heaviest baby, mother, healthy, doing well

When 28 year old Nadeesha Nilmini gave birth to her first child, a beautiful pink, bonny boy on August 8 (Tuesday) at the Balapitiya Base Hospital , she little dreamed the baby she had just given birth to, would be carving his name for posterity in the annals of ‘firsts’ in Sri Lanka’s medical history.

The reason?

At 5.20 kgs ( just 20 kgs less than six kgs in weight or approximately 13 lbs), the new born infant was not merely a big baby. It was the heaviest baby born to a Sri Lankan mother. “This is nearly double the ‘ normal’ weight of the average babies born in Sri Lanka which is 3.1 kg . When the weight is 3.5 we call it a ‘ large baby’. But this baby was much bigger than even this. I believe he is the heaviest baby born in our country”, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at the Kalpitiya Base Hospital, Dr Kapila Vithanachchi told the Sunday Observer in a telephone interview, Thursday (August 10).

Asked if he could prove this claim, he said, “ We don’t have any statistics. But, I made it a point to verify the facts with very senior members of my profession. They assured me there was no evidence of a heavier baby being born in Sri Lanka before this”

Nadeesha has been under Dr Kapila’s meticulous care from the time she became pregnant.

So, when did he discover there was something unusual about the baby she was carrying?

“At seven months of pregnancy, I realized it was going to be a big baby. But, even I was taken by surprise at how heavy he was. I had predicted a weight of about 5 to 5.4 kgs before he was born,” he confessed.

The decision to deliver the baby was made when the mother was 38 weeks. “We checked to see if the mother was diabetic but the tests turned out to be negative. So, we decided to do a planned Caesarian delivery. It took between 45 minutes to one hour,” he said.“

Asked if it was different from other caesarean deliveries he had performed and more difficult , he said , “ It was just like any other caesarean delivery . And no, I have done more difficult deliveries by Caesarian section in my ten years of experience”. Of the mother he said, “ She was an excellent patient, very healthy, active and had complete faith in us”. He further mentioned that her husband had also been a good example of a committed husband as he was present at his office every time she was being examined by him.

Was the mother and baby being kept in the ward for further observation? I asked. “Usually, most of our mothers are discharged after 48 hours. Since both mother and baby are normal and the baby is feeding normally, they too will probably be returning home as soon as they complete their 48 hours of being in our maternity ward.”, he replied.

He added that he will continue to monitor the health of the mother while Dr Sathya , the Hospital’s paediatrician will be looking after the baby’s health.

The team attending the delivery comprised Dr Kapila Vithanachchi, an anaesthetist, a senior house officer and nursing officers. “The latter are very dedicated . I am grateful for their support always”, he said paying a big compliment to his team of nursing officers.

Balapitiya Base Hospital Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist  

Refusing to discuss any likely health issues he said “ Right now both mother and baby are doing fine and are quite normal and healthy”.

Active

“Nadeeesha works as a general factotum at the SSP Police office at Elpitiya”, the Sunday Observer learned after talking to her colleagues working there, as IP Saman told the Sunday Observer.

Asked if he and his colleagues had any suspicion about the big surprise that Nadeesha sprang on them when she went into labour, he said, “No. She worked till the very last day when she said she needed to see the doctor. That was typical of her as she is a very active person”.

IP Saman said, Nadeesha was one of the nine married police women. “ All of them are mothers as far as I know, and all are very active and duty conscious even though they have to juggle their careers with their domestic duties” he said.

Asked if the station had provision for a separate baby room for nursing mothers, he replied in the negative, lamenting that the building they were now in was a rented one, identifying a gap that needed to be filled.

Considering the special needs of Nadeesha’s baby in the future, we asked if he and his colleagues had given this a thought. “We have discussed how we can help her and have made some suggestions to our SSP. We are awaiting his approval”, he added. 

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