Head Size & Birth Weight?? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 12-08-2006, 03:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay ... so I have a question for any of you who have already had babies and might know how much of this I should take to heart.

Ever since my 28 weeks appointment when I had to do the glucose test, the midwife who did the test pretty much freaked out because (mostly by looking at me) she put me down as measuring ahead by four weeks ... and because there *appeared* to be a big weight jump, though this was largely due to the fact that I had been using the numbers from my scale at home (which is always about 5-7 lbs less than the one there ... and it is a professional medical scale which can hardly be said for the one at the birthing center) and she wanted to stay *consistent* and use the numbers from the scale at the birthing center, which of course was not consistent at all considering that all of the numbers before were from home (and the other midwives were aware of this and fine with it). Anyways ... she basically diagnosed me as diabetic even before she took the second blood sample (which by the way I am not because I totally passed the test!!). But she wrote a bunch of stuff down on the chart and it seems that it got the other midwives all into measuring the baby and trying to figure out if I was going to give birth to an elephant.

Now see ... a month later ... at my 32 week appointment I was only measuring for 33 weeks so since at 28 I was measuring 32 I sort of figured that maybe there was a growth spurt since apparently it had evened itself out for the most part a month later. And then of course, at my 34 week I was measuring right on target. In the last two weeks I haven't gained any weight either.

The thing is this ... at my last appointment because of what she had written on my chart they started trying to do an u/s and measure the baby ... though of course, none of them are actual sonographers so they tried to get me to go to get a professional u/s ... which after thinking about it I decided that with so little time left, and the fact that it would cost me another $200 that I wasn't sure how much it would help me. Especially when I read that these measurements can be off and may not be conclusive at all.

So today I went in ... and had the same midwife from the 28 week appointment ... and now I am at 36 weeks. She asked if it would be fine for us to just check the baby's head size to see where we are at. So she gave me a number ... 9.3 ... and according to her, head size and birth weight are usually "dead on" so basically she is predicting that I am going to have a 9-10lb baby.

My question is this ... do I take this seriously or do I just wait and see what happens. I haven't been stuffing myself with this pregnancy or anything. Overall since the start I have only put on just under 30lbs and I feel fine. I don't think that I am monsterous in size. I am all about being cautious and everthing but I wonder what I am actually supposed to do with this information. I mean I can't shrink the baby now.

So I just don't really know what to think or do ... and I am wondering if any of the rest of you have had anything like this and if so how it turned out. Any input would be great. Thanks.

Magdalena
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#2 of 17 Old 12-08-2006, 07:20 AM
 
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I could have posted this today!

I had my 37 week appt, today and Dr. said that next week we'll do an U/S to check size, and if it's a "10 lb. baby, we'll have a serious talk". Now PLEASE do not get on me for the US vs. No US thing, I have read it all. Anway.... My question is, does head size really change that much between a 8 lb. baby vs. a 10 lb. baby? This is our first baby, and I can't answer this. I am wondering, from what I have heard, the head is the most difficult part to birth. So what if I am going to have a 10 lb. kid? Does that really require any kind of intervention?

TIA!
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#3 of 17 Old 12-08-2006, 07:55 AM
 
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I am fairly certain that there are some 7lb babies out there that have been born with HUGE heads. While there may be some correlation (maybe) I think head size probably has more to do with genetics.
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#4 of 17 Old 12-08-2006, 08:28 AM
 
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I am confused by this as well. Regardless of the size of the baby, don't the skull bones move to accomodate birth anyways(hence the conehead)? I know women who have birthed 12lb babies with no problem. Why does it matter if the baby weighs more than 8 lbs?
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#5 of 17 Old 12-08-2006, 08:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ryleigh'smama View Post
I am fairly certain that there are some 7lb babies out there that have been born with HUGE heads.
Yep, my son was 7 lbs 10 oz and had a 95th percentile head.

Cindycaffix.gif, wife to soapbox.gif, mama to DD1 (4/97)lol.gif, DD2 (3/99)bouncy.gif, DS (4/03)biggrinbounce.gif, and DD3 (6/07)energy.gif, 3 cat.gif, and 10 chicken3.gif.
 
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#6 of 17 Old 12-08-2006, 10:01 AM
 
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I just happened to be passing thru and saw this thread. "head size and birth weight usually dead on?" What a load of bunk. I got talked into a late ultrasound where the sonographer was convinced I would have a 5 lb baby. Based on head size. So I got talked into a bunch of interventions. Guess what. DS was 7 lbs and just fine. Ultrasounds are NOTORIOUSLY off for predicting size late in pregnancy, by at least a half pound or more. You could just as easily be having an 8 1/2 lb baby.

Don't let them scare you. Next they will be telling you that you need to schedule an induction at 38 weeks or your baby will be too big to deliver vaginally. Of course, your body won't be ready to deliver so you'll end up with a c-section for "failure to progress." Then you'll find out that your "huge baby" was really only 6 1/2 pounds, premature, and now needs to spend time in the NICU.

If you are concerned about this please go to the Birth and Beyond board. There are lots of women there who've had 10 lb or bigger babies vaginally with NO issues whatsoever.
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#7 of 17 Old 12-08-2006, 10:21 AM
 
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I personally wouldn't put too much faith in the ultrasound measurements. And besides all that... there is nothing wrong with delivering a 9-10lb baby! Many of us have done it! I did! He was 9/12 And that delivery was MUCH easier than it was with my dd who was 7/14. I have heard many mamas say fat babies a squishier and therefore more comfortable birth than a little bony baby. Your body won't grow a baby to big for your pelvis. (Unless you have a true defect of your pelvis which is rare.)

I would not want to agree to anything but going into labor naturally only because they can't really be sure how big that baby is until it comes and gets weighed!

Also both of my kids have huge heads.... It's genetics. My dh has a pretty pronounced Occiptal bone... and so the kids inherited it and they are at the top of the charts with their head measurements at birth and still are. I don't really think it correlates with weight.
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#8 of 17 Old 12-08-2006, 12:35 PM
 
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Yeah, see that is what I have been thinking! Baby will come when Baby is ready and not a minute sooner....Not sure how I feel about that part. I am ready to evict! LOL
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#9 of 17 Old 12-08-2006, 12:50 PM
 
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OMG!!!!! A 9 or 10 pound baby...that is outrageous!

I mean outrageously normal, that is.

Ugg! I hate hearing this bull dung (that was me being extremely polite instead of using other colorful words I know...and in many different languages too)! That is all it is, as good as poopy...total speculation and paranoia, especially coming from one person who has not been consistantly measuring you.

Just like others have said...guestimating weight at this stage in the game is just a guess, no matter how good the ultrasound.

And, as someone else said ...people wobble at the end because their hormones have loosened up their pelvic bones (the cartilage holding the bones together softens) to expand for the birth of the head, and the baby's head moulds as well, that is why there skull bones are not fully connected, to help mould for the birth.

Our bodies were made for the job! If you think about the complexity involved in making a child in the fist place, labor is just one day (or a couple) in the process, so why should it not be able to do its job as well as it did on those other days!

Oy Vey, hopefully this lady will not be on call when you go...or if she is perhaps you could just send her total loving vibes and let her have her thoughts but let them be hers and totally separate from your great birthing attitude...and you can tell her all is well, sometimes even nervous people will take this to heart coming from the mother. Or, another option switch.

Best, Paige

And check out this similar thread from a couple of weeks ago...some of your same issues addressed in detail (talking low measurements but the issues are the same with low or high or weight or size concerns)...

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=564745
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#10 of 17 Old 12-08-2006, 01:06 PM
 
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It's a load of poop. They were predicting that our #1 would be upwards of 11 pounds and when he arrived (at nearly 42 weeks) he was 8lbs, 14oz. I still tease hubby that the docs weren't actually going by the baby's u/s measurements, they were eyeballing hubby's massive head and shoulders and panicking that his child was going to try and come out of my slender (not!), petite (not!) pelvis.

And BTW, my skinny little size 6 Girlfriend Kiki birthed her 12lb, big-headed baby girl vaginally and without so much as an ice chip last year. Everybody's different, every body is different. Sounds like your midwife's error at 28 weeks sent them all into a tizzy and like even the best childbirth professionals in this day in age, they are making sure to cover their arses.
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#11 of 17 Old 12-08-2006, 01:47 PM
 
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I was just thinking about this yesterday! It seems to me there is a huge difference between a big baby, full of squishy fat, and a BIG head, which isn't so squishy.... And, if the two, weight and head size, relate in any useful ways. We all know that predictions about baby weight are WAY off. In my case they thought I'd have a 6# baby and I had a 9# baby - and as a result my c/s was more scr#wed up than it would have otherwise been (incision too small).

YOu can see the head circumferance charts here:

http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/gen...th_charts.html

The difference between 25th and 75th percentile at birth for boys is 1/5 inches... which isn't much....
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#12 of 17 Old 12-08-2006, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey everyone!

Thank you so much for your responses! I have been trying to just let all that stuff slide off my back for the most part, but you know then my MIL asks me about my appointments and yesterday she told me that maybe I should bascially diet for the next four weeks so the baby doesn't get much bigger. This was not well received ... since I don't pig out, don't eat that much bad stuff and rarely eat fast food or anything.

My own parents on the other hand want to have it out with the midwife ... but they live in Canada so they can't. They keep reminding me that when they had me and when my MIL had my husband most people weren't even thinking about this kind of stuff and as a result they just went and had babies and things were fine. My MIL certainly wasn't restricting her diet while she was pregnant ... and I am not saying that you should be irresponsible about that but sometimes I think that now there is so much information that you are robbed of the just the joy of being pregnant and focusing on what will happen next. Instead fearful attitudes are thrust in our faces about *everything*.

After I wrote the inital thread I went to bed thinking that actually both DH and I have big heads I guess ... I mean not massive, but not little ones either. It is kind of like when they told me two weeks ago that the baby was measuring long ... and I looked at them and said ... well long doesn't mean fat so I don't see a problem.

I am hoping that this particular midwife will not be on call when I go into labour. But no matter what happens I feel like I just have to focus on my own desires and needs for this labour and not give into the fear.

Which I think has been the problem ... that up until this point I was totally working on mentally and emotionally preparing myself for this birth and trying to keep fear out of it. Then this woman entered my life and with all of her threats of a 10lb baby and how scary that can be I find myself questioning my ability to do this ... and that's not fair, not to me or my little one.

I talked this over with my Bradley instructor and she said that basically you could do all the tests and measurments possible but it still won't tell you whether or not you can have this baby vaginally or not so what's the point. She told me to just relax and wait to see what happens.

So thanks to everyone. I guess even though I have gone the route of midwives that doesn't mean that you can let your guard down and you still have to know what you want and how to question people when they throw stuff like that at you.

Magdalena
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#13 of 17 Old 12-08-2006, 04:18 PM
 
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I wouldn't worry about it myself. Predictions based on ultrasounds are notoriously off, often by as much as 1-2 lbs. I've not heard anything about a correlation between head size and birth weight, but it sounds fishy to me.

Even if you are having a big baby, it doesn't mean labor/birth will be more difficult than a small baby -- remember that baby's head molds during birth and fat is squishy DS was 9#4oz and I labored 8ish hours and pushed him out in about 15 minutes. In fact, a friend of mine, who is a tiny wee person (probably 5'3 and 110 lbs) had three babies, two 9-10 pounders and one much smaller. She said, of the three births, the most difficult one was the small one. Honestly, positioning of the baby is what I'd be focusing on, not the size... that's more often where you get difficult labors from

Allison.... mom of DS1 (7) and DS2 (4) and awaiting #3 near the end of April 2011
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#14 of 17 Old 12-08-2006, 09:35 PM
 
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I am fairly certain that there are some 7lb babies out there that have been born with HUGE heads. While there may be some correlation (maybe) I think head size probably has more to do with genetics.
BINGO! My ds was 7.2lbs and had a 100%th percentile head... his head is still big... we went to a neurologist and he said his head will end up the same size as dh and mine. We don't have freakish heads btw..

Like others said u/s are often wrong... I had a friend recently give birth to an 11lb baby naturallly (my hero btw) our bodies can do amazing things!

BTW there is nothing wrong with a 30lb wieght gain... I am at 28lbs right now.
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#15 of 17 Old 12-09-2006, 12:09 PM
 
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DH comes into the bedroom last night and asks me "Are you sure you want to do the U/S on Tuesday?" : I thought HE was the one who wanted me to have it! So I think we are going to call the Dr. Monday and ask WHY we need to know the size? Ask him what the information we learn from the scan will "teach" us. Other then a NOT to accurate size..... I see no advantage to it. Any thoughts?
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#16 of 17 Old 12-09-2006, 12:43 PM
 
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Some weeks ago, I went to an appointment with the new OB in my doctor's practice (since any of them could be on call when we deliver, patients rotate through all the doctors during pregnancy). Not being that familiar with my medical history, previous birth, etc. she decided I needed a 32-week ultrasound to check the baby's size.

Since I figured the ultrasound would show a normal-sized baby and make her feel better (I've always had fairly accurate ultrasounds in the past), I went ahead with it; they figure the baby will be about the same size as my daughter (8lb, 5oz). Big surprise!

Of course, had it shown a larger baby, I wouldn't have agreed to do anything differently, and I know the doctors in the practice who had more experience with me wouldn't have been concerned.

Sonja , 40, married to DH (42) since 5-29-93, DD born 11-3-2004, DS born 1-18-2007.
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#17 of 17 Old 12-09-2006, 01:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scsigrl View Post
DH comes into the bedroom last night and asks me "Are you sure you want to do the U/S on Tuesday?" : I thought HE was the one who wanted me to have it! So I think we are going to call the Dr. Monday and ask WHY we need to know the size? Ask him what the information we learn from the scan will "teach" us. Other then a NOT to accurate size..... I see no advantage to it. Any thoughts?
Sounds like a good plan to me! Unless the doctor has anothe concern apart from size, it sounds like it will not be beneficial to you to have the US.

Be prepared to stand your ground, the doctor is likely to push hard. A good way to stand ground is something like .... I hear that you are concerned about baby's size.... I understand that you are worried about a big baby and a hard labor for me.... I choose not to find out this information. This lets doc know you understand his concerns but are still making up your own mind.

Allison.... mom of DS1 (7) and DS2 (4) and awaiting #3 near the end of April 2011
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