Look at this gorgeous big baby!
If you are suspected to be having a large baby you may be encouraged to deliver early via induction to reduce the risk to you and baby. What may not be explained is the risks of induction itself.
A study comparing people who were identified to be having a large baby vs those who weren’t and did have a large baby, found that identifying a large baby in pregnancy:
TRIPLED the rates of induction
TRIPLED the rates of c-section and
QUADRUPLED the rate of maternal complications
WITHOUT making any difference in the rates of shoulder dystocia (a common reason given for delivering large babies early).
Read that again… it made maternal complications such as haemorrhage, infection, wound separation, fever and need for antibiotics FOUR TIMES MORE LIKELY without improving the rates of shoulder dystocia.
What does this mean? It means DO YOUR RESEARCH AND KNOW YOUR RIGHTS before consenting OR declining medical interventions in labour. Educating yourself on the real risks and benefits of a course of action is essential so you’re making an informed choice free from other people or institution’s bias.
You can read the full article and summary of research on the evidence based birth website.
Photo courtesy of north Dallas doulas.