I have a little experience having a big baby, this turkey sized human is mine, born at 38 weeks! Typically, big babies are a result of Diabetes, Gestation Diabetes, a pregnant person gains an abnormal amount of weight during their pregnancy and good old genetics. The above turkey/baby won the genetic prize. I was a 9.5 baby, my husband an 11 pounder. I wish I knew the facts that I now know. I would have made much more informed choices. Let me share this information with you.
Things to know if have you been told by your provider that they suspect you are carrying a large baby:
* Ultrasounds are notorious for poorly estimating a suspected big baby's weight, about half of the time they are right, and the other half they are wrong!
* Many studies have shown that the “suspicion” of a big baby increases the risk of having a Cesarean without improving the health of mother or baby. If your doctor thinks you are having a big baby, they are more likely to diagnose your labor as stalled, or pressure you into a Cesarean, compared to a woman who has a big baby but that wasn’t suspected as such. About half of the time when they suspect a big baby, the prediction will have been wrong.
* If you have Diabetes or Gestation Diabetes, having well controlled blood sugar levels throughout pregnancy means you are NOT at increased risk of having a big baby.
* A suspected big baby is not an indication for induction, even with well controlled GDM. If you are have other risk factors related to GDM, an induction may make sense. But not always.
So you might wonder about the dreaded factor that leaves providers shaking in their boots..... the dreaded shoulder dystocia. Yes large babies have an increased risk of shoulder dystocia. But since ultrasounds and providers are not great at predicting large babies, no provider actual KNOWS when this complication will arise. It also happens all the time with smaller babies.
Sound passionate about this issue? I am! I want families to have all the facts, not fear-based bias when making informed choices. Do your research, ask all the questions, know the stats and then advocate for the decisions you have made for yourself. I will be doing the same for my clients.