How to prevent a big baby

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ksmiles's picture
Joined: 10/22/06
Posts: 5
How to prevent a big baby

I'm rather scared. My 1st was 8 lbs, 14 oz, my 2nd was 9 lbs, 9 oz. I really don't want to have a 10 pound baby this time! I was able to birth both of my kids naturally at a birth center, and I have the same plan this time. The only thing is that my insurance doesn't cover maternity, and I'm afraid of ending up with a c-section (and the outrageous cost involved) if this next one is too big. I passed my gestational diabetes test, and my midwife said cutting out carbs except for whole wheat and brown rice will help me have a lean baby. But I've heard that what the mom eats doesn't necessarily matter. Anyone have any advice or experience they can share? Thanks!

kridda_88's picture
Joined: 01/28/08
Posts: 1798

I'm not sure it helps a ton but then again I don't know that much. I have small kids and honestly DH and I live off of boneless skinless chicken breasts and veggies. If we do potatoes or fry anything we use olive oil. I think my kids are mostly small due to genetics though. I think genetics has more to do with it than anything.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Who is to say what size another baby would be? My first was 9lb13oz. My second was 9lb5oz. But my third was only 8lb2oz. LOL.

What about the Brewers Diet? Or following the GD diet?

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

You aren't going to like what I have to say... lol... But, before you shoot me (j/k) this is coming from someone whose babies have weighed 10 lbs 6 oz, 9 lbs 13 oz, 10 lbs 6.5 oz, and, believe it or not, 12 lbs! All were vaginal deliveries, # 2 and 3 were precipitous, completely natural, med free labors/births, and the last was a home birth.

Unless you have GD, I really think the size of the infant is genetically determined. Beyond generally eating healthy and keeping active in your pregnancy, which of course will keep your weight gain within the suggested range, I don't think there is much you can do. I have passed the GD test every time and have gained between 24 and 37 lbs for my pregnancies. However, I come from 4 generations straight of macrosomic babies (my grandfather weighed over 12 lbs). But, my body grew those babies and birthed those babies just fine!

You successfully delivered two good sized babies already, so there isn't reason to think your body won't be able to deliver this next one - even if it is a little bigger. Try not to worry about it, you will do just fine!

jooniper's picture
Joined: 08/27/07
Posts: 780

I don't know if it's something you have control over, but I also think that, to a point, it's not necessarily a bad thing. The baby's weight doesn't play as big a part as you would think... position, speed, and the condition of your pelvic floor has as much if not more to do with how the labor goes.
Just don't let anyone else use the "big baby" card on you. If YOU think you can do it, then you can.

momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

The GD test is by no means fool-proof. It is a useful tool in determining most cases of GD, but it's a snapshot taken in a film, it won't always pick it up. I have GD this time, but passed my last two times, but I'm not sure I didn't have it the last two times. I have big babies too. My first was 9lb 7oz, my 2nd was 8lb 7oz (induced a week early) and this one is on the same path as at least the 2nd baby, so probably over 9 lbs because induction is not on the table. And about the weight gain, I've only gained around 15-20 lbs with my 2nd baby and this time I'm at 32 weeks with 12 lbs gained so far, so I don't think that really matters much.

As far as baby size, I would say genetics plays a large part as does your nutrition. I don't think you can tease out what's what though. Watch your diet and your carb intake and if you have a big baby then I'd say for you it's mostly genetic. I do agree that if you are careful with your diet that your body will grow a baby that is fine for you. I also agree that it's not always about size as it is about positioning and everything else.

MamaArty_RMT's picture
Joined: 11/09/05
Posts: 805

Here's my take on this.

Your baby's body size is predetermined. As in bone structure, how long s/he will be, how big around his/her skull is etc. There's nothing you can do about that.

How much fatty weight your baby puts on can be controlled to a point with your diet. If you eat a lot of simple carbs (sugars, processed flours, etc) your baby will probably put on more fat.

As far as pushing out a big baby (and I pushed out a 9.5er) fat squishes. Skull bones shift and squeeze together. Good positioning will encourage an easier exit.

So rather than worrying about how big baby is, because you don't have much control over it, and what you do have control over (fat) doesn't make much difference, why not focus on ensuring baby is in an optimal position (LOA).

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

Other people have brought up great points. I think that limiting simple carbs in favor of more whole grains is good advice for everybody, history of large babies or not, and even for not pregnant people. I recommend doing what you can to eat healthy--not necessarily to grow a small baby, but for all of the other good reasons there are to eat healthy--and don't worry too much about how big your baby is.

One question--did your previous babies have any issues with sticky shoulders? If not, then you probably just grow big babies, if so, then there could be other issues.

ksmiles's picture
Joined: 10/22/06
Posts: 5

Thanks for all your responses! I definitely feel like I can give birth naturally again, since I really didn't have any trouble with my previous two. Actually my daughter was much bigger and she came out much easier than my son, but she was also my second baby. I think I'm going to try to stick with eating healthy and see if that makes a difference this time. During my other two pregnancies, I pretty much ate whatever I craved, including stuff like ice cream and sweets, and that may have been what caused the baby to gain weight. This time I'm much more aware of what I'm putting into my body and I'm really going to make the effort to avoid eating junk for these last 10 weeks.

It's nice to hear that I'm not the only one having big babies. All my friends have nice little 7 pounders, but then again, most of them were induced early or had a c-section.
Thanks everyone!

Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 621

I did not eat very much during my last pregnancy (because nothing made me feel good!) and I had a 9 lb. 4 oz. baby. I am not a big girl and DH is definitely not big. I only went 3 days "overdue"

Since you've had two larger babies naturally, then there's not much to worry about honestly. Every, single birth I know of that has had "complications" or ended in a c/s has been babies less than 9 pounds. Just because a baby is larger doesn't mean that problems will occur.

I think it's great that you are facing your fear head on. By clearing you mind this early, it'll help you be able to focus on the positive things - like your two previous births!