In what is a testament to women who champion natural childbirth and encouragement for those who are planning one, Natasha Corrigan gave birth to her 13.5lb son, Brian Liddle Jr., on January 24 at Mercy Hospital in Heidelberg. The mother couldn’t be more proud of her big baby, and her feat of birthing him with her only discomfort being that of having gas. Natasha states that trusting the process of birth and staying positive is what helped her deliver what may possibly be the heaviest baby ever born in the highly populated state of Victoria, Austrailia according to 7 News reports.
While birthing a baby this large may seem impossible in our modern culture where large babies are believed to need a cesarean delivery, midwives familiar with natural childbirth would see it as a testimony of the power a woman’s body has to do what it is designed to do best–develop, birth and care for babies. The mother of the huge baby, Natasha Corrigan, was wise to pass on interventions such as an epidural which may have slowed down her birth or caused complications necessary of additional interventions. Passing on an epidural helps a mother’s body keep in step with childbirth and also helps the newborn to maneuver through the birth canal in a fashion that is easier for them than when they are sluggish due to epidural drugs.
Natasha states that positive thinking and deep breaths were key to the delivery of her son. “I think I was in a bit of shock because the birth was natural and I only had gas so I was still in a bit of shock just from that.” She continued, “The power of positive thinking during birth, be positive, breathe deep.”
Brian Liddle Jr. was born around his due date, during the 40th week of Corrigan’s pregnancy. He is Natasha’s third child. Her other two children, both daughters, weighted 8 pounds, 4 ounces and 7 pounds, 12 ounces at birth. Although Natasha expected her baby to be large because he was estimated to be around 9 pounds a month prior to delivery, Natasha said “I never dreamed he’d be this big, thought he’d be an 11 pounder at the max! But we were blessed with a safe delivery of a 13.5 pounder! I’m still in shock!”
As difficult as it is to pause the celebration to ask, the birth of such a large baby raises some questions for American doctors who often tell mothers that a cesarean is needed to birth large babies. It causes one to wonder if Natasha is one of the privileged few with a unique, super-pelvis designed to pull off such a feat, or if many women may be able to birth large babies if given the chance to do so naturally. Have practices such as laying down while laboring and not moving freely, which prohibit the pelvis from opening up to it’s full capacity, caused the medical establishment and mothers-to-be to believe that birthing large babies is a near-impossible task that only a few can accomplish? Have interventions such as pitocin, commonly followed by an epidural, caused labors to slow to a point where it appears that the baby gets stuck in the pelvis?
As in all births, this is an occasion to be proud of, and that is exactly what Corrigan displayed as she wrote in a Facebook post that has gone viral “I never dreamed we’d get so much love for our BIG baby boy and family.” The size of the baby and the humility of his mother truly reminds us all to appreciate the magic of childbirth. Congratulations, Natasha; you and your family are refreshingly beautiful.