Does Having a Big Baby Impact Labor? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 07-01-2010, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm 11 days overdue, which I know is not the end of the world, but I'm starting to get a "motherly instinct" that something may be amiss in the womb. I have absolutely no evidence of this, I went for an ultrasound on Monday to check for fluid levels which were totally normal and had an hour long NST on Monday which went perfectly. Everything is fine, except I'm not in labor, nor am I dilated, or even having crampiness. I have some BH-type contractions, but nothing painful or "cervical" feeling.

My doctor is pretty sure I'm having a decent-sized baby and I have all the risk factors to grow one, so I'm pretty sure she's right. She doesn't really care that I'm having a big baby, it's not like she's suggesting that I have a c-section tomorrow and she certainly didn't suggest I induce early, though if I don't go into labor by Saturday night, she's going to start some induction procedures at that point.

I've started to wonder if the fact that my baby is larger is impacting his ability to get into the pelvis and engage and start labor. I just have this sense that my baby WANTS to be born, but can't seem to get in the right position. Again, I have no proof of this, but I was wondering if there was any correlation between baby size and having trouble starting/sustaining labor.

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#2 of 18 Old 07-01-2010, 01:33 AM
 
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This doesn't directly answer your question, but have you gone to the chiropractor at all during your pregnancy? That can aid a great deal in positioning. I am in Seattle, and have a chiro I plan to go to for my next pregnancy who came highly recommended by a doula. This chiro is certified in webster, which is what you want, and they are just north of Seattle around NE 65th and Roosevelt.

I would say, regardless of SIZE, the position of a big or a small baby CAN keep labor from starting, and keep it from progressing well once it does start. I don't think the size has much to do with it - I think it depends on the woman and the baby and all the other details, which can include size but is not limited to or dictated by size.

Have you tried mapping your belly to determine the baby's position? www.spinningbabies.com has a tutorial for doing that, and it also has great information for encouraging a good position of your LO.

HTH!

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#3 of 18 Old 07-01-2010, 01:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, baby is in a good position. He switches from LOA to ROA. It's the fact that he doesn't seem to be engaged into the pelvis that worries me. Also, I haven't had any sort of crampiness which seems to me that he's not really putting pressure on my cervix. I don't know why, but I get a sense he can't get into the pelvis, even though he's in the right position.

I haven't had chiro care, I'm a little nervous about it to be honest.

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#4 of 18 Old 07-01-2010, 01:55 AM
 
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What makes you nervous about it? I was pretty skeptical a couple years ago but felt it was important for pregnancy. The adjustments for pregnancy are not the back-cracking type adjustments - the webster movements are light to moderate pressure on your lower back and your uterine ligaments on either side of your belly, if needed. It's amazing how such subtle applications can make a difference. Feel free to pm me if you would like the chiro info. You could even call and talk to them.

ETA: one of the motivations for the uterine ligament adjustment is to loosen those muscles to allow the baby to come down into the pelvis.

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#5 of 18 Old 07-01-2010, 02:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SeattleRain View Post
Oh, baby is in a good position. He switches from LOA to ROA. It's the fact that he doesn't seem to be engaged into the pelvis that worries me. Also, I haven't had any sort of crampiness which seems to me that he's not really putting pressure on my cervix. I don't know why, but I get a sense he can't get into the pelvis, even though he's in the right position.

I haven't had chiro care, I'm a little nervous about it to be honest.
What about head positioning? Does that resonate with you at all? Baby can be ROA o LOA yet acynclitic or some other version of not quite right.
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#6 of 18 Old 07-01-2010, 03:57 AM
 
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is there a possibility that your doctor is wrong about the dates?

Natural prostaglandins and hammock the baby in your belly while on all fours so your baby's spine will be inline with your naval, baby's back to mama's belly is what started labor for me.

I kind of get what your saying. I worried about this with my 10lb 5oz daughter. She was 2.5 weeks late and I had zero pain during labor. I felt weird but positively no pain and I was 9cm. At that time the MW ruptured the membranes which triggered an involuntary precipitous birth - a big no no when you're not fully dilated.

A bigger baby would seem to me more pain. That wasn't the case in my experience.
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#7 of 18 Old 07-01-2010, 06:50 AM
 
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My first didn't engage until a few days before labour - i had her at 41+4. I also had no crampiness and no show and was only 2-3cm dilated and 50% effaced 4 hours before she was born, after 12 hours of contractions. All of these can mean something or they can mean nothing.
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#8 of 18 Old 07-01-2010, 07:05 AM
 
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In my case a big (10lbs) and badly positioned baby (head cocked, we've been treating him for torticollis since birth) definitely negatively impacted labor. That, and his cord placement prevented him from engaging in my pelvis.

Listen to your instincts. I had a feeling my 2nd birth wasn't going to be a beautiful, natural one. I also thought my baby was going to die. Luckily we both made it, but it was a scary birth.
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#9 of 18 Old 07-01-2010, 07:16 AM
 
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If the baby's body were larger I'd think it would encourage engagement, if it impacted it at all, since gravity would pull down ... but a larger baby doesn't necessarily have an enormous head.

I read that some women engage and go into labor all at the same time - every woman is different.

I'm not one for chiropractors either but I saw an osteopath instead, who does a different kind of manipulation. My little one didn't engage in my pelvis well until I had some work done on my pelvis. The baby was completely fine but there was a complete lack of coordinated movement in the bones and ligaments of my pelvis.
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#10 of 18 Old 07-01-2010, 09:44 AM
 
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My 11 lber had trouble engaging, until I got into a swimming pool and essentially floated on hands and knees. Then he pulled up, shifted and engaged way more deeply. He was born about 36 hours later.

And I would absolutely trust your instincts. Do you feel like you need to be induced?

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#11 of 18 Old 07-01-2010, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fruitful womb View Post
is there a possibility that your doctor is wrong about the dates?

Natural prostaglandins and hammock the baby in your belly while on all fours so your baby's spine will be inline with your naval, baby's back to mama's belly is what started labor for me.

I kind of get what your saying. I worried about this with my 10lb 5oz daughter. She was 2.5 weeks late and I had zero pain during labor. I felt weird but positively no pain and I was 9cm. At that time the MW ruptured the membranes which triggered an involuntary precipitous birth - a big no no when you're not fully dilated.

A bigger baby would seem to me more pain. That wasn't the case in my experience.
No, my dates are correct. They are based on charting, not my LMP. I'm very confident in the fact that he is indeed late.
Quote:
Originally Posted by loveneverfails View Post
My 11 lber had trouble engaging, until I got into a swimming pool and essentially floated on hands and knees. Then he pulled up, shifted and engaged way more deeply. He was born about 36 hours later.

And I would absolutely trust your instincts. Do you feel like you need to be induced?
Hmmm, I tried the swimming pool thing last week (really just so I could have an hour where I didn't feel like a lumbering sea creature ) and obviously I'm still pregnant, but I could give it another shot.

Here's where I'm at right now about induction: I told myself that no matter how bad I felt, as long as the baby was fine (which he is, as confirmed by the ultrasound and the NST's) I would wait until the maximum time my OB would let me wait, which is 15 days after my EDD. That date will be Saturday night, for a pitocin induction on Sunday (they start with cervical ripeners through the night and if that doesn't start you into labor they move to pit). I feel good about that, like I've given baby all I've got. I do feel like ultimately, however, I may need a c-section given how low my Bishop's score is right now and the combined issue of my giant baby. I feel like the cards are a little stacked against me so I'm readying myself for that possibility so that I'm not totally shocked when it comes to be.

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#12 of 18 Old 07-01-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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My biggest babe was only 10 lbs, but her size didn't impact my labor (it was quick and easy).

DS2 was my next-to-smallest babe at 9 lb 8 oz, and also my longest pregnancy. He was ROA but I still just felt like something was a bit off with his positioning, it felt like his head was cocked to one side a bit and wedged into the right side of my pelvis. One night I arranged an appointment with a local chiropractor for the next morning and then did some lunges with my right foot on a chair before bed. He seemed to shift positions a bit and then was born in a whirlwind fast labor early the next morning.

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#13 of 18 Old 07-01-2010, 02:45 PM
 
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Have you tried some natural induction methods? My sister was at almost 42 weeks with her second, and she did a lot of walking and used cohosh from her midwife to help get things going. (I used cohosh for my DD too, at 11 days past EDD, and she was born within 12 hours.) I think my sister was also seeing a good chiropractor around that time. The labor was totally natural and she describes it as painless, and the baby turned out to be 11 lbs 9 oz.

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#14 of 18 Old 07-01-2010, 03:12 PM
 
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I feel pretty sure fetal position can affect things. Size, I am not so certain about.
My 10-pounder, born at 43 weeks, was my shortest and easiest labour. Eight hours total, and he came out in three pushes. Fortunately, I had a doctor who did not insist on induction. In theory, I had "trouble starting labour" because my pregnancies tend to last 43-44 weeks. Left to myself, my labours started just fine - eventually.

I have seen no more pain or difficulty with doula clients who had large babies over those who had small ones, regardless of dates - if they went into labour spontaneously. Induction would make things more difficult, but if the baby was large, I think the difficulty would have been attributed to the baby's size, not the induction. If a baby is born large, any problems with the labour are usually attributed to the big baby. If the difficult labour produces a small baby, no such connection is made. (A friend had a terrible labour, and the doctor said it was because the baby was so large. He was 6 lb 12 oz.)
I am not sure how much actual connection there is between big babies and hard or problematic births. There must be some data on it, but it would have to omit certain factors, like suspected big/late babies more often being induced. I suspect the problems are overstated.
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#15 of 18 Old 07-01-2010, 03:19 PM
 
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My first baby was 10 lbs, born at a full 42 weeks, and with a fast, simple labor. My very first CX was at 3AM, got serious after 7AM, water broke 9:20, born at 9:47AM. Her hand came out beside her head.

I would be pretty resistant to induction with no indications of there being any problem. "Late" can be 100% normal for this birth, for you, for this baby.

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#16 of 18 Old 07-01-2010, 10:36 PM
 
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I think it has to do more with positioning than size of the baby. Although I will have to say that pushing out my 10lber was WAY more painful than my first 2 dc who were 8lbers. But that could also be due to his head size....Big baby doesn't always equal big head. The day before I went into labor with my 10lber I decided to have my m/w check and see what was going on because I was truly miserable and she found my cervix to be totally closed but it was *starting* to soften. So I decided on my own to go for a massage and she did some reflexology on my feet and I went into labor 2 hrs later and he was born 6-7 hrs. after that at exactly 41 weeks.

I was also seeing a chiro during the last few weeks of that pregnancy and like the others said they don't do adjustments the same, it's much gentler....but I am guess I am more open to going to a chiro since I have been going to one since I was 5 yrs. old.
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#17 of 18 Old 07-02-2010, 08:17 AM
 
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My biggest baby was far from *huge*. 9lb2oz, with a fractured collar bone. Still, her labor AND delivery were very much equivalent to the l&d of all 3 of my other babies (7lb9oz to 8lb10oz, none with fractured collar bones!). My recoveries were pretty similar, too, from completely intact to 3rd degree tear.

FWIW, my 9lb2oz'er was born at 41 weeks, while my 42-weeker was 7lb15oz. My 40-weekers were 7lb9oz and 8lb10oz.

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#18 of 18 Old 07-03-2010, 12:30 AM
 
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How are things going?

Alicia, wife to an loving and faithful DH, and mama to three fantastic though nutty children (cs, then an HBAC, then a VBAC!!).
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