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High Altitude Baby

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Just wondering if anyone else has given birth at high altitude. I live at about 8,200 feet, and have never thought twice about it. However, the other day, my "nosy neighbor" brought up the fact that babies born at high altitude tend to be underweight? I have never heard of this phenomenon, and was just wondering if anyone else had. And what your experiences have been with birth, birth weight, etc.


post #2 of 13

I had twins when I lived in NM. They were 7.5 and 7.8 pounds at birth. They were my first and the birth was great, had them at home etc; I'm preggo and at a high altitude again and not worried. Just eat well and exercise and the baby will be fine.

post #3 of 13
I'm guessing that as long as you have been there for a while and the babies grew there, that there would not be an issue, I can see how an issue might come up if one of us sea level mommies moved to Denver or the like in the 3rd trimester!
post #4 of 13

I have had two babies in Ruidoso, NM, where its a little over 7,000 ft.  They were both a touch early, 37 and 38 weeks, but weighed almost 7lbs (dd) and 8lbs (ds). 

post #5 of 13

Hm I haven't heard this one and we live up really high (6200 feet). The only thing I heard from women who had their baby at the local hospital is that they refuse to leave baby with you, they cut the cord right away and give baby oxygen in the baby warmer bed thing right next to you as they claim the high altitude air is hard on baby. I highly doubt that since they grow in mamas who live here. Babies have been born in high altitudes for centuries, what a load of misinformation. Apparently they do that to every baby born here in Cheyenne. I know that bordering CO towns don't do that and certainly not my midwives in Denver.

I do know however that WY/Cheyenne has a lot of low birth weight babies, but I doubt that correlates with high altitude; but more with the high percentage of very young mothers and so much meth use around here.

post #6 of 13

I had DD at home in ABQ and she was 7 lbs. 5 oz.. I *think* I read somewhere that the placenta will sometimes be bigger

at higher altitudes and DD's did have an extra lobe or whatever it's called. I never discussed the extra lobe w/ my midwife though

and don't remember where I read about the larger placentas. We had to move in March and every second of every day I miss NM.

Back OT, I wouldn't worry at all.

post #7 of 13

I live in NM at 7000 feet all born at home, most 9lbs or more, a couple born at 37 were 6lbs 15 and 7lbs 10oz, one was over 10lbs.

post #8 of 13

There are multiple studies that show babies born at higher altitude tend to be smaller then babies born at low elevations. The smallness is slight, like ounces, there are many moms who still have large babies. Maybe at sea level, those babies would of been even bigger. I live at 7,500 and have had two babies born at 38 weeks who were right under 7lbs, and 1 right under 9lbs. There is no need to worry about a baby being underweight due to elevation. 

post #9 of 13

In areas that are more oxygen dense (like at sea level) things naturally grow bigger.  Way back in history (like before the dinosaurs) there used to be a much higher oxygen level than there is today.  The result was dragonflies with wing spans measuring feet instead of inches.  When oxygen levels fell, everything had to downsize.  With slightly less oxygen in high altitude places it would make sense that babies are a tad bit smaller.

post #10 of 13

My friend who lives at 8000+ had three 10lb babies. I wouldn't worry about it.

post #11 of 13
Our little man was born in Vail, Colorado at roughly 8,200'. After three days there, we took him home to our house, which is at 11,300'. He cannot be more perfect. Does not need any supplemental oxygen, has not had an ear infection, and is a rockstar. We believe that if you are healthy, then your baby will be healthy.
post #12 of 13

They don't tend to be underweight, lol, just smaller. This is pretty well-studied, and it is significant enough that research has shown providers need to be sure they're using appropriate growth curves (as in growth curves based on similar elevation) when evaluating infants for conditions like hypoglycemia or polycythemia, but not significant enough that you need to be worried about your baby being "too small". Size is relative, and babies at higher altitudes are just supposed to be smaller.

post #13 of 13

I have had two babies in Ruidoso, NM, where its a little over 7,000 ft.  They were both a touch early, 37 and 38 weeks, but weighed almost 7lbs (dd) and 8lbs (ds).

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