There's a lot of anxiety that comes with the anticipation of having a baby. Many parents don't believe that they're fully prepared, while others also seem to deal with worries that have to do with the baby's health and size. In fact, one might be taken aback by how many parents wonder about how big or small their baby will come out. Sometimes this is less about being concerned and far more about general curiosity.
Not to mention, parents-to-be kind of like to avoid spending money on baby clothes that may not fit their child when he or she comes. Regardless of what the reasons are, there are many ways that a parent can tell if they are about to have a smaller child than average. This list contains many of the signs that can prepare parents for a child who may be short for the rest of their life, or even for those who only need to deal with it in the, well, short-term. Of course, all of the entries are sourced from reputable sites found at the bottom of this article; this is a good place to look if one is interested in more information. But, without further ado, here are 20 signs mom will deliver a small baby.
20 The Baby Is In The Lower Percentile
One way to know how large or small a baby will be before he or she is born is via the fetal growth percentile. Doctors use the fetal growth percentile to track and calculate the baby's development as their mother continues to grow. If the doctor is consistently seeing the baby fall under the 50th percentile, chances are the baby will come out quite small indeed. The 50th percentile is considered average, therefore anything under it would be smaller than average and anything over it would be larger. Moms who get their doctor to update them on this will be in the known for when their baby does come out.
19 Ultrasounds Tell The Truth
Ultrasounds are one of the best ways to find out how big or small a baby is going to be. In fact, ultrasounds are one of the most accurate ways of determining most things about pregnancies including what the due date is going to be. Doctors and ultrasound technicians are able to determine these things by measuring the size of the baby and match the results against what the mother's timeline has been. Sure, there is a margin of error, but that's like everything else. Moms, who really want to know how large or tiny their baby will be, should be focused on what their ultrasounds are saying,
18 Mama Has Heart Issues
Women who have heart issues, high BP, or preeclampsia during pregnancy are way more likely to have smaller babies. This is because all of these issues can restrict a baby's growth as they may not be getting all the oxygen or nutrients that they need to grow at an average or advanced rate. This is why it's vital that moms maintain their health as they go through the pregnancy process. Every little thing can impact their growing baby, but general health is the most important. In fact, it's one of the things that should be taken into consideration before purposefully conceiving a baby. But if the mom is healthy, everybody wins.
17 There's More Than One Child Coming
Women don't have neverending space in their uterus. It can only grow so large. Therefore, it makes sense that twins and multiples may be smaller than average when it comes to a baby's size. This is due to the fact that the babies are sharing cramped quarters and don't have as much space to grow. Their bodies are adapting to the space that they are given. Of course, this isn't something that the baby will necessarily have to deal with once they come into the world. After they're out of their mother's uterus, they have all the space they need to grow taller than they were once allowed to.
16 The Baby Bump Really Doesn't Match The Week
Although there are many modern ways of telling how large or small a baby will be when they first come into the world, sometimes the old ways are the best. This means that simply measuring a mother's fundal height, which is the distance between the pubic bone and the top of the uterus, is one of the most effective ways of telling how small a baby will be. This is because after the first trimester the fundal height in centimeters should match a mother's week in pregnancy. For example, if a mother is at 20 weeks, her fundal measurement should be 20 centimeters. If the size is smaller than average, the baby has a strong chance of coming out a little tinier than expected.
15 Small Stature Runs In The Family
Genetics play a large part in all of the details of our being. Although they sometimes get skipped over, the chances are higher for having a smaller baby if everyone else in the family is of a shorter stature or is petite. Additionally, the opposite of this is true as well if people are interested in knowing how to tell if a baby will turn out larger than average. Sometimes the recessive genes can come out in children, meaning that they could be very tall, even if their parents are short, if there was height back in the family lineage. But the chances of this happening are fairly narrow. A good way for a taller woman to have a shorter baby is if she had that baby with someone shorter.
14 A Tucked-In Belly
Not every mother is going to have a huge belly when they are the height of their pregnancy. Some mothers appear to have a tucked-in belly, aka something that makes them appear to hardly be pregnant at all even if they are far into their third trimester. These women are definitely more likely to have smaller babies than those who are very much showing. Women who barely to appear to be pregnant should be on top of things with their doctors to make sure everything is okay. Of course, most of the time, everything is usually fine. The baby may come out smaller than normal but they still have a chance of growing quite a bit taller.
13 The Baby Has Become A Gymnast
Some babies never seem like they're comfortable. That or they love being gymnasts in their mother's womb. Regardless, it seems like the baby never stops flipping around and moving in strange directions at any given hour of the day or night. This is usually a sign that the baby is smaller than average as they have more room to move around inside of their mothers. Since they have this room to play and explore, they will almost certainly do so, even if they have no idea of what they're doing. Moms of these little gymnasts shouldn't worry too much about a baby getting in a challenging position for delivery as it's entirely possible for the baby to flip flop into a better one.
12 Papa Is One Small Dude
As mentioned earlier, if both the mother and father are short and petite, it's almost a guarantee that the baby will be the same unless they receive a recessive gene from another family member. However, fathers tend to impact their baby's height more often than mothers. This could be one of the reasons why many women prefer taller guys; in other words, evolution has told them to be attracted to them, as history has proven that it's more advantageous to have taller kids. Contrastingly, some mothers don't want their baby to be super tall if incredible height is a predominant factor in their own families. Therefore, they go for baby-daddies who don't have this issue.
11 There's A Ton Of Water Around Them
A growing fetus needs to have sufficient amniotic fluid around them. This is because it's safer for them and better for their overall wellbeing. The fluid tends to be padding for them to be protected from the outside world and from their mother's movements. But smaller babies tend to have a lot of extra fluid around them in the womb. Ultrasounds are the best ways to tell if a baby is surrounded by fluid. Sometimes all of this fluid makes a mother's belly appear to be quite large while, in fact, her baby is quite small. This is why ultrasounds need to be done to be able to tell if a baby is actually an average size or not.
10 A Girl Is On The Way
Yes, girls tend to be noticeably smaller than boys. Although this isn't always the case, the averages for a female's size are lower than boys. The average baby is about 7.5 pounds when they are born. Boys tend to be between 5.1 and 10.1. But, on average, a girl is between 5.1 and 9.7. This means that they are far more likely to be more petite than their brothers. This means that mothers who know they are having a girl should be aware that they may have a smaller kid. Regardless, most women say that having a child that's 5.1 is no different than one who is 7.1 when they come out.
9 It's The First Born
For a variety of scientific reasons, first-born children usually aren't as large as the siblings that follow. If a mom is having a kid for the very first time, it's highly likely that he or she will be a tad smaller than a child that they have later on in life. Of course, this isn't always true, but it is quite common. One of the reasons for this is the amount of room that's created by the first baby when he or she is inside their mother. Some of this space doesn't shrink back down after birth, leaving more room for the younger babies to grow inside of their mother, making them a tad larger. Of course, all of this depends on the baby, the mother, the father, and their long line of genetics.
8 All The Babies Are Tiny
If a mother and father have had consistently smaller children, there's no reason to expect that a new one will be any different than their brothers and sisters. That's just the statistics of their family's genetics. Although, sometimes a parent can be taken aback when they find that their newborn has received a recessive gene from their families that makes them larger than their siblings. However, this doesn't happen all that often, hence the word "recessive". Of course, the same is true for parents who have larger or taller children. It's unlikely that a new one will be all that different.
7 They Are Premature
As most of us know, having a premature baby means that this baby was not quite ready to come out of their mother. Therefore, they tend to be much smaller than average as they have not fully grown or received everything they need to be bigger. A baby is far more likely to be premature if their mother has a variety of health problems such as diabetes. Additionally, if they do silly things that they're not supposed to while they're pregnant, their babies have a higher chance of coming out premature and thus smaller than average. Of course, flukes can occur, as well. Luckily, many premature babies can grow over time if they are given sufficient nutrients to do so.
6 Mama Could Be A Grandma
The truth is, there is a time when women are more likely to have an easier and healthier pregnancy. Usually, women who are between the ages of 20 and 35 tend to have an easier go of things and also tend to have babies who are of average size. Women who are above the age of 35 are far more likely to end up with a baby that is born at a smaller size. Additionally, there are many other issues that could come up if a new mother is older than the average age. Of course, there are always challenging or bad things that can happen when a woman is pregnant, regardless of her age. But statistics have shown that older women having children pose more complications.
5 Sickle Cell Anemia Is Present
Another way of figuring out if a baby will end up coming out smaller than average is if the mother has Sickle Cell Anemia. This is quite common for women who come from lineages out of Africa. Sickle Cell Anemia cause cells to fall apart a bit and decrease RBC count. This means that less oxygen is carried throughout a mother's body. When this happens, a baby is far more likely to come out smaller than average. Additionally, women with Sickle Cell tend to have more girls than they do boys, therefore there's another reason why their kid could be smaller than expected. Of course, this isn't a life sentence, as most of these babies end up growing up just like everybody else.
4 There Isn't A Consistent Heartbeat
Mothers tend to start hearing their babies heartbeat around the end of the fifth week of pregnancy. But its detection is far easier toward the end of the first trimester. This is heard through electronic fetal monitoring that's conducted by doctors who do a stress-test to figure out a few things about the mother and her baby-to-be. But figuring out how fast or slow a baby's heart is beating is vital to understanding how large or small they will come out. An average heartbeat ranges between 110 to 160 beats per minute. But if a heartbeat is lower than that it could mean that the baby isn't growing as fast as others. This means that they are likely to end up smaller.
3 Mama Has A Well-Used Yoga Membership
Believe it or not, many babies come out quite small because their parents are smaller. This means that moms who are fairly active, such as constantly going to a yoga class suitable for pregnant women, tend to have smaller babies. If they are fitter, their babies are likely to be so, too, because some of the benefits of exercise are transferred to the baby, as well. This is especially true of healthy eating habits, as the baby will absorb some of the nutrients from their mother. Of course, if a mother feels like she is too fit and small, she may want to go to her exercise classes a little less to ensure that her kid comes out a little larger than expected.
2 Early Contractions Tell All
There's a certain unpredictability to having children. Although science and medicine have pretty much dictated when children are done "cooking" and naturally come out, other factors come into play that causes the baby to come out sooner. This includes a baby who just decides that they're ready to come out. When this happens a woman starts feeling more contractions than normal. But just because a baby is ready to come out doesn't mean that they're done growing and therefore can be smaller than average. However, this can be pretty unavoidable. Therefore, moms should pay attention to their contractions at the end of their pregnancy. If they are happening more before the due date, chances are the baby will be small.
1 No Movement In The Belly
Sometimes women can feel their baby doing gymnastics in their belly, meaning that there's a lot of amniotic fluid around them and therefore they're more likely to come out smaller. But the fluid can also make a baby's movements feel nonexistent. This is because the fluid is doing its job. It's insulating the baby (as well as their movements) from the outside world. So, just because a mother can't feel her baby doing gymnastics inside of her doesn't mean that they're not "swimming" around. Due to the amount of fluid, they may have more than enough room to move without detection and not be pressured to grow larger.