Why Are Some Babies Born Bigger Than Others?

Category: Parenting

Why Are Some Babies Born Bigger Than Others?

Some mothers can expect a bigger bundle of joy than expected when the big day arrives. In a singleton birth, the average newborn weighs between 5.5 and 9 pounds. Mothers expecting larger than average babies may have to undergo a cesarean section to reduce the risk of other medical complications.

Genetics

  • Your baby may be bigger than the average due to genetics. If you or the baby's father were also taller or weighed more than average at birth, your children may have the same experience when they come into the world, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. A big baby is not necessarily a cause for concern. Ask your doctor for advice if you are concerned about the size of your new bundle of joy.

Health Conditions

  • A mother's health conditions can impact a baby's birth weight, according to KidsHealth. Gestational diabetes may occur in about four percent of women, causing a mother's blood sugar levels to rise. This high blood sugar can also cause a baby to develop high blood sugar during the pregnancy, leading to extra fat storage. An overweight or obese mother may also be more likely to give birth to a larger baby, according to March of Dimes.

Multiple vs. Single Pregnancy

  • Parents who are expecting a single baby can expect to have a baby who weighs more than children resulting from a multiple birth, according to KidsHealth. Half of all twins will come into the world weighing less than six pounds, according to March of Dimes, and rates of low birth weight tend to increase as the number of babies per pregnancy increases.

Other Causes

  • Some babies are born bigger than others because of conditions during pregnancy. Doctors may advise a woman to gain more or less weight during her pregnancy based on her weight before pregnancy. Some women may gain more than recommended, which can cause a baby to weigh more than usual, according to March of Dimes. A slow and gradual weight gain, in addition to not gaining too much weight, may prevent mothers from giving birth to babies who weigh more than average.


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