A new born baby weighs around 7 pounds. if the baby is born weighing around 7 pounds then the baby is considered to be normal and healthy. Under certain circumstances the baby may be born underweight or overweight. It would then be a concern then. Fetal Macrosomnia (underweight and overweight baby) is serious health issue and should be dealt with very seriously.

You not only need to take care of the bay after he or she is born but also the mother should be careful when the child is inside her. Without proper nutrition and proper caring the baby might not be healthy. The usual situation which happens when there is a complication in pregnancy is that the baby is born before the pregnancy period is over and therefore the baby born is weak and underweight. This immediately calls for medical attention.

The other issue that could occur is that the baby born could be overweight. This issue usually could get overlooked and could only be guessed or analysed during the delivery. If the baby weighs around 8 pounds and 13 ounces then the baby is taken to be overweight and then immediate steps are to be taken to lower the weight. If the baby weighs more than 9 pounds whatever his or her gestational time may be then the baby shall be diagnosed to having fetal macrosomia. This disease can cause serious trouble during the delivery and even cause a large injury during the vaginal delivery.

What is Fetal Macrosomia & How is it Treated?

Causes of Fetal Macrosomia

The usual causes that could lead to a baby having fetal macrosomia are obesity, diabetes or gaining weight during the pregnancy. The genetic reasons could also cause fetal macrosomia. This could harm the growth of the baby and also harm the mother. The child born could have diabetes, obesity, low blood sugar level and serious metabolic disorders.

What Causes Fetal Macrosomia In Gestational Diabetes?

If the mother gets diagnosed with diabetes during the pregnancy or becomes diabetic before the pregnancy then the gestational diabetes could lead to the causal of fetal macrosomia in the unborn child. If the diabetes is not handled properly the baby will be born overweight and might inherit the diabetic nature and the mother’s life could be in risk during the delivery.

Fetal Macrosomia Vs LGA

LGA refers to large for the gestational stage. This is a disorder which causes overweight of the baby. The big body or the macrosomia is when the baby weighs around 8 pounds whereas in LGA the baby would be weighing more than the 90th percentile during the birth. Both of these illnesses are often confused with each other and cannot be diagnosed until the baby is born. If the mother is non-diabetic especially then the ultrasound readings may always not be accurate enough to identify either of these illnesses. While the causes and symptoms can be the same for both the diseases like obesity and gestational diabetes, the babies diagnosed with LGA usually weigh around 97th percentile and have a greater risk of prenatal morbidity.

Symptoms of Fetal Macrosomia

There are a few symptoms which could refer to the baby having fetal macrosomia. Some of the symptoms are:

  • A large fundal height is a symptom of fetal macrosomia. The doctor should carry out regular check-ups by measuring the distance from the top of the uterus to the pubic bone. During the prenatal visit, the health care provider should do the thorough check-up and the fundal height should be noted on visits. The fundal height when larger than the usual height then the baby could be having fetal macrosomia.
  • Another symptom of fetal macrosomia is excessive amniotic fluid. The amount of amniotic fluid in the womb of the mother could also tell if the baby has fetal macrosomia or not. A baby who is overweight will discharge larger amount of urine. The amniotic fluid can tell the urine content of the baby. The urine content if found to be more than usual then the baby could be having fetal macrosomia.
  • If the mother starts gaining too much weight after pregnancy then the baby could be having fetal macrosomia.

Tests to Diagnose Fetal Macrosomia

Whether the baby has fetal macrosomia or not can only be told after the birth. Keeping in mind the gestational age of the baby and the average weighing of it, it can be guessed by the doctors. Sometimes the ultrasound may show the large size of the baby. The testing of the amniotic fluid or testing the heart beat rate and the movement of the baby while relaxing the mother could diagnose whether the baby has fetal macrosomia or not.

Treatment for Fetal Macrosomia

The treatments for fetal macrosomia are:

  • During the vaginal delivery if done, inducing labor is suggested to avoid complications.
  • A C-section is usually done by the doctors to avoid any danger like the baby’s shoulder getting stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone.
  • Immediate treatments for diabetes is done if the mother is diabetic so that the baby is not born with resistance to insulin.
  • After the baby is born he or she is tested for various illness like hypoglycaemia and is checked for injuries.

Home Remedies for Fetal Macrosomia

Home remedies for fetal macrosomia include:

  • Exercising under guidance during the pregnancy is a remedy for fetal macrosomia.
  • Avoid gaining too much weight.
  • Keeping your food habits in balance.

Recovery Period/Healing Time for Fetal Macrosomia

The recovery period or healing time for fetal macrosomia could be told by the doctor who would be treating the mother and the child. Depending on the type of treatment, the time of healing can be told by the doctor. The doctor will also tell you if you have future chances of delivering a bay having fetal macrosomia and if so then how to not make it happen.

Prevention of Fetal Macrosomia

The following are the ways to prevent fetal macrosomia:

  • One needs to take care of their food habits during the pregnancy to prevent fetal macrosomia.
  • Proper check-ups should be done on a regular basis to prevent fetal macrosomia.
  • If the mother is diabetic then it should be kept in control.
  • The mother should remain stress free.

Risk Factors for Fetal Macrosomia

The various risk factors of fetal macrosomia are:

  • Fetal macrosomia can develop in the baby if you have developed diabetes during pregnancy or before pregnancy.
  • Your second child would more likely have fetal macrosomia if your first child was diagnosed with the same.
  • If you yourself weighed a little more than normal then you could have a baby who would be having fetal macrosomia.
  • If you are suffering from obesity then your new born child would be having fetal macrosomia.
  • If you are pregnant for the fifth time, then the baby could be having fetal macrosomia. With the increase in the number of pregnancies, the mother could inherit the dysfunction causing fetal macrosomia in the child.
  • Usually male infants weigh more than female infants. Most babies who are overweight are male.
  • If your delivery date keeps pushing back that is the pregnancy gets overdue, the baby is likely to have fetal macrosomia.
  • Women getting pregnant over the age of 35 could have a baby having fetal macrosomia.

Complications of Fetal Macrosomia

Several complications can develop in the mother to be if the baby is having fetal macrosomia. Some fo the major complications are:

  • Difficulty during the delivery is a complication of fetal macrosomia. The baby usually weighs so much more that the baby cannot be pushed out from the vagina of the mother without the use of forceps. Sometimes even a C-section needs to be done for the delivery. Giving birth to an overweight baby could leave marks and injuries forever. It could even cause enormous bleeding during the delivery. A lot of blood loss after the delivery and difficulty in the contraction of the uterine muscles after the delivery can also happen.
  • For more complicated delivery situations, sometimes during the C-section the uterine wall may rupture. The uterine wall could also be torn during the vaginal delivery and then a sudden C-section would have to be done to save the life of the mother. Tissues of the vagina or muscles between the anus and the vagina can also get ruptured during the delivery.

Lifestyle Changes for Fetal Macrosomia

The below are some of the recommended lifestyle changes for fetal macrosomia:

  • If your baby is born with fetal macrosomia for further pregnancies you should be more careful and should go for thorough check-ups to avoid such conditions again.
  • There is a high risk of the baby being injured hence a C-section would be done and that would bring serious changes in your body and lifestyle changes hould be adopted accordingly by consulting the doctor.
  • If you are diagnosed diabetic during your first pregnancy, keep your diabetes in proper control during the second pregnancy as the kid could be born having resistance to insulin and that would risk the baby’s life.

Coping with Fetal Macrosomia

If you have a medical history of fetal macrosomia then your child may be born with the same. Also genetically disorders may lead to fetal macrosomia. The painful situations that the mother would have to go through would require patience and strength. One would have to be very careful during future pregnancies to cope with fetal macrosomia.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: March 20, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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