An average birth weight is about 7.5 pounds. Ask any woman who is days away from bringing an average-sized infant into the world, and she will be convinced that she is about to give birth to a gigantic child. Even typically sized babies seem massive when the big day rolls around. Imagine if you really were giving birth to a large baby or the LARGEST? A baby who is nine or 10 pounds is typically considered a large baby, but who is the biggest baby ever born?
Discovering the Biggest Baby Ever Born
When searching for the biggest baby ever born, you have to turn to Guinness World Records. The book updates its list of records annually, and you can find a plethora of interesting statistics on virtually anything. Big babies have always been a fascination to readers, young and old. Guinness World Records offers plenty of information on this subject.
Per the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest baby to have ever entered the world was born to a Canadian mother named Giantess Anna Bates and her husband, Martin Van Buren Bates. The expectant pair themselves were no strangers to largeness. Both Anna and Martin reportedly stood well over seven feet tall (she at 7 feet 11 inches and he, at 7 feet 9 inches,) so a product of their union was likely to be large but record-breaking large? No one could expect that?!
Before breaking baby records, Anna and Martin both worked the circus circuit, appearing in sideshows and making waves with their impressive size statistics. They dated for two years before tying the knot in front of onlookers. Their record-breaking baby wasn't their first child. The couple had previously lost a daughter during childbirth.
Anna delivered a son in 1879 at home in Seville, Ohio. The newborn weighed a whopping 22 pounds at birth and measured 28 inches long. It was reported that when Anna's water broke, some six pounds of amniotic fluid was released from her body. Parents everywhere, take a moment to allow those stats to sink in. Sadly, the baby only referred to as "Babe," passed away at eleven hours old.
Honorable Mentions in Big Babies
A few years before Anna's record-breaking baby boy, another large infant was born to a couple across the pond. On Christmas Day in 1852 in Cornwall, UK, a child was born weighing 21 pounds. Several decades later, in 1884 in Crewe, Cheshire, UK, a 20 pounds and two ounces boy was born to a 33-year-old schoolmistress.
Sig. Carmelina Fedele of Aversa, Italy found herself making headlines when we gave birth to her son in September 1955. The child weighed in at 22 pounds 8 ounces at birth, making him a rival for the largest baby ever born. His mother, shockingly, was in good health when she delivered her very large bundle of joy.
In 2009, Indonesian parents, Ani and Hananudlin, welcomed their son into the world. Baby Akbar certainly made an entrance as the new baby weighed a stunning 19 pounds and 2 ounces at birth. Ani had been suffering from diabetes, a common complication that often strikes pregnant women and results in larger than average babies.
Recent Record-Breaking Babies
Recent decades have seen a wave of larger than average children born. These record-breaking babies likely made their mothers think twice before ever deciding to become pregnant again!
- In 2004, a Siberian woman named Tatyana delivered a daughter who weighed 17 pounds and five ounces.
- In 2007, a Cape Town, South African mother named Cathleen Abels gave birth to a little girl named Chesner. The baby weighed in at 16 pounds and nine ounces.
- In 2005, the largest baby ever born in Brazil arrived. Francisca dos Santos delivered a 17-pound son, which is the average size of a six-month-old baby.
- California mommy, Sosefina Tagula, delivered her son, Sammisano, in 2013. The big baby weighed 16 pounds and 2 ounces at the time of his arrival, which was two weeks before his intended due date!
- Bryan and Caroline Rusack welcomed baby Carisa in 2014. The Massachusetts parents seem to only do big babies. Their older daughter was four pounds smaller than her record-breaking sister (Carisa is the largest baby to have been born at Massachusetts General Hospital, but if you do that math, the smaller sister was still pretty darn large at birth!
Why Are Some Babies So Large?
The average weight of a newborn is considered about 7 ½ pounds, so a baby weighing more than 9 pounds, 15 ounces is considered quite large. What causes some babies to be so large? There are actually several reasons or factors that can lead to a large baby at birth.
- Genetics-In many cases, big babies seem to run in families. Does this mean your baby will be large simply because you or a sibling was a big baby? No, but your doctor will probably ask you questions about your own birth weight and your mother's pregnancy and birth experience. In the same respect, women who have already had one or more large babies often continue to deliver big babies in subsequent births.
- Ethnicity-Some ethnic groups are believed to have larger babies on average, including Hispanic women.
- Gender-The sex of your baby may play a role in its size. In general, boy babies often weigh more than girl babies.
- Weight gain-Women who gain a lot of weight during their pregnancy sometimes produce larger than average babies as well.
- Extended due date-In most circumstances today, obstetricians will not allow a woman to continue her pregnancy past her projected due date. However, women who deliver past their due date sometimes have larger babies.
- High blood sugar levels-Women who experience high blood sugar levels are often diagnosed with gestational diabetes. If you are diagnosed with this condition, your doctor will monitor your baby's development. Your health and the health of your infant may influence your obstetrician to induce labor earlier than your projected due date. If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you will meet with a nutritionist who will work with you to design a healthy diet to help you control your weight gain during the pregnancy. Keep in mind that a diagnosis of gestational diabetes doesn't mean you will be a diabetic after the birth of your child, although your risk of diabetes in later years may rise.
Keeper of All Baby Records
Finally, as pregnancy and infant health care continues to become more advanced, world records concerning infant birth weights may change. As always, however, Guinness World Records is considered the definitive authority on the reality of these statistics regarding the largest babies ever born and other babies with astounding birth stories.