What Is Fetal Macrosomia & Its Symptoms?

5 min read

Everything is a wonder when it comes to newborns. In the same way, there are even many unexpected events that may happen that you never know. Baby’s birth weight is an essential factor that needs attention. That’s why, throughout the pregnancy, your baby’s weight is monitored. The healthy weight gain of the fetus indicates the normal progression of pregnancy. Both underweight and overweight of the fetus points to the underlying potential issue. Here we are going to talk about the weight of the newborn.


What Is Fetal Macrosomia?

Usually, newborn babies are around 7 pounds of weight. When the fetus’s estimated weight is higher than 90% of the standard weight of fetuses in the same gestational age, it is fetal macrosomia. This is a severe health condition that needs to be treated. Babies with this medical condition weight more than 9 pounds.

What Are The Causes of Fetal Macrosomia?

The causes for the fetal macrosomia includes

  • Hereditary: If this medical condition is in your family history, then the doctors predict that there are chances for the reoccurrence. Also, big parents tend to have big babies. So be careful and discuss the same with your doctor well in advance.
  • Overweight and Obese: It could be because of maternal health issues, well. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can also trigger fetal macrosomia.  Genetic factors like obesity or diabetes could be a reason. If the parents are having these problems, then the chances are more for this health condition for the newborn.
  • Pregnancy Overdue: When pregnancy goes past the due date, the risk of fetal macrosomia increases. Therefore, be clear with the due dates as the pregnancy is scheduled for a couple of weeks after the due date will have the risk of fetal macrosomia.
  • Expecting A Baby Boy: Yes, the baby’s gender matters. Babies who have this complication weight more, and the fact is that most of them are boys. Also, males weigh more than female infants.
  • Successive Pregnancy: Doesn’t know the case of the age-old pregnancies where mothers used to give birth to a dozen children in a lifetime. However, the doctors suggest that for each pregnancy, the risk of fetal macrosomia is going on increasing. The weight of every successive child is increasing to 4 ounces. So be careful while you are planning for the next pregnancy while your first child is already born of excess weight.
  • Diabetes, Before or During Pregnancy: There are many moms to be who suffer from diabetes after getting pregnant. In this case, they should be taking the right medications and precautions for the safety of the child and their health. There are even many women who have diabetes and got pregnant. In both cases, there shouldn’t be any problem if proper medication and the right treatments are taken.
  • Previous History: If the mother is obese and then pregnant, then there are chances for this medical condition. On the other hand, if your first baby is affected with this fetal macrosomia, the doctors suggest that these mothers must be cautious with their next pregnancy.
  • Unexplained Reasons: Sometimes, in the absence of any of the above reasons, fetal macrosomia happens. Women who get pregnant after 35 years are more at the risk of experiencing fetal macrosomia. More research is happening in this field to explain the reasons for this excess birth weight. Many scholars are researching in this regard, and they are trying to come up with the right solution so that there won’t be any newborn or mother suffering.

What Are The Symptoms Of Fetal Macrosomia?

It is challenging to diagnose fetal macrosomia during pregnancy. However, these are considered as few symptoms.

  • Surplus Amniotic Fluid: If there is an excess of amniotic fluid, then this could be the sign for the increase in the baby size during the pregnancy. The amniotic fluid is used to measure the urinary output of the child. If this is more, then there are chances to predict the size of the baby.
  • Fundal Height: The fundal height is even something that is measured during the prenatal visits. If the fundal height is larger than expected, then it is the sign for fetal macrosomia.

How Is Fetal Macrosomia Diagnosed?

Measuring the baby’s size during pregnancy is the only way to diagnose Fetal Macrosomia. However, it is not practical to find out the exact weight of a baby in the womb.  All the same, some procedures help your practitioner to evaluate your baby’s size.

  • Performing Ultra Sound: Ultrasound performed during the pregnancy helps to evaluate the size of the baby. If the baby appears too big for the gestational age, it indicates fetal macrosomia
  • By Measuring Height Of Fundus: Larger fundal length indicates fetal macrosomia.
  • By Evaluating The Level Of Amniotic Fluid: Excess amniotic fluid can be an indication of fetal macrosomia
  • By Performing Antenatal Tests: If the doctor suspect fetal macrosomia, he will perform more antenatal tests. Non-stress test or a fetal biophysical profile helps to monitor your baby’s well-being.

Fetal Macrosomia Complications

With this health condition, there are equal risks both for the baby and the mother. Here is the list of the complications which one must be aware of.

Maternal Risks:

  • There will be chances for the labor problems, and in this regard, the baby must be taken with the help of the forceps or with the vacuum device. C section is suggested in this regard.
  • Due to the overweight of the baby, the genital tract lacerations will get injured. The vaginal tissues or the muscles get a tear.
  • Bleeding after delivery is the other major concern. This could be because of the overstretched tissues hinders the muscle contraction after the delivery.
  • If you underwent a c-section in the previous delivery, fetal macrosomia in the subsequent pregnancy could trigger a uterine rupture. Uterine rupture is considered as a serious complication, and close monitoring and immediate C-section (once macrosomia diagnosed) are suggested to save the mother and newborn.

Child Risks For Newborn:

  • The blood sugar levels of the baby born with fetal macrosomia will be less.
  • As the newborn weight increases, the chances of childhood obesity also increase.
  • Metabolic syndrome is the other factor that one must consider in this regard.

Are There Any Treatment Options For Fetal Macrosomia?

Treatment depends on the cause. If it is diabetes that triggered fetal macrosomia, keeping the blood sugar under control is the best way to prevent further complications. In many cases of fetal macrosomia, C-section can be considered as a treatment. Why, because, even though normal vaginal delivery is not totally impossible, apparently, the vaginal delivery necessitates the use of birth-assisting tools. This, in turn, increases the chances of birth injuries. Also, fetal macrosomia increases the risk of shoulder dystocia (shoulder of the baby got stuck behind the pelvic bone during delivery).

Preventing Fetal Macrosomia:

You can’t always prevent fetal macrosomia. However, some measures will help to bring down the chances of fetal macrosomia.

  • Watch your pregnancy weight gain.
  • Never miss the scheduled prenatal checkups. This will help to promptly discover not only fetal macrosomia but most of the pregnancy issues.
  • Control your blood sugar level throughout the pregnancy.

Let’s wrap it up:
There are proper medical procedures to figure out the fetal macrosomia in the early stage itself. So, it is without any sort of fear, go for the pregnancy, and give birth to a healthy and happy child.

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