I'm very petite. Is it safe to deliver my baby vaginally, or should I have a C-section?

you mentioned that you have a petite

frame and at your prenatal appointments

the doctors talk to you about still

trying a vaginal delivery and seeing how

it goes and you're wondering if that's

an okay plan and most definitely there

are I've been a labor and delivery nurse

for ten years and there are women who

surprised me with their ability to

squish a baby out you know I've seen

little four foot ten ladies deliver

seven pounders without a problem and

taller women have problems getting out a

six and a half pounder really what it

comes down to is the size of your pelvis

now if you see a woman that has large

hips you might say oh she should have

like ten kids she's got great birthing

hips but really what do we always hear

we always hear that it's the inside that

counts and your pelvis has an inlet

that's what the baby goes through that's

what they fit through there's no way to

predetermine the size of your pelvis and

compare it to the size of your baby and

decide if they're proportionate

the only thing we can do is try to

squeeze them through so this would mean

either letting you go into labor

spontaneously or by inducing you once

you get far enough along that the doctor

feels like there would be minimal risk

to the baby for them to be born usually

this is at 39 weeks and beyond so if

this is your first baby it would be

normal for labor to take a long time on

average first-time moms labor for 12 to

18 hours and this is without an

induction and it also doesn't include

all the hours leading up to labor when

you might have been contracting a lot

and feeling like you're in labor the

true definition of labor is actually

cervical change from hour to hour so

some girls say like I was in labor for

five days and really you're only in

labor for the hours leading up to the

delivery of your baby when your cervix

is actively changing from hour to hour

so basically what I'm getting at is if

you go into spontaneous labor or you're

induced expect it to take a long time

don't be surprised by that and then what

would clue the doctors into the fact

that the c-section is necessary is that

above and beyond the normal amount of

time that we expect your contractions

are strong enough that your cervix

should be changing and it's not and or

maybe the baby's head never comes down

your pelvis it is possible to just halt

progress altogether maybe you don't get

past 1 2 3 4 centimeters but there are

some women

who get all the way to ten push for two

hours and still need a c-section that's

determined when the baby just won't fit

through so there are different ways that

we can tell this we monitor closely

during labor and give you ample

opportunity to see if you can deliver

vaginally as long as your baby is

tolerating things and the heartbeat

pattern of your baby is showing us that

they're doing well while inside of you

we can be patient and give it some time

before we throw in the towel and say

it's time for a c-section now one thing

I want you to understand is that

c-sections are not the worst case

scenario so if you end up needing a

c-section just know that it's basically

like a detour our goal is a healthy mom

and a healthy baby and we're assuming

that that's yours too and sometimes

c-sections are necessary in order to

achieve good outcomes so I recommend

staying in close contact with your

doctor and make sure you make and keep

all of your prenatal appointments write

down questions that you might have ask

them and your doctor will be able to

give you the best advice based on their

knowledge of your circumstances and then

of course your nurses and your doctor

when you're in the hospital laboring

we'll be able to answer any questions

you have about what's happening at that

point good luck with everything and if

you have more questions in the future

for me please feel free to ask them on

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