This Infant's Size Confirms a Concern Doctors Have Had for Years

January 11th 2017

Laura Donovan

One woman made headlines for giving birth to a larger than normal baby, drawing attention to a growing trend of super-sized babies in the United States.

14 pound baby at birth

LaQueena Hunter Grover told local news station WDSU that she's done having kids after giving birth to a 14.1 pound boy named Loyalty in December. The Louisiana mom of four said her first two children weighed around seven pounds, the average birth weight of babies, and her third child was 11.9 pounds. While pregnant with Loyalty, she said people would comment on her belly size, adding that she had to be carrying twins.

“He wears a size three Pamper," Grover told WDSU News. "He’s supposed to be in a size one as a newborn. He wears three to six month old clothes and he wears some six to nine month clothes."

Grover's story highlights a larger problem surrounding the rise in the size of infants.

There has been a 15 to 25 percent jump in babies weighing eight or more pounds in developed countries, according to a February 2013 report from the medical journal Lancet. It also found that the weight increase applied to around 15 percent of babies in Algeria, which has a maternal obesity rate of 24.9 percent, according to an October 2015 study in the Journal of Public Health. Overweight mothers who didn't have gestational diabetes were much more likely to have oversized babies than women of healthier weights, according to an August 2012 study published in journal Diabetes Care. 

Furthermore, babies who are overweight may have birth complications or obesity issues later on in life, research has shown, according to a February 2011 study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion. There's also the likelihood of having to deliver via C-section, which is on the rise in the U.S., if the baby is large. 

“If the baby is born too large it increases the risk for very serious consequences both during delivery, for the mother and the infant, as well as later in life — for the infant,” Mary Helen Black, a study author behind the Diabetes Care paper, told The Huffington Post in August 2012. “There may be a general perception that, ‘Oh, the baby’s big, but so what?’ That’s a misperception.”