Will My Baby Be Too Big for a Vaginal Delivery?

How likely is it that baby won’t fit, um, down there?
ByMichele Hakakha, MD
March 2, 2017
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It’s most moms-to-be’s biggest fear: How the heck is an entire baby going to fit through there? The very best news is that, because of how awesome modern medicine is, doctors are now informed about virtually every detail of your baby, including her size. Every time you visit your OB, she’s taking measurements to make sure not only that baby is growing at the appropriate rate, but also that you’ll be able to deliver vaginally, if that’s your preference. If there’s any doubt — especially if baby looks like he or she will be over 10 pounds at birth — your doctor will probably recommend a c-section over a vaginal delivery.

But there are also other factors that come into play when determining whether you’ll be able to deliver vaginally or through a c-section. In some rare cases, a baby who weighs less than 10 pounds won’t be able to squeeze through the birth canal because mom’s pelvis is too narrow. And if baby is breech (feet-first) or in a transverse (on his or her side) position and won’t turn, many OBs will order a c-section.

Even once you’re in labor, things don’t always go according to plan. If your cervix stops dilating, baby’s head won’t descend, your contractions are weak or labor stops progressing for more than a couple of hours, you may have to go for a c-section. In any case, keep clear communication with your doctor but be open-minded to the possibility that a c-section might be medically necessary.
*Plus, more from The Bump:
Top 10 Labor and Delivery Fears 

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