Guest Post by Dixie Somers
A baby is generally classified as being large for gestational age (LGA) if they weigh more than 4,000 grams at the time of birth. While heavier babies aren’t necessarily unhealthy, the birthing process can be slightly more complicated. If your OB/GYN or midwife has recently told you that you are going to have a large baby, then you might need to start thinking about alternative birthing options such as a medical induction or C-section.
Causes of LGA
Even though genetics play a role in this condition, the amount of weight that a mother gains during her pregnancy is another major factor. Recent studies have shown us that gestational diabetes can impact a baby’s weight as well. When a pregnant woman isn’t able to control her blood sugar levels, the baby’s body will respond by producing too much insulin. Over the course of a few weeks, the overproduction of insulin could result in extreme growth.
Getting a Second Opinion
Before making any decisions regarding the birthing process, mothers should first seek out a second opinion. At the very least, you need to schedule an additional ultrasound to make sure that the baby is relatively healthy and there are no other complications. Once you have a second opinion, you can then explore options such as naturally inducing, medically inducing, or a C-section.
A Look at Medical Induction
During spontaneous labor, a mother’s body is flooded with a few different chemicals including oxytocin. Those chemicals ripen the cervix and help the mother manage any discomfort she is feeling. For medically induced labor, the mother is given an IV infusion of oxytocin that “tricks” her body into starting the contractions. Most doctors will only medically induce labor if all other options have been exhausted.
Over one million C-sections are carried out every year, and that number has been on the rise for the past three decades. Instead of delivering the baby vaginally, a small incision will be made along the bottom of the abdomen to extract the baby. This is a common practice for LGA babies and those who have certain deformities. If your baby has recently been diagnosed as being LGA, then your doctor might automatically request to have a C-section carried out. Delivering an LGA baby vaginally can increase your risk of various birthing complications.
The steps that you take in the weeks leading up to giving birth are going to have a major impact on your baby’s well-being and your personal health. Mothers who have been told that they are going to give birth to an LGA baby should contact an OB/GYN, midwife, or obstetrician who has experience dealing with high-risk pregnancies.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.
*Photo courtesy of Dixie Somers