baby

'I naturally delivered three huge babies. Here's what pregnant women need to know about it.'

When Jessica Low, 30, tells people she birthed a 5.42kg baby naturally, she often gets asked if she is a wonder woman. To this she replies, “I’m no superhero at all, I was given the best possible support to know and trust that I’ve got this.”

The Sydney mum has actually birthed three large babies – all naturally.

“Penny was born two days before her estimated due date and was 4.45kg. Josie was born on her due date and was 5.41kg and John was born ten days after my due date and was 5.42kg,” she said.

“When I’ve told people how big my babies were, I can see the look in their eyes of ‘oh my goodness are you normal down there anymore?’ and yet with my biggest babies I had no stitches at all.”

Jessica believes being supported through birth and having the right information on how to birth large babies is the key and wants other women to know they shouldn’t fear birthing a big baby.

She said when Josie was born, her midwife said she was the biggest natural birth she had seen and was very impressed with her effort.

birthing a big baby
Jessica while pregnant. Image: Supplied.

“When she measured Josie, her jaw dropped and she took her off the scales, reset them and measured her again. She came out the size of a three-month-old straight into infant nappies and 00 size clothing. The nurses kept popping in to see the big baby," she said.

"My sister was going in to birth a few weeks later and the midwives were still talking about the 5.4kg baby and my sister said, ‘yes that was my sister’."

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Jessica said although 20-week scans showed she was measuring about two weeks ahead with her babies, she wasn’t too concerned because all her family had been big babies and had birthed big babies.

“I wasn’t worried because my older sister, who is smaller than me, had birthed a 4.7kg or 4.8kg baby and I was at her homebirth and watched him being born."

However, when it came time to birth her first baby Jessica still wondered if she could manage, but attributes her success, in part, to the calm birth course she took.

All three babies were born in the water after Jessica went into spontaneous labour.

birthing a big baby
Josie as a newborn with her older sister Penny. Image: Supplied.

Penny was born after an eight-hour labour and 30 minutes of pushing, Josie was only ten minutes of pushing and John was born a few minutes after her waters broke at home.

“I have always wanted to catch my own baby, but I needed to brace myself with my arms for that final push each time."

She said the pregnancies, went well, but she did suffer a lot of back pain with the last two.

“The last six to eight weeks are really tough because my baby is the size of most at full term, but I still have another month to go.”

Jessica said there was never any fear around the births, and she believes when a healthy woman is supported and listened to by her care providers, she is able to birth giant babies. I don’t want women to not listen to their doctors, but to ask questions.

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"From my understanding a lot of women have difficulties birthing their big babies because they’re on their backs pushing against gravity or put into awkward positions for internals etcetera.

birthing a big baby
Jessica while in labour with Josie. Image: Supplied.

"If care providers looked at other options, like ensuring their women with big babies birthed on their hands and knees or other upright positions it could potentially make a huge difference.

"It would be great if some studies were conducted to create guidelines around birthing big babies, rather than focusing on getting them out before they are too big.”

Professor of Midwifery at Western Sydney University, Hannah Dahlen, said the greatest risk of a big baby is poorly controlled diabetes.

“Most women grow babies that are a perfect fit for their body. Nature is pretty smart that way. If they won’t fit, then labour tends to not progress well and then a caesarean is done," she said.

"The risk of shoulders getting stuck after the head has been born (shoulder dystocia) can happen with very big babies but most shoulder dystocia is unexpected and in normal size infants so it’s important we are skilled in manoeuvres to get babies out when they are a tight fit."

Professor Dahlen recommended birthing on your hands and knees and avoiding being on your back in order to give the baby plenty of room to come through the pelvis.

Did you birth a big baby? What was your experience like? Tell us in the comments section below. 

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