Being overweight during pregnancy is not only experienced by mothers. The fetus can also experience it, you know! This condition of the fetus is called large for gestational age (LGA), which is a fetus that has an above-average size based on gestational age and sex.
To determine the size of the fetus during pregnancy, one way that will be done by the doctor is to measure the height of the uterus. This measurement is done by measuring the distance between the pubic bone and the top of the uterus. Usually, this measurement begins when the gestational age enters 20 weeks.
At 20 weeks of gestation, the normal height of the uterus is about 17-23 cm. If the height of the uterus is 3 cm higher than the normal size, it can be suspected that the fetus is too large.
Causes of a Large Fetus
There are several conditions that can cause a large fetus, namely:
1. Pregnant women with diabetes
Gestational diabetes or diabetes during pregnancy is the most common cause of a large fetus. High blood sugar levels in the body of pregnant women will make sugar intake to the fetus through the placenta also high. This causes the size of the fetus to increase rapidly.
2. Genetic factors
Most cases of large fetuses are caused by genetic factors. So, women who have a family history of large babies or have given birth to large babies will be more at risk of having a large fetus in their next pregnancy.
3. Pregnant boy
Male fetuses are also more likely to have a large size than female fetuses.
4. Pregnant women who are obese
Women who have a body mass index above 25 before pregnancy are also prone to giving birth to large fetuses.
Various Risks of Giving Birth to a Large Size Fetus
Because the size of the fetus is too large, it can be difficult to give birth. Some of the risks that may occur in pregnancy and childbirth with a large fetus are:
- Normal childbirth process that takes a long time.
- The perineum is torn or the need for an episiotomy.
- The baby's shoulder gets stuck in the birth canal (dystocia).
- The baby must be delivered by caesarean section.
- Babies born with low blood sugar levels.
- The baby has jaundice.
- The baby has a birth injury.
- Babies are born with difficulty breathing.
- Babies are born with congenital defects, if the mother has diabetes.
- Some mothers who are pregnant with large fetuses can also experiencestretch marks.
If a pregnant woman is diagnosed with a large fetus, the doctor will determine the treatment steps according to the gestational age, history of illness before and during pregnancy, as well as the general health condition of the mother and fetus.
A large fetus can cause various complications, both during pregnancy and childbirth. Therefore, to prevent it, pregnant women need to live a healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy, and regularly check their pregnancy with a doctor.