A 42-year old woman recently gave birth without painkillers to a newborn baby that weighed 13lb 14oz – so really very close to 14lb. The new mother, who gave birth to a daughter, is from Dagestanskiye Ogni in Dagestan, which is a republic of Russia.
The average birthweight for a newborn is about 7.5 pounds, which is about 3.4 kilograms.
As anyone has ever gone through it knows, and the rest of us can only imagine (although we’ve all heard stories about how awful it is), childbirth is painful. To make this story even more incredible, the new mother delivered her new not-so-little bundle of joy without any medical assistance.
Happily, both the mother and her daughter are known to be doing more-or-less well. However, according to a spokesperson, the new baby might have hearing problems, and there is the potential for problems in the future.
That the baby might have health problems is very sad news for the poor little thing, but should not be altogether surprising. We all know that babies born very small frequently face health risks; however, so too might babies born unusually large. As one specialist in fetal medicine put it: “Bigger is not always better”.
In the United States, there is a definite trend involving babies being born larger and larger. Experts state that this can be at least partially attributed to the obesity epidemic in the country.
According to a spokesperson at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, if a woman is obese, she is more likely to have a large baby.
Actually, large babies are often born to mothers with gestational diabetes. An obese woman is at least twice as likely to develop gestational diabetes during her pregnancy. She may be as much as three times as likely.
As sugar is the nutrient that mostly controls the growth of babies, women with high blood sugar tend to have big babies.
It gets more complicated because the babies grow accustomed to a high level of blood sugar in the womb; once born, the baby’s fuel source is more or less cut off; they can develop low blood sugar, and they therefore need to be watched closely after birth. There is also an increased risk of jaundice.
Later in life—which may be the case for the little girl we’ve talked about in this story, but we hope not—high birthweight babies may be at an increased risk for diabetes and obesity, not to mention heart problems.
Having a large baby can also take its toll on his or her mother. For example, if the large baby is born vaginally, there is an increased possibility of vaginal tears.
While we’re on the subject, obese mothers often have to deliver their babies via Cesarean section, which is a surgical procedure—and surgery generally poses a risk to the patient.
In the United States, roughly 50 percent of women who give birth are either obese or overweight, and pregnant women who are obese should try to avoid excessive weight gain during pregnancy in order to prevent gestational diabetes.
We don’t know if the woman from Dagestanskiye Ogni was obese or had gestational diabetes; however, we have heard that the little girl is her fifth child. The identity of the woman and her daughter are unknown. The family is refusing to share any other details.
Naturally, social media has weighed in on the situation. One social media user called “Sofia Goncharova” said “Poor woman!” – which might just be the understatement of the year.
Of course, the new baby is far from the biggest baby ever born. That honor may belong to a child born in 1955 in Aversa, Italy. That boy weighed 22lb 8oz at the time of his birth. Allegedly, in 1879, a woman in Canada gave birth to a baby weighing well over 23 pounds.
More recently, in 2011, a woman in Texas gave birth to a baby named JaMichael that weighed 16 pounds. Reportedly, it was the largest baby ever born in the state of the Texas. The mother’s name was Janet Johnson.
The baby was delivered via a Cesarean section. The obstetrician in the case said that JaMichael was the biggest baby he ever delivered, and he was actually expecting the baby to weigh a few pounds less than he did. He noted that both parents were large people and that Janet had experienced gestational diabetes during her pregnancy.
Hopefully the unnamed mother and child from Dagestan are doing well.
H/T – Source