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Giant 13-pound baby born in Germany without a C-section; New world record?

A giant 13.4-pound baby was birthed Friday at the University Hospital in Leipzig, Germany, the Daily Mail reports.

Despite the risks, Jasleen’s mother gave birth to her baby vaginally (aka without a C-section). According to the German newspaper Der Spiegel, Jasleen is currently being looked after by the hospital’s neonatal care unit staff.

Given Jasleen’s size, the most pressing question seems to be: Why did the mom give birth to Jasleen naturally and not through a C-section?

The obstetrician in charge of Jasleen’s birth chose a vaginal birth because he was concerned about the health risks of performing a C-section on the baby’s mother.

“We still decided to try a natural birth, as a child of this size and [with] the excess weight of the mother, a cesarean section would have been associated with significant risk,” Professor Holger Stepan, director of obstetrics at the hospital, said in a statement released by the hospital and translated into English.

C-section can be risky for both the baby and the mother. The risks to the mother include the following: inflammation and infection of the membrane lining the uterus, increasing bleeding, reactions to anesthesia, blood clots, wound infection, surgical injury and increased risks during future pregnancies. The risks of a C-section to the baby include: breathing problems and surgical injury.

Dr. Katherine Economy, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, told ABC News that she thought the choice to deliver vaginally was very “unusual.”

“I think it would be very, very unusual to not deliver via cesarean because birth injury risk is high,” Economy said. [We] tend to be very cautious with babies like this. We would have assembled team of experts and said a few Hail Marys.”

Why is Jasleen so big? The hospital notes that the mother was suffering from undiagnosed gestational diabetes, which caused Jasleen to be born heavier than normal. During pregnancy, many women develop gestational diabetes (usually during the 24th week of pregnancy). Due to gestational diabetes, the baby gets more energy that it needs to grow and develop. This extra energy is stored as fat.

Is Jasleen the new world record holder for the heaviest baby at birth? According to the Guinness Book of World Records, that title belongs to Anna Bates of Canada who gave birth to a 23-pound 12-ounce baby boy in 1879.

Was going with a natural birth instead of a c-section a good idea? Sound off in the comments section.