Most in Indianapolis might assume a large, growing baby to be an indicator of a healthy pregnancy. While expectant parents and their doctors alike want to see that a baby is growing, overly large babies can actually pose certain risks to themselves and their mothers. "Fetal macrosomia" is the actual name of the condition describing big babies. Per the definitions set forth by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, fetal macrosomia exists when a baby grows to weigh more than 4500 g (which equates to 9 lbs, 4 oz) prior to being born.
Clinical research has shown common causes of fetal macrosomia to include:
- Previous incidents of fetal macrosomia
- Subsequent pregnancies
- Gestation beyond 40 weeks
In reference to age, it has been shown that mothers over the age of 35 are at a greater risk of experiencing fetal macrosomia. The condition is also more common in male babies than females.
According to information shared by the Mayo Clinic, mothers tend to be more at risk of injury during the delivery of a big baby than the babies themselves. Cases of fetal macrosomia may be more likely to produce complications during delivery. While giving birth, a mother can experience lacerations to the genital tract and uterine rupture, as well as excessive post-pregnancy bleeding.
There are no methods to treat diagnosed cases of macrosomia, yet doctors may help women from experiencing it by monitoring their weight gain during pregnancy. When fetal macrosomia is suspected, the risks of delivery complications might be avoided by recommending an elective C-section rather than having a mother attempt to deliver vaginally. Strong communication between patient and provider during the prenatal process may be key to effectively managing this condition.