For years now, giving birth to a big baby has been like a badge of honor. Moms get a pat on the back for all the work of carrying around such a heavy load, and making it through delivery. Plus they're content knowing they won't have to face all those scary "low birth weight" risks. But now scientists are bursting moms' bubbles big time.
It's true, bigger babies may not face the same scary health risks of their much smaller nursery mates. But they put their mothers at risk of something much more terrifying than the back pain they suffered from carrying them. Breast cancer.
They might as well have just gone ahead and said it: Moms, you are darned if you don't, and you're darned if you do.
The data revealed in the medical journal PLoS One says moms who deliver a chunky newborn have their risk of breast cancer increased two and a half times. And that is completely independent of any other risk factors.
On the one hand, you can fear having a little peanut who spends months in a NICU and faces a long list of chronic health conditions. On the other, you can fear that you're gestating a giant, jacking up the ratio of estrogen to anti-estrogen in your body ... and putting yourself at risk for the cancer known to kill more women than any other besides lung cancer.
Gee. Such enticing options. What to choose. What to choose.
Hmm. I'm going to go with neither. No more worrying.
That's not the same as not being smart, ladies. You should exercise. You should eat right. You should do everything your doctor advises. But there is only so much we can do here ... birth weight is as dependent on nature as it is on everything WE do when we're pregnant. And after they're born, and we know the actual weight, well, it's too late, isn't it?
If we don't stop worrying about every single little thing, we're going to worry ourselves into an early grave. And what good does that do us ... or our kids?
How big was your baby? Are you going to let this study worry you?
Image via Children's Bureau Centennial/Flickr