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narrow pelvic arch?!

My wife is term + 8 and has been to the midwife today for a sweep to try and get things going. Unfortunately she couldnt reach my wifes cervix, she then informed her she had a narrow pelvic arch which would mean that pushing baby out would be very difficult to do unassisted. So she may now have to have forceps or ventouse....or worst case a c section.

The reason Im posting this is to ask for help...I dont want to be a useless husband sat in a corner unable to help in a practical way...I want to be positive and to be able to give her all the help she needs...I also would like to know what exactly is going to happen so that I am prepared and that I dont end up running for the hills when I see the various tools that the doctors / mid wifes may or may not use.

Has anybody else experienced this?...

..My wife is so upset and I just feel pretty useless....and yes before anyone says it I have given her loads of hugs...she just feels disappointed that the birth plan we had wont go as we wanted...she even apologised to me???....she has nothing to be sorry for?..


thank you



  • Please don't write off your birth plan just yet.
    As well as being pg myself (GC from DI july) i am also a midwife so may be able to put you mind at ease a little.
    Firstly all women do come in different shapes and sizes, including our pelvises. And yes there is such a thing as a narrow pubic/pelvic arch which in some cases does result in the need for an operative delivery but accurately assessing a pubic arch is not that easy. In the past if i have felt that a woman's arch is narrow i have opted to omit this information to the mother as i feel that this instills the exact type of fear you and your wife are feeling now. To me it's like telling someone their baby is huge so they are then anxious about being able to deliver such a massive baby, and this to me is only a hinderence. Childbirth needs to be entered with a somewhat open, if not positive mind.
    Unfortunately the proof is in the pudding, so to speak, so a trial of labour is the best way forward, trying to stick to your birth plan which i'm sure includes all the things to encourage natural labour and childbirth. I am constantly amazed by women's bodies and thier ability to give birth in all sorts of circumstances and i'm sure your wife will be no exception. Nobody knows what is going to happen when they go into labour and people end up with instrumental and operative deliveries for many reasons. If this does end up being the case for your wife, narrow pubic arch or not, please don't panic. I wont go into details unless you reply and ask me too, i'm perfectly happy to tell you anything you may want to know but i don't think it beneficial to concentrate on these things based on the fear that has been caused by your visit to the midwife.
    My best advice is go with the flow. Use all the techniques for an active labour (keeping mobile etc) and tell her if possible to go on all fours for delivery-this will achieve the widest pelvic outlet diameters and also gravity will help.
    Unfortunately labour and birth is not an exact science and cannot be predicted but there are things you can do to maximise the likelihood of it being as 'normal' as possilble.
    I wish you and your wife all the luck in the world with your imminent arrival. Any more questions i'll be glad to help if i can.
    P.S tell her from me to STOP apologising, she mustn't be so cynical of her body until proved otherwise, and even then how can her anatomy possibly be her fault!
  • MummaJ thank you very much for your reply its a great help and dont worry I got a little firm with my missus last night and pointed out that nothing is actually wrong at this fact everything is positive...little junior is doing well and kicking at all the most annoying times...i.e. night time! she should quit worrying about what might or might not happen and to focus on what we have already planned.

    Its difficult as a man not being able to take a way any pain or anxiousness that my wife feels....and Im pretty sure it is the same for all men...I just want her to know that throughout her labour...she will be in the right place and she will have all of the correct medical help to hand..I will show her your reply when I get home from work tonight and hopefully this will put her mind at ease.

    Thank you again

  • No probs, and like i said any more Q's just ask, i will keep my eye on this post or you can grab my atention in Due in July as that's where i am most!
    Good luck.....!
  • Fantastic news MummaJ!! wife started with Contractions on Saturday 17th April...and our son was born at 10:25 on Sunday 18th April...he weighed in at 8 pounds 2...and he was delivered absolutely naturally with no assistance whatesoever...or drugs!..other than gas and air! wife was totally incredible, she stayed at home until 5.00 oclock Sunday morning, and we then went to Calderdale Birth Centre in Halifax where she was examined and was 4cm the previous concerns we had regarding the narrow pelvic arch were a little unfounded, The midwife pointed out that the pelvic arch could have appeared narrow had my wife tensed during her sweep...all of the staff in the birthing centre were professional and very calming...and I can not express our gratitude highly enough.

    My wife and I have a beautiful healthy perfect baby boy (Finn Owen) and we are looking forward to all of the trials, tribulations, sleepless nights and happy happy times we have to look forward to!

    So thank you once again for your brilliant words of advice and reassurance MummaJ

    So pleased all worked out well for you, sounds like you had a fantastic experience and your wife did amazingly well. I hope you continue to enjoy baby Finn and i hope you and your wife are very proud of yourselves.
    Thank you for letting me know about this marvellous ending (or should i say beginning!)
    To a happy future.......
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