Small-framed mama and natural birth? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 03-16-2004, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've heard that small-framed women are less likely to be able to have an intervention free birth without tearing (a lot). I would really like to hear some different stories.

I'm 5'0'' with a pre-pregnancy weight of 105. My hips aren't twig narrow, but they aren't too wide.

Any other small mamas out there who have given mostly intervention-free birth and would like to share their stories?
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#2 of 22 Old 03-16-2004, 11:50 AM
 
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Who told you that? I suggest not talking with them about childbirth any more, as that sort of negativity will do you absolutely no good.

I have a very small frame (before I put on all this weight, my wedding ring was a size 3). Granted, my daughters are both tiny, but I did give birth to my second one without any sort of interventions at all, and had one teensy little tear that didn't even bother me.

Seems you maybe need to learn how to trust your body and its natural ability to give birth to the baby growing inside you. I found the most inspiration from reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and from reading as many un-medicated birth stories as i could possibly find.

You CAN do it! There is no reason in the world why you couldn't, unless you let your fears eat you up inside. I honestly believe that fear is the biggest cause of complications leading to interventions during childbirth. It definitely was the biggest factor in the events leading up to the surgical birth of my first daughter.
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#3 of 22 Old 03-16-2004, 12:44 PM
 
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I don't have a small frame (not even CLOSE ) but one of my good friends is about 5'0" and weighs around 105 pounds. She is extremely tiny. And she gave birth to both of her children vaginally without tearing. The size of your hips actually doesn't have much to do with the width of your pelvis, if that makes sense. Or at least, that's what I've heard.
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#4 of 22 Old 03-16-2004, 12:55 PM
 
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me not pregnant 5 feet, 98 lbs had a 6 lb 8 oz baby girl with out even a tear!

I also have a friend the exact same proportions and she has had 3 sons (8, 9 and 10 lbs respectively) and all at home!

It is prety rare that a woman will grow a baby that she is too small to birth!

Evergreen- Loving my girls Dylan dust.gifage8, Ava energy.gifage 4 and baby Georgia baby.gif (6/3/11).

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#5 of 22 Old 03-16-2004, 02:06 PM
 
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I am not considered petite, but I do have "twig narrow" hips! I am 5'5' and weigh 98 lbs (very fast metablism!). DD was 6 lbs and 13.3 ozs, and I did not tear at all, with minimal intervention, Midwife placed hot compresses. I know women who outweighed me by 75 lbs, their babies were smaller then dd, 5 lbs, and they had 2nd and 3rd degree tears.

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
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#6 of 22 Old 03-16-2004, 03:26 PM
 
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stafl I totally agree with what she said




My old high school sweetheart who is 6'2" married a slip of a thing who was 105lbs and maybe 5'2".

They went on to have 4 babies from 8-10 lbs, natural, uncomplicated deliveries.

It is not your size on the outsize that matters, but per my MW mentor, the opening of the pelvic outlet. A tiny woman can still have a pretty substantial pelvic opening.

Kristina; wife to Max, Mom to Tristan (17) and Zackariah (7) and Lillian (5)
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#7 of 22 Old 03-16-2004, 03:46 PM
 
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I am 5'1 and a size 4 pre-pg. With dd's birth I was overweight by about 30 lbs, but still just as short. She weighed 7.5 lbs and there was no tearing.

I am "measuring large" this time around and it looks like I will gain over twice what I did with dd, so this baby should be a good deal bigger, and both my miwdife and I are still confident about our home birth plans.

Dh's mom had 3 babies all over 9 lbs, and I don't know about her frame size back then but she is only 5'2.

My mom is 5'2, I weighed 7.5 lbs and my brother weighed 8 lbs 12 oz and we were fast and uncomplicated births at home.
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#8 of 22 Old 03-16-2004, 03:50 PM
 
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Before my pregnancies, I was 100 pounds. I am about 5'3"...? My DH used to be able to literially fit his hands completely around my waist. (It's just the way I was born.)

I had my first baby "naturally" in the hospital.: Yuck.

I had my second baby at home, in the bath tub. It was perfect! No problems, no tearing, only 2-3 pushes!

I am pregnant again, and planning another homebirth/waterbirth- this time in a nice big hot tub. Before this pregnancy, I weighed about 110 lbs, and I am sure the baby will come out fine.

What made me comfortable with HB was research. I read a lot of good books and looked at studies, etc, that proved how much better HB is.
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#9 of 22 Old 03-16-2004, 05:29 PM
 
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I am 5'3", prepregnancy weight of about 105...
my first son was born underwater weighing 8 lbs 9 oz~ I had one tiny tear, no drugs or episiotomy...
my 2nd son was born weighing 11 lbs 1 oz. I did end up having an epidural (see my thread "I had an 11+ lb baby" for all the details) but I amazingly had no tearing! no episiotomy, no c-section!
You can do it!!!
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#10 of 22 Old 03-16-2004, 06:52 PM
 
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I doubt that. My husband is six five and large framed. I have babies who are on the large side of average. I'm five feet tall if I stretch, my wedding dress was a size four. I only had a minor tear. Granted, it was in a very sensitive place, but for the most part, I just stretched like I was made to do. Believe me, I'm not a stretchy person, either. If I can do it, you should be just fine!
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#11 of 22 Old 03-16-2004, 08:26 PM
 
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I was at the birth of a friend who wore size 1 jeans () and the birth of her ds went great.

Another thought is to check out books like Janet Balaskas' "Active Birth", and others that promote positions that optimize the size/shapre of the pelvis & make the best use of gravity.

It's amazing what the body can do while totally relaxed & able to move as much as it needs to ... the hormones which open the joints & muscles are pretty cool.

mb

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#12 of 22 Old 03-16-2004, 08:44 PM
 
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I am 5"5 and weigh 112 pounds, am small framed and had my babe naturally with no interventions, I did have a small tear though but that was because I was in a bit of a rush at the end................. (live and learn)
I recommend reading 'Women's Bodies Women's Wisdom' by Christian Northrup chapters on birth.
I would echo a lot of what has been said here. Trust in your own body, listen to your body, go with it and your body will instinctively know what to do if you are in a supportive environment. I took Rescue Remedy, drank Raspberry Leaf Tea before birth and during and drank lots of water. I even ate. I was pushing for three hours but that was only because it was my first baby and I didn't get the hang of what I was supposed to be doing!!!

You can and will give birth just fine.

Love Anna
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#13 of 22 Old 03-16-2004, 09:34 PM
 
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First off, I think skin tearing during birth would have more to do with skin than with body size, when not concidering the more important factors about the birth such as birthing at mom's own pace, not forced on mom's back, no directed pushing, no episiototmy.

With that, I'm a 5' 7" 115 pre-preg and 117 between pregs, and my homebirth midwives did some pelvic measurements on me at 37 weeks, and both applauded my AMPLE birthing hips, which are 35 inches around non-pregnant.

The circumference around a woman's hips are NOT an indicator of the size of the true pelvic outlet through which the baby passes.

I know a very small mama who has had two babies, and for her body (and indeed just like her mother) she goes into labor "early" and births "small" babies--I put this stuff in quotes, because it is obvious that her wise body makes 'em and then knows when it's best to birth them, babies small but full-term & mature by any measure.

Quote:
originally posted by badomama
I've heard that small-framed women are less likely to be able to have an intervention free birth without tearing (a lot).
Since most births occur in hosptials, and most births are interviened with, so both small- and large-framed women are less likely to have intervention-free births...and the bad perineal tears are the ones that extend from episiotomies.

One last thing: mamas here today are the product of genes with hips that can birth a baby, no matter what her dress size!
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#14 of 22 Old 03-16-2004, 11:12 PM
 
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Badomama--Please don't let anyone scare you. As you've already read from all these mamas here petite women can and do have wonderful, natural births. I'm 5'1" and was a size 2 pre- pregnancy, 105 lbs and had a great drug free, natural birth with no tearing, only a couple minor abrasions. A friend of mine is even smaller than me...she's TINY...4' 11" and probably 95lbs and she gave birth to a 8 pound baby naturally with no tears. On the other hand, I know some larger women who have torn pretty badly. There have been some really good book recommendations so far, please read them. You CAN do it!!!
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#15 of 22 Old 03-16-2004, 11:56 PM
 
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i wanted to add that my closest friend is 5'0 and *maybe* 90 lbs with rocks in her pockets. so tiny---no hips---but a fabulous natural birthing pelvis of two (and counting) almost 9 lb babies. she gave birth on hands and knees----in a hospital---ignoring what the nurses were telling her. she, too, had been told her pelvis wasn't suited for birthing. her mom is built the same way, and had all 3 babies naturally. my friend *knew* better than to believe the negativity.

i think it's great to hear about how fabulously well-suited you are to birth---no matter what shape or size!!! anything else creates the idea that somehow your body is set-up to fail--and will fail---but technolgy can save you from your humanity. the reality is quite the opposite if you have faith that you were born to birth believe! be active, follow your body. it knows what to do!

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#16 of 22 Old 03-17-2004, 04:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all very very much. This source of mine has had two bad experiences and is scheduled for another c section, so I think she is comforting herself with that explanation (she is small). I didn't believe it actually because I have noticed that many women in the world are closer to my size and most of them have no choice but to birth naturally...so it is certainly possible. I wanted to collect these stories to boost my own confidence, but also to convince my dh who also needs to hear that it is possible since he will be a main support to me during the birth.

Thank you again!
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#17 of 22 Old 03-19-2004, 01:27 AM
 
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I've been diagnosed with cpd.

In my medical records, which I obtained after my two c-sections, the admitting nurse actually wrote, "patient presents as petite, pale, small-boned..."

Uh, I'm a petite redhead!!! And if I'd been tan, I would have "presented" as "healthier?!":

I've seen doctors jump on the "too small" bandwagon more than a few times. It seems easy to prey on women's fears.

Btw, after a second section, I refused to see an ob again, and had three vaginal births attended by cnms.

Be confident that your body is just right for your babies!
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#18 of 22 Old 03-19-2004, 01:18 PM
 
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copslass, good for you!
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#19 of 22 Old 03-20-2004, 03:09 AM
 
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just adding another one for the books.

106lbs 5'7" pre-preg, gained close to 60 lbs. baby was 8lbs 14oz at birth, one labial tear, not serious and healed great (and you should know I get stretch marks and scars easily, genetically poor tissue stretchability). I have very small boned arms and legs and ribcage, but big ole fertile mama goddess hips.

she was a homebirth in the water, btw.

-lau
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#20 of 22 Old 03-21-2004, 12:52 PM
 
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I am five feet even and weighed one hundred ten pounds before the conceptions of my first three children. I gained about forty pounds with them and had them at home - each was six or seven pounds - no problems.

With number four, I weighed more, he weighed more, and I had him at home also - no problems.

MY SIL just had a seven and a half pounder at home and she is the same size as me - no problem.

You have to remember that your "short" genes came from some other short person in your ancestral line; someone who had a baby without interventions and that baby grew up to pass on those "short, small frame genes".

You have to believe your body was made to work.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#21 of 22 Old 03-21-2004, 05:45 PM
 
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applejuice-

your "short genes" analogy is wonderful! do you mind if I paraphrase you when talking to pg women with this same concern in my official capacity as a doula?

-Lau

mama, certified postpartum doula, birth doula, aspiring midwife, lapsed MDC poster
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#22 of 22 Old 03-21-2004, 11:27 PM
 
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Sure birthinglau.

I use alot of phrases on these boards, so I am sure people are using them everywhere.

Thank you for asking.

BTW, my Father is from Pleasant Ridge there in Cincinnati and I still have a cousin in Loveland, Goshen Township.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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