Finding out that you are pregnant is an exciting time for would be parents and the extended family. This excitement can, however, be cut short when you find out that you could be carrying a large baby. Concerns such as your capability of carrying and giving birth to a large baby come into play. Normal birth weight for babies is around 3.2 to 3.8kg. Any weight above 4kg is considered large. Read more on baby weight here.
How Do You Know Your Baby is Large?
This condition, also called foetal macrosomia, can be diagnosed during your antenatal care when your baby’s development is monitored.
- Your doctor will first check the fundal height. This is the distance between the head of your baby and the pelvic bone.
- Your doctor may then feel your abdomen to get a sense of the size of your baby.
- Routine ultrasounds could also reveal the weight of your baby.
- They can also monitor your weight when pregnant.
- Levels of amniotic fluid may also be checked.
Reasons Why Your Baby is Large
There are several factors that come into play that can cause a large baby. These factors include:
- If you have high blood sugar-If you have diabetes before getting pregnant or gestational diabetes.
- If you have been pregnant multiple times-The more babies you have, the larger they tend to get. Sometimes this may not always be the case
- you are having a Boy-Boys usually weigh more than girls
- you have had a large baby before
- If you consume too many processed carbohydrates
- Your family has a history of large babies
- When you deliver way past your due date
- If you are older. Chances of getting a larger baby increase after 35 years of age.
Can This Condition Be Treated?
There is no treatment for a large baby. The best your doctor can do is prepare for delivery and manage complications that may arise. Such complications include:
- A difficult birth- the baby may have trouble moving through the birth canal and may get stuck.
- A C-section may be necessary if the risk of vaginal delivery becomes too much.
- Your child may develop breathing problems from a difficult birth or inhalation of meconium
- Birth injuries from instruments such as forceps that the doctors may use can arise
- Large babies may also be predestined to develop obesity as they age
Can This Condition Be Prevented?
They is no way of preventing a large baby because sometimes the condition could be genetic. The best doctors can do is provide proper monitoring to mitigate any complications. They do this by:
- Monitoring your weight gain
- Manage diabetes if present
- Manage weight gain if obesity is an issue.
- Recommend a nutritionist if necessary.
Please note that development differs from one child to another.
Content intended for educational purposes only, and not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.
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Last reviewed March 2019
Sources: verywellfamily, whattoexpect