Are doctors too quick to tell women they’re having a big baby?

big baby, how big is a baby,
big baby, how big is a baby,

There’s nothing more agonising than an expectant mother’s concern for the health of her unborn child. So what happens when doctors tell you you’re having a big baby?

The latest news from the maternity world suggests that many doctors are too often telling pregnant patients that they’re carrying large babies. This information has resulted from an American study published by Maternal and Child Health Journal. According to the study, one third of the women involved in the study were told their baby was getting “quite large”. In reality only 9.9 per cent of the 2,400 women surveyed actually delivered a baby who’s was considered medically large.  

The consequences resulting from this misinformation is most women opting for an induced pregnancy and a scheduled C-section as they feel they aren’t capable of delivering their child naturally. The study also revealed that these women were more likely to ask for an epidural for pain relief during the birthing process.

In many cases methods such as a C-section are medically required to ensure a safe delivery for both mother and child. However, many medical professionals try to refrain from carrying out a first-time C-section on a patient when there is no reason to assume a natural birth wouldn’t be successful.

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Yet, the fault for this inaccuracy may not lay with the medical professional but rather the equipment they use. According to Dr. Ronald Iverson, an author of the study, medical professionals are limited to the technology available. “Unfortunately, there is a 15 to 20 per cent risk of miscalculation of the fetal weight with ultrasound at the end of pregnancy,” he remarks. “We have not been able to develop formulas or tools sensitive enough to give consistently correct weights.”

Along with revealing the inaccuracy by which doctors determine an unborn child’s weight, the study highlights the numerous issues regarding the communication of weight estimations to expectant mothers.

maternity & infant

Originally posted 2016-01-14 17:21:52.