How can I have smaller babies? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-18-2009, 12:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

I just found out I'm expecting my third baby. MY first two were large (and very healthy) and I had a difficult time pushing them out--causing permanent damage. I would like to have a smaller baby this time if possible. A 7 or 8 pound-er would be really nice.

My first was 9lbs 4 oz. I was talking Bradley class so I was eating a lot of protein (80-100grams a day). I ended up being transfer half way through labor to the hospital because of high blood pressure--which I had been dealing with for a couple weeks. He was 10 days late. After 5 hours of pushing and some pitocin be was born. I started out about 115 pounds and gained 41lbs--a lot of it water the last couple weeks.

My second was 9lbs 2ozs. He was born 4 days early at home. No blood pressure issues. Labor was a lot shorter and he was birthed in the water. I started out about 115 pounds and gained 26 pounds. I didn't focus on eating as much protein this pregnancy because I had read the too much protein can cause a larger baby.

I have a pretty healthy diet except for a chocolate addiction. We eat a lot of organic food, free range meats and raw dairy, but could probably eat more veggies. I usually walk 4-5 times a week for about 30 mins while I'm pregnant.

If you have any advice I would love it. thanks, Shannon
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:47 AM
 
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Well, you already tried it both ways gaining weight freely and for the second pregnancy not gaining as much weight and you had the same size baby's. That is not working for you
It would be unhealthy for you to gain less then 25 pounds during pregnancy.

There is no sure way to make a lower weight baby (in a healthy way!). Some say gain less weight, you already tried that, it does not work for you!

The one way to really avoid any further damage is to plan a cesarean. I've had clients that opted for a cesarean because of previous damage or trauma. They could not go through it again and it was emotionally and physically the right choice for them.

If that is not right for you try:

Drinking raspberry leaf tea everyday it's a known uterine toner.

Giving birth in a different position then you did last time, or birthing in water.

Take a hypnobirthing course.

Good luck.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:53 AM
 
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wouldn't the size of your babies be all genetic and nothing you can really control?
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:10 AM
 
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wouldn't the size of your babies be all genetic and nothing you can really control?
Yes and no.

There have been some studies about the correlation too much protein / higher weight gain makes larger babies. She already tested that theory and it does not hold up, so her babies size is probably genetic.

We know for sure that daily alcohol consumption and street drugs makes smaller babies. However that is not a recipe of a happy life!
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:32 AM
 
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Not yet a birth professional, but perhaps it's not so much the size of the babies as it is their position? Sometimes babies need extra time to spin and position themselves if they're not optimally positioned for birth. Bodywork and exercises can help position babies and keep mamas comfortable during pregnancy and labor. Also, if the mother's pelvic shape is different due to misalignment or genetics, it can be harder for the baby to find the exit. Bodywork, lunges during pregnancy and labor, and varying birth positions can help with that.

I grow 'big' babies (9 lb +) but I believe in my case it is genetic; I'm Scandinavian, and we tend toward the large end of 'normal' when it comes to fetal size. I was also a 9 lb. baby.

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Old 05-18-2009, 12:01 PM
 
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What stands out to me in your post is that you said you had a difficult time "pushing them out".

Were you coached on how to push, when, how hard, for how long, etc? This is something to consider. I'm a big fan of "breathing the baby out" and not "pushing". Allowing your body to bring the baby down on its own is very different than consciously pushing.

Of course, when you are in pain and your mind is telling you that the pain will go away when the baby is out, it can be difficult to not try and get the baby out as fast as possible. But this can seriously damage your perineum.

I do not recommend trying to grow a smaller baby. I recommend you make the conscious choice to allow your baby to birth itself, assisting with gentle pushing only when you feel it is absolutely necessary. When your baby is allowed to come down slowly, gently, and in his own time, injury to the perineum is much less common.

I'm sorry your first two births were so hard on you.

Sprat , Certified Professional Midwife, loved very much by Sprig , the most open-minded, loving, gentle man in the world, little Sprout and now someone new! on begins with .
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:31 PM
 
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A piece of advice given to me by a wonderful midwife was to eat less fruit. When wanting fruit, eat vegetables. And when eating fruit, only eat those that grow in the area I am from. Being from Canada this excludes citrus, melons, etc. Lots of berries, apples, pears...

I was advised of the above after baby #4. My first was 7lbs 8oz (winter baby), then 9lbs 4.5oz (summer), then 8lbs 13oz (winter). Now one could think I grow winter babies smaller, but then my next was 10lbs 3oz (winter), finally baby #5 was 8lbs 13oz (summer), whether this was why (or a part of why) I am not certain.

Good luck!
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wombjuice View Post
What stands out to me in your post is that you said you had a difficult time "pushing them out".
Were you coached on how to push, when, how hard, for how long, etc? This is something to consider. I'm a big fan of "breathing the baby out" and not "pushing". Allowing your body to bring the baby down on its own is very different than consciously pushing.
I had the same thought , was it directed pushing or reclining or on her back with her knees held back.

Only she can tell us for sure, And if that was what happened, it's a remarkably easy fix without making smaller baby. You Change the place you gave birth to one that allows you to push in any position you want and with everyone's mouth shut without directing you how and when to push!
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:13 PM
 
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:22 PM
 
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have a baby with a different man- to change the genetic chances- the studies even for GD babies - moms who ate strict diets and had supplemental insulin the babies were still only about 5 oz in weight different than the uncontrolled moms--I think that most of the studies now say that regulated diets aren't so much for limiting size as they are for supporting healthy eating habits... and postpartum blood sugar regulation for the newborn
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:33 PM
 
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Ive heard that prenatal vitamins can increase a baby's weight by as much as a pound. Which, if you live in Africa and dont have access to healthy food this is a good thing, but in the US where our food uber saturated with vitamins anyway it might be over kill.

I am taking folic acid and iron in the 3rd trimester, but nothing else. My first was 9#5oz and i am 35 weeks right now. We'll see...(although my midwife thinks this one is already a "good size")
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:59 PM
 
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One thing I wanted to point out is that having a baby of a lower weight would not necessarily make a smaller baby. For instance my first was 7 lbs, had a 13 inch head and was 21 inches long. My 3rd was 9 lbs had a 13 inch head and was 20.5 inches long. I've also had a 8 lb 3 oz baby with a 14.5 inch head.

My guess is that for you having big babies is genetic.

Expecting #9.  Always busy hsing.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:07 PM
 
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excellent point Full Heart-- my own "smallest" baby was 9 lbs and she was by far the shorter baby and her head , shoulder and chest measures were the same as her 2 older sibs -- for the longest time I thought that she was smaller because I did not eat any simple sugars including juices, only whole grains - took tons of vitamins, and had lots of exercise daily---
well 4 years later with the same diet and tons of exercise walking extra miles every day I had a 12 lb baby( I think I didn't have the money for many vitamins this time though)
be aware of the position you give birth in - probably off your bottom- hands and knees or squatting can make a difference in the fit-
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:10 AM
 
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You could take up smoking.

JUST KIDDING! Though, I did have a patient once, who stated she "was glad that she smoked though out her pregnancy because her baby would have been really big if she hadn't".:

I can't think of a safe way to keep a baby small.

Good luck with your pregnancy and delivery!
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:15 AM
 
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Don't do the Bradley diet.

Alyssa
Mama to Scott (USAF), Katie (18), Karlie (16), Kimmy (9), Klara (4.5), and Baby Khloe (2.5)
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:20 AM
 
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my smallest was 8lbs 10 oz - at 37 weeks! I just make big babies. I tried everything. gaining more, gaining less, and eating less/more protien. when all is said and done i make big babies. (I was only 6 lbs! how I envy my mother!)

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

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Old 05-19-2009, 03:09 AM
 
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Don't do the Bradley diet.
hmmm...Bradley diet here and babes were in acsending order 2-10, 3-5, 5-7, 6-7, 7-11, 8-14. Not making them big for me.
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies for you help. It could be genetic, my husbands side had 8-10# babies but my mom had 6-8# babies. I wouldn't want to starve my baby for sure--I do eat a lot anyways because I have a high metabolize. I was just hoping there might be some trick someone had. I'm going to try to stay away from the chocolate more and maybe decrease the fruits as brandyberh suggested. But I'm not willing to hurt this baby by drinking or smoking.

My pushing situation with my first was very difficult because of the hospital. I also I wasn't able to feel the the pushing--not because of drugs but because of exhaustion. So I know I probably wasn't pushing right and I was on my back--again because I was so tired I could even argue to get in another position--but I just kept pushing when they said to. So I ended up with a lot of muscle damage in that area--it took about 4 months before I could walk around the block or hold my baby standing up for more than 10 mins.

The second came out a lot easier in the water--I was squatting. But it was still hard to recover. I guess I was hoping maybe a smaller baby would slip out easier.

Kristimomof4--were you saying chromium would make the baby smaller or the pushing easier? I'm definitely interested either way.
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:55 AM
 
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I've had two babies, and with my second I was really concerned about his weight. My two weighed 11 lb, 14 oz, and 9 lb, 7 oz. I was really happy with that second one's weight, as it was over 2 pounds smaller! I had c-sections with both (for different reasons), but pregnancy was definitely better with a smaller baby.

The things I did: exercise in the first trimester. I read some things that said that exercise in the first trimester could make a difference in the way the baby puts on weight on. It worked for me.

Less protein. With my first, I had BP issues, so I did lots and lots of protein. And had a big ole' boy. The second time, I just ate normal amounts of protein.

Less sugar. With my first, I didn't restrict this very much. With my second, I only ate very sugary things once or twice a week. With my third, maybe I"ll do better than that and have a 7 pounder.

I don't feel like I did anything crazy to have a small baby, but I was really, really pleased with only having a 9 1/2 pounder. It made a big difference to me. I'll definitely try next time to have a smallish baby. I love that 12 pounder, but the last month of pregnancy was really hard.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:27 PM
 
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I feel your pain! DS1 was 9 pounds 4oz at 39w0d and DS2 was 9 pounds 12oz at 40w4d. It took me a while to reconcile having another baby who may be almost 10 pounds. When I got pregnant, I was resolved to watch my sugar intake (although I've never had GD) and eat well, but not the 80-100g of protein Brewer diet. Stuff happened, though, and I ate more sugar than I wanted and didn't watch my protein intake a whole lot, but I only gained 20 pounds as opposed to the normal 45 pounds (I start out my pregnancies considerably heavier than you do, though). I ended up with a 37 week induction for medical reasons and had a 7 pound 6oz baby. Do I suggest induction? No, but it did result in a smaller baby for me. However, a baby that size at 37 weeks is probably on track to be upper 8 or lower 9 pounds at term.

Long story short, I don't really think there's anything you can do to have smaller babies short of forcing them out early, which I think carries more risk than having a big baby at term, KWIM?

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:16 AM
 
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i agree with much of what has already been said. seems like you have nice, healthy 9 lb. babies. nothing wrong with that! and you can do it! i would suggest that you consider making a plan to meet with a physical therapist now and soon postpartum. they should be able to suggest some toning exercises and stuff for after. i had a client whose 1st baby was 10lb6oz and she did separate her pubic bone- which is really, really painful. she was very nervous in the second pregnancy and experienced pain. she worked with a PT and she had mentioned that she would have been in better shape if he had seen the PT right away, rather than later pp. anyway, this client was very scared in the 2nd birth about pushing. we used a variety of nice positions- not on back- and had a birth stool that reclined, which was very comfortable for her. she actually smiled and laughed through her pushing stage as it felt really GOOD to push her baby out. she went to PT and felt great after. it did help that the 2nd baby was 2 lbs smaller, but born earlier.
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:18 AM
 
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oh, i should add that this client learned a lot about diet and eating well between these pregnancies. she and her husband really changed their life with diet changes! which was cool to see. so i think that was a big factor as well in the smaller baby the second time..
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:40 AM
 
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I agree with all the others...I am not a BP but I had 2 8lbers. both girls and I am a big believer in genetics playing a huge role in birth weight.

With dd1 I gained 38lbs....with dd2 I gained 57lbs. we were all betting on a 9lber... they both weighed in within 4 oz. of each other (although dd2 was a bit early)....

Then along comes ds gained 53lbs. (but on a much better diet than dd2) I got HUGE but based on my dd's and m/w's guesstimate (what she called it when i asked her to see if she could tell) we were expecting another little 8 1/2lber...*maybe* 9lbs... well he was 10+lbs.!

My mom had 10lber boys and my aunt also had close to 10lb boys....so for me I think it completely genetics....

It sounds like it could be for you too....you could safely try to really watch your diet but more than likely I would bet that it wouldn't make too much of a difference.
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