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If a baby is born much larger than normal, than they will have what’s called fetal macrosomia. A baby would have macrosomia if they weigh more than 8 pounds and 13 ounces. Worldwide, only around 9% of babies weigh more than 8 pounds and 13 ounces when they are born. This condition becomes a cause for concern when the baby’s birth weight is more than 9 pounds and 15 ounces because different complications can arise during birth. The baby may become injured and have health problems.
The causes of fetal macrosomia include maternal factors and medical conditions like diabetes and obesity. Additionally, newborn boys tend to weigh more than girls. If a woman is older than 35 when she gives birth, or her baby is overdue by more than two weeks, then macrosomia is much more likely to occur.
Macrosomia may be detected during pregnancy. The pregnancy becomes high-risk when the baby is overweight because it may lead to injury to the mother, the baby, or both.
Symptoms of Macrosomia
There are very few symptoms of macrosomia since it’s difficult to detect. However, they include:
- Too much amniotic fluid. The amount of amniotic fluid you have shows just how much urine your baby is producing. If your baby is large, then they would urinate more.
- A large fundal height, which is measured during prenatal visits and is the distance from the top of your uterus to your public bone. If it’s larger than normal, then your baby may have macrosomia.
If a doctor determines your baby has fetal macrosomia, then they could take the right steps to ensure the safest labor possible. They could also help you manage your diabetes and your weight so that your baby doesn’t grow too big.
If you end up delivering the baby vaginally, then they could become injured in the following ways:
- They may get diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), which is a type of newborn brain damage caused by limited blood flow as well as oxygen deprivation. Your baby could have breathing and feeding issues, seizures, low Apgar scores, missing reflexes, and high or low muscle tone.
- They might have seizures, where they have uncontrollable muscle spasms, foam at the mouth, fall, and bite their tongue.
- They may be born with cerebral palsy, where they have exaggerated reflexes and rigid or floppy limbs, and they cannot control their muscles or posture.
Other birth injuries could happen and they might range from minor to severe.
Treatment for Macrosomia
In order to prevent any birth complications and injuries, your doctor may recommend the following if they detect fetal macrosomia:
- A scheduled C-section, or a cesarean. With this procedure, the doctor would make an incision in your uterus and abdomen to deliver your baby.
- Early induction. Then, your baby would not be late and keep growing in you.
If macrosomia is not detected and you end up giving birth and your baby is injured, treatment will depend on the severity of your baby’s injuries. Some conditions may heal on their own, while others may heal only with physical and occupational therapy and massage. Other conditions might require surgery, medications, and lifelong care. For example, while cerebral palsy is not curable, with the right intervention and treatment, babies will have much better outcomes.
How Do I Know if Medical Malpractice Caused Macrosomia?
It may be hard to determine if medical malpractice caused macrosomia. If your doctor monitored you properly and gave you a treatment plan if you were overweight or had diabetes, then macrosomia may not have been preventable.
If your doctor did not provide any guidance or they were negligent while you were in labor, then you may have a case. You have to prove that your doctor had a duty to care for you, they did not uphold it, they were negligent, and that negligence led to your baby being injured. For example, if they delayed your C-section, were not monitoring you properly, failed to act during an emergency, used Pitocin or oxytocin incorrectly, or used excessive force with medical instruments when delivering your baby, then that might be sufficient enough proof.
You will need to call up a birth injury lawyer and ask their professional advice on whether or not they think medical malpractice occurred. Then, they will ask you to provide evidence like your medical records, photographs of injuries to you and your baby, and witness statements to see if they can pursue a settlement.
How Much Will I Receive From a Macrosomia Settlement?
If your birth injury lawyer believes that medical malpractice was at play, then you could win a settlement that would cover:
- Medical bills
- Loss of companionship and enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Future medical care
- Loss of earning capacity
Your lawyer won’t be able to tell you how much of a settlement you’ll receive until they negotiate with the defendant, your doctor (or another medical professional who was involved).
Settlement Offers in a Macrosomia Case
Medical malpractice cases are difficult to prove. The legal system makes it tough so that people can’t sue their doctors over nothing. If people could sue without proof, then nobody would want to enter the medical field and risk going under.
With the right evidence and an experienced birth injury lawyer on your side, you can potentially prove medical malpractice and get a settlement. Your lawyer will reach out to the defendant, present the evidence to them, and attempt to work out a settlement so they can avoid going to court. The defendant may settle right away so they can avoid the trouble of preparing for trial and risk having their reputation tainted.
If you are not satisfied with an initial settlement offer, then you can ask your lawyer to go back and request a higher amount. If your evidence is convincing enough, the defendant may be more willing to settle so that the case can be over and they can move on.
Why Reach Out to a Birth Injury Lawyer?
Macrosomia can cause a number of injuries and right now, your baby needs you. At the same time, you don’t want your doctor to possibly get away with medical malpractice. With a settlement, you can ensure your expenses will be covered and you won’t have to worry about paying for damages out of pocket. Plus, your lawyer will handle all the negotiating so you can stay at home and care for your baby in their time of need.
Macrosomia Birth Injury Attorneys
If you believe that medical malpractice caused your baby’s macrosomia birth injury, then you’ll need the right birth injury lawyer to represent you. We’re here for you, so reach out any time.
Contact Gilman & Bedigian 24/7 for a free consultation at (800) 529-6162.