You may not have heard of fetal macrosomia pre-pregnancy, but it is one term you should be aware of. If statistics are to be believed, around 10% of the Indian babies born are macrosomic. So it doesn’t harm to know what it is and what causes it to happen.
What is Fetal Macrosomia?
Fetal Macrosomia is used to describe a newborn child whose weight is significantly more than that of an average healthy baby. In other words, if a baby happens to weigh over and above 4kg, then he or she is referred to as a macrosomic baby.
What causes a mother to give birth to an over-weight baby?
Weight of the mother
The very first known cause, in most cases, is that if a mother happens to be obese pre-pregnancy, it is highly likely that she will give birth to a macrosomic baby. The mother’s weight pre-pregnancy is not the only factor though. If the mother happens to be average weight pre-pregnancy but puts on more weight than required during pregnancy, then also there is a high chance for her to give birth to an over-weight infant.
Genetics play a big role
Genetics play an extremely crucial role in shaping the overall look and character of a baby and in this case the event of fetal macrosomia as well. If the mother herself weight over 8 pounds (or over approx. 3.6kg) at birth, then there is a good chance her baby will also be obese.
The most common factor or cause, however, for fetal macrosomia is diabetes. Now whether the mother had diabetes pre-pregnancy or only gestational, the likelihood of having an overweight baby increases manifold. According to statistics, about 60% of women with diabetes, whether pre or during pregnancy, tend to develop this condition.
ALSO READ – Miscarriage Questions You Are Afraid To Ask
Another factor that leads to a baby being over-weight or macrosomic is overdue or prolonged pregnancy. This means that if pregnancy continues by over two weeks or so past the due date, the likelihood of birthing a macrosomic baby increases.
Past pregnancy or pregnancies with fetal macrosomia
There is a high risk and probability of the mother giving birth to a macrosomic baby if she has had previous pregnancy or pregnancies where the babies were overweight.
Considering all these factors, it is a widely known fact that more than any other cause, it is the maternal diabetes and weight gain pre and/or during pregnancy that truly affects the development of a baby.
However, if none of these conditions have ever been there but the baby is still overweight then the only possibility that rules out is a medical condition affecting your baby.
Possible risks and complications attached with fetal macrosomia
Problems during labor
It goes without saying that when you are delivering a macrosomic baby there are bound to be problems with labor. It is highly likely for the baby to become wedged in the birth canal leading to injuries sometimes. Not only that, given the size of the baby use of forceps becomes increasingly common.
Chances of C-Sec increase
In a lot of cases the chance of having a cesarean increases with a macrosomic baby. With so many complications that are apparent, your doctor might advise you to undergo C-Sec.
Genital tract lacerations
When the macrosomic baby passes through the birth canal, there could be tearing of vaginal tissues and that of the muscles between vagina and the anus.
Risks to the baby
If the mother is at risk with a macrosomic baby, the baby itself isn’t free from it either. There is a likelihood of the baby running the risk of childhood obesity with increased birth weight. Also, babies with fetal macrosomia are known to have a lower blood sugar level than normal babies.