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Thread: Small Feet ... Small Pelvis?

  1. #1

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    Default Small Feet ... Small Pelvis?

    I'm 166cm and have size 5 and a half feet. Added to that, I'm a bit of a pinhead and I've yet to meet anyone with smaller hands than me. But I'm not short.

    Anyhow, before I announced I was pregnant, someone in the office started saying how small feet means small pelvis and how if I ever got pregnant, maybe I would need a caesarean. How I laughed, thinking "yeah right, that's got to be an old wives tale for sure."

    A bit of Googling later suggested that maybe this wasn't as daft as I first thought so I asked my obstetrician expecting him to knock it on the head. But he also said that although there's not a direct correlation, it's something that could indicate a small pelvis "and I'm guessing you're about a 5 and a half shoe size." I was mightily impressed that he was so accurate and he said that's something he does look out for.

    Now, my obstetrician has the lowest rate of caesareans in Melbourne apparently and he is not going to send me off for pelvic scans or any of those unreliable things that medical people sometimes do. He is happy to take a let's see how you go once you're in labour approach which I'm very comfortable with. So I don't want this to turn into a debate about how to avoid being pressured into a caesarean on the basis of a 'maybe'. I won't be.

    But, I would like to hear from other women who have small feet (compared to their height) and how their birth went.

    Cheers

    Fiona


  2. #2

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    A friend of mine has size 5 feet and birthed her two babies just fine. They were both 7ish lbs.

  3. #3

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    My mum has size 5 feet and had both of her babies with no problems either.

    I have heard of this before though and I guess it does make sense when you think that our bodies are built "proportionately" - so some of us are "small" all over while others are bigger all over (feet and pelvis included).

  4. #4

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    You would be surprised at how much a pelvis can open to let the baby move through it. There is an article on the main site I will post for you too about pelvic size.

    ETA -
    Here it is http://www.bellybelly.com.au/article...s-big-baby-cpd
    Last edited by Trillian; June 23rd, 2007 at 10:04 AM.

  5. #5

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    OK, just to clarify, I guess I'm really talking about women whose feet, like mine, are disproportionate to their overall height. Lots of women have small feet but they tend to be short too. I have tiny feet for my height.

    Also to clarify, I'm not particularly worried about this. I know that baby's heads are malleable, pelvises are stretchy etc. etc. I'm just curious what other people's experiences have been.

  6. #6

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    I am a size 6, but I am not short either (171cms).

    TBH, although my birth went well, my son got very stuck, and it took a four hour second stage and a heavily assisted delivery at the end to get him out vaginally! Being a 35 weeker, he was not a big baby, his HC was only 33cms. All the midwives told me he did me a favour coming early, as if he'd gone to FT I probably would have ended up with a c-section. They also said I was lucky to have Ob persist and not take me straight up to theatre! Of course, I may never have that problem again, and don't let me scare you, my birth was a wonderful experience.

    I'm not sure I buy into that theory, but there's my experience for you!

  7. #7

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    Hahaha you need to read this about the small feet small pelvis theory: http://www.bellybelly.com.au/article...nown-and-loved

    A baby getting stuck has nothing to do with it's size, it's positional. Shoulder dystocia happens to babies big and small, and in a study where they assessed induction for GD babies (who they claim have macrosomia or big for dates babies) proved to provide more c/s than improving outcomes. No difference in dystocia levels, apgars etc... you can see the studies in my induction article and the GD forum.

    So how do you prevent it? Get off your back, have an active labour and optimal fetal positioning. CPD or cephalopelvic disproportion is very, very rare. A very experienced midwife said that the only time she felt that it really was the case was when there was a tiny Asian woman and a huge Aussie bloke, if she had to pick one. But many doulas and midwives find CPD is often the result of malposition once the c/s has been done.

    I highly recommend people get the Pink Kit, it teaches you how to map your pelvis so you know what shape and size it is, avoid malposition and know where your baby is at in labour. Its such a great resource.
    Last edited by BellyBelly; June 23rd, 2007 at 11:16 AM.
    Kelly xx

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  8. #8

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    That's a great article Kelly! Unfortunately my step-sister is one of those very rare, true cases of CPD, but I definitely don't think I am one of them! I think my second stage was hindered by my broken foot but I do think that my Ob and I did the very best we could given the circumstances

    Sorry to hijack, but I wanted to point out that all my life people have joked about my 'childbearing hips' and how I won't have any problems delivering babies, they'll just slip out . Yet my mother has tiny hips and birthed two babies, no dramas, one of them breech! Just goes to show.............

  9. #9

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    Thanks Kelly - I read that a few months ago which is why I'm not worried. Just interested in people's personal experiences from a curiosity perspective.

  10. #10

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    hi there
    im short, about 5"2, i have size 7.5 feet - not overly small, in fact fairly large for my overall size... anyways after much pushing and hours and hours of labour i had to have a caeser to get my girl out, who was 8lb7... the obstetrician who performed the caesar said he thought i would only have a 5-10% chance of having a baby vaginally due to my pelvis... now i am not sure how he could tell this, and how valid it is etc etc etc, all i know is i tried dam hard to get that baby out and couldn't, and she had indentations across her head from my pelvis (still does). I am happy to have a caesar again next time as my labour was the worst thing in the whole world and if i had to go vaginally, i honestly can't say if i would have another. of course everyone's experiences are different, i am just unfortunate to have had a horrid one.

    best of luck - by hook or by crook your baby will come out one way or the other and once she (or he) has arrived, the way in which she came into the world will be so irelevant.

  11. #11

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    I've heard that too from 2 drs, but their attitudes are also wait and see what happens in labour. I'm 5 ft 2 and size 5.5 feet (5 in some shoes). It's the internal pelvic diameter that's the area of interest, and you can't really see that from the outside. And like Kelly said, the pelvic bones do move during labour to help things along.

    He/she will come out somehow!!!

  12. #12

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    Emma, did they say anything about your baby's head being deflexed?

    Having the indentations sounds like malposition. Last birth I was at waters had been broken 3 days (early rupture of membranes commonly results in position issues) and she had to have an emergency c/s - not a big baby but indentations on one of the temples at birth. Also mum had nerve pain down her right leg and hip so my bet is that was the side baby was on, malpositioned. The c/s was needed at the time, malposition sometimes can't be shifted, but it doesn't mean it will happen with every baby. Just unfortunate.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
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  13. #13

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    I have a size 5 foot but i'm also short (5'1)
    My pevlis is very small and because she was head down and there wasn't anymore room for her to grow her head was only 31.5cm despite being full term. I pushed her out in 3 pushes (after a long labour) quite easily.
    My osteo mentioned to me after the birth that he was suprised I didn't have more torouble considering the size of my pelvis, but apart from having a long long long labour, it wasn't difficult in the sense of needed any intervention at all.

  14. #14

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    I have size 5 feet too and I'm about 155cm tall. It took me a while (her position was a bit off), but i did manage to birth my daughter vaginally.

  15. #15

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    im not sure what they said exactly about the babies head, by that stage i was just wanting to die (seriously)... he did though, before deciding on a c section, insert his fingers, and actually turned the babies head, so i guess it was facing the wrong way, and he manipulated it with this hands/fingers to turn it the correct way. Both midwives sort of freaked out as they had never seen that done before.... but it didn't help and had to have the c-section anyway.

    he said due to my pelvis unlikely for a vbirth... but who knows. there is no way i am trying it again though.

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