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Old 09-18-2009, 09:52 AM   #1
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How much does what you eat influence baby size?

Aside from a medical condition like GD and outright malnutrition, how much does what you eat influence how big your baby will get in the womb?

For example, I've heard some people say that eating too many carbs will cause your baby to grow larger. I've also heard that a lot of protein makes your baby bigger.

My OB says that assuming you are eating a healthy diet, it's more genetics than anything else - baby is going to take what s/he needs from you regardless of what/how much you are eating.


All of my children have gotten progressively bigger (despite earlier births) with my last baby weighing 9 pounds at 15 days early (a boy). Since this baby is also a boy, and without going into the whole birth story again DS1 was a tight fit, I'm concerned about having a 10 pounder this time around and needing a c/s! So was wondering if there was anything I could control about his final size, or if I pretty much get what I get.

FWIW, I am NOT thinking of starving myself or anything like that. But if doing say the GD diet that is low in carbs would keep baby (and me) from ballooning up, I'd like to look into it.

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Old 09-18-2009, 10:24 AM   #2
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Re: How much does what you eat influence baby size?

There is a theory out there that a big baby and a small baby have about the same head circumference, and fat will squish. I don't know if I would put a lot of stock into that theory or not.
Of course if it is true, the fat baby might be easier to deliver. I think I even read one mama's post in this forum saying her fat babies were easier to deliver than her skinny babies, but that would have been at least a month ago. Who would have thought?
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:32 AM   #3
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Re: How much does what you eat influence baby size?

My biggest baby (9lb2oz) was the easiest delivery of all of my babies. Even the 5 & 6lb twins! I swear! I screamed my head off while pushing out my 8lb'er but the 9+lb baby just flew right out! LOL I always tell people that the size of the baby doesn't have anything to do with the amount of pain you feel unless you're talking like 12lbs or something. KWIM?

Anyway, my OB told me that the more weight a mom gains the bigger her baby will be but I don't believe that honestly. I gained a lot of weight with all my kids and they were all good sized babies but not HUGE! My mom gained 50lb with me and I was only 7lbs! Same with a BFF of mine. She gained a lot of weight and her DD2 was only 7lbs, yet DD1 was 10lb11oz! Every baby grows differently. My 4th baby was 8lbs even at 39wks and my 5th baby was 8lb11oz at 37wks! I gained less weight with #5 than I did with #4 too! He's STILL bigger than his big brother at 3 & 5yrs old.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:43 AM   #4
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Re: How much does what you eat influence baby size?

Quote:
Originally Posted by josycat View Post
There is a theory out there that a big baby and a small baby have about the same head circumference, and fat will squish. I don't know if I would put a lot of stock into that theory or not.
Of course if it is true, the fat baby might be easier to deliver. I think I even read one mama's post in this forum saying her fat babies were easier to deliver than her skinny babies, but that would have been at least a month ago. Who would have thought?
Well, if that is true, then I'm doomed either way. My first (and smallest) baby had a head so large that they wanted to do an u/s to rule out water on the brain - then they came in and measured DH's and my head and we also have big heads. She still ended up with a CT scan at 4 months old because her head grew so much! And DS has always been off the top of the charts for head circ. At my u/s at 36 weeks I think his head was measuring 42 weeks...

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Originally Posted by TwinKristi View Post
My biggest baby (9lb2oz) was the easiest delivery of all of my babies. Even the 5 & 6lb twins! I swear! I screamed my head off while pushing out my 8lb'er but the 9+lb baby just flew right out! LOL I always tell people that the size of the baby doesn't have anything to do with the amount of pain you feel unless you're talking like 12lbs or something. KWIM?

Anyway, my OB told me that the more weight a mom gains the bigger her baby will be but I don't believe that honestly. I gained a lot of weight with all my kids and they were all good sized babies but not HUGE! My mom gained 50lb with me and I was only 7lbs! Same with a BFF of mine. She gained a lot of weight and her DD2 was only 7lbs, yet DD1 was 10lb11oz! Every baby grows differently. My 4th baby was 8lbs even at 39wks and my 5th baby was 8lb11oz at 37wks! I gained less weight with #5 than I did with #4 too! He's STILL bigger than his big brother at 3 & 5yrs old.
Yes, I have gained less weight with each pregnancy (though I did start out heavier each time) and my children have gotten progressively bigger. I gained 45 pounds for my 7.5 pounder, 35 for my 8 pounder, and 25 for my 9 pounder...

ETA: It isn't the pushing out that is the problem - that has gotten easier. It is getting the baby to actually descend into the proper position that is my problem.
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Old 09-18-2009, 11:53 AM   #5
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Re: How much does what you eat influence baby size?

My midwife told me the carb thing. She said that she had a few mothers that kept having big babies and they really didn't want to do that again so she told them to watch their carbs. I guess the babies ended up being around 2lbs smaller! She explained that it has to do with the glucose and how our body digests it.
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Old 09-18-2009, 12:44 PM   #6
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Re: How much does what you eat influence baby size?

It makes sense that even if you donít have GD if you are eating lots of low nutrition carbs or just lots of carbs in general the baby has more chance to grab the sugar and get bigger. It will be circulating in your blood and babyís longer.
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Old 09-18-2009, 12:51 PM   #7
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Re: How much does what you eat influence baby size?

My dr. told me that It really doesnt make your baby bigger to eat more... not enough to notice really ..
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:20 PM   #8
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Re: How much does what you eat influence baby size?

On the Brewer Diet website I read that studies have shown protein SHAKES specifically have led to a higher birthweight. That diet recommends lots of protein, but says avoid getting it from protein shakes.
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Old 09-18-2009, 02:02 PM   #9
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Re: How much does what you eat influence baby size?

Anecdotally, I ate a ton of carbs and junk food (re: processed, sugar, etc) with my daughter and she came out full term at 7 pounds even and 20 inches.. so I don't know. It is an interesting hypothesis though!
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Old 09-18-2009, 02:57 PM   #10
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Re: How much does what you eat influence baby size?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drocker View Post
On the Brewer Diet website I read that studies have shown protein SHAKES specifically have led to a higher birthweight. That diet recommends lots of protein, but says avoid getting it from protein shakes.
Weird...I wonder why that would make a difference. I don't care for the protein shakes anyways, so no problem with that.
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