Q&A: After vaginal tearing from a previous pregnancy, I want to know if inducing labor early will help avoid a C-section.
I am currently 32 weeks with our second child, our first child was 9lbs 10oz, I was induced at full term with her and had a vaginal delivery after 26 hours of labor with a massive amount of tearing. I was told after the birth that she was too large for me. Should I expect the same with this baby or should I have labor induced before my due date to avoid having a large baby? I'd really like to avoid a c-section if possible.
This is a great question! Bigger babies can definitely have a harder time coming through, with consequences for baby and for mom. And moms that have a big baby once are more likely to have a big baby again.
So, what can you do to have the best possible birth this time around?
- Try to grow a slightly smaller baby. Starting off pregnancy at normal weight, gaining at the lower end of the recommended weight gain, exercising, and treating gestational diabetes if you have it will all help the baby grow to a more average weight. Since you are already 32 weeks, this information may be a little late for you, but keep all this in mind if you have another baby in the future.
- Induction of labor after 39 weeks is always an option. Babies grow about a half pound a week at the end of pregnancy. Delivering slightly early may help the baby to fit through. Before 39 weeks, induced babies are slightly more likely to have problems of prematurity and end up in the ICU, so unless there is a medical reason for induction, timed deliveries should not occur earlier than 7 days before the due date.
- If part of the problem was that the baby’s shoulders got stuck on the way out (“shoulder dystocia”) you may want to consider cesarean if this baby is the same size or bigger.
Without knowing what a “massive amount of tearing” means, I am only able to give you general recommendations. You should definitely talk to your doctor or midwife about what happened last time, and what options you have (short of C-section if you don’t want one) to prevent the same thing from happening again. Good luck!