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Small women and childbirth!!

(32 Posts)
mrow Fri 19-Aug-05 11:44:53

Hi, I am currently 31 weeks pregnant. Problem is I am concerned about giving birth naturally due to my size. I am 5 ft and a size 6-8 with size 2 feet!! Unfortunetly my husband isnt petite and seemingly my baby isnt particularly small. I know its difficult to say how you'll get on but at the same time Im wondering would it be safer given my size to discuss the possibility of a Csection. Anyone been in this position?? Mrow

basketcase Fri 19-Aug-05 11:53:16

Discuss this with your mw if concerned. My mum was a tiny person and had three large babies naturally, no probs. I am a little larger than you about two inches taller, although a bit overwieght now, I do have a tiny frame (size 8 for years and years). I had one 8.5 lbs and another girl 9.5 lbs. Both natural births - with a little help - needed ventouse with 1 and shoulder stuck with 2 - lots of pulling but ok in the end.
Scans and mws are so good at their jobs pre empting problems that I am sure nearer the time they will make a decision with all of your personal details in mind. Try not to worry too much - one way or another, your baby will arrive

womba1 Fri 19-Aug-05 11:54:23

Mrow, my Auntie is size 8 and also 5ft tall.My Uncle is well over 6ft and not small... however, my Auntie has given birth to my 3 cousins naturally and they were all over 9lbs in weight. And this is the bit i hate her for.... within hours of the births, she was wearing size 10 jeans!!!
So, i guess it's possible... good luck with whatever you decide!

happymerryberries Fri 19-Aug-05 11:56:03

I have a friend who is 5 foot and she gave birth withing minutes of entering hospital in a recliner chair!

elsmommy Fri 19-Aug-05 12:01:14

I was exactly the same as you when I gave birth (but I'm 5ft 1). Dd was only 6lb 6oz but I survived a natural birth!!!

Redhelen Fri 19-Aug-05 12:52:59


It really depends on the size of your pelvis - some smaller women can deliver easily and some may not. Ask your mw if you could get a late scan to reassure you - its generally believed that smaller feet = smaller pelvis so do push them for a scan.

hockeymum Fri 19-Aug-05 12:53:59

Don't worry too much about it if you can manage not to. I do know of lots of women your size who have had babies naturally and surprisingly many of them without assistance or stiches. Apparently it is entirely the internal size of your pelvis bones that are the important ones, not how big your pelvis looks from the outside.

I am 5 foot 2 with size 3 feet but no idea how big my frame is as its been well coated in chocolate over the years! but unfortunately my pelvis was too small internally for my dd (born only 7lbs - but with my husbands familys unfeasibly large cranium!) to come through and needed an emergency caesarian. The day I went into labour i had a routine appointment to see the consultant and he assessed the size of my pelvis (from the inside hurt way worse than the actual labour itself) and thought I might be ok, but I didnt progress and dd never even engaged so they got her out of the trap door instead!

Discuss your concerns with your midwife but I imagine they will ask you to see how you get on on your own. If you can do it naturally all the better but dont worry too much of you cant, your baby will be just as beautiful the other way out too!

mrow Fri 19-Aug-05 13:05:22

Thanks for advice, good to know it isnt impossible as many of you seemed to manage. As Redhelen said the concern seems to more with the size of the feet then my height or build Would prefer a natural birth but at the end of the day its whatever is safest I guess!

HelenEmjay Fri 19-Aug-05 13:51:56

Hello mrow i am very much the same build as you (slightly bigger) and my dp is just over 6ft! i was worried also about having a big baby, and i did - he was 9lb 14oz! and he wasnt born late! i had a bit of a long labour and had to have a c-section in the end as he got distressed, i was told he was in a very bad position and that might be what did it, but i have a hard time believing that he would have come out to be honest, although i have spoken to many many small and petite women who have had HUGE babies and never had any problems! its a tough one though and looking back i wish i had made them give me a scan a week or two before due date just to check his size a they did a friend of mine and she was offered an elective c-section as her baby was considered too big and he was 8lb12oz! I would discuss it with someone if i were you hun - im sure you will be fine though! xx

piglit Fri 19-Aug-05 14:19:23

I think pelvis size is the indicator here as well as feet size. I am 5'1" and have size 4 feet but a really small pelvis. Ds was born by emergency c-section. He weighed 9lb and I was told subsequently that with his size head and my pelvis/feet size I would never have delivered naturally.

RedZuleika Fri 19-Aug-05 14:19:33

Worth noting, though, that NICE guidelines specifically say that a woman's ability to birth shouldn't be prejudged on the size of her pelvis or feet. I believe that your pelvis can expand up to 29% during labour, as long as you are not on your back.

It would probably also be helpful if you can try and shunt the bean into a good position beforehand - see Spinning Babies regarding optimal foetal positioning. Not sure how easy it is to adopt the sleeping position, though, if you don't sleep like this naturally...

munz Fri 19-Aug-05 14:24:44

I'm worried about having a big baby as well, is it typical that a small lady (i'm 5'1) and a tall DH (he's 6'3) will have a big baby?

HelenEmjay Fri 19-Aug-05 14:33:37

im not sure that your likely to get a big baby if dh is big or small baby if your small, i think it can be quite random! as i said my first was 9lb 14oz, but my second also a boy was 7lb 13oz, which although isnt small, he did seem very small compared to ds1!! ds1 was born at 40+1 and ds2 was born at 39+1. xx

hockeymum Sat 20-Aug-05 07:38:12

Munz - Dont worry about the size of you and your husband. It is very unlikely to have any correlation with the size of your baby. A firend of mine and her partner are both under 5' 3" and they have whopping 9 and 10 lb babies (3 of them).

Like you I am just over 5 foot and my husband is a tall skinny (but large headed!) 6' 5". Our daughter was only 7lbs when born at 42+5. Tall people do not necessarily make big babies!

Speak to your widwife about getting a late scan if you are worried but bear in mind my late scan predicted my dd was over 9 lbs in weight and compared to that she was a tiddler (but still needed the trap dppr emergency exit!)

BibiTwo Sat 20-Aug-05 07:56:41

What will be, will be. I'm afraid there's no sure-fire way to tell, so don't stress yourself too much about it.
I am 5ft with size 3 feet and with my 1st baby had a 2 day labour followed by an emergency section, my friend who is also 5ft with size 3 feet had her 1st baby 2 weeks later in 5 hours flat, no stitches and only gas and air. Both babies were the same size (1oz between them) and our pregnancies were fairly similar too.
Whatever happens, your baby will be brought into the world safe and sound I'm sure, just be vocal about the pain relief you want!

jessicaandbumpsmummy Sat 20-Aug-05 07:57:00

munz - im 5' and dh is 6'3 and jess was only 6lbs 6oz!

BibiTwo Sat 20-Aug-05 07:57:57

Also, I was told my baby was a huge one before she was born, turns out she was 6lb 13oz. Midwives back-tracked after the birth and said babies sometimes feel much bigger when the woman is quite small.

mumtosomeone Sat 20-Aug-05 07:58:22

just read this!
If you are concerned ask for a scan to determind(sp0 baby size and a pelvic scan!
I hate to upset you but I had a friend in a similsr situation and she was in labour ages and they had to push the baby back and do an emergency section as he got stuck.Talk to midwife and ask for scans please!!!

peachskin Sat 20-Aug-05 08:01:56

Hi - I am 5 ft 2" - most certainly not a size 8 though - but I had a natural birth - spent about 8 hours in water - tried to give birth in water but as things slowed down I ended up giving birth on a Dutch Birthing Stool on land !! I had no tearing and no stiches !!

My son was just over 3 kilos which isn't huge, but many first babies tend not to be huge any way. Subsequent babies are bigger because your uterus is more used to being stretched. As this is your first baby you will probably find he is tall, but not very fat, much easier for a natural birth.

My grandmother was about your weight and height and had 10 children (all natural birth in those days !!) My mother and her brother are twins - so she even managed twins with her small frame !

I also have a friend who is tiny and she gave birth naturally at home.

You need to be confident in your body to give birth naturally. My advice is if you really want to give natural birth a go (and if you and baby are healthy I really advise you at least give it a go!) try not to sit down or lie down too often during labour.

In the West we are used to seeing women with their legs up lying on a hospital bed, but this is not the best way for a natural birth. Your pelvis will stretch much more quickly and the baby's head will find it's way down much more quickly if you stand, walk or squat during labour.

I did quite a lot of reading on this before my baby was born and I am convinced that staying upright during my labour was crucial in giving birth naturally plus keeping my perinium intact.

Good luck !!

mumtosomeone Sat 20-Aug-05 08:07:05

for your own peace of mind i would opt for a scan!
I would not want anyone to go through what my friend did!
If you find your baby is small enough for you to have a natural birth then thats good, if not at least you will have a baby. Natural is good if it goes well for you both!

shorty3 Sat 20-Aug-05 08:28:18

I was worried about giving birth, I am just short of 5ft and was a size six with size three feet.

I think if you keep an open mind about the whole thing it helps.
My baby was lying in a posterior position so I read up on how to cope with the labour pains - I'm sure it definately helped to keep walking and all the way through contractions and later stages of labour I lent against the back of sofa and labour bed whilst rocking backwards and forwards.
From getting into hospital it only took about 2 hours.

mumtosomeone Sat 20-Aug-05 08:45:02

I am sure my friend had an open mind too, but an open mind doesnt make your pelvis open too!!
I just think to be on the safe side a scan would be ok!!
Its not failing!!!

robinia Sat 20-Aug-05 10:37:33

The trouble with scans is that so often their weight predictions are wildly inaccurate. I don't know if their head size predictions (which imo would be more useful) are any better.

mumtosomeone Sat 20-Aug-05 10:42:17

my late scan was very accurate!
but a pelvic scan might be of use. dont they measure the head at the scan anyway..I seem to think they did!

fireflyfairy2 Sat 20-Aug-05 11:05:53

First of all dont panic. My feet are size 2 and im 4ft 10". My size 2 feet were underlined in ALL my m/w notes during pregnancy. I was almost forced in2 having a c/section, but it terrified me tbh. Im glad i didn't. My baby was 6lb 1oz. and i did need help... hubby has a large head and did our baby! I needed ventouse and forceps..
Second baby totally natural delivery.. he was 7lb 10oz!
Of course the decision lays entirely with you... could you perhaps suggest a "trial of labour" where they give you a few hours to see if anythings happening and if not then c/section?? Thats the bargain we came to with my first baby.. second was just straight forward..
good luck

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