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Big babies: myths and tips

Updated: Sep 13, 2020

Contrary to popular belief, there is no accurate way of estimating baby’s weight before birth.

Palpating and measuring your bump and ultrasound scans have all been proven time and time again to be unreliable. In fact, both NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) and WHO guidelines state that induction of labour should not be advised simply because baby is thought to be big. However, we know that once baby has been labelled LGA (Large for Gestational Age) often the conversation with your healthcare providers changes, interventions are offered and the pressure builds, increasing fear and anxiety.

Do you know what is just as reliable as our best technology in estimating baby’s birth weight? A multiparous woman’s intuition. So, if you had a baby before, your prediction of baby’s birth weight is just as accurate as any tests your providers may offer. Isn’t that great?

Listening to your body and your intuition is just as important as listening to the professionals’ advice. They know a lot about birth in general and can provide useful information, but you are the expert of your pregnancy and birth and you alone know what is right for you.

If this feels a bit daunting, don’t hesitate to reach out. We teach practical tools to help you get the best out of your conversations with professionals and increase your confidence in making the right choices for you and your baby.

Giving birth to a big baby is no different than any other birth. Sometimes babies are ready to come quickly, sometimes they may take longer, as they may need to adjust their position to fit well in the pelvis. Despite all the knowledge and experience birth professionals may have, nobody can anticipate what your journey will be like. Babies of all sizes and their amazing mums surprise us all the time!

Letting labour start on its own and progress without unnecessary disruptions is key to make sure you and your baby are ready to meet each other in the best way and at the perfect time.

Moving, changing positions, choosing what feels best for you in the moment allows you to stay connected to your body and baby. You will respond to the different sensations at different stages of labour, helping yourself and baby have an easier birth.

If you have an epidural you may need more support with changing positions. Ask your birth professionals to be proactive about movement and assist you with this. There are lots of variations and you don’t have to be on your back.

Avoid giving birth on your back. Again, this is true for all births, but particularly important if you think baby is bigger than average. All fours, kneeling, standing or laying on your side will make more room for baby as they are born, reducing problems with birthing their shoulders and protecting you from tearing.

Your body has grown your wonderful, healthy baby and it knows how to let them out into the world safely and effectively. Baby will follow their instinct to find the best path to meet you, trust yourself to do the same.

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