdue. I delivered 2nd stage with just 2 pushes - was easy compared to ds birth. The size didn't seem to make any difference to the birth only the pregnancy!
Rach - if you have a small build then the hosptial may want you to consider a c section.
I'm only 5ft 4 and don't have a big build.
My dd had a 95th centile head at birth (but the rest of her was only little - 6lbs 4oz, thankfully she doesn't look ridiculous) and I delivered perfectly naturally. No intervention at all, no pain relief except tens and gas and air, admittedly I did tear but nothing abnormal.
I do have fine child bearing hips but am only 5'3".
DS first baby, head was 91st centile, weight 11lb 2 oz, length 25 inches (went straight into 3 month old clothes!!), delivered normally, no forceps/ventouse or anything only a little tear (couple of stitches) and shot out! Just so you know that he's not some fat monster he is still 3 squares above the top of the centile chart at 4 years old (age 7-8 clothes!).
My sister, the kind caring midwife that she is siad, 'good grief, you must have a f***y like a bucket' - made me feel fab I can tell you!
two big headers- ds1 95th centile, ds2 98th. I was induced in first labour and after 18 hours was less than 2cm- and ds1 hadn't moved down the birth canal at all (don't think he was fully engaged). With 2nd I was advised to have an elective- although only at last consulation- up until then I had been told VBAC which I would have been happy with. I did have the elective, but kind of wish I hadn't. I wish I'd asked more about why they were advising that. I *think* they suspected that ds1 may not have descended because of his head size, but I think nothing happened becuase as stupid junior dr broke my waters when I was 1cm dilated and from that moment I was unable to move and was stuck flat on my back in absolute agony.
it's a tricky one- as others have shown here it's quite possible to deliver naturally.
Both DS's heads are pretty flat and very broad- which I think would make for a trickier delivery than if they were big becuase they were long iyswim.
Not sure what I would do if I had the chance to have ds2 again (no thanks!). However, looking after a toddler post c-section wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.
The head is not engaged at the moment. I am 38 weeks pregnant and I would say I am fairly small build, I am 5 foot 3 and size 10 usually. My daughter was born naturally but she was 9 weeks early, it looks like I'm going to have the opposite problem here!
I didn't know if my baby had a big head or not but I have just looked at his red book and he was born with a 37 cm circumf. and that makes him 91 centile. Yes labour was long and painful (not helped by the fact that he was my first labour and it was OP/back).... but I did push him out... it was long and painful - had no pain relief either as when I requested it - it was "too late", i.e. I was in 2nd stage.... but I was in 2nd stage for 6 h1/2.,... so in hindsight they had plenty of time....
Basically.... if I had known his head was this big I would have worried/panic (forgot to mention that I am a size 8!).... but as I didn't know it didn't occur to me that he wouldn't fit !
I agree with Mears.... see how it goes- you have had 1 labour, you may well find this labour very easy
There are two tiny Bangladeshi ladies down the road that keep birthing babies with big heads without C-section. The mothers are 4'9" & 5'0. Their newborns are enormous compared to mine (I'm 5'8", too).
Another anecdote to tell you it can be done. I am size 8/10, 8.75 stone and had 9 lb 10 oz DS in 9.75 hours with Tens & gas & air. DS not particularly tall but big head and shoulders. I had an episiotomy but no other assistance. Also like you a number of growth scans which can be a bit unnerving. But unlike you I was kind of prepared for it knowing that I was a 9lb 5 oz baby myself.
You have the advantage that its a second baby so the route has been prepared but I think you have to decide what you feel most comfortable with. Don't let the consultant bully you either way.
I had my HV tell me that the midwives who delivered my ds must have recorded his head circumference wrongly because I delivered him and his 38.5cm head (99th centile) with just gas and air. She, apparently, knows what size it is possible to deliver naturally and that is too big! This is the same HV who is neither a midwife or has any children herself! I can assure her that he was that size and also weighed 9lb 12oz. So, Rach, I would say listen to the advice of your midwife obviously but there isn't really any reason I can see why you can't deliver this baby naturally. I actually felt much better after ds was born than with his sister who 'only' weighed 8lb 6oz!
What does strike me from all the mums experiences here is that with so many 'big headed' babies the centiles are probably total crap and we're all normal anyway!
Thanks for the feedback. The thing the doctor is concerned about is the fact that the baby's head isn't engaged, if it was engaged then they would see it as a sign that it can fit into my pelvis. Can anyone tell me if they were in a similar position or was the baby's head engaged prior to labour?
I thought that it was quite normal for a baby's head not to engage until labour starts, when it's a second or later pregnancy. True or False?
First babies heads should be engaged before labour starts. Subsequent babies often engage during labour, so it is not abnormal for the head not to be engaged. It depends where the head is though. It should be sitting poised to go into the pelvis though.
My baby's head was 42cm in diameter and was delivered via ventouse. There was no way in a million years he was going to be delivered without help with a head like a football. In hindsight I should have had a c-section as it took me 6 weeks before I could walk or sit down due to the number of stitches. If I had my time again, I would have opted for a c-section.
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