Macrosomia is the term used to refer to very large body size. In the case of fetal macrosomia, it is the excessive growth of a fetus that exceeds 4000 grams or is above the 90th percentile. This condition usually affects between 5% and 10% of pregnancies and is more common when the mother has diabetes.
Preventing this condition is very important as it can have unfortunate repercussions on the fetus, the newborn, and at the time of delivery. If you have a history of macrosomic fetuses in your family and you want some tips to prevent fetal macrosomia, keep reading this FastlyHealarticle where we offer them to you.
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What is fetal macrosomia?
In general, the height and weight of a fetus throughout the gestation period are very similar in all pregnancies. However, there are cases in which the fetus grows too large, exceeding the established percentile.
Fetal macrosomia is diagnosed at birth. However, there are cases in which, after seven weeks, it is possible to know how fast the growth of the fetus is progressing, as well as its weight and height, which will be compared with the reference levels being able to determine the presence of this condition.
Causes of fetal macrosomia
- Genetics: It is proven that having a family history of macrosomic fetuses increases the risk of having a baby with this condition. Likewise, if a woman has already had a child with fetal macrosomia, she is more likely to recur in future pregnancies.
- Maternal diabetes: when the mother has diabetes and has high concentrations of glucose in the blood, it also passes to the fetus, which increases the level of fetal insulin. Insulin plays a fundamental role in the growth of the fetus; therefore, as the baby has more insulin than it should, excessive weight and height gain are facilitated.
- Maternal weight gain during pregnancy: although the cause is unknown, it is proven that when the woman gains weight during pregnancy and gains many kilos, there is an increased risk of the fetus developing fetal macrosomia.
- Maternal obesity: Although it is not known for sure why overweight women are at greater risk of developing macrosomic fetuses, it is believed that insulin resistance and hormonal changes may be of great relevance in this particular case.
Why it is essential to prevent fetal macrosomia
This condition can have unfortunate repercussions on the fetus before and after birth. Some of the risks of fetal macrosomia are:
- Umbilical cord compression.
- That the newborn is born with hypoglycemia.
- That the fetus is delivered with high levels of red blood cells.
- That the neonate is provided with elevated bilirubin.
- Respiratory deficiencies.
How to prevent fetal macrosomia
Being overweight makes a woman more prone to developing fetal macrosomia and gestational diabetes. For this reason, it is essential to watch your diet during pregnancy and eat a diet rich in protein and vegetables. The woman must monitor her weight throughout the pregnancy because although there will be a natural increase, it is important not to gain excess pounds excessively.
Control of blood sugar
Whether the woman has diabetes, it is essential to monitor that blood glucose levels are within the normal range throughout pregnancy. As we explained earlier, altered glucose levels also raise fetal glucose and insulin, significantly increasing the size of the fetus. Diabetes can cause considerable damage to the baby as malformations, so eating a diet rich in low-glycemic foods is essential to control glucose.
Induction of labor
If, before week 40, it is suspected that the fetus begins to present dimensions that are above the 90th percentile, it is advisable to talk with the specialist to induce labor and stop even more excessive growth that could compromise the health of the fetus.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.