Throughout pregnancy, doctors should ideally monitor the growth and development of a soon-to-be-born baby. A baby who is consistently getting bigger and is healthy is developing well. However, there are babies who exceed both mom's and doctors' expectations and grow much bigger than expected.
There have been plenty of babies who were born much larger than mom ever planned. Some babies, in fact, have a condition the medical community refers to as fetal macrosomia, meaning the newborn is significantly larger than average size.
It is only natural for moms with big babies to worry about the general health and delivery of the baby; however, with proper nutrition and constant monitoring, mom will be able to hold her healthy baby in no time.
Nevertheless, it is important that such a mother visit her doctor on a regular basis because the chances of complications during birth are higher with big babies. Moms can end up having uterine ruptures and episiotomies if the baby is far too big for their ever-changing bodies. There is also a good chance that the big baby will be born through vacuum delivery or emergency C-section.
Nonetheless, there are countless women who have given birth to large healthy babies and have had uncomplicated deliveries. Here are signs that mom is probably having a big baby based on how she's feeling!
20 She Feels Very Little Movement In There
When mom notices that her baby’s movements have slowed down, then it is likely that he or she has probably run out of space and cannot keep moving around inside mom’s womb. If mom is not near the end of her term, then she is carrying a big baby.
As stated by TheBump, the larger the baby gets, the less room he or she will have to play around in the womb and a keen mom will almost immediately tell that there is less movement. However, a decrease in normal activity should be a cause of concern and mom should go get checked by her doctor.
19 Those Braxton Hicks Contractions Are Far Too Intense
Pregnant women may or may not experience Braxton Hicks contractions. These contractions are not the real thing as they are usually irregular and do not last for a long period as pointed out by Parents. Braxton Hicks also occurs as the body’s way of preparing for true labor but do not indicate that labor has begun.
When babies are about to be born, they have to settle into their birth position and this can cause mom to have false contractions. Moms carrying big babies may notice that their Braxton Hicks contractions come earlier and are more intense because their uterus is larger to accommodate the big baby.
18 There's A Ton Of Pressure Down Under!
One of the things every woman gets to experience as her pregnancy is progressing is pressure down there, simply because someone is growing inside her. As the baby continues to grow, most women will experience additional pressure, but many will find the pressure manageable and bearable to some extent.
However, if a woman is having a big baby, then the pressure she will experience will be more than normal. In addition, depending on the size of the baby, some women will strain standing upright for long and prefer to lay down. According to Medical News Today, a hormone called "relaxin" will contribute to tension or pressure down there, since its primary role is to relax the muscles during pregnancy.
17 The Baby Is Dancing On Mom's Rib Cage
Moms usually get very excited when their bumps start showing but after some time when it gets too big, they wish for their time to give birth to come sooner. If mom-to-be feels like she is running out of room in the womb, she is most likely having a big baby.
According to BabyCenter, bigger babies tend to stretch out more or push onto mom’s organs more than average babies because they do not have enough room in the womb. It is not uncommon for moms carrying big babies to complain that their babies are stepping on their rib cages or pushing out their stomachs as early as the second trimester.
16 The Back Pain Is REAL
Many pregnant women experience back pain as their bellies grow. On average, most will start feeling this pain when they get to their final trimester as this is the time the baby starts putting on more pounds. Moms-to-be who experience back pains as early as their second trimester are more likely to have a big baby because they are carrying a big load on their front.
If the baby bump is heavy, it can cause a shift in the mother’s center of gravity and curve her spine even more which is what causes the back pain, as stated by TheBump. However, even hormones can sometimes contribute to back pain.
15 'It Feels Like A Boy'
On top of mom having that big-bodied gene, there is a bigger chance of her baby being large if she is carrying a boy. According to bbc.com, it is true that on average, baby boys are usually heavier than baby girls at birth and that their bump can appear slightly bigger than that of a girl.
There are those people who believe that if mom’s pregnancy bump is sticking out then she is going to have a boy and if her bump is more spread around the abdomen then she is likely to have a girl. However, contrary to myths, the difference between boys and girls does not affect the shape and size of mom’s bump.
14 Yup, That's A Big Load
How moms feel in their pregnancy can help them know whether or not they are having a big baby. Despite all the body changes and hormones, moms-to-be should be aware of what is happening to their bodies during pregnancy. They should be able to feel if they are carrying a big load or not.
As the baby grows, mom is able to note that the bump is getting heavier by the month. She will even notice that she is straining as a result of a heavy bump. While this may not be efficient in telling the size of a baby compared to let say an ultrasound, some moms can be able to tell their baby is big.
13 Times Up! Where's The Baby?
Ideally, the longer any baby cooks, the heavier the baby is going to be. Mom-to-be is likely to feel she is having a big baby if she is 42 weeks pregnant and is not showing signs of labor. Babies tend to add more length during those last few weeks leading to birth, as stated by Healthline.
However, because due dates calculations are never entirely certain, it is hard for moms to tell if they are actually overdue. Nonetheless, a full term pregnancy is when mom is between 37 and 40 weeks. Anytime longer than this indicates that the little one is past her due date.
12 Were Mom And Dad Also Big?
The height of either mom or dad or both can tell mom-to-be whether she is going to have a big baby. This is not only a sign that the baby will be big but also tall. Yes, some traits may skip a generation but if there is a consistency of tall and big bodied people in the family then mom’s little one will most likely be big and tall.
According to TheBump, giving birth to big babies can be hereditary and the baby tends to take on the same range as his or her parents. Therefore, if mom and dad are both big and tall then their baby will most likely follow suit.
11 How Much Tighter Can A Bump Feel?!
One of the most fascinating things about a woman's body is its ability to stretch out to accommodate her bump, recover after a few weeks after giving birth, and appear as if there never was a bump there. It is normal for moms of babies of all sizes to go through this stretching out, but moms do not all stretch out to the same extent.
Moms of big babies will usually feel as if their bumps are too tight, and this can make it very uncomfortable for them to bend down even just slightly. However, Kidspot claims that every mom's body is unique and it will respond to pregnancy in its own way. So it's also possible for a woman expecting a small baby to have a tight bump.
10 Big Babies Just Run In The Family
If mom’s previous baby or babies were macrosomic at birth, then there is a huge chance that she will have big babies in her subsequent pregnancies. This tends to be the case most of the time. (Sorry, moms.)
However, giving birth to big babies can also occur if a mom has given birth before. Since her body is already used to being pregnant, subsequent babies may experience less trauma. This means that their bodies will focus more on functions geared towards ensuring that their baby develops big and healthy.
9 Does The Baby Even Fit In The Ultrasound?!
Pregnancy ultrasounds can be very useful in revealing the progress of a baby. Other than the baby’s gender and anatomy, an ultrasound can tell the size of the baby after six weeks of pregnancy. So over time, the scan can be able to tell mom-to-be whether she is going to have a bigger than average baby, as claimed by Verywell Family.
However, ultrasounds have their own limitations. They can also give inaccurate estimates; the baby can come out either heavier or lighter. The accuracy of the machine depends on the skill set of the radiologist as well. How they perform the examination and interpret the data can greatly affect the results.
8 Not Mom's First Rodeo
The number of pregnancies a mom has carried can determine if she will have a big baby. A baby can be large if he or she is not the first-born. According to Families.Media, firstborns are mostly smaller compared to other siblings.
This is possible because vessels can be narrower during the first pregnancy, which in turn, reduces the nutrients supply to the baby’s bodies, and because the vessels expand a bit more after the first pregnancy, the subsequent pregnancies are likely to be bigger than the first. However, this does not eliminate the possibility of having a big first-born because other factors like genes play a great role, too.
7 Mom Has A History Of Diabetes Or Gestational Diabetes
Moms-to-be who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes or diabetes, in general, are likely to give birth to big babies. A good number of women develop gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. Gestational diabetes occurs when mom’s insulin levels rises above normal levels during pregnancy.
Although gestational diabetes disappears after birth, a mother who is diabetic or has glucose intolerance can cause her baby’s insulin levels to elevate. According to NHS.uk, babies who have high insulin levels while in the womb are likely to be bigger and chunkier. These babies are also mostly born via C-section because of their size.
6 Age Isn't JUST A Number
Mom’s age during pregnancy can greatly affect the size of the baby she will have. The US College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that moms-to-be who are under the age of 17 are more likely to have big babies, as stated by aafp.org. Even women older than 35 years of age usually have large babies.
The exact reason why teen moms and older women are likely to get big babies is not known but this should not worry moms who fall into that category because there are many who have delivered healthy babies. However, according to research, this condition is likely to affect them.
5 *Hint, Hint, Nudge, Nudge*
While it is difficult to tell if mom-to-be will have a macrosomic baby, doctors who have helped many women give birth are more likely to be in a position to tell mom that she is having a big baby. If mom is measuring above average in all her doctor’s visit, she will probably have a big baby.
According to Romper, doctors are able to know this when they measure the fundal growth, which is the length from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus. They can also feel the mother’s abdomen and how much pounds she has put on.
4 Is That Amniotic Fluid I see?
Babies growing in the womb are usually inside an amniotic sac, which is filled with the amniotic fluid. The fluid protects the baby by cushioning it against any blows to the mother’s abdomen. The amount of amniotic fluid present also reflects the health and well-being of the baby.
Low levels of amniotic fluid are more likely to occur in mothers who are carrying big babies, according to BabyCenter. Other medical conditions like the baby being overdue or diabetic can also contribute to the low levels. It is very important for moms to have enough amniotic fluid but sometimes the bigger the baby is, the less room there will be for the liquid.
3 How Many People Is She Eating For!
Even though mom is pregnant, she does not necessarily have to eat for two adults. If she has been doing so throughout her pregnancy, she will probably have a big baby. Moms do not necessarily have to eat a lot in their first and second trimesters.
According to BellyBelly, an average adult should eat approximately 1,400-2,200 calories a day and an expectant mom should only add about 350 more to her intake in her first two trimesters and around 450 additional calories in her last trimester. However, moms should ensure that the extra calories they eat are not just empty calories but healthy ones.
2 She Feels As If Her Baby’s Outline Is Big
Moms-to-be experience a lot of baby movements in the womb and this is normal. When a baby moves, mom can sometimes be able to tell if she is going to have a big baby or not. It is possible for mom to see the baby’s outline when he or she moves in the womb.
Ideally, just looking at the bump will not tell her if the baby is big or not because the amniotic fluid in the womb also contributes to the size of the bump. However, towards the end of the pregnancy, mom is able to briefly see the babies outline physic and determine if she is carrying a big baby when the baby places his or herself in certain positions, as stated by TheBump.
1 When Your Entire Lower Body Is In Pain
During pregnancy, women often feel a dull pain bearing their entire lower bodies, regardless of the size of the baby. This load around her entire lower body is usually the result of a combination of factors, some of them including the baby, their weakening pelvic floor, and according to medicalnewstoday.com, the uterus pressing down on her lower body.
Since the pelvic floor has the responsibility of supporting the bladder, the urethra, the uterus, and her lady parts, the pressure resulting from the baby is sure to make her feel some dull pain. If the dull pain continues for long and becomes even more severe with time, it is highly likely mom is expecting a big baby.
Sources: healthline.com, thebump.com, romper.com, whattoexpect.com, bbc.com, marsden.co.uk, nhs.uk, parents.com, families.media, aafp.org, romper.com