16 Pound Baby – Why Was He So Big?
Besides the obvious joke that everyone is telling that this 16 pound 1 ounce baby was born in Texas, the question comes up why was he so big? It’s been reported that the boys mother was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Mothers with this condition tend to have larger babies.
According to the American Diabetes Association:
When you have gestational diabetes, your pancreas works overtime to produce insulin, but the insulin does not lower your blood glucose levels. Although insulin does not cross the placenta, glucose and other nutrients do. So extra blood glucose goes through the placenta, giving the baby high blood glucose levels. This causes the baby’s pancreas to make extra insulin to get rid of the blood glucose. Since the baby is getting more energy than it needs to grow and develop, the extra energy is stored as fat.
Additionally these babies tend to have low blood sugar at birth and for the first few days of life, they are also at risk for obesity and developing diabetes themselves.
Despite the fact that diabetes in this country is on the rise the rate of these big babies is on the decline. One study found that large babies were trending downwards between 1992-2002, and researchers aren’t entirely sure why.