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How Fetal Macrosomia Leads to Birth Injuries

No baby is completely immune from the risk of birth injuries. Still, some risk factors make them especially prone to injury during the birthing process. This could include a breech position or maternal infections such as hepatitis B or rubella. One of the most common factors that puts babies at an increased risk of birth injury is fetal macrosomia. Today, we will explain what it is and what our birth injury attorneys at Snider law group, LLC can do about it.

Fetal macrosomia dramatically increases a baby’s risk of birth injury. Here is what you need to know.

How Fetal Macrosomia Leads to Birth Injuries

Fetal macrosomia dramatically increases a baby’s risk of birth injury. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Fetal Macrosomia?

‘Macrosomia’ is the technical term for when a fetus has an unusually large body. While there is not a clear threshold above which a baby has this condition, experts generally classify anything above 8 pounds and 13 ounces at birth as macrosomic.

You might find this surprising. While a baby exceeding 8 pounds and 13 ounces at birth is considered large, it is not uncommon. In fact, roughly 10% of babies are born at this weight or heavier. And among these, only a fraction sustain birth injuries. Still, macrosomia can put your child at a heightened risk of being injured during birth. Here is why.

How Fetal Macrosomia Leads to Birth Injuries

Simply put, a larger baby is more difficult to deliver. The large size makes it more challenging for a newborn to emerge from the birth canal easily.

Among the most common causes of birth injuries, you might have heard of ‘traumatic birth.’ This simply refers to an especially difficult birth. During a challenging or otherwise lengthy birthing process, the baby has an increased risk of having oxygen flow cut off to the brain or injury from the doctor’s tools such as forceps. 

They may be born with cerebral palsy, facial paralysis, or Erb’s palsy as a result. Fetal macrosomia tends to cause traumatic birth, which in turn puts your newborn at risk of injury.

Causes of Fetal Macrosomia

When a baby is substantially larger than average, a diagnosis of fetal macrosomia may apply. Generally, any baby found to be in the 90th percentile or more based on their gestational age could be diagnosed with fetal macrosomia.

Some of the most common causes of fetal macrosomia include:

  • Prolonged pregnancy – The longer a pregnancy lasts, the bigger the baby will be. Many fetal macrosomia cases involve pregnancies that go beyond the mother’s due date.
  • Maternal diabetes – Pregnant people can be diagnosed with Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes during pregnancy. When the mother has elevated blood glucose levels, the fetus can grow excessively.
  • Genetics – Some women are more likely to give birth to babies with fetal macrosomia due to their genetic predisposition and a history of higher-weight babies.
  • Prior fetal macrosomia births – Mothers who have previously given birth to babies with fetal macrosomia are more likely to have macrosomia babies in the future. 
  • Maternal obesity – Overweight women are more likely to give birth to babies of larger than average birth weights. Excess fat tissue from the mother can increase fetal growth due to increased glucose metabolism and elevated insulin levels.
  • Polyhydramnios – Polyhydramnios refers to excessive amniotic fluid which is often associated with an increased risk of fetal macrosomia.
  • Maternal overnutrition – When mothers consume more calories than needed, insulin levels can skyrocket and result in fetal macrosomia.
  • Gender – Generally, the likelihood of having a macrosomic baby increases if the fetus is male.

Your healthcare provider will be responsible for monitoring your health and out of your unborn baby throughout your pregnancy, labor, and delivery. In instances where you may have some of the risk factors for fetal macrosomia, your healthcare providers should be paying close attention and developing a treatment plan in advance of your birth to prepare for any potential complications. Failure to do so could be considered medical negligence.

What Can Be Done About Fetal Macrosomia?

Medical professionals have the expertise necessary to circumvent the dangers posed by fetal macrosomia. Throughout your pregnancy, medical professionals should carefully monitor for any factors that could increase the risk of injury either to you or your baby—including macrosomia. They can determine the baby’s size through a combination of imaging and measurement of amniotic fluid levels.

If they have determined that your baby is macrosomic, the easiest way to circumvent danger is by scheduling a cesarean section. Failure to do so could constitute medical malpractice.

Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for Fetal Macrosomia

If your baby was born with fetal macrosomia and subsequently suffered severe bodily injury or death, you may have the right to take legal action through a medical malpractice insurance claim or lawsuit. Your medical malpractice attorney will need to prove the medical standard of care has been breached. 

Here, we must demonstrate how your healthcare providers or the facility failed to uphold the medical duty of care. Generally, we can do this by introducing evidence that shows your healthcare provider made a decision or failed to make a medical decision that another provider of similar education, training, and experience would have made.

Whether an obstetrician, nurse, hospital, birthing center, midwife, or other healthcare provider is responsible, they are likely protected with medical malpractice insurance. You may be able to file a claim with their insurance company to recoup some of your damages. However, since medical malpractice insurance is unlikely to provide compensation for non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, reduced quality of life, and other ways your life has been affected by this traumatic experience, filing a medical malpractice lawsuit may be in your best interests.

If you believe your doctor failed to take the necessary steps to prevent birth injury as a result of macrosomia, you are not alone. Here at the Snyder Law Group, we understand the pain that you feel, and we are ready to help. Do not hesitate—contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Contact The Snyder Law Group Today

The Snyder Law Group, LLC, proudly represents clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our experienced Baltimore attorneys understand the frustration that comes with an insurance company, medical professional, or other party that refuses to accept liability for negligent or reckless behavior. 

You can take heart in knowing there are talented and experienced lawyers ready to work for you. We are experienced in handling personal injury claims of medical malpractice or injury resulting from serious car and truck accidents and have secured hundreds of millions in verdicts and settlements. Please visit our website,, for more information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Call 410-THE-FIRM. Don't just sue them. SNYDER THEM

This entry was posted on Monday, July 31st, 2023 at 5:44 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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