During pregnancy, a maternal health care provider can monitor the growth of the infant in various ways such as measuring fundal height and using ultrasounds. In doing so, it can be determined if a baby may have fetal macrosomia, meaning that the baby is in the 90th percentile for weight. Delivery complications can occur for both the mother and the infant in such cases, such as prolonged labor, 3rd or 4th degree tears, and postpartum hemorrhage in the mother, and brachial plexus injuries and asphyxia in the infant (Morgan et al, 2020). Providers may recommend early delivery of the infant that is macrosomic (Stanford Children’s Hospital).
A new study conducted by Morgan and colleagues looked back at records of infants that were ‘large for gestational age’ (LGA) with early deliveries compared to those that were ‘appropriate for gestational age’ (AGA) to determine the outcome. The LGA infants in the study were specifically greater than 90% for weight upon birth but less than 4000g (the threshold to be considered macrosomic as an infant), and born between 37-39 weeks. The researchers wanted to determine if early delivery of LGA infants causes increased morbidity and/or mortality.
They found that this specific group of infants and mothers are at risk for many adverse outcomes with early delivery; significant birth injury, ruptured uterus, admission to ICU and more. An 83% increased morbidity rate with nonmacrosomic LGA infants compared to AGA infants in the same delivery range was seen, with a 53% increased maternal morbidity (Morgan et al, 2020).
“In conclusion, after labor and delivery at 37–39 weeks of gestation, delivery of a neonate with a birth weight 90% or greater for gestational age but less than 4,000 g is associated with increased composite maternal and neonatal morbidity.” Even with caveats discussed within the research, they ultimately support American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the recommendation to wait until 39 weeks for induction.
If your baby sustained a birth injury as a result of an unnecessary medical procedure or intervention, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Holton Law Firm to schedule a free analysis of your potential birth injury case.