Objectives Maternal obesity is one of the biggest challenges facing modern obstetrics. The focus of this study was to investigate whether speculation that fetal macrosomia may be on the rise as a consequence of rising levels of maternal obesity and to observe if there was an increase in complications as a result of fetal macrosomia, which is defined as a birth weight of 4.0 kg and above.
Method A retrospective observational study of all babies weighing 4.0 kg or more born in 2011 at Royal Derby Hospital. Data was collected on maternal parameters such as BMI, fasting glucose and glucose tolerance test, gestation at delivery, delivery outcomes, neonatal birth weight, Apgar scores and their overall outcome. The data was then compared to data from both 2001 and 1991 recovered from the hospital archives.
Results In 2011, 11.1% of the total babies born that year had a birthweight of ≥ 4.0 kg. In 2001, 10.3% and in 1991, 10.7%.The average BMI of women who gave birth to a baby weighing ≥ 4.0 kg in 2011 was 28.
Conclusion Although there is speculation that fetal macrosomia is on the rise, in association with gestational diabetes and a rise in maternal BMI, we found that over the last 20 years the number of macrosomic babies has not increased at the Royal Derby Hospital. The overall maternal BMI was only slightly higher than average and deliveries involving macrosomic babies were not complicated by a higher rate of caesareans sections or instrumental deliveries or obstetric complications.
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