Many smaller women are afraid that having children will require a c-section, and this is not typically the case. During pregnancy, your body goes through many changes to accommodate the delivery of your baby. A woman’s body is designed to give birth naturally.
How your body adjusts to accommodate delivery
Most small framed women have a natural delivery. The size of the pelvic opening is more important than the size of the woman. The ligaments holding your pelvic bone naturally relax during pregnancy to allow the pelvic joints to spread and make more room for baby to pass through. This is also why the baby’s head molds to fit through the pelvic joint.
What problems can prevent you from having a natural childbirth
There are some women with legitimate physical problems that may prevent them from having their baby vaginally. Women who have a fused pelvis or those who have Cephalo-pelvic disproportion (CPD) may be unable to have a vaginal birth. Those who have been previously diagnosed as having CPD should still attempt a vaginal birth, and only opt for surgery if labor is not progressing after plenty of time has passed. Problems can be congenital (the woman was born with it) or due to an accident or injury.
What small women should know
In most cases, women who have been unable to have a natural vaginal childbirth have not been aware of any problems ahead of time. Many women who have had a previous diagnosis of CPD have gone on to deliver other babies naturally without problems. Every birth is a new occasion with different experiences. No matter how your baby comes, attempting to labor toward a vaginal delivery is good for baby (unless they are in distress) because it helps them adjust to changes after birth. Some studies have even shown that these babies have better lung function than those delivered by c-section without active labor.
If you are afraid your baby cannot be born naturally, talk to your doctor about your fears. Learn everything you can about any concerns you have, because fear will only hold you back in the delivery room.
Simkin, Penny, P.T, Janet Whalley, R.N., B.S.N., Ann Kepler, R.N., M.N. Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn-The Complete Guide. Minnetonka, MN: Meadowbrook Press.
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