The medical term for big baby is macrosomia, which literally means “big body.” Some experts consider a baby to be big when it weighs more than 4,000 grams (8 pounds 13 ounces) at birth, and others say a baby is big if it weighs more than 4,500 grams (9 pounds, 15 ounces). A baby is also called “large for gestational age” if its weight is greater than the 90th percentile at birth (Rouse et al. 1996).
How common are big babies?
Big babies are born to about 1 out of 10 women in the U.S. Overall, 8.7% of all babies born at 39 weeks or later weigh between 8 lbs 13 oz and 9 lbs 15 oz, and 1.7% are born weighing 9 lbs 15 oz or more (U.S. Vital Statistics).
What is routine care for suspected big babies in the U.S.?
Although big babies are only born to 1 out of 10 women, the 2013 Listening to Mothers Survey found that 2 out of 3 American women had an ultrasound at the end of pregnancy to determine the baby’s size, and 1 out of 3 were told that their babies were too big. In the end, the average birth weight of these suspected “big babies” was only 7 lbs 13 oz (Declercq, Sakala et al. 2013). Read the rest of Rebecca’s informative article HERE.