Get to know about macrosomia, the condition that creates gigantic babies

Source: The post is based on the article “Get to know about macrosomia, the condition that creates gigantic babies” published in Economic Times on 2nd February 2023

What is the News?

A mother in Brazil recently gave birth to a two-foot-tall baby weighing 7.3kg. This is called as Macrosomia.

Note: A newborn boy typically weighs 3.3kg and girls 3.2kg.

What is Macrosomia?

Macrosomia is a term used to describe giant babies. Any baby that weighs more than 4kg, regardless of its gestational age, is said to have macrosomia.

Babies with macrosomia account for about 12% of births. 

What are the factors that cause Macrosomia?

Mother’s body weight: Obese mothers are more likely to have children with Macrosomia.

Mothers with gestational diabetes: High blood sugar that arises during pregnancy, also increases the risk of Macrosomia.

Being older when pregnant also increases the odds of having a baby with macrosomia.

Overdue pregnancies: Those that run past the typical 40 weeks – also increase the risk of a baby being macrosomic, particularly at 42 weeks or more.

Previous pregnancies increase the risk of macrosomia because, with each successive pregnancy, birth weight increases.

Having a boy increases the likelihood of macrosomia. Boys are three times more likely than girls to be born with macrosomia.

What is the impact of Macrosomia?

Babies with macrosomia are more likely to encounter difficulties moving through the birth canal because of their large size. For example, it is quite common for the baby’s shoulder to get caught behind the mother’s pubic bone. The medical term for this is “shoulder dystocia“.

Mothers are also at increased risk of vaginal tear during delivery, which then increases the risk of postpartum hemorrhage (bleeding). Postpartum hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, and hence the larger the baby, the greater the risk of damage during normal vaginal delivery.

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