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does a big baby make for a more difficult birth?

34 replies to this topic

#1 maryanneK

Posted 12 April 2018 - 08:33 PM

I'm 34 w pregnant with a baby boy that is consistently measuring at >95 percentile for size

I'm panicking about what that means for the delivery. I'd prefer to avoid an epidural and I really don't want to end up with a caesar.

Is it realistic? My first 2 babies were average size and I needed epidural, vacuum, forceps and episiotomy for both of them

Surely most of the pain in labour comes from contraction pain - so the size of the baby shouldnt matter that much? But it FEELS like its going to be so much more painful and difficult to deliver this one....


#2 Franny and Zooey

Posted 12 April 2018 - 08:42 PM

Third baby was 4.6kg, two hour labour and a couple of pushes and it was done.  The speed of it was painful, size didn’t matter as much.

#3 Nepheline

Posted 12 April 2018 - 08:44 PM

With my second baby I was expecting a giant and the one thing midwives and OB's consistently said was it's not the size of the baby that matters, it's the presentation and position.

They were very reassuring. In the end he came a month early so it didn't matter. A good friend of mine had a 2.5 kg baby and ended up with all the complications you listed as she was posterior. Another friend gave birth to an over 4kg baby no dramas whatsoever.

#4 4lilchicks

Posted 12 April 2018 - 08:44 PM

My 4th bub was 9 pound 11 oz and my 5th bub was 8 pound 14oz and they were my easiest!

During pregnancy I read up on getting bub into a good position and birthing positions and birthed #4 standing and #5 kneeling. No drugs at all. Get your midwives to help you get into a good position for birth and do all you can to stay upright.

Good luck with your birth :)

#5 Franny and Zooey

Posted 12 April 2018 - 08:44 PM

Oh and my supposed big baby which the scan predicted, was my littlest baby.  So often scans are not right anyway.

#6 MummaBlossom

Posted 12 April 2018 - 08:53 PM

DS1 was average size. I had an epidural with no tears/stitches but found labour and delivery with DS2 so much easier.

DS2 was a big baby - over 4kg. I delivered standing up without pain relief, forceps or vacuum and had zero tears/stitches. I attribute that to having DH do perinneal massage on me every night from 36weeks.

Not sure how the history of your previous births will contribute but in my case a bigger baby did not mean a more difficult labour at all. I can't compare pain because I had an epidural the first time, but it was not as bad as I'd imagined. Contractions, especially transition, were more painful than the actual birthing pain IME.

Good luck!

#7 Jenflea

Posted 12 April 2018 - 08:59 PM

I've read that big babies are actually easier to birth than little ones.

Don't panic!

#8 Cheesy Sanga

Posted 12 April 2018 - 08:59 PM

4kg with gas and tens, small amount of tearing
4.6kg with tens only, episiotomy (healed much quicker and neater than the tear)

Try not to stress OP, your body can do it.

#9 Megustas

Posted 12 April 2018 - 09:28 PM

If you have had 2 births of average size babies (assuming good position) that required all that intervention then I would be a little concerned about size.
What is your Ob saying?

My first was average size in perfect position - very difficult vacuum delivery with large episiotomy. My ob recommended cs for next baby.

Had a different ob for 2nd & he left decision of cs to me. Bub was 95th%. Everthing I read said 2nd babies pop out a lot easier so I went natural.

Ended up in theatre with spinal block in prep for potential cs - but ob eventually got her out with forceps. Large tear & LOTS of swelling. Will never forget one of the nurses saying as she was born " big baby!" (She was 3.9kg)

First thing Ob said to me was "no more babies for you unless cs".

#10 ~J_F~

Posted 12 April 2018 - 09:37 PM

3 big babies. All over 4kg.

They were all induced but no intervention after that. Pain relief free. 2 came in around 6 hours and the last came in 45 minutes.

I stood up most of my labour’s, as it gave the feeling of being on top of the pain.

Good luck OP. Try not to think about it too much, a couple of my midwife friends have said bigger babies tend to come easier but who knows if that is true or just something to make those birthing biggens feel better, lol.

#11 Expelliarmus

Posted 12 April 2018 - 09:40 PM

Not for the third.

He slid out.

#12 Boticelli

Posted 12 April 2018 - 09:42 PM

I was given the ' ooh , big baby ' by ultrasound staff and obstetrician as d day approached . I was freaked out as I'm small and I looked into it at the time and the medical literature rated the accuracy of predelivery size estimates at 50% at best , even in highly trained hands .
Baby was few grams over the 3.3 g average and was swamped by newborn size clothes.

In short , they're all full of it ! Total guesswork.

Position is much more important in terms of pain and duration of labour .

Hopefully you can relax about it , good luck .

#13 Crazyhouseholdof6

Posted 12 April 2018 - 09:57 PM

My 4th was 4.8kg, one hour easy labour or as easy as labour can be. No tearing or complications. 2nd was 4.61kg and only four hours. Both without drugs and one was posterior. 3rd was 4.33kg and 1st was an induction and 3.88kg and was a horrible birth. For me yes it’s true, bugger baby easier the birth.

#14 HippyDippyBaloney

Posted 12 April 2018 - 10:03 PM

Ds1 was 4.62kg and his birth was awful. Posterior right the way through labour and delivery and he had a big head (38.5cm). No epidural and I vomited with every single back to back contraction for 13 hours.

Dd wasn't that big (3.83kg) but was estimated to be huge (4.9kg) with a very large abdo circ increasing the risk of shoulder dystocia. For this reason I got an epidural and her birth was a breeze. Prior to the epi I stayed very active and did exercises to make sure she didn't turn posterior.

Ds2 was big (4.7kg) and drug free, also with a big-ish head (37cm). His birth was also a breeze. I was very active during this labour and again wanted to ensure good postioning.

My theory is that my first birth was so awful because he was posterior, not so much due to his size.

#15 Ellie bean

Posted 12 April 2018 - 10:18 PM

My 3kg baby (posterior) was waaay more painful than my 4kg son (and my son has a giant head- im not kidding, he now wears adult hats at age 4).
I hope it all goes smoothly for you x

#16 eigne

Posted 12 April 2018 - 10:43 PM

My 4.1kg baby was predicted to be 4.5kg++ and I was getting pressure from my OB to be induced due to concerns about shoulder dystocia. I refused and labour progressed naturally but because she was posterior I needed an epidural. Once I started pushing she turned into the right position and it was relatively easy to get her out in under half an hour!

Another friend was told to expect a giant baby so she opted for a Caesar and was handed only a 4kg baby...

Trust your body OP. You got this.

#17 Oriental lily

Posted 12 April 2018 - 10:53 PM

I have had 5 babies . Biggest was 4.2 , smallest was 2.8 ( my last) little monkey decided to flip transverse during induction after they broke  my waters and resulting in a prolapse of umbilical cord and me needing a emergency c section under general anaesthetic. My 4.2 kg baby was my third birth . Straight forward induction, three hour labour , bit of air and gas, small graze after pushing for about three minutes . When it comes to birth and babies, size really doesn’t matter !

#18 CallMeFeral

Posted 13 April 2018 - 10:24 AM

My large baby was my fastest birth.
Really there are so many factors, size is only one of many - and even when it is, it's only the size of the head that is relevant really (I think!).

#19 Soontobegran

Posted 13 April 2018 - 11:51 AM

View PostCallMeFeral, on 13 April 2018 - 10:24 AM, said:

My large baby was my fastest birth.
Really there are so many factors, size is only one of many - and even when it is, it's only the size of the head that is relevant really (I think!).

Not really, the head moulds so it can often be large shoulders that can cause a problem.
That being said...most mums are able to birth a large subsequent baby.

#20 maryanneK

Posted 13 April 2018 - 12:31 PM

Thanks all, that's very encouraging. I know my first two were difficult due to induction and being posterior, and that hopefully I won't have either issue this time. Intellectually it makes sense but emotionally it just feels harder! I'm also worried about pelvic floor, tearing etc...just feels like it would have to be worse with a big baby.

#21 boysescakes

Posted 13 April 2018 - 01:40 PM

I think it’s more about you and whether you (hip size/dilation etc) are “equiped” to birth a largish baby.
I had quite a lot of intervention with my first born who was 8pd14oz, which may not be on the huge side. But I had an X-ray just before to see if he could be born naturally. Dr was ok to do it. I looking back, don’t think it was good for me or him.
My second was 8pd. I had some intervention again, but not quite as bad as my first.
Both of mine had big heads too, so that may have influenced things too!
It’s really a hard question to answer, because all baby measurements are guessed too.

#22 Neo Aerith

Posted 13 April 2018 - 02:09 PM

My midwife told me head circumference and position are bigger issues than weight.

My 4.5kg second born also had a large head and I had minor tearing. The labour itself was as good as labour can get and he was out in 3.5 hrs. I laboured upright in the shower the entire time and I think it helped a lot.

The only complication was that I had a PPH afterwards which I was told can happen with larger babies but still only a small chance of it occurring.

Edited by Aerith, 13 April 2018 - 02:14 PM.

#23 rowd

Posted 13 April 2018 - 03:36 PM

I've been wondering about this too.  My first was tiny - 1.8kg, and the birth was quick and relatively easy. I don't have any reason to expect this baby will be huge, but I certainly hope it will be significantly bigger than my first, and I'm scared at how I'll go birthing a baby twice the size! So thanks - this thread is very reassuring.

#24 Wonderstruck

Posted 13 April 2018 - 08:49 PM

I think it depends on a lot of things - I was a FTM and had a difficult birth - mostly as she was posterior and my labour was long and stalled so I needed the works.

She was big 3.74kg and I’m a small person - she was 85th percentile and had a big head - she was too big in the end to fit. So ended up with an emergency caesar but it was all of the factors - not just her size.

I know others who’ve easily birthed a bigger baby.

I would remain positive but take it as it comes :)

#25 maryanneK

Posted 15 April 2018 - 08:45 AM

Thanks pps. I do have 'good childbirthing hips' as my grandma used to tell me! so I hope / don't think there will be an issue of pelvis being physically too small.... I know the head moulds but I'm still feeling like squeezing a huge head through a 10 cervix must be harder than squeezing a little one through the same gap...

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