Macrosomia

(Large for Gestational Age; LGA)

Definition

Macrosomia is a condition in which a baby is abnormally large before birth. The average birth weight for babies is about 7 pounds. Babies with macrosomia have a birth weight of at least 8 pounds, 13 ounces or more. Macrosomia occurs in more than 10% of all pregnancies in the United States. It may lead to pregnancy complications such as a greater risk of cesarean delivery, damage to the birth canal, and injury to the baby during a vaginal delivery. Babies born with macrosomia are more likely to have low blood sugar, respiratory distress, and jaundice.
Jaundice Baby
Jaundice Baby
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

The most common cause of macrosomia is diabetes in the mother during pregnancy.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of giving birth to a baby with macrosomia include:
  • Mother having diabetes
  • Mother having gestational diabetes
  • Mother is obese
  • Mother and/or father of large size
  • Excessive weight gain by the mother during pregnancy

Signs and Symptoms

The main symptom of macrosomia is a birthweight of at least 8 pounds, 13 ounces or more. This birthweight may be estimated during prenatal testing.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical and pelvic examination will be done. An ultrasound can help determine the size of the baby before birth. Your doctor will estimate the birth weight and evaluate any dangers for the mother and/or baby.If the fetal macrosomia may cause potential harm during a vaginal delivery, a Cesarean delivery may be scheduled.
Ultrasound of Fetus
Fetal Ultrasound
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

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