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Head size: How big is "too big?"


Forum: Natural Childbirth

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  #1  
January 10th, 2011, 06:47 PM
Lucky Mama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Okay. Long story short, I had a friend from high school who really wanted a natural birth. She came to talk with me about it while pregnant and seemed so enthused to have a drug-free/intervention-free L&D. Fast forward to last month, she is a week over due, so her "NCB friendly" doc insists they induce. After several hours of not progressing fast enough, they tell her she has to have a c-sention.

She goes with it and has the section. Later on Facebook, she posted: "Baby boy's head was 15". Glad I had the c-section. There is NO WAY he was going to come out any other way." I'm kinda sad because I have a feeling that she probably could have delivered narutally if they had let her progress as her body needed to progress. The baby was not in distress, she just wasn't laboring fast enough for them.

So, I was wondering how many of you have birthed babies with big noggins? I can't remember how big my daughters head was (almost 14" is what I'm thinking), but I'm sure 15" (while on the large side) can still be done, right?
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  #2  
January 10th, 2011, 06:59 PM
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The "too big" excuse is given to women all the time. It's extremely rare when a baby is actually too big for the pelvis.

I hope her next birth goes according to her plan

edit: There is no set number of what is too big because each body is different. Too big for one is small for another.
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  #3  
January 10th, 2011, 07:43 PM
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the biggest I've heard of is 17". I think 14 is average. But head circumference in and of itself isn't an indicator of whether the baby can be delivered vaginally. Because babies' heads mold and "squish" to fit out (hence some baby's heads are cone-shaped at first). Head size is not static.
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  #4  
January 10th, 2011, 08:05 PM
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My son's head was 14 inches and he came out in one push, so I'm thinking 15 inches is possible, thankful it wasn't that size, but still...
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  #5  
January 10th, 2011, 08:09 PM
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i just read an hbac birth story (possibly posted on here?) about a 12.4lb baby with a 16-something circumference. I really think if you dont have something like terribly unmanaged GD your body won't build a baby it can't birth.
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  #6  
January 10th, 2011, 08:19 PM
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my boys were 14 , 14.5, 15. the heads birthed fine for all 3, the shoulders....thats a different story
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  #7  
January 10th, 2011, 08:27 PM
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That is the biggest lie i ever heard. (talking about the doctor) my daughter was size 14 and i never even felt her come out of me, i had to ask the nurse.Was she a big baby? And to add, my first born was 16 size head and he was natural i had to be cut but he was all natural.
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  #8  
January 10th, 2011, 08:31 PM
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Issac's head was 15 inches and he came out
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  #9  
January 10th, 2011, 08:32 PM
Sk8ermaiden's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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The biggest I have ever heard of also was 17. I know a few moms who did 15. Elizabeth was 13.75 and I remember looking it up and it was exactly 50%.
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  #10  
January 11th, 2011, 02:38 AM
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I consider myself an average size woman (5'8", 140lbs) and I just had a 9 lb, 15 oz baby with a head circumference of 15 cm so yeah, it most certainly CAN be done naturally. I had one superficial skin split, not even a full 1st degree tear.

And as a previous poster said, the head was fine it was the shoulder that took some effort.
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  #11  
January 11th, 2011, 03:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greeneyes View Post
I consider myself an average size woman (5'8", 140lbs) and I just had a 9 lb, 15 oz baby with a head circumference of 15 cm so yeah, it most certainly CAN be done naturally. I had one superficial skin split, not even a full 1st degree tear.

And as a previous poster said, the head was fine it was the shoulder that took some effort.

That was me Im only 5'4" and had a 9lb with 14.5 head, all natural for my 2nd baby!! He was huge compared to my first who was 6lb 1oz! mt 3rd was 7lb 15 oz 15 inch head and he got stuck too!

(all 3 of my babies were natural births)
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  #12  
January 11th, 2011, 06:16 AM
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My son's head was 15, AND he had his arm up next to his head. He was also 10 lb 9 ounces, and I did it with no tearing or rhoids. So there.

eta- I'm also small, size 2 hips pre-pregnancy. People need to trust their bodies!
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  #13  
January 11th, 2011, 06:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk8ermaiden View Post
The biggest I have ever heard of also was 17. I know a few moms who did 15. Elizabeth was 13.75 and I remember looking it up and it was exactly 50%.
Jacob's was 13ish too. I want to say 13.5. I personally that that was one large dome, but didn't think it was anything extreme.

I agree that its not going to be a specific number. All of our bodies are different and barring medical conditions, your body is going to produce what your body can birth.
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  #14  
January 11th, 2011, 06:45 AM
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My first daughters head was 15 inches. She was also 9.6 pounds.

Im 5'7 and WAS 145 pounds then
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  #15  
January 11th, 2011, 08:49 AM
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"Too big" is an excuse. I hear a lot of women who said thier doctor told them either thier baby was too big or thier baby's head was too big and that's why they ended up with a c-section. It seems to be a cop out for doctors to justify a c-section for thier own convienence.

I have a friend from high school that I keep in touch via Facebook. She had posted a few weeks ago that her doctor offered her a VBAC so she didn't have to have another c-section. She was excited until she went in for an ultrasound yesterday and was told the baby is over 8lbs and "too big" for her to have vaginally. Her doctor told her because her first was over 7.5lbs and she "couldn't push her out" her hips wouldn't allow her to have a baby bigger than that vaginally
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  #16  
January 11th, 2011, 11:37 AM
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Just a lurker here, but I wanted to say that my ds head was 15.75 and I pushed him out. During pushing the dr. threatened a c-section, his head was out the next push.
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  #17  
January 11th, 2011, 11:44 AM
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I am gonna second what everyone here said. "Too big" is subjective to the person and often could be a cop-out. The head is very squishy and can mold in many different ways, so I don't think that it has as much of a bearing as doctors give it (I mean, 12.5 is obviously different than 16...but they are not unbending). My mom gave birth to me, who was 9lbs, 4oz with a 15.25in head...AND my arm was up around my head..meaning it was even an inch or two bigger than that. She went on to birth a 9lb, oz son and a 10lb, 12oz son (who got stuck around the shoulders).
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  #18  
January 11th, 2011, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andi2284 View Post
"Too big" is an excuse. I hear a lot of women who said thier doctor told them either thier baby was too big or thier baby's head was too big and that's why they ended up with a c-section. It seems to be a cop out for doctors to justify a c-section for thier own convienence.

I have a friend from high school that I keep in touch via Facebook. She had posted a few weeks ago that her doctor offered her a VBAC so she didn't have to have another c-section. She was excited until she went in for an ultrasound yesterday and was told the baby is over 8lbs and "too big" for her to have vaginally. Her doctor told her because her first was over 7.5lbs and she "couldn't push her out" her hips wouldn't allow her to have a baby bigger than that vaginally

Yeah, because that "every pregnancy is different" mantra doesn't apply to anything but morning sickness and cravings.

Not to mention, ultrasounds are 100% accurate at predicting everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommybugnbugga View Post
Just a lurker here, but I wanted to say that my ds head was 15.75 and I pushed him out. During pushing the dr. threatened a c-section, his head was out the next push.
I wasn't threatened with a c-section, but was threatened with an episiotomy. That's how I interpreted it anyway because he said "If this baby doesn't come out soon I'm going to have to cut." and ditto! Baby was out in the next few pushes. Of course I purple pushed and tore.
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  #19  
January 11th, 2011, 01:05 PM
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I cannot believe the crap some Drs say. My hubby doesn't understand why I'm so against a hospital birth, but that right there is part of it. This is my first so I don't know head size yet, but I would be furious if my OB was threatening c/s "b/c my baby's head was too big" or the u/s showed my baby was huge. I've never once read someone say their baby was anywhere near as big as the u/s said.
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  #20  
January 11th, 2011, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cazza View Post
my boys were 14 , 14.5, 15. the heads birthed fine for all 3, the shoulders....thats a different story
Yup, that's what I was going to say. Both of my babies were 14.75 around the head & both were a bit cone-ish. I had no trouble with Avery, but Ethan was in an unfriendly position & I had difficulties with his shoulders. Babies' heads are built to give & fat squishes, but position seems to be important when it comes to the shoulders.
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