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VBAC and large babies

I had a c-section with my first child. I'm now 34 weeks pregnant, and I REALLY want to try for a VBAC. However, during my last check-up, the doctor was concerned about the size, so I had an ultrasound this morning. According to his head and femur measurements, he's 38.5 weeks. They estimate him to already be over 7lbs.

Now I know they can be off on the weight, but from what I understand, the actual head and femur measurements are a pretty good indication this will indeed be a pretty big baby... I'm afraid my doctor will recommend a scheduled c-section instead of letting me try a VBAC. I know it's ultimately my choice, but has anybody ever had to deal with giving birth naturally to a large baby after having had a c-section?

Answer Question

Asked by Anouck at 6:07 PM on Mar. 7, 2011 in Pregnancy

Level 25 (23,484 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • I'd wait and see, since you want the vbac. I had an ultrasound two days before my induction with my son and they said he was estimated to be 10+ pounds. He was 6 pounds 10 ounces and wearing preemie clothes

    Answer by Mom2Jack04 at 6:09 PM on Mar. 7, 2011

  • i have no idea.. i had vag. with all 3 of mine.. i dont even think i know what a VBAC is haha.. my kids were all small but i tore with my first.. he had a HUGE head..

    good luck with everything.. maybe talk to your doctor and discuss options.

    Answer by 3HappylKidds at 6:10 PM on Mar. 7, 2011

  • A VBAC = vaginal birth after c-section. I had a c-section with my first son because he had a huge head, and the way it was positioned pretty much guaranteed he was not going to come out the regular way.... Now, apparently this one has a pumpkin head too, sigh.

    Mom2Jack04, I am leaning towards waiting too, at this point. I just wanted to see if anybody else had been in my position. When they did your ultrasound, did they measure the head circumference and femur length, too?

    Comment by Anouck (original poster) at 6:13 PM on Mar. 7, 2011

  • I personally have not but i have a friend that had a baby vbac and the baby was about 9 lbs. Nnow she was a tiny girl to begin with and it messed her up pretty bad. The doctors told her after that she may not be able to carry again. Well it took 6 years but she is now pregnant but she has to be on bedrest. On the other hand my aunt is a bigger woman and she gave birth via vbac and her son was 9lbs. 13oz. And she did not have any problems at all. So i guess it depends on your body type. Some woman even skinny ones are just built to have babies.

    Answer by michelle.coppes at 6:22 PM on Mar. 7, 2011

  • #1- Ultra sounds can be VERY off late in pregnancy

    #2- My sister had her 2nd baby in October. He weighed 8lbs, 8oz and was a successful VBAC.

    I suggest being strong about your choice, hiring a doula to enhance your birthing experience and being sure to use gravity enhancing positions such as squatting or hands & knees during pushing to overcome any issues related to large babies.

    Answer by miasmommy21407 at 6:27 PM on Mar. 7, 2011

  • Oh and they did do an ultra sound to measure my nephew. Femer and Head were measured. They estimated him at over 10 pounds (nearly 11) and her doctor said they would let her "try" for the VBAC but would make no promises.

    Like I said above he was 8,8 and born without complication.

    Answer by miasmommy21407 at 6:32 PM on Mar. 7, 2011

  • If you can't change providers and hire a normal birth specialist then get more support and encouragement elsewhere.
    You can work to avoid unnecessary interventions (including dangerous weight guesstimates, ultrasounds, and vaginal exams) to help promote the safest outcome possible.

    If you are in a hospital with an OB then you know that surgery is easily available. No need to expect it or plan for it if you and baby are well.
    Unfortunately your doctor might not truly be encouraging of a VBAC so you may have to work harder to overcome that.

    Good luck!


    Answer by doulala at 7:19 PM on Mar. 7, 2011

  • Actually, the hospital I'm giving birth in is VERY pro-VBAC, and pretty pro-natural birth in general (they encourage going all natural, using different positions, water births, etc). My doctor is also not a "real" doctor, but a nurse practitioner/midwife. Ultimately, of course I will make my own decision, but I also know she would lean more towards going natural than having a c-section... However, I don't agree with you that ultrasounds to get a feel for the baby's size are necessarily dangerous, or unnecessary. I'm a big fan of having all the information possible available to me.

    I guess I'll find out more about what she suggests at my next appointment on Thursday, heh.

    Comment by Anouck (original poster) at 7:24 PM on Mar. 7, 2011

  • I have never personally had a VBAC, but I know they are possible even with larger babies. I would not feel good giving you advice about something I know nothing about, but I wish you good luck and happy birthing.

    Answer by cleanaturalady at 7:58 PM on Mar. 7, 2011

  • "Dangerous" meaning providing Guesstimates that *big* decisions get based on.
    We have all heard of women having size U/Ss and then intervening based on that, only to discover the U/Ss were far off and the induction or cesarean was unneeded.
    Besides, a "big" baby doesn't mean there will be problems~~

    Good luck!

    Answer by doulala at 9:57 PM on Mar. 7, 2011

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