Size Matters (but it really shouldn’t)



The boys collected the eggs today from our chickens on the allotment. We have varying amounts depending on Mr Fox and his relentless and sometimes successful pursuit of them. One thing struck me as I washed and lined them up to dry, they were all totally different sizes.

Over the years one of the major subjects for discussion in pregnancy is baby size. Too big, too small, just right, bigger than my last baby, smaller than my last baby the list is endless and clearly a real worry. But why? Babies come in different sizes, just as adults do.

Does it matter if your baby is the other side of 9lb? Or smaller than 7lb? It shouldn’t, it shouldn’t matter a jot. It’s still just a baby growing inside a mum waiting to be born.

The reason we fixate on this big baby/small baby obsession is because when you are pregnant that is what EVERYONE says to you. It’s become the first thing out of peoples mouth’s. “WOW, look at the size of that bump! You must be growing a HUGE baby in there!” or “Oh look at you, so tiny, barely a bump. You must have a tiddler in there, are you eating enough?”

Cheers. Thanks a lot you think. You stand in front of mirrors examining your enormous bump or lack of bump. Questions start to swim in your head. You ask friends and neighbours their opinions and they all give them readily. Usually with some terrifying tale of birth thrown in for good measure.

By the time you get to the end of pregnancy those passing comments have transformed themselves in to GREAT BIG keep you up at night worries you can’t shake off. Doubts creep in. Will I be able to give birth to this huge baby? Is my baby growing ok in there? Should I be trying to induce this baby early in case it’s in trouble or growing bigger every day! Fear manifests. Your stress levels rise and panic sets in. Oxytocin levels drop, that magical hormone that facilitates a lovely natural labour.

Women have amazing bodies. We have a brilliantly, specially designed and perfectly fit for purpose pelvis. Not only is it the perfect shape to have a baby fit through, it also reacts to special hormones that flood it through your pregnancy. Notably the relaxin from about 34 weeks. This turns it in to a lovely loose, mobile, stretchy pelvis that will allow your baby to come through. Babies are also perfectly designed to accommodate this winding route in to the outside world. They have pliable, soft heads with movable plates that allow the baby’s head to mould and change shape as they are pushed through the pelvis by contractions.

Babies and pelvises are like a cup of tea and a slice of cake, they compliment each other perfectly. Just because some unhelpful person in Sainsbury’s noted this morning, as you were minding your own business shopping, that you have a HUGE bump shouldn’t falter your confidence in your bodies ability to give birth and grow a healthy baby. But it does, doesn’t it?

I bet the bloody chickens aren’t clucking away to each other about how on earth Steve (yes, one of our chickens is called Steve) is going to lay an egg that’s clearly twice the size of Queenie’s. They just do it. Just as we can do it, and would do it more if left to our own devices and had some great supporters around us. Cheering us on, not filling us with doubt and uncertainty.

If you can’t think of anything positive to say to that Mum to be in Sainsbury’s then please don’t bother. Be more like the chickens, cluck and nod your head and MOVE ON. Or even better tell her she looks FABULOUS. Because she does. She is performing a miracle right there, growing another entire person while she shops. What’s your multitask today?