A caesarean section or c section is where child birth occurs during an operation where a cut is made through the mother’s abdomen and uterus. There are many reasons for a doctor to recommend a caesarean, a mum to be needs to weigh up the best outcomes for both mother and baby.
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Community question: doctor recommends caesarean
I went to my doctor today for my checkup, I am currently 38 weeks along. He said to me he would recommend a c section as my baby is big and because I am small with narrow hips. It could make a mess of things if I give birth naturally. As this is my first I am very nervous about a c section and normal delivery, getting a bit anxious. Basically I’m just wondering if anyone else’s situation was similar and what they chose to do as I would rather the safest option for myself and my baby.
- The majority of women have a very similar sized pelvis. It is the internal diameters that are important not whether you are a size 6 or a size 16. Your pelvis is also designed to soften and give a little when you are in labour. That is what all those lovely hormones are for. “Big baby” seems to be a reason commonly used by obstetricians when it is more convenient for them to do a caesarean. You wouldn’t happen to be due over the Christmas and New Year period would you? Even ultrasound in the late stages of pregnancy are only accurate to +/- 10 to 20%. Does your obstetrician really think your baby will be over 4.5kgs? That is considered the upper end of normal. A caesarean this time also impacts on your future births so do more research and ask more questions. Don’t be scared and if in the end you do decide to go for a caesarean, do it knowing that you were well informed.
- Doctors aren’t always right! I had a whopper 5kg birthweight child but apparently my baby was normal size(3-3.5kg). Even after several ultrasounds, no-one believed me!! Do what you feel is right!
- Do you trust your doctor? I have always been told (pardon the graphic image here) that it is the size of the cervix not the hips and they do not necessarily correlate. That being said trust your instincts, I have only the one bub who was 8lb 3oz or 3.7kg not huge but definitely not small.
- Don’t let them make you doubt yourself. A woman’s body is designed to have babies so trust your body, don’t let them bully you
- Go with your gut feeling. I was offered both natural and c section due to complications and a big baby, but was pushed more towards natural. I was hesitant and I thought a c section was best but I ended up choosing natural. Honestly it was horrible. I lost massive clots and my son ended up getting stuck so I ended up with a c section, which is what my gut told me to go for. Every mother should be given the opportunity to give birth naturally.
- Small people have big babies all the time. What evidence is there that you will actually be unable to deliver naturally other than your size? What exactly is this “mess” doctor is referring to? Don’t let anyone scare you into thinking you don’t have a choice, you do! Get your research on, get that information into your head and prove that doctor wrong. Of course if something is up then keep yourself and bub safe, but you being small and bub being big is no reason to automatically book a caesarean. Check out Birth Without Fear. They have GREAT support, and will be able to give you heaps of inspiration and advice. Good luck!!
- I had a similar situation with the delivery of my baby boy, I had placenta previa, but there was a tiny tiny gap between the birth canal and placenta. The doctors had recommended a c section to be safe in case of haemorrhage. But if I really wanted a natural birth I could try. Luckily we decided on the c section, as once the placenta was removed, it was discovered the main artery the thickness of a pointer finger was sitting between the birth canal and placenta. If it had burst the surgeon said to my husband he most likely would have lost wife and baby. Sorry for T.M.I..
- I’m tiny (46 kg and 34 weeks pregnant ) and was worried about having trouble giving birth naturally as I had an 8 pound baby which I thought was big enough. How big do they think baby is ? My sister is a big girl and she had to have c sections. I don’t think its got to do with being small I know a women who is tinnier then me and her bub was like 9 pound all natural and all well! I’d be getting a 2nd opinion!
- Doctors definitely aren’t always right. My mum got told, while pregnant with me, to have a c section because I was too big. She went natural and I was 8lb 8oz. Mum then fell pregnant with my sister and they said she was average size and so mum tired natural. Then they said she had to have an emergency caesarean section, turns out my sister was 9lb 11oz! Your body is designed to give birth if you think you can do it give it a go. If not don’t. Your body will tell you and if you decide not to that’s fine too 🙂 Good luck!!
- I know that some doctors that aren’t right but they also don’t usually opt for a c section unless it’s necessary. My friend had 2 huge bubs and is small. She had horrendous tearing and the possibility of an emergency c section with one baby. Both natural and c section have advantages and disadvantages but if it is a question of safety, I would opt for what your doctor has recommended.
- I had the opposite happen I am tall (175cm) and have normal hips (size 12) and my first was 9lb2oz and had 49.5hrs labour. Then I was told that I need a c section because baby head was too big. I chose a c section over forceps and lucky I did as bubs would of broken my pelvis. My doctor was stunned that I could not do it naturally because my body was in proportion. I was upset with myself after as I wanted to do natural but sometimes things don’t work out. I would take it as it comes and what you are comfy with. If a natural labour doesn’t work there is the c section alternative. The doctors will monitor baby during labour and if baby can’t cope they will recommend an emergency c section. You being nervous is totally normal. Good luck with it all!
- I had my son 4months ago at 38weeks. The doctors induced me because of his size. I’m 5ft 6 but a small frame – I had SPD and my back was hyper extending and causing me a lot of pain. I had a great obstetrician who knew how important it was for me to birth naturally. We made a joint decision to induce me. In the end I had a very positive experience, so much better than my first birth (posterior, and soooo long). He was 8pd 12oz and birthed in 2 pushes after a 5-hour active labour. We were shocked he was so big, we were aiming for the size of my first son (8pd even). I had a large-ish baby and a whole lot of fluid!! I suggest going through with it with as much information as possible and stick to what your gut says. C-sections (from what I have heard) are certainly not the easy way out. There is a lot of healing/pain and so often it’s done as a means to make things easier for the doctors. If you are nervous, or have your heart set on a natural birth, discuss this with your medical team, that is what they’re there for. Have an open mind that it may not work out, but also discuss your course of action before the event so you’re informed with time to ask questions etc. Good luck!!
- Do what you think is right for you. Doctors aren’t always right, in ultrasounds I was told I will have a short baby and at 5mo he is in the 90th percentile for his height. It is possible to have a big baby naturally when you are small it has been done! I had a c section and I would have preferred natural (baby wouldn’t let it happen!). The pain is extremely uncomfortable, sorry if I scared you. You are allowed to say no to it unless baby is in distress like mine was. You know your body better than anyone. Good luck with your decision
- I am tiny 5 foot nothing 43kg and I had a 10pound DS naturally! I was pretty shocked when I saw the size of him after my 1st DD was only 6pound6! And his birth was actually easier!
- This is a common ‘excuse’ many obstetricians give to mums which is not necessarily the case. Trust your body to birth your baby the best you can, also do some research and really understand for yourself ‘what mess’ he is referring to. Your doctor should really be empowering you, not filling you with fear if not at all necessary. Trust your body it will work out. Definitely go to the birth with out fear link and most of all try not to be afraid you will be ok.
- My obstetrician never suggested a c section even though we knew he would be big. She just said we will wait and see what happens.
- I had a low lying placenta and was given the choice, to the doctor’s it’s a numbers game. What is the option with the least risks to you both. There will be plenty of stories one way or the other however if you believe the doctor is decent then he will be advising you statistically the best option. If you have a strong desire for a natural birth get some more info about what he thinks the risks associated with it are. I was advised there was a high chance a would need a c section. They preferred not to do an emergency because that involves a general anaesthetic and you are not awake for the birth, I was told this had greater risks for the baby. If you do go for a c section don’t freak, I was so nervous about how I would cope whilst it was being done what it would feel like etc. During the operation it does not hurt. It is over quite quick, your adrenaline kicks in and before long you will be meeting your baby. Yes, it hurts afterwards but you are so preoccupied with baby that you deal with it for this reason only. I think it is the easiest operation to recover from!
- I always saw c sections as the easy way out. After 2 of my close friends had one I would rather go through my labour again compared to what they endured. They couldn’t even hold their babies after it for a week and they’re still healing 6 months on. If you believe you can do it natural! Go for it! Your body will love you!
- I’m a small build too and my first son was 8lbs or 10.5kg and my next daughter was 7lbs or 6kg. Both natural and while not easy, best for me and my baby. I knew what I wanted and didn’t deviate from what I felt was right. Go with your gut instinct, its rarely wrong!
- I was told my boy was an average sized baby the day before I had him. Then I was induced because my waters had prematurely ruptured. I had a 10 hour labour and got nowhere, only dilated to 2cm and my doctor suggested I have caesarean section (baby was also in distress by that point). My gut decision was that I had a big baby but none of the doctors or midwives believed me, because as they said to me multiple times ‘the ultrasound doesn’t lie’. According to the ultrasounds I was 39+1wks and had an average sized baby. When my son was born the doctor said he was only 37 weeks max and he was 8 pound 3. I am usually only 49kg and 5ft 1. After my c section the doctors told me even if my labour had of progressed there is no way I could have had him naturally. When they pulled him out of my belly his head and shoulders were stuck in my pelvis. If doctor says your baby won’t fit then there’s a very small chance he could be wrong but is it really worth risking it? If I had of had a natural birth, I believe my recovery would have been a lot harder simply due to mine and bubs sizes. I was given the all clear to go back to doing everything after 2 weeks. No regrets from me for choosing the cesarean at all.
- If it was me (and I am saying this not having had a very big baby) I would prefer a wait and see approach. Obviously there may be other issues involved but sometimes obstetricians can be a little c section happy. Just because it is suggested doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the only option. If you are unsure then definitely talk to them about it and if you are keen to see if you can deliver naturally then tell them that. In the end it may not be an option but at least you’ve had a chance to explore all your options. Good luck!
- I had a low lying placenta and a baby who was still breech at 37 weeks and was being pressured to have a cesarean. The doctor said the placenta was borderline. It was my choice to go ahead naturally and was supportive of my want to have natural. I’m so glad I didn’t go with the cesarean as my son turned last minute. I had an amazing natural labour and birth, after my waters broke at 38 weeks. Trust your instincts and what you want to do. If you want to go naturally and there is no medical reasons like Placenta Praevia, breech etc, then by all means go for it. That being said I had a 6lb 3oz baby so him being big was never the issue, it was always him being too small. Have you thought about early induction perhaps if you are concerned about size? But also with inductions can come more complications. At the end of the day, do what you feel is best for you and your baby. Don’t feel pressured into a decision you’re not comfortable with! Good luck with whatever you choose!
- My doctor said I was carrying a big baby. He was born 6pd 15oz!! So yes, doctors aren’t always right! I have a family friend who is a size 24-26 and can’t have natural births due to the size of her pelvis so it’s more to do with that measurement!
- As a size twelve with little hips my first baby was huge. I ended up being 137cms round the day I had him, he weighed 9 pounds 13ounces. Yes, I had stitches but only a few women’s bodies are made to stretch for child birth. If in the process of labour, you or your baby are in distress you’re average hospital can have you in surgery and baby out in under 5 min. All I would say is recovery time from vaginal birth is soooo much easier than c section. If you go c section then they will push it on you if you have another child.
- Try naturally first if you can. I was told the same thing with my first baby and because he and I weren’t showing any signs of being ready. I had an elective c section a few days after my due date. He was 9 pound 1 ounce. I wish I had been strong and confident enough to say no I want to wait and see what happens. Then I had another two elective caesarean sections after that. I always wonder could I have had my babies naturally and it really does upset me at times.
- Personally I am under 5 foot and slim. I was given the same options as you, even though they knew my bub wasn’t huge. I opted for natural and it was awful! After 24hrs of labour I needed to have an emergency c section. He only weighed 7 pound so definitely not a giant! It was discovered afterwards that I had cephela pelvic disproportion (CPD) so for my second child I opted for the c section straight away. C sections are fine if you go that way!
- I have “small hips” and had two big babies vaginally. Second was 9 pounds, active induced labour no epidural, no forceps, nothing. I did have stitches. I’m 5’2 you can totally do this naturally if you want.
- While I’m not a doctor but I can tell you my son always measured 4 – 5 cm bigger per week and on the 97% at scans, at my 36 week check up. The doctor told me he was 11 pounds and to have a c section. I talked to him about what would happen if I tried for a natural birth. The doctor told me there would be signs during labour if he wasn’t coming out and they would take me for a c section. I just knew my son was not that big so went for natural birth and after 26 hours of drug free labour (except gas) my 8.13 pound son was born. They can get it very wrong with how big or small the baby will be. Good luck with your birth
- You carried you baby for 9 months and you will care for your baby for the rest of your lives. With regards to the birth, do whatever you feel is right! It’s a small part of being a mother. It is what comes after that is the real challenge! Good luck, no matter what you decide.