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9th August 2013 05:31 AM #1
In the News: Biggest Baby Born Naturally
Have you seen the news reports today about the biggest baby born naturally ever to have been recorded in Spain?
What are your feelings about this story?
I find it unhelpful that the media seems to have focused on the idea that the 'mum didn't even ask for an epidural' and that this is surprising in the media's eyes. My feeling is that this form of reporting adds to fear about labour. It also reinforces the unhelpful view that a bigger baby needs to be born using medical intervention.
Little by little, we read one-sided views in the media surrounding childbirth; opinions are presented as facts and not backed up with statistics. As women, we start to absorb the view that childbirth should be excruciatingly painful and an ordeal to be endured.
I believe this caused my first birth to be long and traumatic as I tensed up, resisting each contraction, in a state of fear. Before my second birth I re-learnt about birth and how our bodies are created to give birth. Natural births are possible in all but the minority of cases. Labour is hard work and can be very intense but it can also be an empowering and positive experience.
I hope the mother of this 'big baby' experienced this in labour - it sounds like she did a great job. I hope the baby is healthy; I know this is an unusual case and very big baby's can be due to gestational diabetes or maternal obesity.
I look forward to reading others' thoughts on this.
26th August 2013 09:18 AM #2
This baby was about 13 1/2 lbs., or 6.2 kg. That is quite a large baby. I've heard of my midwives catching babies that were about 11 lbs or 5 kg. I also read a story about a mum who had been advised to have a C-Section on the hospital, because she tended to have big babies.
She chose to have the next baby at home, with an unassisted delivery (if anyone is going to consider an unassisted delivery, please do a lot of research before hand) and this mum ended up successfully delivering a baby naturally that was close to 11 lbs. (5 kg). She did have to squat to help open up her pelvis and make room for baby to descend.
I agree with everything you said and I hope that more mums will find the empowerment to birth larger babies naturally. Finding a supportive midwife or health practitioner is key.
27th August 2013 02:47 AM #3
That's a fascinating birth story Kate.
This discussion of 'big babies' has reminded me of another issue concerning birth. Many hospitals advise women who are predicted to have a 'big baby' to have an induction (here they are talking about babes who are predicted to have a birth weight significantly larger than average yet not a weight that would be medically concerning in itself). This concerns me for two main reasons. The first is that the prediction of babies' birth weights is generally not very reliable or accurate. Here is a link to one study on the subject. Most commonly, the pregnant woman's bump is measured in order to estimate the fetal wight and also the newborn weight. Again, this can be quite unreliable. Many women are advised to have an induction or even a c-section because of a 'big baby' that arrives at an average weight. In these cases, this means a woman has had unnecessary medical interventions; raising the risk of her labour unnecessarily.
My second concern with hospitals who advise pregnant women of predicted bigger weight babies to have an induction, is that induction generally means a more difficult labour. Induction inhibits the natural production of Oxytocin in a woman's body that may not be quite ready to go into labour. In induction with a Syntocinon drip, a woman is not able to move around freely or use a birthing pool. This means her labour is more likely to be more uncomfortable and that she is more likely to need an epidural which raises the likelihood of further interventions.
Your comments above 'I hope that more mums will find the empowerment to birth larger babies naturally. Finding a supportive midwife or health practitioner is key.' are so relevant in terms of this induction issue. Feeling empowered and having the right support is vital. It can mean the different between a positive birth and a traumatic birth.
Last edited by ljmarsden; 27th August 2013 at 02:50 AM.