Been there, done that
I'm a childbirth educator and doula, but I'm also a mom who's given birth to super size babies. I'm talking really big. Baby number one was a whopping ten pounds 13 ounces and 21-1/2 inches long. No -- I didn't have gestational diabetes. I didn't have a caesarean section either. Baby number two was a monster 11 pound four ounce and 23-1/2 inches long. He was born in a birth tub in my bedroom -- kind of like that old Seinfeld episode where Kramer has a hot tub in his apartment, but different.
Anyway, I -- and my lady parts -- know firsthand what it's like to birth super-size babies. And I've helped many moms do the same. Here's what you need to know.
Don't freak out
Have I already mentioned this? I have taught hundreds of childbirth classes through the years, and there's usually at least one mom who has been told she's having a big one. As visions of induction or caesarean section dance in her head, I show her how to do the labor positions you'll read about next. Know that ultrasound estimates of weight can be off by about a pound and even when baby weight is estimated the old fashioned way -- by externally palpating mom’s abdomen -- the only way to really know how much a newborn weighs is to put him or her on a scale after he or she’s born.
Get into upright labor positions
During the first stage of labor -- when your cervix ripens, effaces and dilates to ten centimeters -- work with your body to open your pelvis and use gravity to help Mega Baby rotate and descend through your pelvis. Some strategies to try:
Sit on a “birth ball”: Get a large exercise ball -- one that you may already have at home -- and ease yourself onto it. Most hospitals have birth balls on the labor floor, too. This position not only opens your pelvis, it will relieve back pain or pressure -- common side effects of big babies.
Hands and knees: Try this position at home on your bed or floor. Use a pillow or yoga mat if needed to relieve pressure on your knees. Once you get to the hospital you’ll be more comfortable kneeling on the bed. Feel free to move and rock your pelvis around in this position – whatever feels most comfortable.
Kneeling in a tub: If a tub is available, try kneeling over the side of it. This is also a great position for pushing if your provider/birthplace is set up for water birthing.
Lunge: Have your partner hold a chair steady as you put on leg on it. Lunge toward the side during contractions. Try the other leg if it's more comfortable.
When it's time to push, try pushing in some of these upright positions like squatting or kneeling.
Whether your baby turns out to be super sized or not, I hope you have a comfortable, safe and easy labor.