Weekend Movie: "Too Big". Oh yeah?
It's one of the most common scare tactics used to pressure women into either early induction or into outright c-section, for supposed macrosomia, leading to cephalopelvic disproportion, a.k.a. CPD. I wish all women in America knew two things. First, ultrasound estimates of weight are notoriously, laughably inaccurate, by up to TWO POUNDS. I cannot tell you the number of birth stories I have read where the big baby card got played and they got pressured into a c-section, because it looked like this baby was going to be 9 or even - gasp - 10 pounds (more on that in a sec) . . . and the little slip of a thing turns out to be 7 pounds plus change after all. Whoops!
Second: True CPD is very rare, and our perception of what is "too big" is skewed by mainstream birthing practices. Case in point: when I was pregnant and attending regular home birth support group, 4 women had their babies within the same month, all at home, none with any complications. Three of those four babies were over ten pounds. And only one of those three had any tearing at all (and I'm told it was very minor, requiring maybe two stitches). What made this possible? Well, I very much doubt any of these women were immobilized flat on their backs during any of their labors, much less during second stage (pushing). A ten pound baby with a numbed woman in lithotomy position, well, sure, you might encounter some difficulty. The risk of true shoulder dystocia (which is what practitioners are worried about when they play the big baby card) is, again, rare, and minimized when one is able to move and assume normal, efficient positions for labor, especially pushing.
But don't take my word for it! Read up. For starters, here's some thorough info on CPD from ICAN. It includes suggestions for things you can do to improve your odds if CPD ever becomes a concern, such as chiropractic care and fetal positioning. Oh, and hiring a doula. *bats eyelashes* And here's a great post by Enjoy Birth on the topic with lots of great linkage throughout. Both include the very video I'm sharing with you here. Watch and be inspired, especially if VBAC is part of your journey.