More than 400,000 children are born every day in the world. The process of childbirth is long, painful, and often life-threatening for the baby and mother. Approximately 700 women die every year due to complications during childbirth, according to the World Health Organization. The birth of a large baby becomes a high risk for mothers.
The normal weight for a child is 6.6 – 8.3 pounds. Babies over 9 pounds are considered large. Modern gynecologists have learned to measure the height and weight of the child at different stages of pregnancy. This helps to identify the full range of risks during the birth process. Doctors often prescribe a planned C-section when expecting a large baby.
Should You Be Worried About Big Baby?
The larger the child, the greater the risk for the mother and the baby himself. The main danger lies in the delay of the birth process, tissue ruptures, and bleeding. The risk of fetal hypoxia occurs if a woman has an anatomically narrow pelvis. Doctors in such cases use an emergency C- section.
Pregnant women study all possible risks and become very worried about the upcoming birth. Additional anxiety gives communication with other women, history of pregnancy, and childbirth in social networks. You should not project episodes of difficult moments of the birth process onto yourself.
If the doctor has diagnosed the presence of a large fetus, it is necessary to follow his recommendations regarding diet and lifestyle. It is better to give birth in clinics. Home births can carry more health risks for mom and baby.
At What Age on Average Babies Grow to 9 Pounds?
The fetus develops almost the same in all women in the first two trimesters. The increase in the body weight of the child begins after the 20th week of pregnancy. Babies grow rapidly from 27-30 weeks of pregnancy. After the 30th week of pregnancy, within the normal range, the weight of the baby reaches 3 pounds and 40 cm in height.
A baby can reach a weight of 9 pounds after 39 weeks of pregnancy. The baby is gaining weight by an average of 15 g per day. When the internal organs are fully formed in the fetus, his body begins to store subcutaneous and brown fat. It is important for the thermoregulation of the infant and his “survival” in the difficult conditions of the outside world.
Complications While Delivering 9 lb Baby
An untimely diagnosis of the large size of the child threatens the life and health of him and his mother. The birth of a large baby can be delayed and exceed 20 hours. A long birth process exhausts a woman and it is more difficult for her to push. A large baby presses on the internal organs and can provoke clamping of important blood vessels.
Pregnancy in the later stages is difficult: a woman suffers from shortness of breath, and heartburn, and it is difficult for her to walk, and lie down. The expectant mother feels tired during childbirth. A large fetus often presses on the inferior vena cava, as a result of which it receives fewer nutrients. There are other dangers when having a baby weighing 9 pounds or more.
Weak generic activity
The development of a large fetus causes uterine distension. Due to the overstretched uterus, it is often necessary to stimulate contractions with special drugs. A significantly stretched uterus contracts longer after childbirth. This poses a risk of bleeding and infection.
Breaks in the birth canal
Children weighing 9 pounds or more often cause internal tears and perineal tears. In many cases, an episiotomy (perineal incision) is performed to prevent this painful occurrence. This procedure is unpleasant: many women complain of discomfort from prolonged healing of the suture.
Uterine ruptures, hip, and pubic bone injuries
Such cases are rare. Women who have given birth to large babies often suffer from inflammation of the genitourinary tract and rectum. Injuries require long-term treatment and recovery. It is difficult for mothers to lift a child and carry it in their arms. The woman will need outside help in caring for the baby.
Risk of birth trauma for the child
It is more difficult for a large fetus to move through the birth canal. A child can stay squeezed in the birth canal for a long time if a woman has a narrow pelvis. This is dangerous due to the occurrence of hypoxia. Children often develop intracranial hematomas, they can get fractures of the limbs and injuries to the joints.
Early discharge of amniotic fluid
The head of a large child is loosely attached to the pelvic floor. The amniotic fluid may not separate into anterior and posterior because of this. All amniotic fluid is poured out immediately upon discharge. Often, loops of the umbilical cord fall out along with amniotic fluid. An emergency C- section is performed in such cases.
Development of breast cancer in the future
There are studies according which the risk of developing breast cancer is received in women who have given birth to a large baby (2.5 times more often than usual cases). This is due to the production of a large amount of estrogen for urgent hormonal changes in the body.
Average Baby Weight When Born
The average gestation period for women is 280 days or 40 weeks from the first day of your last period. Most babies born between 37 and 40 weeks of pregnancy weigh between 5 pounds 8 ounces and 8 pounds 13 ounces. It is important to consider the growth of the child. Healthy babies average 47-52 cm.
The average weight of babies in the US after birth is around 7.5 pounds. Babies weighing 9 pounds are born in 1% of cases. Vaginal delivery of very large babies carries health risks for mother and baby.
What Causes Babies to Be Larger Than Average on Delivery Date?
Maternal nutrition affects the development and weight gain of the fetus. Pregnant women often hear the advice to “eat for two.” This approach to diet is wrong. A future mother needs to take into account the total calorie content of the food that she consumes per day. Nutritionists advise increasing calories in the second and third trimester of pregnancy by no more than 340-350 kcal per day.
Pregnant women should exclude too fatty foods from the diet and add moderate physical activity. The development of a large fetus depends not only on the taste habits of the mother. The birth of a child from 9 pounds in some cases lies in other reasons.
Tall parents with a large physique are more likely to have a large baby. The size of the head of the fetus depends on genetics. Most likely the baby will be born with a large head if the father of the child had a large head. It often happens that fragile women give birth to children with a lot of weight. The reason for this may be heredity from their relatives or the father of the baby.
Metabolic disorders in the mother
The probability of having a large child increases significantly if a woman suffers from diabetes. A lot of glucose and nutrients enter the blood of the child as a result of a metabolic disorder in the mother. Doctors monitor the course of such a pregnancy very closely. This approach helps to prevent risks during childbirth.
Women can carry a baby 10-12 days longer than usual. All his organs have already formed and he is gaining weight intensively during this time. In post-term children, dryness and peeling of the skin, lack of original lubrication, and hardening of the skull bones are observed. It is more difficult for a baby to move through the birth canal.
Number of births in the past
Practice shows that each subsequent child of one mother is born larger than the previous one. This is due to the “accustoming” of the body to gestation. The female body quickly adjusts to a new pregnancy. Blood circulation in the uteroplacental and fetal placental vessels ensures the supply of nutrients to the baby.
An edematous form of the hemolytic disease may occur in this case. This happens when a woman with Rh-negative blood has a baby with Rh-positive blood (which he inherited from his father). Fluid accumulates in the body of the baby from which his weight exceeds the norm.
Condition and location of the placenta
Obstetricians share the opinion that a thick placenta may be one of the reasons for the formation of a large fetus. The baby receives a lot of nutrients from the mother in this case. A woman does not always eat excessively. Food enters the baby’s body more intensively if the placenta is located on the back wall of the uterus.
Diagnosing a large fetus should not be a cause for panic for the expectant mother. There are many examples of a woman giving birth to a baby weighing over 9 pounds without complications. It is important to be under the supervision of doctors, follow their recommendations, adhere to a proper diet, and move more.