Patients who’ve given birth to an infant with macrosomia may think the medical concerns are over once discharged from the hospital, but that’s not the case. Immediately after birth, the infant and mother are screened for diabetes. Infants with macrosomia are at increased risk of having diabetes, so screenings are extremely important. After discharge, long-term follow-up care is required to reduce the risk of medical complications associated with macrosomia, including obesity and diabetes.
Obesity and Macrosomia
Medical studies have recently made an association between birth weight and long-term risk of obesity. Obesity is thought to be directly related to growth during pregnancy and birth weight. There does not seem to be a change in that association if macrosomia is associated with gestational diabetes, overeating during pregnancy or other condition. Infants with macrosomia may need diet and exercise interventions to prevent childhood, teen and adult obesity.
Diabetes and Macrosomia
Infants with macrosomia have a higher risk of developing diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed early in life, but type 2 diabetes may not develop until adulthood. Type 2 diabetes is generally associated with being overweight or obese, which leads back to the increased risk of obesity in infants with macrosomia.
Metabolic Syndrome and Macrosomia
According to a medical study on infants with macrosomia, by the age of 11 children were more apt to suffer from metabolic syndrome if they were diagnosed with macrosomia at birth. Metabolic syndrome is a condition that may lead to diabetes or other health problems in the future. Symptoms or diagnostic factors that contribute to the diagnosis of metabolic syndrome include high blood pressure, obesity, dyslipidemia, and glucose intolerance.
The Future of Medical Care
With a long list of studies proving a connection between birth weight, pregnancy complications, and long-term adult health, medical care will soon turn an entirely new corner. Birth and pediatric records will mean more in terms of diagnosis in adulthood than ever before. Infants born with macrosomia could be placed on a program that offered continued education in nutrition, diet, and exercise to reduce the risk of obesity. Along the same lines, diet and nutrition education could be used to reduce diabetes risk associated with macrosomia.
Our world is learning more about the connection between pregnancy, maternal and birth health and adult health all the time. Macrosomia may seem like a relatively small risk factor when compared to the possible health risks associated with low birth weight and premature births, but in terms of long-term health, it could be just as important.