Doctors Worry About All These Big Babies
Along with obesity, birthweight is on the rise
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2013 5:16 PM CDT
Asher Stewardson was born Jan. 26, 2012, weighing 13 pounds, 13 ounces.    (AP Photo/The Des Moines Register, Todd Erzen)

(Newser) – Like people, babies are getting bigger around the world—and experts say those cute, chubby newborns pose health risks to themselves and their moms, NBC News reports. Not only can they get stuck during birth, but they can face higher risks of cancer, obesity, and (if born from an overweight mom) low blood sugar. And not all of their growth is necessarily in sync: "Large babies look more mature because of their size," says one doctor. "But in terms of their lungs, they may be immature."

American doctors have gotten aggressive about the issue by inducing birth before babies get too big—so the US average birthweight is actually sinking. Meanwhile C-section rates have risen from 20% in 1996 to 31% in 2009, partly because of oversized babies. Still, some moms have big babies simply because it runs in the family. One Pennsylvania mom made headlines by giving birth to a 13-pound, 12-ounce girl, and hears in her community that the baby looks smaller than on TV. "She doesn't look big—for a 3-month-old," the mom says—of her one-month-old baby.

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Aug 19, 2013 5:08 PM CDT
My sister didn't eat most packaged foods or anything that was (to her knowledge) genetically altered, treated with pesticides, or pumped with growth hormones and all that other crap while she was pregnant for that reason. She also laid off the soy (can cause feminine traits in male children), phylates (hormone disruptors), canned goods (lined with synthetic estrogen to prevent rust), products containing parabens, etc. It's very hard to do, when huge corporations are still whining that they shouldn't have to disclose what is in the stuff we eat and put on our bodies and the risks associated with it. Women who are more than a couple of lbs overweight shouldn't get pregnant in the first place until they have their weight under control. During pregnancy, they should be closely monitored, as gaining over 20-25 lbs is considered high risk and unhealthy to all parties. Babies born to overweight/obese mothers have a higher risk of lung issues, retardation issues, etc. It's no joke. In many states, OBGYNS will not take on obese patients and instead refer them to a high risk specialist, for this reason. Bottom line: Unless you can commit to being healthy while pregnant, don't have a baby, because you aren't ready to be a parent. I hate when women say "the great thing about being pregnant is that you can eat whatever you want because you are allowed to get fat". That is opposite of the truth. Everything you eat goes to your baby, bad or good, so while pregnant, processed foods, processed sugars, unhealthy fats, almost anything from a package with more than 3 natural ingredients, meats raised on a standard farm, etc. should be off limits. Maybe you can handle this stuff as a full grown adult, but your kid cannot. Why do you think so many children are autistic now? This large baby trend is a symptom of a much more serious issue which combines a poisoned food supply with a lack of responsibility among Americans for their own health and the health of those dependent on them.
Aug 16, 2013 9:37 PM CDT
If they are concerned that babies are weighing more at birth they should stop pumping all the damn growth hormones, antibiotics and whatever else into the pigs, cow, chickens, turkeys and every other animal product. I know that "study after study" has claimed that the steroids and other drugs are not harmful to humans. What few, if any, of those studies fail to acknowledge is that ever since those drugs were first used there has been an apparent, and difficult to deny, cause and effect correlation with certain ongoing issues in humans. Some of those issues, to name just a few, are the ongoing age drop in male puberty and female menstruation / puberty. SOMETHING has caused girls to start developing breasts and pubic hair at ever decreasing ages, culminating in news reports that 10 - 11 year old girls are getting pregnant, something unheard of just a few decades ago. Another apparent cause and effect area is increased birth rates since the introduction of hormone usage in feed animals. Again, from the time growth hormones were introduced until present there has been a steady increase in birth weights. We now see, and accept, babies weighing 11, 12 13 or more pounds as routine. Again, unheard of, or extremely rare, in the not too distant past. As id growth hormones weren't enough, antibiotic usage in feed animals has also skyrocketed during this time period, resulting in some disturbing (possible) correlations to human health. As I said, the apparent cause and effect correlations are plain to see, but everyone from the FDA to the drug manufacturers to the farmers themselves swear up and down there is no danger to humans from the drugs. No danger? Perhaps. No side effects? Extremely doubtful.
Aug 16, 2013 7:53 PM CDT
C-section rates have risen from 20% in 1996 to 31% in 2009, partly because of oversized babies. Partly is the operative word here. How about percentage of elective c-sections?