A giant baby weighing more than 7 kilos is born in Brazil: is it dangerous?

Last January, a giant baby was born in Brazil who, even without breaking records, has become news for obvious reasons. All babies are special to their mothers. However, this one, called Angerson Santos, is special for everyone, since he has weighed no more and no less than 7.3 kg. In addition, he has measured almost 60 centimeters. It is a case of what is known as fetal macrosomia. That is, a high birth weight.

He has not broken records, since at the top is a child born in 1955 in Italy with 10.2 kg. Yes, she has overcome the highest case of macrosomia in girls, which corresponds to a 6.8 kg baby, born in India in 2016.

Be that as it may, it has sufficient attributes to be considered a case of macrosomia, since this denomination is considered from 4 kg of weight. Fortunately, everything went well and, after the cesarean section, his mother and he are healthy. However, the situation could have been worse, as bringing a giant baby into the world carries numerous risks for both.

The dangers of giving birth to a giant baby

In general, a case of fetal macrosomia is considered when the baby is born weighing more than 4 kg, regardless of the weeks of gestation. Even so, as explained by the Mayo Clinicthe risks begin to be greater from 4.5 kg.

And there are both for the mother and for the child, as he well explains in an article for The Conversation Professor Adam Tyler of Lancaster University. For starters, a giant baby can suffer from something called shoulder dystocia. This occurs when, due to its large size, the shoulder is trapped behind the mother’s public bone. While he is trapped he cannot breathe, so severe problems can occur if action is not taken quickly. Also, your clavicle may crack from the strain of passing through the birth canal. Even the nerves that supply the arms can be damaged. Shoulder dystocia can occur in any baby, regardless of what it weighs. However, while it occurs in 0.7% of births with weights considered normal, in babies with macrosomia the percentage rises to 25%.

As for mothers, giving birth to a giant baby can also affect them in various ways. On the one hand, it is easier for vaginal tears and bleeding to occur. This is not a minor problem, since postpartum hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide. On the other hand, labor can also be prolonged. As the passage of the baby’s head towards the vagina is slower, infections and internal bleeding can occur.

Risk factors and detection of macrosomia

There are risk factors that greatly increase the chance of having a giant baby. To begin with, one of the most important is gestational diabetes. Women who suffer from it often have increased resistance to insulin. This means more glucose passes through the umbilical cord, so the baby can grow faster. Furthermore, if the mother also has a high weight, not only does this happen, but more fat can pass through, further increasing that size.

The age of the parents also plays a role. It has long been observed that cases of macrosomia are higher in women older than 35 years. However, in recent years it has been seen that the probability also increases if the father is older than that age. Perhaps this is the reason why it has been proven that, since the 1970s, babies weigh almost half a kilo more than average. Given that the time to have children is increasingly postponed, it would not be surprising that said average continues to increase.

Finally, as is logical, if the birth occurs after 40 weeks of gestation, it is more likely that it is a giant baby, since they will continue to grow until the moment of delivery.

Now, can you know before birth if the baby will be a case of macrosomia? Actually yes. In fact, from the Mayo Clinic they explain that it can be predicted well in advance through the measurement of two factors. On the one hand, when measuring the height of the uterine fundus. This is the distance from the top of the uterus to the pubic bone. If this is very large, it could be a sign of macrosomia. On the other hand, it can also be known by analyzing the amount of amniotic fluid. The older you are, the higher the baby’s birth weight will be.

In short, beyond being a reason to be in the news, having a giant baby can be dangerous, for him and for the mother. Therefore, you should avoid gaining too much weight during pregnancy, maintain good physical activity and take care of your diet. It would also be ideal to have it before the age of 35. But, with the society in which we have had to live, we cannot ask for pears from the elm either. Controlling some factors is not in our hands.

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