Question about being "too small" to deliver vaginally - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-30-2007, 11:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A friend recently gave birth to a 6 1/2 lb babe 4 weeks early. I just found out that her OB told her that had the baby gone full term, she would not have been able to deliver vaginally because she was too tight (nothing to do with pelvis, just that the vagina was too tight). This was her first birth, and she did tear, though I'm not sure how bad, and also had an episiotomy. How likely is it that this is true? I have never heard of that before. Can a baby actually get stuck because the vagina doesn't stretch enough? I'm worried that they will use this as an excuse to induce labor early, possibly before the baby is ready. Thanks!

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Old 05-31-2007, 01:13 AM
 
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Very unlikely that it's true. I'm sure there are some women with truly brittle skin, but the skull doesn't grow THAT much at the end. And fat squishes. And for most women, that skin is very stretchy. My guess is, she needed more time to stretch than that particular OB cared to wait.

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Old 05-31-2007, 01:17 AM
 
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Yup, what she said...and also, the tear could very likely have been CAUSED by the episiotomy. What a mean, mean person to take that confidence in her own body away from a woman. Or to try to. I'd just look at him and snort...

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Old 05-31-2007, 01:21 AM
 
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I've never known of anyone for whom this is true. The hormones released during pregnancy cause everything to stretch. That's what labor is for, allowing your body the time it needs to grow wide enough to deliver your baby. And it WILL grow, as big as it needs to get!

It's very possible, too, that her tear was actually caused by the episiotomy. Often that skin will stretch well enough if left alone, but if you break the tension by putting a cut into the skin, it can cause a worse tear.

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Old 05-31-2007, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonP'titBoudain View Post
It's very possible, too, that her tear was actually caused by the episiotomy. Often that skin will stretch well enough if left alone, but if you break the tension by putting a cut into the skin, it can cause a worse tear.
Yeah, my dh is an engineer and thinks that epis are completely ridiculous based on common sense and the thing with tension (every time someone brings it up, he goes on about the theory, lol). No matter how much I told her that an epi would likely just cause her to tear, she still didn't have a strong opinion about it and just told her doc that if it was necessary, then ok. But she did delivery drug free, which I was happy about.

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Old 05-31-2007, 01:32 AM
 
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Total and complete BS.

-Angela
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Old 05-31-2007, 01:32 AM
 
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Unless a woman underwent FGM she will not be "too tight"

How ridiculous. I'm just no longer surprised by the crap that comes out of some OBs mouths.
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Old 05-31-2007, 01:57 AM
 
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This is pretty common, or at least maybe it was. I was a premie, a month early and under 6 lbs. This is one of the things they told my mom... that she was 'small' and that was one good thing about having me early :rollseyes
Of course, I think people sometimes say things JUST to put a different spin on things, make someone feel better (find the silver lining).
I've heard other young mothers be told the same thing about their low-birthweight babies.

Of course, my son was 2 weeks early and 6 lbs 6 oz and the midwives also tried to tell me too, that his coming a little early and lower weight, etc. etc. made things a little easier. Heck, then why did Ms midwife feel the 'need' to cut me.

It was NOT what I wanted to hear at the time, but maybe it helps some people?

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Old 05-31-2007, 10:18 AM
 
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My first was 9#6 and my second was 5#15 because he came 6 weeks early. I think it was just as difficult to push out my 5 pounder as it was my 9 pounder--it still burns as the skin stretches!

I have heard doctors say similar things as you mentioned but I agree with everyone else that it is pretty bogus!
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Old 05-31-2007, 12:53 PM
 
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What a load of bs. For what it is worth, both male and female parts are made of the same thing. The lining of the birth canal expands the same way a man expands when he is aroused. Was this a male OB telling her this?
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Old 05-31-2007, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nope, it was a woman.

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Old 05-31-2007, 01:27 PM
 
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So much goes into the equation of whether you'll tear. Your position, forced vs natural pushing, baby's position, how much their head molded, etc. It's not all about size. I was my mom's smallest baby at 8lbs, but she tore the worst with me because my shoulders were significantly larger than my head (which is not common, as far as I know). My brothers were all well over 9lbs, and she didn't have nearly the issues with them. I tore, then was cut with dd because for whatever reason, her head didn't mold much. I had been in labor for 13 hours, they told me to be prepared for a real "conehead", but nope, round as anything! (they said they cut because I was tearing upward and downward was "better", not sure how true any of that is)

Even if it were true, wouldn't it still be less risky to just let her tear and/or do an episiotomy rather than induce early or do a section or whatever? Of course that may be less convinient for the doc, so who knows...
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