Welcome Employees

A password is required to submit a request for an internal transfer. In order to obtain the password you can check any of the following resources: Login to the employee portal, check the current issue of "Regional High Points" newsletter, contact HR, or read this week's "Daily Announcements".

 

Close

Macrosomia

(Large for Gestational Age; LGA)

Pronounced: mak-row-SOHM-ee-uh

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    TOP

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

Risk Factors    TOP

Factors that 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    TOP

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    TOP

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.

Treatment    TOP

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:

Cesarean Delivery

Recommended for babies too large to be safely delivered through the birth canal.

Feeding babies with macrosomia soon after birth is important to prevent low blood sugar in the baby.

Prevention    TOP

Macrosomia may not always be prevented. Some steps that may help include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight throughout pregnancy
  • Controlling blood sugar if you have diabetes
  • Receiving prenatal care to diagnose problems early and prevent complications

RESOURCES:

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
http://www.acog.org/For_Patients
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

British Columbia Ministry of Health
http://bchealthguide.org
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
http://www.sogc.org

References:

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated July 22, 2013. Accessed April 1, 2013.
Heiskanen N, Raatikainen K, et al. Fetal macrosomia—a continuing obstetric challenge. Biology of the Neonate. 2006;90(2):98-103. Epub 2006 Mar 16.
Zamorski MA, Biggs WS. Management of suspected fetal macrosomia. Am Fam Physician. 2001;15;63(2):302–307.
Last reviewed August 2013 by Andrea Chisholm; Brian Randall, MD
Last Updated: 5/11/2013