Baby Rochelle weighs in with a record arrival

CINDY Trew was expecting a big baby — but there were no signs her bundle of joy would break records at the Warrnambool Base Hospital. 

Her daughter Rochelle, weighed in at 6.54 kilograms, or 14 pounds and seven ounces in the old scale, to claim the title of the heaviest newborn delivered at the hospital since records began. 

Ms Trew had a caesarean early Saturday morning with “no idea” of the miracle on the way. But breaking records in maternity wards is something of a family tradition. 

“I held the record at Altona for a while at 11 pounds when I was born,” Ms Trew said. “Now we’ve got this one. She not only holds the record here, she holds the record in the family. 

“My dad held the record at Colac for an hour with 13 pounds and 15 ounces until his mum’s best friend actually took the record off her by one ounce an hour later.”

Rochelle easily surpassed the hospital’s previous big bub record of 12lb 10oz (5.74kg) in 2005.

According to the Bureau of Statistics, the average birth weight of a newborn in Australia is 3.37kg.

Elated father Ayron Atkinson had his suspicions Rochelle would be a little larger, following the birth of their first child Alexander two years ago. “They said maybe 5kg. Alexander was 4.885kg so we were thinking 5kg was conceivable,” he said. 

The thing that was certain was Rochelle’s arrival. 

“It was right on the due date,” he said. 

“She’s 53.5cm at birth. Every measurement that’s been done for her is well above the 98th percentile.” 

The Lavers Hill family chose to go to South West Healthcare (SWH) for the birth. 

Surprised but overwhelmed with happiness, the parents are already picking clothes a few sizes larger than expected. 

“We had to send grandma out to get some new nappies, she’s already a size up,” Mr Atkinson said. 

“I put a triple-0 onesie on her yesterday and she was a little restricted,” Ms Trew said.

Maternity nurse unit manager Peter Logan said the birth was “certainly a rare event”. 

“I’ve been here for 25 years and I can’t remember a baby being heavier,” Mr Logan said. 

While it’s difficult to confirm if Rochelle is near any national records, Mr Logan said “she’s definitely a contender. There’s no doubt about that.” 

“It’s certainly been the talk around the place.” 

Up to 750 babies are delivered in the ward each year. Most importantly, Rochelle arrived healthy and without major complications — a real concern for babies under or over size. 

“Thankfully it all went really well,” Mr Logan said. 

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