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Pregnancy – Are you at risk for a large baby?

In recent news, Germany had a new record for biggest baby – born at 13.47 pounds and measuring 22.6 inches long. Baby known as Jasleen, was delivered without a C-section. Yes, you read that right. And earlier this year, a British baby weighed in at 15 pounds, 7 ounces. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the heaviest baby ever born weighed 23 pounds in 1879. Keep in mind that the average baby weighs about 7 pounds at birth.

What is causing such large babies?

It may be related to the amount of weight a woman gains throughout her pregnancy. Too much weight gained may lead to increased weight in the baby. Recommendations for weight gain are associated with your Body Mass Index, or BMI. See the chart below. If you are unsure of your BMI, check out the calculator located HERE.

  • Underweight with BMI of <18.5 should gain 28-40 lbs.
  • Normal weight with BMI of 18.5-24.9 should gain 25-35 lbs.
  • Overweight with BMI or 25-29.9 should gain 15-25 lbs.
  • Obese with BMI >30 should gain 11-20 lbs.

In addition, having maternal diabetes can lead to Large for Gestational Age (LGA) babies. Diabetes during pregnancy causes an increase in the blood glucose in the Mom’s body. As a response, the baby makes insulin. The extra sugar in this environment signals to the baby’s body to continue to grow and you end up with a larger baby than expected for their gestational age.

If you are pregnant, or thinking of becoming pregnant, be sure to speak with your doctor about a healthy weight range and maternal diabetes. And if you’d like additional help in between visits, check out the Moda Health Maternity Care program. Our labor and delivery nurse Zandy can answer many of your questions. You can reach her by calling 877-277-7281 or by sending an email to

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