Fetal macrosomia may complicate the delivery, putting the baby at risk of injury during birth.
The slightest error can turn an otherwise simple and uneventful pregnancy into a complicated series of events that can turn disastrous. If an unborn baby weighs more than 9 pounds and 13 ounces, the risks to both the mother and child are increased. If the condition is not managed well, fetal macrosomia can lead to birth injuries.
Fetal macrosomia is a baby with a birth weight of more than 8 pounds and 13 ounces, regardless of its gestational age. The size of the baby makes him or her vulnerable to birth injury, trauma, or asphyxia during a vaginal delivery.
Risks of Macrosomia
A macrosomic baby is often delivered via a C-section. Vaginal deliveries for macrosomic babies can increase the risks, leading to a number of birth injuries.
- CPD – A macrosomic baby often cannot fit into the mother’s birth canal and may get stuck. This condition is called cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD), requiring the doctor to use force or pressure to deliver the baby.
- Shoulder dystocia – This is a condition where the baby’s shoulder gets stuck in the pelvic bone. If the doctor pulls too hard to get the baby out, the brachial plexus nerves in the baby’s neck and shoulders may tear, causing weakness or Erb’s palsy.
- Cord compression – Shoulder dystocia often causes the umbilical cord to be compressed or stuck in the pelvic bone or birth canal. The flow of oxygen to the baby can be reduced, leading to birth asphyxia, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or brain damage.
- Birthing tools – Doctors often use tools such as forceps or vacuum extractors that are attached to the head of the baby to pull the baby through the birth canal. These tools can cause injuries to the brain such as brain bleeds, hemorrhages, or conditions such as cerebral palsy and seizures.
- Ruptured uterus – A uterus rupture can result in significant loss of blood, leading to reduction in oxygen levels causing birth asphyxia.
- Prolonged labor – Macrosomic babies often experience prolonged labor because of their size. A prolonged labor makes the baby more susceptible to any infections that the mother has.
Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer
The doctor is responsible to manage any risks to the baby or the mother during the course of the pregnancy and delivery. This includes taking proper precautions while delivering a macrosomic baby. If your baby has suffered a birth injury caused by medical negligence, contact a Chicago birth injury lawyer to understand your legal options. Call Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation.