High Birthweight

High birthweight (HBW), or macrosomia (large body), in an infant also increases the risk to the infant and mother. A widely agreed upon definition of macrosomia has yet to be established but often-used definitions include a birthweight equal to or exceeding 4,000 grams (8 pounds, 12 ounces), 4,250 grams (9 pounds, 4 ounces), or 4,500 grams (9 pounds, 14 ounces), as well as a birth weighing at or above the ninetieth percentile of birthweights for the infant's gestational age. While one-third of macrosomic births are still unexplained, several factors are known to contribute to excessive fetal size, including large size of parents (especially the mother), multiparity diabetes in the mother, and prolonged gestation. Older maternal age, male infants, and previous delivery of a high birthweight infant also seem to be indicative of macrosomic births. Babies of diabetic women are usually large at birth, but they behave clinically as if they are immature. These infants are not longer in average length but have increased fetal weight. Because glucose, a substance necessary for fetal growth, is elevated in both diabetic and obese women, these mothers are more likely to have macrosomic births.

Risks for birth injuries rise rapidly for heavier babies, with vaginal deliveries being related to higher morbidity and mortality for both the infant and the mother. Lacerations of the birth canal and hemor-rhaging may occur to the mother, fetal death may occur due to asphyxia (lack of oxygen), and infants may suffer broken clavicles and neurological damage. While cesarean delivery has been prescribed as the best delivery method to prevent fetal death or injury, others suggest that vaginal birth is still possible for some macrosomic infants.


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Martha Slay Greg R. Alexander Mary Ann Pass

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

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