Michael H. Bereston, Inc.

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For bigger babies, Erb's Palsy can be a concern

As many Maryland mothers know, there can be trepidation leading up to the birth of a baby, in addition to the excitement. Wondering about what a baby will be like or how the delivery will go can occupy a lot of brain space leading up to a baby's birth. The size of the baby can also be a concern, and one mothers should talk with their doctors about.

According to OrthoInfo.com, a large baby is more likely to have a difficult delivery that results in Erb's Palsy. This is a brachial plexus palsy, which means that it is a nerve injury in the neck that can make the baby's arm weak or paralyzed. Erb's Palsy occurs in one in every 1,000 babies when their necks are stretched too far to the side in a hard delivery. Many babies recovery with physical therapy, but not all. Since this is an injury that could affect a baby for their entire life, it is important for the pregnant mother to be consulting with her doctor to monitor the size of the baby.

As Romper explains, knowing a baby's exact weight before its birth is not possible, but doctors do have tests they can perform to help estimate a baby's size before birth. Babies larger than 8 pounds 13 ounces are considered large, also called fetal macrosomia, and this is when complications in delivery can be more likely. Mothers who have Type 1, 2 or gestational diabetes have a higher risk of having a large baby, as do women who gain a lot of weight during pregnancy. Doctors should be tracking the fundal height, which is the distance from the top of a woman's uterus to her pelvic bone, as one indication of the baby's size. Ultrasounds can also be performed to help give an indication of the baby's growth. Women who are estimated to be carrying a baby of more than 10 pounds are likely to need a C section.

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Michael H. Bereston, Inc.
138 Main Street, Suite 200
P.O. Box 2990
Annapolis, MD 21401

Maryland: 410-793-4554
Toll Free: 866-517-4037
Baltimore/Annapolis: 410-269-5011
DC: 202-628-2226
Fax: 410-269-5022

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