What would be concerns at a homebirth for birthing a smaller baby? I would suppose making sure the house was quite warm would be important... But beyond that, I can't think of what else I need in my mental check-list.
Thanks all. For me, feeling prepared for what-ifs give me great peace of mind. I think that is what I really need. Actually, it has occurred to me that after having two babies before their due dates, this intuition may simply be preparing me to go past my due date if this guy needs to gestate a little longer to be ready.
My smallest was 6 lbs 3 oz. We didn't do anything differently. I would have thought if it was an issue, the midwife would have said something...
Mama to DS (6/07) , DD (6/09) , and DD (07/12) ..
DS was 6 lb. 2 oz. at birth and 5 lb. 10 oz. on day three. As a first time mom it totally stressed me out. I was constantly worried if he was warm enough, eating enough, etc. My HB MW was great though. She had me nursing him every 1.5-2 hours and by day 6 he was over birth weight. He was fine and still is a skinny kid (he's 3.5 yrs. now)--just his build I guess. I went on to have DD who was 8 1/2# at birth and I'll admit, I was relieved. I never worried for a second about her.
Anyway, like I said, I have no actual reasons to believe this guy is small. Just the weird gut feeling. I think I will simply keep "warm house/lots of skin contact" and "frequent feeding" on my small baby what-if list.
Momma to DD (12/04) and DS (11/09) .
I survived 16 mos! Ask me about breastfeeding a baby with posterior tongue tie, high palate, and weak oral motor skills- whew!
You know, when I have those feelings you're describing, I try to listen to them and usually, it proves beneficial. That said, have you had an ultrasound? You might just want to keep an eye on growth, placenta, etc. There could be many reasons, especially since you have two older kids (who has time to eat?) but you might regret later if you ignored a nagging feeling...just my 2 cents.
As long as her lungs were mature, I would not care about her size too much. I would actually be more happy with a small but healthy baby at home than in the hospital where they make a big deal out of it.
If she were having trouble regulating temp I would just Kangaroo Care her... even without trouble regulating temp, we are doing that and she looooooves it!
I labored for 24 hrs, she was born and was 4lbs 13oz, but also totally healthy, no obvious reason for the growth restriction. She had tests, but I refused all interventions, so she would have been fine if we were home.
She did have low blood sugar. They pushed formula, I told them that I would nurse her and they could re-test. This happened every time we nursed for 36 hours, a pre-feed heel stick test. Even as a first time mom, I made enough colostrum to bring her sugars up. However, she was extra sleepy, and I had to be contientious and wake her to nurse, then she would fall asleep nursing, and I would wake her again and nurse more.
Also, I had to do a "carseat challenge" because apparently the tiny ones can have trouble in a carseat. The had her sit in a bucket seat with O2 monitors on her to make sure she kept breathing for 1.5 hours. So, if you do have a tiny one, I wouldn't ride in the car more than about 20 min at a time and I would sit next to babe to keep and eye on her for the first few weeks.
Okay, now some better news. With DD2, at 38 wks, I had gained 13 lbs LESS than with DD1, and my fundal height lagged to 34cm, exactly the measurement that triggered the extra checking that had found DD1's IUGR. I went for an US (terrified I was headed down the same road as DD1's awful induction), and everything looked normal, so went ahead with my plans (like a homebirth, but it is illegal here, so I went across state lines to my MW's house). DD2 was born 7lbs 2oz, and wicked healthy and strong. 2 hours after birth, my Dad was holding her, and she lifted her head to look at him! (only a tiny bit, but still, we were all shocked. )
Thank you for the stories and input.
Pet-mom to Squirt with FLUTD & Maya the deaf wonder dog .
Thank you. I agree and do need that validation. I think I am a little afraid of voicing this to my midwives for fear I will look foolish when he is born a strapping 8 pounds. On the other hand, I just can't shake the thought. I have had u/s's, and both measured the babe a couple days ahead of schedule. My fundus has been behind what it was in my previous pregnancies, and my weight gain has been a little less. I will bring it up to my midwives, I don't know if they can tell by palpating baby if he 'feels' smallish. He certainly is active, and that is good.
At 38 weeks when my DS flipped breech and then back a day later I "knew" it was because he was so tiny and had tons of room.
Well, he was 8lbs and 3 oz! I know that's not "big" but still, not the little 6 pounder I was expecting
My DS had IUGR and was diagnosed at 34 weeks when my fundus hadn't grown at all in between appts (confirmed with US then to measure baby). My CNM took a very conservative approach and didn't ask me to induce until I was 38 wk 6 days at which point my fundus was actually getting smaller (I was going in for bi-weekly NSTs and did constant kick counts). Baby was born at 4 lb 15 oz with a definite "old man" appearance (baggy skin and just so, so thin). He was healthy aside from that, but babies with IUGR ARE at increased risk during labor and for stillbirth because they can be weaker due to being basically starved in the womb (that's why they tend to induce mom as soon as lungs are developed enough for delivery to be pretty safe). Good luck--hopefully your new LO will just be a bit smaller than your others!
- E . Single mom to DS E (15.12.05), T (reincarnated 18.04.08) and DD A (11.02.11) and Hoppy
My mother and sisters all had 7 pound babies or more and gave birth around their due date, with about 12 hour labors, so I was expecting about the same.
What really happened is that I went 10 days past due, was in active labor for 2.5 hours, and gave birth to a 5lb6oz baby (and my conception date was exact). I feel so blessed that I didn't have an ultrasound or hospital based care, because I'm sure if I had they would have induced me when really my small baby just needed more time to cook.
I have been to more than 30 homebirths before and was a little shocked at how skinny he was. He had great apgars 8 and 10. My midwife warned me that sometimes small babies have a harder time nursing, but we had the easiest nursing relationship, and he was a strong nurser right from the start. Even though he was skinny, his length and head circumference were average. He remained in the 5-10 percentile until he was about a year old.
Later I learned that my mother's mother gave birth to 5 pound babies and had the same kind of labor I did, she never knew it was happening until she was pushing. So I assume I just got all of her genes when it comes to making babies.
Julia, mama to Bumpa 2008, and The Mole 2011
And smeep, I know it is all relative, and that some folks just make them smaller. My boys were 7lbs 4oz, and 8lbs 8oz. The first born about a week earlier than the second, so really they were similar in rate of growth. So, for me, a baby who is smaller than my boys would seem small. I am not really concerned with what actual size our baby will be. But if he were to in some way be smaller than *he* needs to be to be a healthy, alert, temperature regulated, ready to learn to nurse kind of guy.
Really though, after voicing these concerns to my midwives recently, and having them pay more special attention to his size while palpating the babe, I feel much more at ease. He's not looking like a large baby, but he does not feel small to their hands, either. I do feel reassured. And, I figure I will either be thankful for my intuition when my baby is born and I am prepared to keep a little guy extra warm and take special care to nurse him well, or I will have a good laugh when he slides out a strapping 8lbs of chub.