Pune: City-based doctor recently delivered two babies to mothers who were 138 cm and 141.5 cm in height respectively. Both had no other risk factors and were committed to normal delivery.
For years in medical school, students are taught the topic of Cephalo Pelvic Disproportion (CPD), which is disparity between the baby's head size and that of the bony pelvic passage, thereby making vaginal delivery next to impossible for women shorter in height and hence requiring a C section; 147 cm is often taken as the cut off to label a woman as a ‘short pregnant’ woman.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Nina Mansukhani from Jehangir Hospital said that the topic of CPD becomes relevant as a cause of rising C section rates. "Constitutionally small women also tend to have constitutionally small babies and hence the size of the baby should always be seen as relative to that of the mothers. During my practice I have faced the issue of having ‘small’ women who wish to deliver normally and although challenging, the height of a woman should never be a deterrent in offering a normal delivery to her," said Mansukhani.
She said patients should be educated about this as well and added, "Recently I delivered two women of 138 and 141.5 cm respectively. Both had no other risk factors and were committed to normal delivery. With constant supervision and motivation they both had natural births with baby sizes of 2.5 and 3 kg respectively. The average Indian baby weight is 2.5kg."
Speaking about her experience, a woman with 141.5 cm of height who delivered naturally said that under the constant supervision of doctors it was possible to have a normal delivery. "I ate everything in my diet and exercised regularly. Earlier I used to go for a morning walk but after conceiving I started brisk walking after lunch and dinner for sometime. I followed everything the doctor said and in the end the delivery was normal and the child was also healthy," said the woman.
Talking about preventable factors, Mansukhani said that with rising rate of gestational diabetes in India the babies also tend to get bigger. "Inadequate attention to diet and exercise during pregnancy also facilitates higher weight gain which in turn increases baby weight. These are preventable factors which if worked upon can help achieving good results in terms of delivering vaginally," said Mansukhani.