Hi, new here!
First off, I think the link between big birth weight and more weight later in life is directly linked to uncontrolled gestational diabetes. This is distinctly different than larger babies born to healthy, non-diabetic moms.
I found this in a quick google, though it's not directly linked to the scientific study: "If an expectant mother can't metabolize sugar properly, her fetus may start producing extra insulin. The insulin functions as a growth hormone that makes the baby bigger and increases its chances of growing up overweight." (http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_ ... dults.html
"The larger the mother, the larger the baby, and the high-er the risk of emergency Cesarean birth and injury to mother and infant.3 Full-term infants weighing eight to twelve pounds cannot easily fit through their mothersâ€™ birth canals, which are designed for five- to seven-pound babies."
I would be curious to see the statistics for c-sections: the average weight of the mom, the average weight of the child. C-sections are becoming increasingly common and popular - and _definitely_ not only with overweight mamas or big babies.
I think you might find that midwives have more success with "big" babies. Mine said they were quite common with their clients, and these were not women eating junk food. There is a _big_ fear with normal OBGYNs over birth weight. This, however, is hugely do to positions "allowed" at birth and various interventions put into place (such as epidurals). It actually makes a significant difference with how the pelvic area opens during birth for the child's descent.
Women's bodies weren't made for a certain size - they were made to get their _own_ child into the world, gestational diabetes aside. For many women, that may very well be the 6 to 8 pound range - average means average. Given the right environment and an unmedicated birth, it's rarely a real problem though.
My own experiences (as a vegetarian, but not on Dr McDougall's):
Son - 8lb, 14 ounces; birthed unmedicated on hands-and-knees position; arrived after 30 minutes of pushing; only a really tiny tear (due to his hand being by his face) (no stitches needed); left the hospital in under 24 hours. Big baby while exclusively breastfeeding, then leaned out. Now 9, very lean and fit.
Daughter - 9lb, 4 ounces; birthed unmedicated while upright on a birthing stool; arrived after 15 minutes of pushing; no tears; born at home. Big baby while exclusively breastfeeding, then leaned out. Now 5, lean and fit.
Son - 10lbs; birthed unmedicated while partial lying down; arrived after 10 minutes of pushing; no tears; left the hospital in under 36 hours. Big baby while exclusively breastfeeding, then leaned out. Now 2.5, lean and fit.
With my last, the nurses couldn't get over how alert he was, how strong his head was (he was looking all around), said they had never seen a newborn as aware as he was.
I'm 5'8", but my sister is several inches shorter and successfully had healthy, large babies vaginally too (shrug).http://www.bellybelly.com.au/birth/smal ... g-baby-cpdhttp://www.breastfeeding.com/helpme/baby_fit.htmlhttp://www.nurturingheartsbirthservices.com/blog/?p=831