Potential problem with my midwife re: baby's size - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 01-26-2004, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
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So I just had my standard 31 week appointment today and my midwife said some things about the size of babies that has me worried.

She did mention that she had very recently attended a delivery of a "big" (although I thought she said 9.5 pound range) baby who wouldn't come out after hours of pushing and had to be delivered by c-section. So maybe this is just on her mind.

But. She measured the height of my fundus (I didn't ask for the specific numbers) and then asked how big dd was. 8 pounds, one ounce. She said, "Well, we'll hope this baby doesn't get much bigger than that." She went on to describe various difficult deliveries of big babies (10, 11 pounds.)

I said, several times, that I have every confidence I can deliver a big baby. Dh is 6'4", 220, and I am 5'5, about 145 when not pregnant. She referred to me as "tiny" which made me laugh a little. FWIW, this baby is a boy, and I wouldn't at all be surprised to have him be nine pounds or more - dd is very tall, boys and second babies are bigger, etc. None of this scares me. I told her that.

She said when they have reason to believe the baby is really big they offer mothers the option of c-section. I said I would not choose that option.


I don't want to change providers - she has otherwise given me really good care, and I'm comfortable with her. However, I do NOT want a c-section because a nine pound baby is "too big!"

In my favor: great dh who will advocate for me. He wasn't there today but will come next time, and was emphatic that he would stand up for me and that our c-section criteria would be "is the baby in immediate danger." Great doula whom I really like. Proven pelvis. Educated self.

Midwife did say today, "As I tell you every time, I think this delivery is going to go great." Which she DOES say every time.

Any suggestions about how to open this conversation again in two weeks? I want to make sure we're on the same page and that she doesn't sell me out as having too big a baby when that's not the case. I do not believe that I will have trouble delivering this baby based on size! I want her to have confidence in me too.


Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

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#2 of 10 Old 01-26-2004, 08:58 PM
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I feel for you... I'm sensitive to this, because I don't want it said to *me* at the end, too.

I always keep my mom in mind... She is 5'4" and was slender before she had me... I was 10 lbs, 2 oz and had broad shoulders. It wasn't a cakewalk, but she did just fine birthing me.

I'm sure you'll do fine, too. (Please keep telling yourself that, too.)
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#3 of 10 Old 01-26-2004, 09:12 PM
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a coiuple of punds of fat here and there doesn't make any difference. Broad shoulders and big heads do but they could just as easily be attatched to %3 baby as a 15# baby.

Is fundal height the on;ly indicator that your baby is big? that is a crock of poo if do. With my first my fundal height reached 46cm (12cm above where I should have been) and ss came out a whopping 5 1/2#s and so skinny that all you could really see was her head./ they too were concerned about how big she was (the guy doing the ultra sound predicted 6#6 a week before she came) but for other reasons.

i would stay confident and reselute and let your midwife know that in no uncertain terms that you will not be getting a c-sec based onlyon the fact that she thinks the baby might be bigger than average. Also, you may want to ask her what she would should there be a problem with a big head or shoulder dystocia or failure to progress and what are her definitions for those things. You may want to have some articles from midwives journals that outline how such things should be handled if she doesn't have sufficient answers. But perhaps she just needs to be reminded of her competence. Midwives are people too and sometimes in the wake of a difficult delivery their confidence can be shaken.

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#4 of 10 Old 01-26-2004, 09:30 PM
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Well, I'd just talk to HER.

I'd tell her that her comments worried me and that I want to avoid a C Sec at all costs and that I was prepared to birth a 10 lb baby.

And see what she says...

good luck
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#5 of 10 Old 01-26-2004, 09:47 PM
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My gram was 5 ft 5 and 115 pounds as an adult and had 8 kids, all on the farm, my uncle was the heaviest at 12 pounds and some ounces - all vag and no drugs no problems

my mom had us all vag, minimal interventions, she talks about when my lil bro was born - he was an 11 pounder and she sat in the hall on a gurney waiting for the doctor, gave up and psuhed him out. no probs she is 5ft 6 inches and usually weighed about 120

I had big boys - all at least 8 pounds 12 ounces, Sam was a 10 pounder and was 23 1/2 inches long and was turned the wrong way- so there was a lot of manipulating his postion (by everyone LOL) , I pushed him out while on all fours, I normally weigh 125 pounds and am very very small boned - I wear size 6 petite slacks. The boys were all born vag with short labors.

so from my POV - I encourage you to stay confident - you had a 8 pound baby so you know how it goes, it is not like their heads are two pounds bigger and giagantically enormous to push out - the weight is spread all over the baby.

take care
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#6 of 10 Old 01-26-2004, 10:42 PM
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Her comment would worry me too, if only because it is just not a good thing to have someone at your birth who has these fears, especially when they are totally unfounded.
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#7 of 10 Old 01-26-2004, 10:53 PM
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Originally posted by blueviolet
Her comment would worry me too, if only because it is just not a good thing to have someone at your birth who has these fears, especially when they are totally unfounded.
I agree.

My mw keeps her possibly negative thought to herself as to not make me or any other birthing mom dought(sp!!!) myself and my ability to push that baby out. My mw will however if a mother does not really seem into wanting/desiring hb and if she herself thinks there could be problems encourage the mom to go to a hospital.

A positive frame of mind really does conquer a lot of potential problems.
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#8 of 10 Old 01-27-2004, 09:49 AM
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The comment would bother me too. I really do believe that in MOST cases (with the exceptions of say, a pelvic deformity or a fetal anomaly) that women don't grow babies they can't deliver. I don't consider your stature tiny, and have known LOTS of other women smaller than you with large husbands who have had large babies. I would put the fear to rest in my own brain and tell your MW that you have complete confidence, and that you don't need to hear her comments about baby size (if she makes another one).

I go to a midwifery practice where there are 7 midwives. My first prenatal appt. for this pregnancy was done by the director of the birth center, and she no longer does deliveries, thank goodness. We talked about my first birth, what went well, what didn't, what I wanted for a second birth. She remarked that I had a 5 hour labor and a 10 lb baby -- pretty fast for a baby that big. There were no complications with the delivery at all -- I had a tiny tear, nothing else. However, she still felt compelled to say that I should try to keep from having another 10 lb baby by modifying my diet (which is already very good -- I don't eat junk). I also didn't even have borderline gestational diabetes -- in fact, I have issues with low blood sugar.

I don't know what compelled her to tell this to me, but it bothered me. I'm glad I won't be seeing her regularly, and have no doubts about my ability to give birth to another big baby.
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#9 of 10 Old 01-27-2004, 06:15 PM
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was this a midwife, or a nurse-midwife? because i think the two are different creatures...

if the former, then you're probably right about her having it on her mind due to the previous birth. but the latter, well, she'll be seeing this sort of thing all the time.

i would ask her what her c/s rate is. if it's more than 10%, i'd start looking for a new provider...

just my 2 cents...

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#10 of 10 Old 01-27-2004, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I agree with what people are saying.

A. I can so do this - not a question in my mind. I just read the new Ina Mae Gaskin book and what she said about this stuck with me: you will get big, bigger than the baby.

and B. I really need to clarify her position on this before the delivery!

She has been on the whole very in tune with what we want. My first delivery, although vaginal, was not what we had hoped for - largely, I think, because dd was posterior and I vomited regularly for sixteen hours. So it was a long delivery (25 hours of active labor) that wore me out. My mw has been very consistent in her belief that this labor will be different and easier and things will go well.

I think I'll talk to my doula about how best to couch the conversation, and dh and I will talk, and I'll bring it up at our next appointment. I'm not going to consent to any late ultrasounds to determine the size of the baby, either!

I'm not sure where else I could go at this point. I guess I'll do some thinking about that.

Thanks for the encouragement!!

Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

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