Macrosomia is when a baby is larger than normal before birth. Most babies are about 7 pounds (3.17 kilograms). Babies with this health problem are 8 pounds, 13 ounces (3.99 kilograms) or more.
The most common cause is diabetes in the mother during pregnancy.
Things that may raise the risk are:
The main sign is a predicted birthweight of at least 8 pounds, 13 ounces or more.
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical and pelvic exam will be done.
Your doctor will estimate the birth weight and review any dangers for the mother and baby. Pictures may be taken. This can be done with ultrasound.
Giving birth through the birth canal may cause harm to the mother and baby. A Cesarean delivery (C-section) may be scheduled.
Ultrasound of Fetus
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. You may have:
Your baby may be too large to be delivered safely through the birth canal. The doctor may advise a C-section.
After your baby is born, the doctor will check for signs of low blood sugar.
To help prevent this health problem:
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Canadian Women's Health Network
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC)
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116237/Gestational-diabetes-mellitus-GDM . Updated July 13, 2018. Accessed August 7, 2018.
Heiskanen N, Raatikainen K, Heinonen S. Fetal macrosomia—a continuing obstetric challenge. Biology of the Neonate. 2006;90(2):98-103.
Zamorski MA, Biggs WS. Management of suspected fetal macrosomia. Am Fam Physician. 2001;15;63(2):302–307.
6/16/2015: DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116237/Gestational-diabetes-mellitus-GDM : Wiebe HW, Boulé NG, Chari R, Davenport MH. The effect of supervised prenatal exercise on fetal growth: a meta-analysis. Obstet Gynecol. 2015 May;125(5):1185-1194.
Last reviewed May 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Beverly Siegal, MD, FACOG
Last Updated: 8/7/2018