What Makes a Baby Big In Utero? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 05:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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...carbs or protein?
i was lurking here on MDC and someone says its the carbs, someone says it is the protein (Brewer), even if you limit the sugar intake.
so, what is the truth, both?
looking for opinions, wise mamas!

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#2 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 06:18 AM
 
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My midwife told me excess sugars. Gestational diabetes puts a strain on the baby's kidneys and can cause them to develop excess body fat. So I was told, at any rate
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#3 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 07:24 AM
 
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but if you dont have GD what contributes to a big baby.

My last one was 10lbs4oz and i did nothing different then with my last 4 (which were 7,12 to 8,14)

They keep getting bigger too which worries me. Will this one top 11lbs??
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#4 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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but if you dont have GD what contributes to a big baby.

My last one was 10lbs4oz and i did nothing different then with my last 4 (which were 7,12 to 8,14)

They keep getting bigger too which worries me. Will this one top 11lbs??

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#5 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 09:04 AM
 
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My midwife also told me to stay away from sugars because the thought this baby was going to be big. I do not have GD, so I'm certain it has nothing to do with that. I later told another midwife in my group that I was nervous about the size of the baby, and she also said that if I wanted to minimize it's weight (relatively speaking) I should limit my sugar intake, because excess sugars will cause the baby to put on more fat.
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#6 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 01:01 PM
 
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It's wise in pregnancy and when not-pregnant to eat a diet that has minimal refined sugars, white flour, and processed oils (hydrogenated for example). Avoid labels like: low fat, no fat, low carb, and anything with fake sugar in it. This isn't the time for processed foods. Saturated fat is proven to be essential for brain developement...so take the "home-made" route. There is no sense in attempting to influence the size of your baby via diet unless the size is contributed to excess christmas cookies and processed snacks. It's not the sugar from an apple-a-day or a tsp of honey in your tea that provokes GDB or big babies.

Here's my rule of thumb...if you saw a commercial for it, it likely isn't nutritious food. The almond, milk, or egg industries aren't spending mega bucks to promote their produce.
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#7 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 02:16 PM
 
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I quite honestly thought that it was primarily genetics and not nutrition, that decided the size of your baby. Of course, extreme consumption, either way too low or way too much food, can cause fluctuations. But as an average eater, I thought you couldn't really control how big your baby was.

Shannon, mum to ds1 (8/03), ds2 (6/05), dd (5/07), and ds3 (7/09)
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#8 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 02:20 PM
 
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Genetics does play the biggest role, you're definitely right about that.
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#9 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 02:42 PM
 
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I was going to say I thought it was genetics.

My dd was 5lbs 9ounces and I was 5lbs 6ounces, my ds was 7lbs 7ounces and my dh was 7lbs 8ounces...

Jillian wife to Ryan and mommy to Janelle Ashlynn (9/09/2002), Kincaid Chance (3/29/2004), Travis Neil (8/13/2007) and River Anderson (5/02/2009).
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#10 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 03:06 PM
 
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If genetics were really the issue I woud've had a small baby...LOL

The biggest baby back 3 generations on DH's family (his cousin just did a HUGE geneology) is 7lbs 2oz.

The biggest baby back at least 3 generation on my side is 6lbs 9oz.

DD was 8lbs 15.2oz....

I lost 20 lbs by my second trimester bc I was so sick and gained back 15 of them by the end. I did not have GD..just grew a big girl...

I have a theory that the shorter you are, the bigger your baby..ALl my friends who are 5'3/5'4 and under have babies who are 8lbs or bigger. All my friends who are 5'7 and taller have teeny babies (5lbers).....

At least, that's my theory...I would like my next one to not be quite as big.....but can't control that.
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#11 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 03:35 PM
 
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Blood flow has alot to do with it too.
High blood pressure usually causes restrictions. Also why smoking causes small babies sometimes too.
I think it is a combo of all 3. Genetics, blood flow and diet.
If you dont eat, I assume the baby wont grow to well either. If you overeat things like sugar etc. I assume the baby would be biggger.
Just my 2cents!
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#12 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 03:38 PM
 
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I've also heard that if you eat a lot of non-organic dairy, your baby can grow to be larger due to the hormones, etc. that they give the animals.

Happily parenting our snuggly wild child since 2007 and her little brother since 2011!

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#13 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 05:08 PM
 
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I've also heard that if you eat a lot of non-organic dairy, your baby can grow to be larger due to the hormones, etc. that they give the animals.
That whole statement just grosses me out

Shannon, mum to ds1 (8/03), ds2 (6/05), dd (5/07), and ds3 (7/09)
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#14 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 05:16 PM
 
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I think the reason really varies. My friend Jess has the biggest babies--first two were over 10 pounds, and the last was over 11. Her diet is really healthy--she has not had unorganic milk in over a decade--so it is most certainly not the hormones in milk! For her it is part genetics...her mom and grandmother had huge babies too. She is really tall (so there goes the short theory!) and comes from what she calls "amazon German stock". She hardly eats sugar at all (puts me to shame!) and watches her diet all the time.

One midwife told her the reason was a combination of genetics and also "big uterus, big baby"--even if you are a short woman, if you have a larger sized uterus, then tends to fill it. Jess thinks her uterus is the size of Lake Tahoe!
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#15 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 06:37 PM
 
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How do you know if you have a big uterus? Anyway my midwife says she is ABSOLUTELY convinced that carbs, (refined and surgars) are the culprit for bigger babies. I beileve her, I am petite and had an 8# 2oz boy, I also CRAVED sugar and ate it a lot while pregnant: Anyway this time around I am really going to be careful, and not give in if I can help it!

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The fruit of the spirit is: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,goodness, gentleness and self control.:
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#16 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 06:59 PM
 
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I think it's a split, just as adult size: genetics and diet.

Both my DH and I come from "breeding stock" (as we call it); the women have short, easy labors, and the babies are all healthy.

Our families also tend to have bigger babes. He was 11 lbs, I was 10. My sister was over 10 lbs.

So, I wasn't too shocked when I delivered a 9 lber. I also (mostly) abstained from sugar and carbs while pregnant with her. All I craved was fruit and veggies and turkey.
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#17 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 07:57 PM
 
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REFINED carbs and sugars. So whole wheat is fine.
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#18 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 07:59 PM
 
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I've also heard carbs add weight.

Mamma to 3! nurslings Emma (4) Daniel (3) and our new baby Beth! 10/10/09
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#19 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 08:45 PM
 
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This is just anecdotal, but in my family has a story that points to genetics making the biggest difference. My sister's first baby was 11lb. 12 oz. No kidding and she had a vaginal birth though she did struggle with shoulder dystocia. Her husband cheated and left her for the other woman who also became pregnant and had a BIG baby. The two girls (same dad, different moms) are about 1 year apart in age and look like identical twins. My sister later remarried and (on the same basic diet/lifestyle) had two 7 pound babies with her second husband.
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#20 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 08:49 PM
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I was just asking my husband that question last night.

I saw a rerun of "ER" yesterday in which the mom died during a birthing disaster that included shoulder dystocia because the babe was too big for vaginal birth...so, of course it made my mind start racing.

Thanks for asking!
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#21 of 27 Old 12-29-2006, 09:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SheSpeeds View Post
Here's my rule of thumb...if you saw a commercial for it, it likely isn't nutritious food. The almond, milk, or egg industries aren't spending mega bucks to promote their produce.
Actually, I see commercials for those. The Incredible Edible Egg campaign practically owned the Today show last time I watched (admittedly, some time ago). Dairy did their big push a while back (when I was a kid) with the "Real" milk logo, and before that the introduction of the "4 basic food groups" was commonly pinned on the dairy industry. And the Diamond brand almonds advertise as much as most companies their size. But I see your point. If the food is basically a food and not a "product", then you are better off.

To answer the question, if you aren't experiencing GD, then your baby's size will probably be almost beyond your control, unless you do something unhealthy, like smoking. I would suspect carbs (at least the simpler ones) more so than proteins because carbs are converted to sugar by the body. Very refined carbs like white bread are basically already sugar by the time you swallow, because of contact with saliva--whole grains take much more work for your body to break down and it happens later in the stomach, which is much healthier. Protein is necessary for muscle growth, including your baby's muscles and the growth of your uterus. I certainly wouldn't skimp on protein while pregnant. And instead of limiting carbs, I'd just try to focus on whole grains and vegetables.
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#22 of 27 Old 12-30-2006, 06:01 PM
 
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Genetics does play its part, but where it doesn't, diet and physical activity levels could have a defining role to play. Our diet today is richer in empty calories plus there is a tendency to eat more of processed/modified food products. Generally, we are less active than were our counterparts from around the turn of the last century.Think of just the effort involved in daily household work w/o all the modern appliances we take for granted.

Curiously though, even up until the late 50's women were more, ahem, solidly built than what they are now. Think of popular actresses such as Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, etc. Whereas, these days the ideal of 'womanliness' is completely skewed. Women like model Gisele Bunchen, or actress Angelina Jolie- long, lean bodies but VERY full bust and bottom. They just happen to be genetically blessed, but using them and similiar women as body ideals is just a media-driven hype, which unfortunately, a lot of women are buying in to. Women were not created solely for the pleasure of the male gaze. :
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#23 of 27 Old 12-30-2006, 06:21 PM
 
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In my husband's mother's side of the family, the babies have been huge and the people are tall. My babies, though large, were not the largest babies in my husband's side of the family!!! My daughters weighed 11 pounds exactly and 12 pounds, 8 ounces. I love seeing babies when they are two or three months old so that I can guage how big my daughters were.

I did not have gestational diabetes for either pregnancy. I took the screen for the first pregnancy. However, because of my history with large babies, the OB ordered the full tests for my second pregnancy and confirmed that I did not have GD. Because of my interest in controlling the baby's size, I ate a modified GD diet for the first 37 weeks of my second pregnancy. (a few sonic limeades when nausea was bad, but mostly very low sugar)

My first baby was 11 pounds. I had severe hyperemesis to the point of vomiting until my throat bled. The hyperemesis lasted from 7 weeks in pregnancy and I was even vomiting during labor! I gained only 25 pounds in that pregnancy and lost the weight within a few short weeks without doing anything special. I did drink Sonic limeades and eat grits, so this would support the carbs theory; however, because of the hyperemesis I didn't eat much grits or limeade.

My second baby weighed 12 lbs, 8 oz. Again, I had hyperemesis (but not severe, just vomiting a few times a week with a lot of nausea) from 7 weeks on. I gained more weight (I'm guessing 35-40)but still have not lost that weight. This was the pregnancy where I ate the modified GD diet, having limeades occasionally when the vomiting got bad but staying low sugar and walking and swimmming as much as possible to try to control my baby's size.

I stopped following GD after 37 weeks when the u/s showed that the baby already weighed over 11 pounds... the specialist who did the u/s (not a regular OB, I forget what they are called) said she was probably significantly bigger, but their charts did not go high enough to make an accurate estimate with my baby's measurements.

Since my OB refused a natural birth and insisted on a cesarean if it appeared the baby was giong to be that big (and since I was looking for excuses to eat whatever I wanted) I gave up on the GD diet and ate whatever I wanted the last 3 weeks. So those last weeks of eating freely might have contributed to the baby's size. Plus, I didn't walk as much the last 3 weeks because of the foregoing excuse, plus, it was hot, I was humongous, and I just really didn't feel like walking.

So -- in conclusion: I think that genetics really do play a big role.
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#24 of 27 Old 12-30-2006, 06:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by clavicula View Post
...carbs or protein?
i was lurking here on MDC and someone says its the carbs, someone says it is the protein (Brewer), even if you limit the sugar intake.
so, what is the truth, both?
looking for opinions, wise mamas!
Why do you ask? Are you trying to influence your baby's birthweight?

Anyway, I think genetics is the leading factor, then medical problems with the placenta or GD. Nutritionally, I think it is carbs that make the baby grow more.

Tis the season, for hot apple cider!
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#25 of 27 Old 01-02-2007, 05:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Why do you ask? Are you trying to influence your baby's birthweight?
Are you serious? : No,i am not planning to influence anything, it was just a question, can you imagine that?

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#26 of 27 Old 01-02-2007, 06:03 AM
 
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probably not so simple to answer-
genetics, and if mom has some sort of metabolic alteration - lack or abundance of food/in relation to energy output.

all the diet and insulin things that medical folks have done to prevent or change the size of babies born to mothers with "gestational diabetes" no more than 1-2 oz difference in the babies' size.
health of the placenta- stress, hormonal or chemical internal triggers to baby that change her/his sense of demand-
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#27 of 27 Old 01-02-2007, 04:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by inezyv View Post
My babies, though large, were not the largest babies in my husband's side of the family!!! My daughters weighed 11 pounds exactly and 12 pounds, 8 ounces. I love seeing babies when they are two or three months old so that I can guage how big my daughters were.
Wow. That's all I can say. Wow :

Shannon, mum to ds1 (8/03), ds2 (6/05), dd (5/07), and ds3 (7/09)
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