Fetal Macrosomia; What You Should Know

October 30, 2015 | Crandall & Pera Law
Fetal Macrosomia; What You Should Know

A new study has suggested a solution for reducing birth injury due to fetal macrosomia. The study is the largest ever of its kind, evaluating the outcome of early labor induction in 822 pregnant women with the condition. The results are promising, and bring attention to a little known issue.

What is fetal macrosomia?

According to the Mayo Clinic, The term fetal macrosomia is used to describe a “newborn who's significantly larger than average. A baby diagnosed with fetal macrosomia has a birth weight of more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams), regardless of his or her gestational age. About 9 percent of babies born worldwide weigh more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces.”

Fetal macrosomia is difficult to detect and diagnose during pregnancy, but the condition puts your child at a higher risk of birth injury. In particular, fetal macrosomia is associated with an increased risk of shoulder dystocia and emergency cesarean section. The risks associated can also include:

  • Significant shoulder dystocia resulting in oxygen deprivation

  • Clavicle or long bone fractures

  • Brachial plexus injury

  • Intracranial hemorrhage

  • Death

The study found that induced labor mitigated these risk in early term babies. However, as always, the best protection is knowledge. While the causes of fetal macrosomia are imperfectly understood, some factors like obesity or diabetes can place expectant mothers in a higher risk category.

In fact, the Mayo Clinic suggests that, “Fetal macrosomia is more likely to be a result of maternal diabetes, obesity or weight gain during pregnancy than other causes. If these risk factors aren't present and fetal macrosomia is suspected, it's possible that your baby might have a rare medical condition that affects fetal growth.”

The health of you and your child is ultimately the responsibility of your healthcare provider. During pregnancy, a team of healthcare professionals working together can help ensure a safe and healthy outcome. However, when conditions are missed or overlooked, you and your baby are placed at unnecessary risk.

If your child suffered birth injuries as a result of fetal macrosomia, you may be the victim of medical malpractice. Our experienced birth injury attorneys in Ohio and Kentucky can help get you the compensation you deserve to pay for medical bills and continuing care. Contact Crandall & Pera Law today for a free consultation.