Mom gives birth to a 5.7kg baby via vaginal delivery!
By the time Anis got to the hospital, she was already fully dilated and the baby's head was showing...
It’s a well known fact that women find it difficult to give birth to large babies via vaginal delivery. As a result, the obstetrician will usually recommend giving birth to a big baby through a caesarean section.
However, an amazing story has emerged from Indonesia where a mother gave birth to a whopper of a baby—weighing 5.7kg or 12.5lbs—via normal delivery! To give you some perspective, the average weight for most healthy newborns is anywhere between 2.5 to 4.5kg or 5.5lbs to 9.9lbs.
“A giant baby”
Anis Murwati is a 29-year-old mum who gave birth to her very big baby girl on August 16, 2018, and she wants to share her story with all of you.
Due to her massive size, Murwati’s baby was labelled as “a giant child.” And it’s not only in Indonesia, either. She is considered a ‘giant baby’ even by global standards, as her body weight is similar to that of baby over two months old.
Other than her heavier-than-normal weight, the baby is “normal” in every other way. She has a normal length. Her cheeks are plump, and she cries loudly. Her thick hair is black, in contrast with her fair skin.
Anis, the mum, said that she did not expect to give birth to a jumbo-sized baby, even though her older daughter was also on the large side at birth, weighing 4 kilograms or 8.8 pounds.
According to Anis, the midwife had estimated that the baby would weigh at least four kilograms during a prenatal examination.
Anis also admitted that her pregnancy this time felt much heavier than usual. As a result, her stomach also felt very large. In fact, her womb became so heavy that eight months into her pregnancy, poor Anis had difficulty moving.
Even so, she still forced herself to exercise in the morning by sweeping the yard or just taking a leisurely stroll. She had already made up her mind to give birth via normal delivery.
“When I entered [the hospital], it turned out that she [Anis] was almost fully dilated. The baby’s head was already showing and I could tell that she was very big,” said Tatang Mulyana, the Director of Duta Mulya Majenang General Hospital, where Anis gave birth. This also meant that it was too late to perform a C-section.
Vaginal delivery to a big baby: What are the risks involved?
Knowing that the process of giving birth via normal vaginal delivery to a big baby is very risky, the medical personnel began considering their decisions carefully.
One of the risks is shoulder dystocia, a condition where the baby’s head has been delivered, but the baby’s shoulder is stuck because it is wider than usual.
“The worst possible scenario is a caesarean section, where the baby has to be pulled back into the uterus before being removed,” she explained.
Tatang added that with a baby whose weight is above average, the safest way to proceed with labour is via caesarean section.
However, in Anis’ case, the medical officers and doctors were too late. Time wasn’t on their side.
That’s because a bursting amniotic bag also presents heavy risks, too. The baby must exit out of the mom’s uterus as soon as possible.
“At that time I was worried – should we do a Caesarian section or not? There’s no time left. Oh well, we will try our best to proceed with normal delivery,” said Tatang.
The pair struggled for nearly an hour between life and death. Thankfully, both Anis and her baby managed to survive through the normal delivery safely.
The biggest risk of giving birth via vaginal delivery to a big baby is sudden death
Dr Yusfa, a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, adds that babies weighing over four kilograms at birth is unusual. He explains that babies weighing over 4 kg have a condition known as macrosomia.
“The cause can be genetics, excessive maternal weight gain, and most commonly gestational diabetes, or diabetes during pregnancy. The risk of being an older mom during pregnancy is that the baby can be born larger or smaller than normal, usually with congenital abnormalities. One of the heaviest risks is sudden death, where the fetus suddenly dies in the womb,” he explained.
“When giving birth to a baby weighing less than 4 kg, its head’s circumference is larger than its shoulder’s circumference. So once the head is delivered, the baby’s shoulder can surely be delivered with the little to no risk of injury to both the baby and its mum. If a fetus that weighs more than 4 kg, the circumference of the shoulder is larger than the head’s. So once the head is delivered, it’s possible for the shoulders to get stuck in the womb, such that the baby’s head just dangles outside, “he added.
Risky ways of vaginally delivery to a big baby
Therefore, Dr. Yusfa explained that there are several maneuvers to pull the shoulder out. Doctors can conduct a wide episiotomy (which carries a heavy risk of injury to the mom).
They can also rotate and break the baby’s shoulder bone. There aren’t other options left to proceed with normal delivery once the baby’s head head has already been delivered; switching to a C-section at this point is very risky to both mom and baby.
“So if the fetus is estimated to be over 4 kg, that is an indication for cesarean delivery. However, there are a few cases of lucky mothers and babies who survived normal delivery despite being over 4kg,” he concluded.
This article about giving birth to a big baby was translated by Kevin Wijaya Oey and republished with the permission of the theAsianparent Indonesia. We wish Anis and her baby all the very best!