What Causes Accelerated Fetal Growth?

(December 22, 2009)

Accelerated Fetal Growth is a condition that is also called macrosomia. Fundamentally, the diagnosis of macrosomia is not really the diagnosis of a disease as a large baby that is born does not indicate that something is wrong with the fetus; however, it can indicate that there will be some problems during delivery of the child. Most children that are larger than the standard just have to end up being delivered via C-section. Curiously, the standard is not completely rational in some aspects. This is usually the case when both parents are extremely tall and generally bigger people in normal proportions. In this case, macrosomia cannot be an actual abnormal consequence.

Macrosomia is attributed to gestational diabetes and feta anemia. Gestational diabetes is a condition that may be accompanied by existing diabetes or the development of the conditions during pregnancy. Just like other forms of diabetes, this is a condition in which there is excessive serum glucose or insulin in the blood. Though insulin is a glucose-modulating hormone, the body can sometimes get resistant to its effects and this will cause the body to create even more insulin. In both of these situations, the fetus is affected and grows abnormally large. When a baby weighs more than 8 lbs, it is then considered a case of macrosomia. The other possibility is fetal anemia. This is a bit more complicated. Anemia can occur in a fetus when the red blood cells of the fetus are damaged or when there is some kind of iron deficiency. Hemolysis or destruction of the red blood cells is something that can happen if immunoglobins from the mother’s blood cross the placenta into the fetal tissue. This will cause the destruction of the fetal blood cells. Another rarer cause of macrosomia is excess amniotic fluid. More on fetal development week by week

There is no treatment for macrosomia but all of the above causes are monitored carefully in most developed countries to avoid the situation occurring. In many cases, a macrosomia birth can only be handled by a C- section delivery to avoid certain injury to the mother and child. If a baby is born vaginally, this increases the chance of a uterine prolapse in the mother later on in life. This is a condition in which the pelvic floor muscles give way and cause the uterus to literally fall outside of the vagina. This is a condition that can only be cured by a hysterectomy.

Submitted by N on December 22, 2009 at 12:32

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