What It Means to Be Large
Although there are many causes for decreased growth, there are relatively few causes of increased growth resulting in LGA infants.
- Maternal diabetes (even gestational diabetes), the most common cause
- Maternal obesity
- Fetal abnormalities (certain syndromes)
LGA Babies' Outcome
Infants who are LGA have a higher risk of birth injury, low blood sugar, elevated blood count, and immature lungs. It was once thought that baby weight and size normalized later in life and that there were no long-term consequences, though we now know this is probably not true. A recent study suggests that infants born to mothers with diabetes are more likely to develop obesity in childhood. If one parent has diabetes, children have about a one to five percent risk of developing diabetes later in life.
Baby Size Considerations
Size at birth predicts future size mostly at the extremes of birth weight and size. Future size is not accurately predicted by birth weight for babies who are born at full-term and within the usual range (2,500 grams to 4,500 grams or about five and one-half pounds to nine pounds, 15 ounces). Newborns that are born lighter than the norms may have catch-up growth, but many remain somewhat small for their age throughout childhood. Those that are born larger than the norms may have a higher risk of obesity later in life.