Worried about having a big baby? four things to know about birth weight

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Fetal macrosomia is when a baby growing larger than expected in utero. Find out more about macrosomia and what to bởi vì about it.
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The average newborn baby weighs 7½ pounds at birth. But some grow much larger. In fact, there"s a technical term for babies weighing more than 8 pounds 13 ounces when they"re born.

Called macrosomia, it affects around 8 percent of infants. Most macrosomic babies are born perfectly healthy without complications. But babies born on the bigger side can face some risks.


Here’s a look at how macrosomia happens, how it might affect you and your baby, and what you can bởi vì to reduce your risk or manage the condition if you have it.

What is macrosomia?

When an infant weighs more than 8 pounds 13 ounces at birth, she’s considered a "big baby" — or one with macrosomia.

Macrosomia can occur when a baby gets more nutrients in utero than she needs, causing her to grow faster và larger than usual.However, some babies are just genetically programmed khổng lồ be taller or bigger than others.

Who is at risk for macrosomia or being pregnant with a big baby?

Doctors aren’t always sure why some newborns over up bigger than others, since some women with no discernible risks give birth to babies with macrosomia. But there are some factors that can increase the chance of having a big baby. These include:

Having gestational, type 1 or type 2 diabetes. That’s especially true if your diabetes isn’t well-managed.

Being obese or gaining too much weight during pregnancy. Macrosomia is more likely when women who were at a healthy weight before becoming pregnant gain more than 35 pounds, or those who were obese gain more than 20.

Having a macrosomic baby before. The risk of macrosomia increases with each pregnancy.

Being born with macrosomia yourself. If you were a big baby, your newborn is more likely to lớn be big too.

How is macrosomia diagnosed?

It can be tough khổng lồ get a sense of your baby’s exact weight while she’s still in utero. For that reason, macrosomia isn’t officially diagnosed until after you’ve given birth.

But before then, your practitioner can get a sense of whether your baby might be big by looking at your medical history along with:

Manually feeling your abdomen. Touching your belly can also give a sense of your baby’s overall size. This can be a little uncomfortable for you, but rest assured — it doesn’t hurt the baby.

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How can you prevent having an overly big baby?

Macrosomia can be unpredictable, & there’s no guaranteed way to prevent it. The good news is that there are steps you can take to lớn reduce your baby’s risk.

First up? vày what you can to lớn keep your blood sugar in check if you have type 1, type 2or gestational diabetes. Too-high glucose levels can cause your baby lớn get more nutrients than she needs, raising the risk for macrosomia.

Talk to lớn your practitioner about the best ways lớn control your diabetes while pregnant, lượt thích eating a diet that’s high in complex carbohydrates và dietary fiber & low in cholesterol, saturated fat and refined sugars.

Take steps khổng lồ maintain a healthy weight, too, whether you have diabetes or not. If you gained too much during a prior pregnancy or are worried about gaining an excessive amount during this pregnancy, talk to lớn your doctor about safe ways khổng lồ keep your weight gain steady.

Most pregnant women are advised to fit in at least 30 minutes of low-intensity exercise (like walking, yoga or swimming) five days a week and to follow a healthy diet featuring plenty of whole grains, vegetables, fruits & lean protein.

How can you treat or manage macrosomia if your baby is too big?

Simply put, bigger babies can sometimes be harder khổng lồ push out. Many moms whose babies have macrosomia are still able khổng lồ deliver vaginally.

If your baby is growing big, your practitioner will want you to give birth in the hospital in case a forceps delivery, avacuum-assisted delivery or a C-section become necessary.

There are some cases where your doctor might recommend a C-section in advance though, including:

If your doctor suspects your baby is larger than 9 pounds 15 ounces and you have diabetes.

If your doctor suspects your baby is larger than 11 pounds và you don’t have diabetes.

If you previously delivered a baby with shoulder dystocia — where a baby’s shoulder gets stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone.

No matter how your baby arrives, she’ll be examined for blood sugar problems or any potential birth injuries. You’ll need to lớn be tested for diabetes, too, if you weren’t diagnosed during pregnancy.

What are the complications associated with being pregnant with a big baby?

Macrosomia is manageable, but it can pose some potential risks for both moms & babies — particularly when a baby is born weighing more than 9 pounds 15 ounces.

Babies born vaginally could be more likely khổng lồ experience an injury lượt thích shoulder dystocia, where the baby’s shoulder gets stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone.

If your practitioner suspects shoulder dystocia, he or she might try khổng lồ manipulate your baby to lớn encourage her to lớn change positions or have you change positions. If that doesn’t work, your doctor may use a vacuum device or forceps or recommend an emergency C-section.

The more challenging labor could create some added risks for moms as well.

Bigger babies can sometimes cause vaginal tearing or increased bleeding after delivery. Moms who have previously undergone a C-section also have a higher chance foruterine rupture — a rare but serious complication where the uterus tears xuất hiện along your scar line.

After a macrosomic baby is born, she"s more likely to require a short stay in the NICU for low blood sugar,jaundice or trouble breathing.But keep in mind: Most little ones born with macrosomia have no complications at all & should be able to go trang chủ with you as soon as you’re ready.

Macrosomia has the potential to lead lớn some complications for both you và your baby. But the condition is manageable, & many macrosomic babies are born perfectly healthy. Just remember lớn stock up on some larger diapers!