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Big Babies: Healthy or Doomed?

big baby, gestational diabetes

JaMichael Brown isn't even the biggest newborn ever. But he brings up the question: is real big real bad?

There’s a reason 16-pound, 24-inch JaMichael Brown’s birth has made the news: that’s a damn big baby!

Though Janet and Michael Brown’s little guy isn’t the biggest newborn ever, it’s still, it’s unusual to birth such a large baby. Doctors worry about how such a big fetus will come into the world and also health immediately after birth.

The question is, can babies be that big at birth and go on to lead healthy lives? (We never seem to find out what happens to the baby whoppers of the world. How’s Nadia doing?)

Different people define “big” in different ways. Anything over 12 pounds tends to be jaw-dropping enough to make the local news. Over 14 pounds and your stories going international. Babies from 9 to 11 pounds trigger the crossing legs response. Anything under that but above 6 pounds and you get reassuring nods of a healthy baby.

We’re well-schooled in the health complications of low birth-weight babies, but the big guys have their own issues, according to LiveScience. Here are a few that JaMichael may face at birth:

Difficulty breathing

Thick heart muscles

Low blood sugar (especially, if like JaMichael, their moms suffered from gestational diabetes)

Jaundice

Jumbo babies are at increased risk for diabetes and metabolic syndrome. They’re also, like many of their non-jumbo-sized counterparts, at increased risk for obesity.

Doctors blame obesity in moms for the increasing birth weight of the nation’s kids (though obesity in mothers is also blamed for low birth-weight babies, too). Medical experts recommend heavy moms gain little weight during pregnancy to lower the risk of huge babies or children at higher risk for obesity.

I had a couple of mini-jumbos — 10 lbs 3 oz, and 10 lbs 14 oz. So far, so good when it comes to health. What about you? Did your big baby freak you out? Were you predisposed to having big kids or was there a health issue like gestational diabetes?

Photo: strollerderby.com

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