Fetal Macrosomia - Health Center

Fetal Macrosomia

By Refadoc, Posted on : Wednesday, 16 September 2015 - 6:27 am IST

Fetal Macrosomia: Basic Overview

Fetal Macrosomia is a term which is used to define a newly born who is larger than the average. A baby which has been diagnosed with Fetal Macrosomia has a weight of around 8 pounds, 13 ounces at birth, regardless of the gestational age of the child. Around 9% of the babies born all over the world suffer from this condition. As per the Pediatricians or the Child Specialists, the risks associated with Fetal Macrosomia increase manifold if the weight of the child is more than 9 pounds 15 ounces at birth.

Fetal Macrosomia can make vaginal delivery quite difficult and also tends to put the baby at a risk of injury during birth. After birth, the condition can make the baby prone to develop mental health problems.

Causes of Fetal Macrosomia:

Fetal Macrosomia can develop when the baby receives more than required nutrients in the gestational stage. This can also be caused due to the genetic factors as well as the maternal conditions, such as diabetes or obesity.

In some of the rare cases, the baby might as well develop a medical condition which speeds the fetal growth leading to Fetal Macrosomia. As per Pediatricians, In some cases, the reason for the condition can remain unexplained.

Signs and symptoms of Fetal Macrosomia:

It can be difficult to detect and diagnose Fetal Macrosomia during pregnancy. However, the most possible signs and symptoms of the condition are as follows:

  1. Large or increased Fundal height: During the prenatal check-up, the fundal height of the baby is measured. The fundal height is the distance from the top of the uterus to the pubic bone. If the fundal height is more than expected, it could be a sign of Fetal Macrosomia.
  2. Excessive amount of Amniotic Fluid: This condition is also known as polyhydramnios. The presence to a large amount of amniotic fluid during pregnancy can be a sign that the baby is larger than average. The amount of amniotic fluid can be reflected in the baby’s urine output. 

Tests and Diagnosis for Fetal Macrosomia:

It can be very difficult to estimate the weight of the baby before the birth. A direct and definitive diagnosis of the condition cannot be done until the baby has been born. However, the risk factors can estimate the baby’s weight before birth.

During the end of the third trimester of pregnancy, the doctors can do an ultrasound in order to determine the measurements of the baby’s body such as the head, the abdomen and the femur. These measurements can provide an idea regarding the height and the weight of the baby.

If the baby is too large for their gestational age, it is very crucial to determine and confirm if the projected due date is correct. In case the doctor predicts Fetal Macrosomia, they may use non stress testing in order to monitor the condition of the baby. The non stress testing is used to measure the heart rate of the baby in response to its movements. The non stress testing can begin during the 32 week of the pregnancy. 

Treatment and Drugs for Fetal Macrosomia:

In case the doctor suspects Fetal Macrosomia, it is necessary for the child to be born in the hospital under the supervision of the doctors in case forceps or a vacuum device is needed for vaginal birth. Inducing labour is not generally recommended in case of Fetal Macrosomia. In some cases, the doctors might recommend a C section. For instance:

  1. A Diabetic Mother: In case the mother has been suffering from diabetes and the child is suffering from Fetal Macrosomia, a C Section can prove to be one of the safest ways to deliver the baby.
  2. In case the mother does not suffer from pre gestational or gestational diabetes, still a C Section is recommended
  3. If the mother has delivered a baby with shoulder dystocia in the past, then the chances of it reoccurring are manifold. Therefore, a C Section is recommended in order to mitigate the risks associated with Shoulder Dystocia.

Once the baby has been born, it is checked for signs of birth injuries, such as low red blood cell count and hypoglycaemia. Babies born with Fetal Macrosomia are at a risk of contracting childhood obesity and insulin resistance. Therefore, constant monitoring of these conditions and future checkups are much needed. Know the most reliable Pediatricians or Child Specialists in Hyderabad region

  • Pediatrician
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