Birth Blog

What If You Have a Big Baby?

by Julia West on August 21, 2014

I have recently heard of and even witnessed the births of some big babies and I wanted to share some encouragement with other moms expecting big babies! I know some mamas are really intimidated by the thought of birthing a baby that is considered big, or even if she feels small in proportion to her baby’s size.

Big babies run in my family and my husband’s family, so I anticipated that my son would be big. To be honest, the thought did linger in the back of my mind that his size would make his delivery more difficult. I was happy when my midwife felt my belly and told me she didn’t think he was huge. That was kind of my “magic feather.” She was also completely confident in my ability. I used gravity and sat in a frog-like position in the birth pool for most of my labor and his birth went very smoothly. So when he was weighed after birth and found to be 9 lbs 4 oz, I was so surprised!

Here are some other “big baby” stories from mama friends of mine, all of whom are very different shapes and sizes!

I was told right before labor my baby would be about 6 lbs. I was told I could deliver a baby “typically one size greater than shoe size” Shoe size is a 5, so that would mean 6 lb baby. I didn’t anticipate he would be over 8 lbs. although, I was almost 8 lbs as a baby myself. Prepregnancy me is 5’0 and 90 lbs. Everyone else was shocked I could birth an 8 lb baby, but I was not. Ina May had told me, “There is nothing wrong with the pelvises of American women.” I never had any doubt in my ability to birth naturally. My faith in God and my body was all I needed. And he was posterior up until birth and I still was successful with minimal tearing. Midwife said between first and second degree, had 2 stitches. He was 8lbs2oz, 20ish inches long.
-Shazia

Patrick was 10 lbs. I don’t remember being too pressured with his pregnancy. I remember the dr asking me once if I wanted to be induced. But I wanted things to start on their own this time!
His was my most straight-forward birth. But that may have been more that he was in the right position. I think even the dr said that that was like the second best birth she had seen.
I am glad that I have it under my belt… Because I feel like if this baby measures big… My dr knows I’ve done this before! When my next one was born at 9 lb 9 oz I remember the dr saying something like, “Well, you had another moose!”

-Beth

I knew, pretty much the entire pregnancy, Isabelle would be a bigger baby. I have a history of larger babies….the difference was, I was going to wait until she was ready to be born instead of being induced early. My largest baby, before her, was 9 lbs 8 oz at 38 weeks gestation. I was induced. I began measuring several weeks ahead, early on…so much so that “twins” was mentioned at one of my midwife appointments. It was routine for me to be measuring 10-12 weeks ahead, in size. I was never given any specific estimates on her size but we knew she’d be larger. I felt she’d be at least ten pounds.
Honestly, her size didn’t affect my confidence at all. Out of my previous six births, I had given birth without an epidural five other times. The only difference was that I would be giving birth at home, this time, instead of a hospital and there were some nerves associated with that.
I credit the success of Isabelle’s birth largely to my competent midwives. We had a “hairy” moment, where Isabelle’s shoulders got stuck and they were quick to react. They immediately assisted me in changing positions (from sitting in the birthing pool to a standing/leaning forward position) and then helped to maneuver her out while I pushed. They were cool, calm, and collected. They knew, immediately, that she was large. She weighed 11 lbs 3 oz and was 22 1/2 inches long.

-Kimberly

With my husband being a big baby as well as my first child, I anticipated him to be a large baby.
The doctor said he would be at least as big as my last child who was 9.6 lbs. The sono tech estimated he was almost 8 pounds at my 36 week appointment.
I was a little nervous about the thought of having such a big baby naturally, however my doctor told me, “People have been having big babies for YEARS”. She was wonderful about boosting my confidence along with my natural birth educator/doula, Julia.
Educating myself ahead of time on how to relax, work through the contractions and breathe made his birth a success. I watched natural birthing videos to give me an idea of what to expect, read the Bradley method and worked with Julia West who provided me with many educational pieces. Thinking positively about the whole process and welcoming the contractions as they came helped tremendously. He was 9 pounds 13 ounces and 21 1/4 inches long.

-Heidi

Here are a few things these women mentioned were keys to a successful birth:

1. A supportive care provider.

This has so much impact on your birth in general. Having a provider who believes in your body’s ability to birth you baby and works with you to make that happen is invaluable! This also has to do with our birth environment. If we are surrounded by negativity, anxiety and doubt, we can begin to feel fearful and more tense. Relaxation is so important during birth, and you will be so much more able to relax when you trust your birth team.

2. Preparation/education.

It is so true that if you do not know your options, you don’t have any. This is so important when talking about going past your due date, induction options and having a knowledge of how to help your baby move down. I know of a great birth class that can arm you with all of this information!

3. Movement.

This is one of the oral traditions that I think has been lost over time. For most of history, women followed their instinct to get into a vertical position, use gravity and even squat during birth. Laboring on your back actually complicates the baby’s exit route. As mentioned here, there are many positions that help labor progress and squatting can open your pelvis by 30%. Don’t feel stuck in one position, get moving!

If you are expecting a big baby, do not give up hope for a vaginal birth. It can be done! And you get the bonus of enjoying those sweet baby rolls from day one.

 

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