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528-Pound Woman Gives Birth to First Child

A 25-year-old woman weighing 528 pounds gave birth to her first baby on Thursday at a hospital equipped to treat obese people.

"The baby is the fruit of the love between me and my future husband who is slimmer, weighing just 154 pounds," said Victoria Lacatus.

"I wanted this child with all my heart, whatever the sacrifice," the Adevarul newspaper quoted her as saying.

The healthy baby girl, born by Caesarean section, weighed 6.4 pounds, said Bogdan Popescu, a spokesman at Bucharest University Emergency Hospital.

Lacatus was admitted there from her village in southern Romania because the local hospital did not have any beds that could bear her weight, officials said. In Bucharest, three teams of ambulance staff and firefighters were needed to carry her into the hospital.

Popescu said Lacatus was being carefully monitored because she suffers from a thyroid problem and doctors said post-surgery complications could develop because of her morbid obesity.

Dr. Manny Alvarez, managing health editor of FoxNews.com, said pregnancy risks in obese women include high blood pressure, deep vein thrombosis, miscarriage, and respiratory problems.

Alvarez said it would be difficult to monitor the health and movement of the baby in this kind of case because an ultrasound would be limited.

"I think in this case, even though it is being reported as an interesting story with a good outcome, it is far from ideal," Alvarez said. "Someone in this position would really need to try to lose weight before becoming pregnant. Patients with this kind of weight that get weight-loss surgery . . . once they do that, those patients do far better than patients who weigh 500-pounds."

Lacatus said she will soon marry her 36-year-old fiance, Costica Lacatus.

"It was a real challenge because she needed four times the anesthetic a normal person needs," said Florin Costandache, who helped perform the operation.

The chief surgeon, obstetrician Valeriu Horhoianu, said at least 10 obese women have given birth at the Bucharest hospital, but they all weighed less than 352 pounds.

In August 2008, a heavier obese woman — 560-pound Leanne Salt — gave birth to triplets in Britain.

But Nicolae Cernea, a doctor from the southern city of Craiova — where Lacatus was hospitalized for a month before delivery — said her case was unique in Romania.

The country's media, which closely followed the case, seemed to agree.