Big Baby Bull

(this is not meant as medical advice, this is to remind moms everywhere that you have rights…. choose to use them!  Trust your body!  Choose care givers who trust your body!  Make educated decisions.  Care providers give you information… you have to decipher it and choose how to use it, ask questions, get answers you are satisfied with, if you aren’t satisfied remember it is never to late to change to a new care provider or you can choose to just say NO!)

SO many moms today are being told they are having BIG babies.  Some are being told this from their 20 week ultrasound.  Some moms are getting routine late term ultrasound  and then told the baby is getting “too big”

This seems to be a tactic to convince moms to get induced or to schedule a cesarean.

What can you do if you are told you have a big baby?

1.  Do your Research (here are some links to get you started)

Big Baby Bull page – This page has links to more information, definition of big baby, accuracy of ultrasounds, cesarean or induction choices.  There are also a lot of stories from moms, L&D nurses and a video too.

There is a whole website on Big Babies.  I love this quote from the site.

I heard a great analogy from an obstetrician once, that likened trying to predict the size of a baby before birth, by ultrasound, to trying to guess the weight of a man, sitting in a bath full of water, in the room next door by measuring his waist and thigh bone. When you look at it like that it really does become apparent how ludicrous these gross measures we use are!

2.  Get a Second Opinion

Some OBs do a LOT of cesareans and inductions because of “big babies” but maybe this is just an excuse so they can plan births.

A Labor and Delivery nurse shares a story about a mom who has a cesarean because of a suspected big baby – “near 9 pounds” (which isn’t really even BIG) and the baby ends up being 7 pounds 9 ounces.   It turns out this is an OB who uses this “scare tactic” a lot!  The nurse covers really well the truth about the ability to determine the size of babies before birth.

Here is another story of a “big baby” who turned out to be small.

3.  Follow your Intuition

What do YOU think?  Before your care provider said you were having a big baby, before they said there may be issues…. How were you feeling?

How are you feeling now?  Don’t let FEAR be a factor in your choice.  It is hard to figure out what your intuition is saying when you are full of fear.  How can you let go of that fear?  Here are some ideas.

But what if the baby IS big?

Well, guess what – Fat smushes and lots of big babies are born vaginally!  2 of my babies were 9 pounds.  Here is a great positive vaginal birth story of an 11 pound 5 ounce baby.    Here is another one of a 12 pound 9 ounce baby born vaginally.   Here is another great one.  My wife had an 11+ pound baby at home!

Jill, who has the Unnecesarean Blog wrote about her experience and how she avoided an unnecesary cesarean by educating herself and fighting for her right to have a vaginal birth.  She refused to be scared by OB’s before or during her birth!

Here is a great video by moms who were told they were unable to birth big babies and went on to birth BIGGER babies vaginally.

To inspire you more, here is a video of a mom singing during the birth of her 10 pound baby.

Part of it is having a care provider who isn’t scared of birth.  Part of it is believing in your body and your baby.

Only YOU know what is the best choice for you.  For some it may be induction, for some it may be cesarean but for most it will be waiting until their baby decides it is time to be born.  That may take guts to say no, it may mean changing care providers, it may take sacrifice.  Remember, this is not meant as medical advice, it is to remind moms everywhere that you have rights…. choose to use them!  It is YOUR body and YOUR birth.

29 Responses to Big Baby Bull

  1. Joy says:

    I love that birth video- I’ve watched it many times over and over. Thank you for posting it on your blog! Isn’t her voice just lovely? Her peace inspiring?

    I had a friend who was told her baby would be big. Her baby was UNDER 7 lbs!!! She was unnecessarily induced and it turned out it was because her doctor was going on vacation. Her birth didn’t end up being horrible but it wasn’t IDEAL or what the mother truly wanted.

    • enjoybirth says:

      It would be nice to have care providers vacation schedules to know what their motivations are. I have had 2 of my doula clients induced on a Friday and I can’t help but wonder if it wasn’t so the OBs wouldn’t be bothered on the weekend.

  2. Joy says:

    I have to add my own story. My daughter, Abigail, was born at 8 lbs 8 ounces. Her clavicle broke during delivery (the doctor was pulling VERY hard on her, even though I was pushing just perfect on my own). The doctor comes to my room the next day and tells me, “Next time you deliver you’ll have a c-section 2 weeks early to prevent this from happening again.” I had JUST given birth. It terrified me and I wasn’t even planning on being pregnant.

    Fast-forward. Doctor changed her tune to “Induction 2 weeks early with next baby”. I changed doctors!!!

    When I told my current OB (an older man, he’s seen a lot, delivered hundreds of babies) what she had said he actually look SHOCKED. He was actually my doctor before her (due to insurance issues I had to change to her office, insurance stuff cleared up and I returned to him).

    He had told me many, many times how nice and wide my pelvis is and great for delivering large babies. 8 1/2 lbs isn’t even HUGE. He told me we’d do what I feel is best but he’s not pushing induction or c-section on me whatsoever. He’s given me the choice and I plan to keep my baby in full term and hope she comes on her own time!

  3. brihoopes says:

    It’s ironic you posted this today. There is a girl I go to church with. Last Sunday she informed me her doctor is inducing her because her baby is measuring too big and told me the weight the ultra sound estimated. I told her US are not accurate and that they can be over a pound off. I have thought of her all week wondering and hoping all went well. Today I found out she ended up with a C-Section due to “complications”. I am SO BUGGED with the system. This was so unnecessary.

    I had another friend whose doctor was really pushing C-section on her because her baby was too big. He was talking about this early on in her pregnancy. Me with others left many messages on her blog to switch doctors and encouraging her to not give in to the C-section. She ended up birthing vaginally and the baby was 7 pounds 6ounces. I wanted to slap that doctor silly. He put her through such worry and she was very close to giving in. Thank you for posting this. I’m proud to say my baby was almost 9 pounds. My vagina ROCKS!

    • enjoybirth says:

      I am so sorry for your friend at church. I wonder how big her baby ended up being? This is why it is so important to choose your care provider wisely and CHANGE if they are trying to scare you to do things.

      I am glad for your second friend who had her vaginal birth. And for YOU too!

  4. Jill says:

    Not to mention that the concept of what is “big” is so subjective. To me, “normal” is the 6-8 lb. range. 6 is the smallish side of normal, 8 is the biggish side of normal. 9, to me, is a “pretty big” baby. 10 is “damn, that’s a BIG baby!” and anything beyond that is “holy crap!” 😛

    Jacob was 8 lbs. 4 oz., completely average, and it baffles me how many people’s eyes bug out and go, “OMG!” when I tell them. Like I said above, I reserve the eye-bugging for 10 and up, so it’s strange to me.

    But anyway, I am totally hearing you on this whole post. I am sick of hearing women say they were/are going to be induced early for “big baby.” I am sick of women saying their pelvises are too small for a baby bigger than X lbs. One of the CNMs I saw for my first pregnancy had the nerve to tell me I couldn’t birth a baby bigger than 6 lbs. I am still waiting eagerly for the day I see her out in public so I can go, “Neener neener neener!”

    Besides, coming from women who have birthed both small babies and big babies, the big ones are actually easier! Ever strained and strained to get out a tiny piece of poop, and then gone to have a really big BM that just fell out? All that extra gravitational pull really does make a difference!

  5. Jill says:

    Oh, here is another great link for you. A 4’3″ woman has a 7 lb. baby. Check out that awesome molding! Babies are not made of concrete, they CAN smush through!

  6. nursingbirth says:

    Thanks for the link!! Great post!!

  7. yes it definitely brings a sense of pride to know that my body birthed a 9lb 5oz baby. I love the comment above “my vagina rocks!”

    it’s so sad for women who think their bodies are broken. my sister-n-law for instance. the doctor told her that he baby’s head’s were to big. so she had 2 c-sections. even an attempted vbac with the second one.. but alas it broke her heart.

  8. Arwen says:

    The poop comment makes me smile, because that is so true, and because two weeks ago I had a 9 lb 8 oz baby, and he really did pop right out. The whole thing went so fast, and he was so easy to push out. (Yes, I’m pretty proud of it.) Someone asked me just today, after finding out how big he was, “Did you have a c-section?”

    He was also two weeks late, and before he came I was asked a couple of times whether the doctor was worried about his size, but she never said a word about it. I love my doctor. I did have an ultrasound a couple of days before he came because he was so late and hadn’t done well on a no-stress test, and the US tech’s prediction on his weight turned out to be exactly right (amazingly enough), but still my doctor never mentioned size or c-section, and she never pushed induction either. Did I mention I really love my doctor?

    • enjoybirth says:

      Congratulations! I am so glad you had a supportive care provider. Your story really demonstrates the difference between care providers. Another care provider may have tried to scare you into a cesarean or induction.
      I love your doctor too!

  9. KristaJoy says:

    I had a cesarean for my “big baby”, the OB insisted I could never fit such a large kid out of my tiny pelvis. Two babies, both VBACs, later, I proved him wrong by having two lovely large babies with the same head circumference as that one that was “too” big to come out. Thank goodness for second opinions!

    The sound is still off on this, but check out this vid of other “big baby” mamas:

  10. […] Do you routinely do late term ultrasounds?  Why?  (These late term ultrasounds typically lead to the whole Big Baby Scare) […]

  11. […] this one really gets my goat.  I have an issue with Big Baby Bull.  I wonder if this mom got her vaginal birth after “trying for awhile”   I really hope she […]

  12. […] to induce or have a cesarean.  It is impossible to know how big a baby is before he is born.  A big baby doesn’t need to be a big problem.   Some OBs like to play the big baby card, just to convince a […]

  13. Jayne says:

    I would advice from mums out there. My first born was born at 4.1kgs through C-section because of postpartum and a failed induction. Now am expecting my second born and after the usual checkups, the doctor tells me there is a high probability the 2nd born too would be large. I hate the C-section and I wonder how i can have a natural birth the 2nd round… Any suggestions?

  14. Jayne says:

    thanks enjoybirth

  15. Kate says:

    Well, wouldn’t those dr.s love my babies!

    1st- 10# 5oz
    2nd- 9# 8oz
    3rd- 9# even
    4th- 11# 2oz
    5th- 11# 4oz
    6th- 10# 12oz
    7th- 8#

    All have been vaginal births, except for the 9# all were past their ‘due date’ by 10-17 days. None were GD babies (I can’t say for sure *none* were, I only got tested for GD with half of them. The first four were born in the hospital, the last three were born at home.

    I get so tired of hearing other women complain about how its different for me because I must be born to have babies (aren’t we all born with the physical capabilities to do the job?) or they are lacking somehow what it takes to be able to handle it. Our system has so mentally whitewashed women as to take away one of the biggest achievements we can lay claim to (I’d like to see any man do a natural childbirth without drugs!).

  16. […] posting that her OB was doing the “Big Baby Scare” and wanted some input.  I shared my Big Baby Bull link and said, educate yourself and follow your instincts. She posted her birth story and this was […]

  17. Anne says:

    My first daughter was 10lb 2oz, and born by an ‘elective’ (ha!) caesar the OB emotionally blackmailed me into purely because she had not engaged. Afterwards he (the OB) told me my pelvic inlet was too small, my uterus too retroverted and that I make babies too big for my body to birth.

    For my next baby, I researched for two years and found a marvellous OB who actually believes in women’s bodies and their ability to give birth. My second baby was born by drug free VBAC and weighed in at 12lb 11oz. She did have quite serious shoulder dystocia but all ended well.

    It is so great to hear of other positive stories too!

  18. OBrn says:

    Even though there are several of you out there that have had successful LGA babies, there are numerous reasons to not attempt this. My first baby was 10lbs 4oz and had several problems following birth due to his large size. Do to the trauma of being squished down through my vagina, my baby was in shock and in the NICU for several days — I was not able to even hold him until he was 4 days old. No one has really discussed what happens to your perineum following birth of a LGA baby. As for me, I ended up with a 4th degree episiotomy. One that almost 6 years later, I am still having problems with and have been told that I will continue to have urinary and fecal incontinence problems the rest of my life. My doc was just sure my baby would fit…and he did … after the episiotomy. I had another doc for my second child and we discussed re-cutting my perineum and re-sewing in a different way to help….it helps by about 50%.

    I have assisted with several 9+ pounders births’ on my unit with the moms coming away with less damage than I did…so it is possible. But we have to take account the size of perineum, in addition to pelvic bone size when figuring out whether or not someone could vaginally have a baby. If I had it to do all over again and I would have realized my first was going to be over 10 pounds, I would have requested a c-section. There are just a lot of things to consider when discussing birthing big babies. Not everyone comes out of the situation on top.

    • enjoybirth says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience. It is true that there are risks. Moms should be told of them and then be given the choice. I am sorry that you have had such long lasting effects. Hugs to you!

  19. alath says:

    OBrn, I am sorry you had perineal trauma and ongoing problems. But you do realize, don’t you, that having an episiotomy is a far greater risk factor 3rd and 4th degree extensions than fetal size?

    My personal delivery count is nearing 4,000 and I am doing fewer and fewer episiotomies the more experience I get (I never did do many in the first place). It is amazing how well women can stretch with patience and proper positioning. I have delivered many babies far in excess of 10# with intact perineum or trivial tears.

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