Babies come in different size and shapes. It is normal for babies to be chubby but babies who are obese or gain a lot of weight quickly are likely to become obese in their adult life. There are many factors that influence your baby’s size. The average size of a healthy newborn is 7 pounds. If the baby weighed more than the average size, he is considered as a large baby and is diagnosed as fetal macrosomia.
What are the symptoms of fetal macrosomia?
It is difficult to diagnose and detect fetal macrosomia during pregnancy. However, there are possible signs and symptoms that you could watch for:
- Polyhydramnios or too much amniotic fluid. An amniotic fluid is a fluid that protects your baby during pregnancy. Still, too much of it may be a sign that your baby is larger than the average size baby.
- Large fundal height. When you say fundal height, it is the distance from the top of the uterus to the pubic bone that is measured by your healthcare provider during your prenatal visits. If the fundal height is larger than expected, there is a big possibility that you have a fetal macrosomia baby.
What causes fetal macrosomia?
Genetics and unmanaged high blood sugar levels are the most influential factors of having large babies. Having a big baby means a greater chance of having a difficult delivery. It also means that you are likely to undergo caesarean section. There is also a greater chance that your doctor will induce your labour.
Every is are encouraged to give birth naturally unless there are medical reasons that suggests a caesarean section. Undergoing a caesarean section means having a greater risk compared to giving birth naturally. Infection, blood clots, and bleeding are the most common risks of caesarean. The decision for the safest delivery requires discussion between the mother and the doctor.
What are the complications of fetal macrosomia?
Delivering a baby with fetal macrosomia can be very dangerous and difficult at the same time knowing that a mother may experience perennial tearing, damage to your tailbone, or blood loss.
For newborns and babies:
If a baby is too large, there is a possibility that he will experience shoulder dystocia or when his shoulder is trapped under his mother’s pelvic bones. There is also a risk for brain damage. These babies have an increased risk for obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.
Will the baby’s health be affected after delivery?
If your baby experienced shoulder dystocia during delivery, he will sustain a broken collar bone or it will damage the nerves of his shoulder and arm. A broken collar bone will heal and they will fully recover from a nerve damage with the help of some treatment. There are no significant problems associated with big babies.
What are the tests to monitor my baby’s health and development?
Estimating or diagnosing your baby’s weight is very difficult. As a mother, you should provide accurate information to your healthcare provider for him to determine the gestational age of your baby. The following are tests that could determine your baby’s development:
- Your healthcare provider will do an ultrasound to measure your body towards the end of your third trimester.
- Antenatal testing. This test will monitor your baby’s well-being especially if he is suspected to have a fetal macrosomia.
Visit a pediatrician who have experience on fetal macrosomia before your baby is born.