Large for gestational age babies
What causes LGA?
- Some babies are large because their parents are large; genetics does play a part.
- Birthweight may also be related to the amount of a mother's weight gain in pregnancy.
- Excessive weight gain can translate to increased fetal weight.
By far, maternal diabetes is the most common cause of LGA babies. Diabetes during pregnancy causes the mother's increased blood glucose (sugar) to circulate to your baby. In response, your baby's body makes insulin. All the extra sugar and the extra insulin production can lead to excessive growth and deposits of fat, thus, a larger baby.
Why is LGA a concern?
Because LGA babies are so large, delivery can be difficult. Delivery problems may include the following:
- prolonged vaginal delivery time
- difficult birth
- increase in cesarean delivery
Because many large babies are born to diabetic mothers, many problems of LGA babies are related to problems with glucose regulation. These may include the following:
- hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) of baby after delivery
- increased incidence of birth defects
- respiratory distress (difficulty breathing)