Sunday, August 26, 2007


I know a woman who is due in a few months. She's young (early 20s) and she's only been married a year. She's petite in build and her husband isn't. He has a big head. The doctor took one look at them and said (wait for it...), "you might have to have a c-section because the baby's head will be too big."


She's naive. She's religious, so she's reluctant to read any groovy birthing books (even though there's no prohibition to do so). She's "thinking about" taking some sort of childbirth education class.

I live 4000 miles from her and am not close to her. I'm being updated on the story by a friend.

I just emailed my friend and advised that this woman should hire an experienced doula to be with her. I also said that, as her due date approaches, she should spend time on all fours with her bum in the air to encourage baby to wiggle his head into just the right position.

What else can I do? I know she intends to have a big family and I cringe when I think of her having 6 or more c/s. She isn't the type who would stand up for a VBAC. Oy, I can't stop thinking about her.


liiseli said...

Well, maybe it's possible to explain to her that a
woman's body limits the size that the baby grows to in the womb. The father's size is not important because of a mechanism called genetic imprinting. The baby's
body 'switches off' the genes inherited from the father
which control growth while it is in the womb. The growth
genes inherited from the mother are the ones which control the size of the baby while it's in utero. That's why women nearly always grow babies to fit
their own bodies, not their partner's. After birth, the father's growth genes are 'switched on' and the child's potential size is a product of
that of both parents. It is in the baby's interest to be as big as possible, as the
survival rate is better for large babies - but it's not in the baby's interest to be too large to be born.

Mark said...

Still working on this one. Thanks for the tip. While I totally believe you, do you have a source for this info (so I can cite it to her)?

liiseli said...

I got this info from Angela Horn ( I could email you a letter she sent to HomebirthUK with several references to scientific studies.