The average weight of baby ranges between 5 pounds, 8 ounces and 8 pounds,13 ounces. For most women, the thought of giving birth to a baby of any size is frightening. When a mom delivers a baby naturally, it can be comparable, size wise, to trying to push a watermelon out of a donut hole. There are things that a mom may unknowingly, or sometimes knowingly, be doing before getting pregnant or during their pregnancy that can cause their baby to become larger than what is considered the average size. However, sometimes there are also times when a mom has no control over how big or small her baby is when they are born; it is something that just occurs naturally.
The biggest baby ever documented weighed an astonishing 22 pounds! That is simply insane! It is said that when this baby’s mother's water broke, that it was roughly six gallons of fluid! Six gallons of fluid is like spilling six gallons of milk all over the floor. It is just unheard of. No mom wants to think about pushing 22 pounds out of her, and realistically at that point the mom would need to have a cesarean section performed. Regardless, that is still a very big baby, and pretty much all of the newborn clothes that mom bought will most likely need to be returned for something ranging in the three to six-month-old section of baby clothing. Continue reading to find out some of the things moms do during their pregnancy that could cause a bigger sized baby.
12 When It's A Delayed Delivery
Sometimes pregnancy gets delayed and moms unborn baby decides that they are not ready to greet the world just yet. Maybe moms baby is feeling really cozy and does not want to leave the place that they become accustomed to. If a mom goes past 42 weeks, her pregnancy is considered post-term.
There can be complications and issues with post-term pregnancies such as the baby having their first bowel movement while inside the womb. Another thing that could most likely become an issue is that the baby has continued to grow which means the baby is going to weigh more than the doctors anticipated. If mom does not get her labor induced in enough time, she runs the risk of delivering a baby that is way bigger and could possibly be 10 pounds or more which would mean that mom will most likely need a cesarean section.
11 Not Staying Hydrated
I bet you are wondering how not staying hydrated can cause a baby to be born big, right? Well here is the breakdown: When moms are not drinking enough water, especially during a pregnancy, they can do a lot more damage than they realize. Water helps to clear out excess sugars for the kidneys which mom later tinkles out. Not enough water means that all that sugar is not getting cleared from the kidneys because mom is not using the bathroom as much as she should be. When this happens, the sugar gets dispersed through the liver instead and, in turn, that will cause mom's sugar levels to become elevated. As we are already aware, increased sugar levels can lead to a big baby. That is a pretty big issue all because mom decided not to drink enough water. Drink up and enjoy!
10 Packing On The Pounds
Pregnant women should be allowed to eat whatever they want, whenever they want since they are eating for two and bringing new life into this world. However, if mom wants her and her baby to both be healthy, then watching what she eats and getting exercise is a must. If mom starts to pack on the pounds pretty quickly during her pregnancy, and exceeds the weight that is recommended, then mom is increasing her chances of delivering a big, overfed, baby who may weigh more than 9 pounds.
Mom needs to keep in mind that whatever junk she is eating, her developing unborn baby is eating as well. Women who had an average BMI pre-pregnancy should only put on 25-35 pounds. If mom was in the lower bracket for her BMI pre-pregnancy, she needs to actually put on 28-40 pounds, and for moms who were in the higher range pre-pregnancy, should only add about 15-25 extra pounds.
9 Not Catching The Z’s
A new study has actually linked a lack of sleep to women developing gestational diabetes and elevated blood sugar levels. It had also been linked to people packing on the pounds just from not getting enough sleep. When you sleep your body rejuvenates itself and your mind as well, but without sleep, your body does not get a break to get the things that it so desperately needs. Since lack of sleep can cause gestational diabetes, we know from other things on this list that it can cause a baby to be born bigger than what is considered normal. As a reminder, remember if a baby weighs more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces, the baby is considered larger than normal. So, it is probably safe to say that you should always make sure to get at least eight hours of sleep at night, not only for your health but also because once the baby arrives you won’t be getting much sleep anymore. So, savor it while you can.
8 Having A Baby Over 35
Having a baby over the age of 35 can be dangerous for many reasons such as there is a higher risk of miscarriage or late-term pregnancy loss. Also a higher risk of developing complications, and of course, it can lead to a woman having a bigger than normal baby. This can, like many other things on this list, be a result of developing gestational diabetes. Which is a very common thing to happen among women over the age of 35.
Having a bigger baby can mean a much more difficult delivery because sometimes the baby’s shoulders can get stuck after the head has been delivered. So, often times women who are carrying babies over 10 pounds wind up needing a c-section. The risks of this happening go up a lot for older women so if you are over the age of 35 and planning on having a baby, then you should be sure to go over all of the risks with your doctor beforehand to try and avoid some of these things from happening.
7 The Coffee Addict
Too much coffee or other products containing caffeine, such as teas and sodas, will not only cause mom to have to take more frequent trips to the lady’s room due to its diuretic effects, but it can also raise mom's blood pressure and increase sugar levels. Surprisingly, the real shocker is that, according to a few studies, caffeine has been linked to women giving with to babies who are larger than average due to the fact that it increases sugar levels. As we know from reading other items on this list, elevated or uncontrolled sugar levels can cause a baby to be born big as well as being linked to diabetes and gestational diabetes.
Ironically enough, just like with elevated sugar levels, mom could run the risk of delivering a premature baby or a stillbirth instead. So, it has been recommended that pregnant women consume no more than 200 mg of caffeine a day. If you can’t live without your daily coffee fix, try switching to decaf until your baby is welcomed into this world.
6 When Your Hormones Are Out Of Whack
Any woman that suffers from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) knows that it has some major pitfalls and can cause annoying symptoms like growing extra body hair, even on the face, developing acne, missing periods, and weight gain. All of those things, minus missing periods unless you're trying to have a baby, can quickly become a woman’s worst nightmare. PCOS is a hormonal disorder in women.
There are treatment options for PCOS, but there is no cure. To lessen these pesky symptoms a woman has to watch her figure, exercise, eat right, and sometimes either take a medication called metformin or start on birth control. So for the women who suffer from this; did you know that it can cause issues during pregnancy as well? A mom-to-be with PCOS has a higher chance of developing gestational diabetes, which, in turn, can lead to mom having a baby that is larger than normal. Even moms who don’t develop gestational diabetes have a higher likelihood of giving birth to a bigger baby. So, try to eat right and get plenty of physical activity in to try and avoid a large baby!
5 Extra Fluff Before Pregnancy
For the moms who were seen as having extra fluff and a higher BMI before she got pregnant, she has already put herself at risk of her baby being born with an above average weight. If moms BMI was 30 and greater, that is when the real risk will kick in. Not to mention, mom will automatically run the risk of developing gestational diabetes which also can cause a baby to be born big.
There are some moms out there who delivered babies whose birth weight was in the double digits, even after the baby had taken their first potty break and had yet to be fed. Most of the women who gave birth to surprisingly large babies also happened to have diabetes before getting pregnant, or who had developed gestational diabetes along the way.
4 Preeclampsia: What A New Study Has Found
Preeclampsia is a potentially serious condition in pregnant women, and it can even turn fatal if left untreated. It is marked by high blood pressure as well as mom developing too much protein in her urine. Swelling, blurred vision, pounding headaches, and so much more are all not very pleasant symptoms of this condition. A new study has found that, for unknown reasons, pregnant women who have preeclampsia had a higher risk of having a baby that was larger in size compared to the women who did not have this condition.
Preeclampsia occurs in 5 percent of all pregnancies and is nothing to mess around with. However, ironically this is another condition that if mom does not have a big baby, then she could run the risk of her baby being born prematurely. The risk of the placenta ripping right off of mom’s uterus before delivery is also another harmful risk that women with this condition could face.
3 Previously Had A Big Baby
Moms who gave birth to babies who weighed more than the high range of what is considered a normal weight for a newborn, 8 pounds and 13 ounces, previously have an even higher chance than last time that the baby will be born big. Not to mention, if mom had multiple pregnancies, the weight tends to go up a bit more after each new pregnancy that she has. It is not fully known how that is a factor, and it could be purely anecdotal, but sometimes things just happen, and we don’t quite know why.
The more mom’s unborn baby weighs while inside her tummy, the greater the chance of mom needing to a have cesarean section to deliver her little one. For some moms, that does not seem like a bad idea because they think it may be easier and less to deal with, but for the moms who have their hearts set on a natural birth, a C-section does not sound as appealing.
2 Gestational Diabetes
Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) happens to 7 out of every 100 women, which is 7 percent of all pregnancies. It is more common that people seem to believe. If left untreated mom runs the risk of developing another serious pregnancy condition called preeclampsia, and no one really likes having to deal with pregnancy complications. Ironically enough, moms who develop GDM are at risk of going into labor early and having their baby born prematurely, but other times it can cause mom to have to deliver a really big baby girl or baby boy that can weigh over nine pounds.
If moms baby happens to be over that weight, then she will most likely need to have a C-section and has to worry about bikini season and a huge scar. Even worse yet, when left untreated, mom runs the risk of her baby being stillborn. With all these things that could go wrong, mom needs to make sure that if she is diagnosed with GDM that she is taking care of herself and watching what she eats and drinks.
1 Eating Too Much Salt
If a woman is pregnant, she should really watch how much salt she is consuming. Usually, people only worry about their sugar levels, not their sodium levels. Too much salt increases blood pressure, which happens to be a risk factor for preeclampsia. As we ironically learned earlier, if moms baby does not come out prematurely, there is a chance that the baby may come out being bigger than your average newborn.
There is salt in almost everything we eat. So sometimes it can be hard to make sure that we are not getting too much of it, but pregnant women especially should really be checking nutrition labels and making sure that (despite their cravings) they are not taking in too much salt. This is important for the health of both them and their unborn babies.
Sources: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, marchofdimes.org, webmd.com, americanpregnancy.org, parents.com, diabetes.org, everydayhealth.com, pregnancycorner.com, independent.co.uk