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Birthing big baby - 38 weeks & over 97th percentile

(23 Posts)
EffinIneffable Fri 17-Jul-15 09:23:48

38 weeks today and I was sent for an ultrasound scan this week to check the baby was OK after bump appeared to have not grown much for the last two appointments. All seemed fine with baby, but they measured his head and femurs on 97th percentile and his abdominal circumference was even bigger. Doctors weren't concerned about the baby's wellbeing, but I'm now panicking about giving birth to a mahoosive baby. The sonographer remarked 'this certainly isn't a small baby'. I'm pretty average size (5'5'') but my dh is 6'2'' and was a big baby himself (doctor remarked 'he looks like a 3 month old' when he came out).

They didn't do a weight estimate, which I understand can be quite inaccurate, but the head circumference measurement in particular is giving me the jitters, especially as a first time mum.

I'd been planning to refuse or delay sweeps, induction, etc, and let baby come in his own time, but this is making me think again.

Does anyone have any information or positive stories to reassure me please?

EffinIneffable Fri 17-Jul-15 09:25:03

Oh, and should I ask for a GD or GTT test? They keep asking me if I've had one, but when I say no they don't offer it.

LumpyCustard69 Fri 17-Jul-15 12:49:36

My dd was 11lb when born, and like your oh, looked like a 3month old when she was born. No one had checked on her size before birth. She was late also, which probably contributed to her size. I was induced. I had to have the drip, and so asked for an epidural. I'm so glad I did, as she was massive, and I had to have an episiotomy and then 3 stitches. I am 5'9" and I think I'd have struggled without the epidural.
I hope your midwife will discuss your options in depth with you.
This pregnancy I am having a growth scan at 36+3 so they can decide whether to do a c section or not. I've also had to do a second gtt test which I will get the results from on Monday.

On the plus side of having a large baby, they seem much less fragile (which made things a lot easier for my dh who was petrified of breaking dd!)

Luciferbox Fri 17-Jul-15 12:55:50

I went for a position scan and ended up finding out his abdomen is 97%ile so I've now got a gestational diabetes test on Monday when I'll be 38+4 wks. If it's positive they've said they'll induce me. I'm slightly worried that it's all rather late. I keep being told big babies can be easier to birth. I'm holding onto that thought.

AmberLav Fri 17-Jul-15 13:47:03

That's interesting, I normally measure marginally small, yet I have 9/10lbers, and I've thought it might be unusual to measure small yet have big babies.

Growth scans are notoriously inaccurate! My friend was induced at 38 weeks due to a huge baby (her second), and after 4 days of stalled labour had to have an emergency c-section, and her boy was 7lbs 6ozs, so she really wishes that she ignored the doctors...

Your height doesn't have too much impact, it is your pelvis that does the work, and you may have more of a long baby. Both mine have had 97% heads, and I've had two vaginal births, with just tearing (which has healed very well).

It'll be hard to know until baby is here sadly! Good luck!

leggingsarenottrousers Fri 17-Jul-15 13:52:27

1. Those scans are notoriously inaccurate
2. It's not always about weight/size but often compatibility of the baby's shape with the mum's.

Good luck!

Wolfiefan Fri 17-Jul-15 13:54:39

My DS had a big head. Massive! I was also told he was big. (Only 9lb ish.)
He was also long.
Had great waterbirth.
My theory was that with a bigger baby gravity was on my side!!
Good luck.

5madthings Fri 17-Jul-15 13:58:48

I always had a small bump but had big babies, head circumference off the chart for Ds4. It's position of baby more than size thar makes a difference, Google optimal fetal positioning. My worst labour was my smallest baby as she was back to back.

I wouldn't worry too much as tye scans are often not accurate, I was told I would have 6-7lb babies yet they wrre 9lb+- 10lb 13oz! I am 5 2 and petite, dh is 6ft. They get their huge heads from him as well.

happy2bhomely Fri 17-Jul-15 14:00:30

Measurements of my bump put me at 2 weeks behind. Had a scan which predicted a birth weight of around 9lbs. DS was born at home after a 6 hr labour with a little gas and air weighing 11lbs. No stitches.

His head was off the chart big and he looked like a 3 month old. He was a beautiful baby. It was hard work pushing him out, but the labour was no worse than with 7lb DD, or the other 3DC.

proudmummywife Fri 17-Jul-15 20:15:13

I'm 5'4 size 10 and I had an 11lb baby . I didn't have epidural as I didn't know he was that big didn't have scan from 20 weeks. It's lucky I didn't have epidural as midwives told me I may never have got him pushed out with epidural it was very difficult but worth it and I won't have epidural with this baby I'm expecting either as it's great to be able to shower myself straight after. My first son was 9lb 9oz I had epidural and it was worse experience afterwards.

proudmummywife Fri 17-Jul-15 20:17:12

Also my babies head was off chart and he is nearly two and has to go get head scan as it still measuring very big.

crispiecrunchie Sat 18-Jul-15 10:06:31

We were told similar at growth scan and baby was average 7 10.

WorzelsCornyBrows Sat 18-Jul-15 10:11:02

Those scans are enormously inaccurate. Also, there are so many factors that will affect your birth, size isn't the main one. I had a hell of a time pushing out a 6lber! Try not to worry about it, discuss your concerns with your midwife and see what she thinks. Good luck.

WombOfOnesOwn Sat 18-Jul-15 17:13:53

11 pound babies don't usually have bigger heads than 8 pounders--and those heads can compress a lot during birth anyway. The vast majority of the extra weight, in every case I've ever seen, isn't in the head (the only part that's really a tight fit). It's squooshy fat that compresses infinitely easily. I know women who've had 11+ pounders at home with only first-degree tearing.

A lot of women are pressured into c-sections by doctors who say "this is a 15 cm head, it couldn't possibly fit!"...but those doctors are being ridiculous twits, because of COURSE it wouldn't fit that way, it'll compress and mold, that's why vaginally birthed babies have the funny little cone shaped heads while c-section babies' heads are big and round.

WombOfOnesOwn Sat 18-Jul-15 17:14:53

oh! And another thing:

Some doctors will try to pressure women to induce right at 40 weeks or even before to avoid a big baby. But after 39 weeks, babies don't keep packing on the pounds. 42-43 weeks babies actually sometimes lose a little weight because the placenta isn't quite as vital as it is at 40 weeks.

Flisspaps Sat 18-Jul-15 17:24:07

AFAIK induction isn't recommended as a course of action where the baby is 'just' big (ie no diabetes or other known issues)

DC2 was a spontaneous labour at 40+1 - 11lb 7oz - and a much preferable birth than that of DC1 who was an induction at 40+15 (8lb 2oz)

Roseybee10 Sat 18-Jul-15 18:00:17

Scans can be so inaccurate. My dd1 was measuring two weeks ahead at 36 weeks but was 8lbs 2 when born at 40+4.
Dd2 was measuring bang on (presumably meaning 50th centile) at 36 weeks but was only 6lbs 14oz so she was on 36th centile when born.

I would say avoid any kind of intervention of possible because it's more likely this will lead to further intervention. Obviously if there's a medical reason to induce then I'm not saying ignore it, but if you are induced you're more likely to need monitoring, be lying in bed so more likely to have a poor positioned baby and take longer to dilate, need an epidural which again will mean you're lying down to give birth which will mean it's going to be harder to push baby out.
The more mobile and upright you can stay throughout labour and give birth in a more upright position, the more likely delivery will be easier with a bigger baby. X

happy2bhomely Sat 18-Jul-15 18:05:59

Well, my 11lb baby, had a big round head, no cone at all. His head was 39 cm. I thought it was bigger, but I checked his red book. As his head was born I heard my pubic bone creak. His shoulders were stubborn to shift too. Still, no tears, so I must be like a rubber band down there.

My 8lb 13 baby had a 36 cm head.

My 7lb baby had a 34 cm head.

For me, the bigger the head, the harder the pushing. To be fair, the 34 cm head was born after the 39 cm head, and I swear I didn't push once. She just slid out!

Yes, yes, jokes about wizard sleeves etc have all been heard before. I can assure you everything has bounced back reasonably well!

madwomanbackintheattic Sat 18-Jul-15 18:14:19

Big head is no problem. Normal head and large chest circumference is more of an issue.
And it's all very inaccurate. I ended up having a elcs (arranged the day before) for macrosomia an apparent 10lb 13oz baby (in similar circs - I am 5'2" and dh is 6'2"). She was 8lb6oz.
They had scanned me and measured and ummed and aahed every other day for the preceding 2 weeks. If they couldn't work it out at that point, then there really was no way to tell.
Good luck, am sure everything will be fine.

EffinIneffable Sun 19-Jul-15 12:46:24

Thanks for all the comments and advice. It seems that size is not so much of an issue on its own, but is all about the baby's position and the fit between me and him.

I had heard that weight estimates were very inaccurate, but are Head and Abdominal measurements also that inaccurate? Like I said, they've not said anything about his possible weight, it's more the large head-through-pelvis/fanjo that makes me feel a bit daunted.

A friend of mine in a very similar situation is getting induced on her due date because of her baby's size, but I think my hospital's preferred approach is to wait and see if problems arise during labour. Which makes sense to me, but I'm wondering if there is any evidence that big (first) babies = more likelihood of forceps/ventouse/emcs and that I should prepare myself for that and also not resist offered inductions...

I'm also finding it a bit strange they're not testing for GD given his size, but I don't really know much about it. Next midwife appointment not til 40 weeks, but maybe I should phone up to talk it all through next week.

WorzelsCornyBrows Sun 19-Jul-15 23:06:07

I said upthread that I had a hell of a time with a 6lber, she was back to back and has a very small head (runs in the family), I had a very long labour ending in a ventouse delivery. It is far more about position than size from what I've read and my experience.

As for induction, I've only ever had one induction and it ended in an emcs, but it was always going to end that way in hindsight. The fact I was induced wasn't a factor in the eventual emcs if that makes any sense. Be careful not to place too much reliance on other people's experiences, we're all different.

ScorpioMermaid Mon 20-Jul-15 01:02:50

I'm 5'5" and on Monday gave birth to our 9th child. I've never had gestational diabetes or anything that would cause me to have large babies but mine just grow big. I have had NVD with all of mine, even the last and she was breech.
Dd1 10lb 1oz (39+5)
Dd2 9lb 9oz (36+3)
Ds1 9lb 14oz (38+6)
Ds2 11lb 6oz (40+4)
Dd3 10lb 10oz (39+6)
Ds3 10lb 11oz (40+6)
Ds4 9lb 7oz (41+3) - induced
Ds5 7lb 14oz (37+5) - placental abruption
Dd4 10lb 14oz (40) - breech

ScorpioMermaid Mon 20-Jul-15 01:07:27

Mine all had lovely round heads too. Good luck op ��

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