Dr. Morice delivers many babies as a skilled OB-GYN and tubal reversal surgeon in Morgan City, LA. Dr. Morice and the Atchafalaya clinic offer the lowest cost tubal reversal surgery in the nation. Today we will discuss fetal macrosomia.
What is fetal macrosomia?
Fetal macrosomia refers to babies who weigh more than 8 lbs. 13 ounces at birth. These babies are considered much larger than average. Approximately 9% of babies are born above 8 lbs. 13 ounces. The average fetal birth weight is 7.25 lbs. Fetal macrosomia is not diagnosed until delivery, though it may be expected in women who are gaining weight quicker than expected.
What causes fetal macrosomia?
As with many health conditions, an exact cause is unknown. However, there are various factors that increase a baby’s risk of fetal macrosomia.
- If the mother has or develops diabetes during pregnancy, the risk of fetal macrosomia rises. Babies of diabetic mothers are more likely to be born with large shoulders and more body fat, which can cause complications during delivery or later in life. This is one reason why it is so important to closely manage and monitor diabetes during pregnancy.
- If the mother has a history of delivering babies with fetal macrosomia, they are at higher risk of their future babies having fetal macrosomia. If the mother herself weighed more than 8 lbs. 13 oz. at birth, it is more likely that her baby have fetal macrosomia.
- Male babies are more likely to be heavy than female babies.
- If carried more than 39 weeks, the baby is at a higher risk of having fetal macrosomia.
- Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can contribute to a higher risk of fetal macrosomia.
- If the mother is over 35 years of age, it is more likely her baby will have fetal macrosomia.
It’s important to remember that even if you have some of these risk factors, you’re still more likely to have an average weight baby than a baby with fetal macrosomia. And many fetal macrosomia babies are born to women with none of the risk factors listed above. If you do have any of these risk factors, however, it’s important to discuss them with Dr. Morice so he can be sure to monitor them during pregnancy.
Is fetal macrosomia dangerous?
Fetal macrosomia does present health risks for both you and your baby. An overweight baby can result in a problematic delivery. Because the baby is large, it can get stuck in the birth canal, which may require a C-Section or the use of forceps to deliver the baby. An episiotomy also may be necessary. The delivery may cause more tearing than usual in the birth canal, resulting in increased bleeding and recovery time. A large baby also increases the risk of the uterus not contracting after delivery, which can lead to serious bleeding and blood loss. Lastly, if the mother has had a C-Section or uterine surgery prior, a baby with fetal macrosomia increase the risk of uterine rupture.
Babies born with fetal macrosomia are more likely to have high blood sugar at birth. Studies have shown that as birth weight increases, so does the risk of childhood obesity. And lastly, babies born with fetal macrosomia are at a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome during their childhood. Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.
While fetal macrosomia can result in long-lasting problems, the majority of babies born with this condition develop without complications.
Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or (985) 702-BABY to make an appointment with Dr. Morice.