During pregnancy, a doctor is able to determine whether your child may be overly large through several different tests. These tests are important because they make it possible for the delivery team to anticipate issues related to fetal macrosomia.
Giving birth to a larger child is attended by certain risks for a mother and her baby. Medical personnel know these risks and should take action to keep you and your baby safe. If they failed to do so, please call Stern Law, PLLC at (800) 462-5772 for a free consultation.
Diagnosing fetal macrosomia
By conducting a physical exam on you, the mother, assessing your weight gain as your pregnancy progresses, and measuring fundal height, a doctor can assess the size of your baby and whether there are risks attending his or her birth. A doctor may also order an ultrasound to see how large your child is before he or she is delivered.
Specifically, an ultrasound allows medical professionals to take various measurements of the head, abdomen and femur of your unborn child. It is important to keep in mind that no definitive diagnosis of macrosomia can be made until your child is actually born and weighed.
In the event a case of macrosomia is suspected, your doctor should examine you for the various risk factors associated with the condition, such as testing your blood glucose to assess whether you are suffering from gestational hypertension. Additionally, doctors and other medical professionals may also conduct non-stress testing to monitor the well-being of an unborn child thought to be overly large. This test measures the child’s heart rate in response to his or her movements and may be repeated regularly if a doctor believes a child’s growth is excessive due to a maternal condition.
What are the treatment options for macrosomia?
Should a doctor suspect that an unborn baby has fetal macrosomia, a vaginal birth may still be a viable option. However, it may require the use of more invasive medical devices such as forceps and vacuum extractors, which also present risks of injury to your newborn.
Another option is an episiotomy in order to accommodate your child’s larger size. This procedure calls for a doctor to make a surgical incision on the perineum and posterior vaginal wall during the second stage of labor for the purposes of enlarging the opening of the vagina. This may be necessary if your child is overly large.
If your doctor feels that a vaginal delivery is too risky, he or she will order a cesarean section. If a c-section is ordered before the 39th week of pregnancy, a doctor may conduct an amniocentesis to determine the extent of your baby’s lung development before going ahead with delivery.
After your child is born, he or she should be assessed for birth injuries, low blood sugar, and a certain blood disorder known as polycythemia which affects a baby’s red blood cell count. In the event of complications during labor and delivery, your child may be kept for monitoring and treatment in the neonatal intensive care unit. Additionally, as your child progresses in age, he or she should be regularly monitored for insulin resistance, obesity and other macrosomia-related complications that may arise.
If your child suffered birth injury due to preventable errors during delivery stemming from a case of fetal macrosomia, please call (800) 462-5772 for free to discuss the details of your claim with Stern Law, PLLC.