The debate has raged for generations, stumping some of the greatest minds of our time. Scientists, philosophers and bona fide geniuses have all turned to each other, brows furrowed and asked each other the eternal, unanswerable question: which hurts more, giving birth or being kicked in the happy place? Although nobody has (to date) vocalized their experience of both pushing a human out of their own bodies and having a leather football volleyed straight into their testicles from close range, it’s probably time for men to admit defeat. In fact, fathers everywhere should get on their knees straight away (we’ll wait for you to come back and have a bagel or something), crawl over to the mother of their child and bow at their feet, because these women are goddamned heroes. This is especially true of the 12 mothers who gave birth to the large bundles of joy featured in this article.
The 12 babies we shall meet here are, at the time of writing, widely acknowledged to have the heaviest birth weights on record. While there have been rumors of heavier newborns - a recent account of a 42-stone Australian giving birth to a 40 lb boy was proven to be a hoax - the entries here have all been double-sourced and their eye-watering birth weights are entirely accurate. Read on and remember, every baby is beautiful, no matter what size they are or what they look like. In the case of the following 12 beauties, there’s just a whole lot more of them to love.
12 Maxime Marin’s Baby - 13.6lb
40-year old Maxime Marin is one brave lady. The Brit, who lives in the Spanish city of Denia with her Columbian partner, delivered her 6.2 kg baby girl naturally; most babies tipping the scales to that degree are delivered by cesarean. Marin didn’t even need an epidural, displaying classical Brit grit and keeping her stiff upper lip throughout the delivery, which resulted in the largest baby ever born in Spain through natural childbirth. Marin is quoted as saying afterwards, “I knew it would be big but not that big”, possibly with the faintest hint of a wince. Of her previous three children, the lowest birth weight was 9 lb 14oz.
11 Stephon Hendrix Loius-Jean - 14lb, 130z
Connecticut resident Marie Michel is no stranger to the pain of giving birth to plus-size babies; her first four children weighed between 12 lb and 8.5 lb - including twins. Her fifth child, however would have surely had her scrambling for the ice chips. The excellently named Stephon Hendrix Louis-Jean tipped the scales at 14 lb, 13oz, shattering the hospital's 18-year old record. At almost 23 inches long, Stephon is a big fella in every sense of the word. With four elder siblings having already skipped ‘newborn’ sized clothing, we’re guessing that his lunch money will probably be safe come his school years.
10 Joel Brandon, Jr. - 14lb
Sara Brandon was expecting her son to be on the large side; the Utah resident’s final ultrasound scan before her due date had indicated that her son, Joel Jr., was probably going to weigh in at around 11 lb, which is big whichever way you look at it. However, the healthy baby boy surpassed even this predication, with a birth weight of exactly 14 lb. “I think everyone in the room - even the doctors - was so surprised”, whispered an awestruck Sara, before saying a silent thank you to Julius Caesar for popularizing a certain surgical procedure and a type of salad, apparently.
9 George King - 15lb 7 oz
In 2013, George King claimed the title of the UK’s heaviest newborn. The giant tot weighed a staggering 15 lb, 7oz, with his massive frame proving to be a problem during the final stages of labor. After mum Jade had managed to get George’s head out, his shoulders became stuck in the birth canal with the infant being twice the size of the average newborn. “That’s when things got scary,” said Jade, perched atop of the softest cushion she could find. 20 doctors and nurses rushed into the delivery room to dislodge George and, after being sent to neonatal care, mother and baby were declared to be healthy and happy.
8 JaMicheal Johnson - 16lb
Texans are totally obsessed with size. The second biggest State has a famous saying, “Everything is bigger in Texas”, be it BBQs or Longhorns. You can now add ‘newborn babies’ to the list of Texas-sized things, thanks to young JaMichael Johnson. The tot tipped the scales at a colossal 16 lb when he was delivered at the Good Shepherd hospital in Longview, a record for both hospital and the State itself. Two weeks before mother Janet gave birth in 2011, her pediatrician told her to expect a 12-13 pound baby. He should have Texas-sized that estimation.
7 Sammisano Otuhiva - 16lb, 1.7oz
Doctors in the Californian city of San Francisco were possibly glad that they hadn’t put money on the weight of the Otuhiva baby imminently due in August 2014. Nurses confidently predicted that the boy would weigh 11 or 12 pounds. The doctors, never shy of a bit of one-upmanship, raised a collective eyebrow and scoffed, declaring 14 lb to be a more realistic estimate. They were all wrong, Baby Sammisano weighed in at a gargantuan 16 lb, 1.7oz. He holds the record for the heaviest baby born in the State of California, a record you would expect not to be broken for some time.
6 Stephen Lyttle - 16lb, 5oz
Born on January 26, 1963, Australian resident Stephen Lyttle still holds the record as the heaviest baby born Down Under, a fact which makes his name a journalistic gift. Lyttle weighed 16 lb, 5oz upon birth, more than double the average birth weight of an Aussie newborn. After more than 50 years, he still holds the record but, proving that waistlines are only ever temporary, weighs a relatively trim 15 stone (97 kg). Whether or not his mother still walks like John Wayne is information not widely available at the time of writing.
5 Ademilton dos Santos - 17lb
The Brazilian record for the heaviest newborn was set in 2005 in Salvador, in the North-east of the country. Francisca Ramos dos Santos gave birth to her fifth child, Ademilton, by C- section. A natural birth would have been out of the question - young Ademilton was double the weight of the country’s average newborn, with his recorded birth-weight set at an astonishing 17 lb, or 8 kg. The boy was Francisca’s fifth child and doctors attributed his massive size to his mother’s existing diabetes condition, with his siblings all being of average or above average birth weight.
4 Nadia Khalina - 17.1lb
Siberia: seen by the outside world as a cold, harsh environment where it’s best to pack some thermal underwear before venturing outside. Whether that’s largely true or just a stereotype, Nadia Khaline was born ready for the cold, with a higher level of baby fat than the average newborn; after her birth in 2007, Nadia still holds Russia’s record for the heaviest birth weight at a frankly unbelievable 17.1 lbs. Nadia was Tatyana Khaline’s twelfth child, which proves that there are effective methods of keeping warm through even the harshest of winters.
3 Akbar Risudden - 19.2lb
When Akbar Risudden was born on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, in 2009, crowds flocked to catch a glimpse of him. He wasn’t especially famous, born unto royalty or the Second Coming of your chosen deity; they came because he was bloody massive. Akbar - Arabic for the Great - weighed a comically huge 19.2 pounds at birth, or 8.7 kg. His cesarean section took 40 minutes to complete as a result of his huge size, a result of receiving excessive glucose from his mother during the pregnancy. "He is greedy and has a strong appetite, nursing almost nonstop," commented a doctor, whilst fighting a path through gawping onlookers.
2 “Babe” Bates - 22lb
The giantess, Anna Haining Bates stood at a lofty 7’11”, only a few inches taller than her husband. You’d imagine that giant parents would conceive a giant child, right? While this is patently not scientifically proven, it did happen to be the case for the Bates family. Anna’s labor lasted 36 hours, prolonged by the difficulty doctors had in applying forceps to the baby’s large head. When the boy was born, he weighed somewhere between 22 lb and 23 lb (12oz), depending on which sources you believe. He was 34 inches tall, with both his feet measuring 6 inches each. Tragically, he died after 11 hours and was never officially named.
1 Baby Fedele - 22lb 2oz
It's unfortunate that the heaviest baby ever born is also the one on this list for whom very few solid facts are known. We can ascertain that the child was a boy, born to Carmelina Fedele in September 1955, and that the mother lived in Aversa, Italy at the time of the birth. Happily, we also know that the youngster weighed 22 lb 8 oz, or 10 kg. Other than that, Fedele seems to have opted for a life away from prying eyes, which is all well and good but doesn't help pop culture journalists one jot. Won't somebody think of the pop culture journalists?