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Being told that I might have to forgo home birth as baby 'might' be big - opinions please

(33 Posts)
Ragtaggle Sat 30-Jul-05 20:06:37

It's early days (Am 31 weeks pg) but scans are showing that the circumference of my baby's stomach are on the 97th percentile. The hospital want to scan me again in a month and the sonographer mentioned that they might not 'let' me have a home birth if baby is big. I have only had a scan this late in the day as I have transferred hospitals because I want a home birth and for that the hospital needs to be local. I should say, though, that I never intended to actually give birth in this hospital which has a terrible reputation so the prospect of having to go there is very unappealing.

I am a bit confused because my first baby was only seven pounds twelve and in every other respect I have been identified as low risk. Every single blood test etc has been fine, my blood pressure is consistently low and I even had my first baby at home with no complications and no tearing.

I have two questions really for anyone who knows about these things- one is how accurately can they measure these things - could they have just got it 'wrong' - might baby be perfectly average size after all? (I am with the same partner less than two years later so a really big baby seems unlikely) And my second is 'how big is too big to have at home?" My friend has just given birth to a nine pound eight baby at home and nobody suggested she had to go to hospital. I haven't met my midwives yet so will discuss all these things with them but would be interested in some early opinions...

bobbybob Sat 30-Jul-05 20:09:14

It's your second, scans are unrealiable and I would have thought not a sufficiently good reason for you not to birth at home. I know several women who have had ginormous babies at home.

kid Sat 30-Jul-05 20:09:30

Wouldn't they go by the measurement of your baby's head? Maybe the baby had just swallowed or something causing the belly to measure quite large?
At least they are re-scanning you so they can check the measurements again.

motherpeculiar Sat 30-Jul-05 20:25:48

hi ragtaggle

ime scans can be misleading - sil was promised a 11lb'r and terrified for month or so before the birth then out pops a wee chappie under 7lbs

before I had DD2 my mw reckoned she would be bigger than my first (8lbs) - she turned out to be right but DD2 was safely delivered at home in water without any problems - I didn't even tear. She was 9lb 15 and on the 99th centile.

however, I had just had the mw say it very informally to me and she didn't guess a size or anything. I might not have been quite so relaxed if a sonographer had predicted a 10lb baby for me beforehand. WIth home births (well,all births really I guess) relaxation is the key as far as I am concerned.

So maybe you should ask yourself how confident you would feel delivering a larger than average baby at home? Thing is a lot of people wouldn't even know in advance.

I think if I were you I'd try not to get too anxious and just believe you can do it. That's if you want to of course.

How close are you to hosp if you need to transfer? I was only 5-10 minutes away so wasn't worried.

Good luck.

lydz Sat 30-Jul-05 20:40:18

Absolute nonsense - no such thing as a baby too big to have at home, and they don't have the power not to 'let' you either. Grrr
See www.homebirth.org.uk for loads of fantastic advice on homebirth (esp. the page called 'You can't have a homebirth because...'), and you might like to join the homebirthuk yahoo group for support too.

Pinotmum Sat 30-Jul-05 20:43:04

My sister had you second baby at home - he was 10lb and all went to plan.

Pinotmum Sat 30-Jul-05 20:43:49

No I mean her second baby! Durr

Laura032004 Sat 30-Jul-05 21:01:58

My baby was estimated at 10lb+ at 38wks according to head circumference. He was delivered at 42+5 at 7lb 13.5. They had said that he would probably grow another half lb per week, so I was v.scared about a massive baby. His head was on the 99.8 percentile but in all other respects he was a normal size. 16 months on he still has a big head, but is normal weight. I'm not sure if that's related to the parents? My DH has a massive head size for hats.

Have heard tales of larger babies being easier to give birth to in some respects (not sure about head size though)

Ragtaggle Sat 30-Jul-05 21:08:49

The head is measuring at 31 weeks - the abdomen at 34 weeks - should I be worried about anything else that they are not telling me?

Gillian76 Sat 30-Jul-05 21:14:40

I was in exactly the same position two years ago. The worry is that the bigger the baby, the greater the risk of shoulder dystocia - ie the head comes out but the shoulders get stuck. Meaning an ambulance trip for you with the baby half out - worst case scenario!

I decided to take the obstetrician's advice and give birth in hospital - a decision I have since bitterly regretted as although he was 10lbs, the birth was totally uncomplicated

It's a tough decision. Whilst the birth experience is so important for you and your baby, you don't want to put either of you at risk.

Do you have a good midwife? Talk it over and make your own decision. Maybe mears might have some advice.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do

WideWebWitch Sat 30-Jul-05 21:27:16

Hi, that big baby = no home birth is bollocks, surely? Bozza had a really big baby at home, 10lb something, I'll see if I an find it in a minute. Scans are notoriously wrong I feel sure. Consultant + scan said ds was abnormally small (I tried to get them to quantify as medically small is considered under a certain weight, 5lb something and they wouldn't qunatify but wanted to use it as a reason to get me away from my home birth) anyway, as you know, he wasn't - he was 7lb 1oz. 2nd time they had no idea dd would be big, no one warned me and she was 9lb 8oz. Given that you've got the same partner etc this ginormous baby idea sounds v unlikely to me. There's no 'letting' you about it as you know: it's every woman's right to have a home birth. Maybe they're reluctant to give up the midwives? I hope someone who knows what they're talking about comes along, as you know my post is totally anecdotal. xxx

WideWebWitch Sat 30-Jul-05 21:30:11

some stuff here, inc pupuce, who is a doula, saying size shouldn't matter

WideWebWitch Sat 30-Jul-05 21:38:34

serenequeen 10lb 8oz second baby at home here

WideWebWitch Sat 30-Jul-05 21:39:33

and another over 10lb, musica at home

WideWebWitch Sat 30-Jul-05 21:40:03

But I'll be so surprised if yours is anywhere near 10lb.

foxinsocks Sat 30-Jul-05 21:54:46

it's still early days - how kind of them to make you worry!

FWIW, they were a bit worried about ds being big (I had a hospital birth anyway) - he was 3 weeks early and 7lbs 1oz so I don't know how big he would have been 3 weeks later. Those scans are notoriously inaccurate - especially if you are trying to take a view of the birth weight potentially 9 weeks before the baby is due to be born!!

I don't know how big is too big but the wife of dh's workmate (who used to live round the corner from us) had both of her kids at home and both were over 11lbs (both parents very tall!).

pupuce Sun 31-Jul-05 12:14:51

To start off you can decide what you want and they can't decline a homebirth.... though they can make it (sometimes quite unecessarily) scary!
Scans are NOTORIOUSLY wrong depsite the fact that they say 10% either side I have seen it much more than 10%.
If you had such an "easy" delivery the 1st time, this should really not be an issue !
I hate people who scare pregnant women as it does a great deal of damage including to your confidence and that alone can spoil a homebirth.
Were you planning to rent a pool?

bundle Sun 31-Jul-05 12:20:43

hi ragtaggle, is your friend S (or R)? - as I know 2 new mums who live near us. also another friend is having her 3rd just up the road...this time she's having her ante natal care through the royal free, but has opted for a home birth (after 2 straightforward hospital deliveries). do CAT me, if you'd like to meet up for a coffee, I'm around with my girls quite a bit, x

dinosaur Sun 31-Jul-05 13:15:44

Seems bizarre to me, ragtaggle. My DS3 was enormous by my standards - much bigger than the others at 9 lbs 8 oz - but I got him out with no tearing - admittedly not a homebirth but it might as well have been as I didn't need any pain relief or intervention.

Good luck with it all anyway!

Lou898 Sun 31-Jul-05 13:33:16

I have had 2 children both of which the midwifes said were going to be big babies 1st was 8.2 and second who they were convinced would be bigger was 7.12 so can't be sure whether they can be accurate as to size

tortoiseshell Sun 31-Jul-05 17:20:04

Ragtaggle, I had my second baby at home, was 10lb2oz, and had no pain relief or stitches. Scans are only accurate to within 15% I believe. My first was 9lb 12, and nobody even considered it a problem.

They can't force you to go in to hospital anyway - if there are no other negative factors I would go for it.

Rachey1969 Sun 31-Jul-05 17:35:12

My dd (my 3rd baby) was scanned in labour because she was a face presentation. They said to me she would be about 8 1/2 lb - a couple of hours later she was born at 9lb 2oz!

Aragon Sun 31-Jul-05 18:15:39

Also check out Angela Horn's website on homebirth here

She has loads of research on there about homebirths with babies who are said to be large in pregnancy.

edam Sun 31-Jul-05 18:47:13

I've heard the line about growth scans being out 10 per cent either way too. But my sister's was out by 20 per cent! They terrified her with awful warnings for weeks - she had gestational diabetes so this was a real worry - then baby emerged at 8lb 6, IIRC. Certainly well under 9lb.
HTH

milward Sun 31-Jul-05 21:49:00

Ragtaggle - the baby might be big compared to the percentile line but might be just the right size for you to manaage fine. The percentile lines are calculated from data based on a sample of baby weights.Some people have to be at the top just as some have to be at the lower end. Often this is forgotten as it is assumed that everyone should be around 50th percentile but this is only the average.

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