Fetal Growth Restriction

Submitted by Nick on January 17, 2012

Fetal growth restriction, called intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), is a condition where the fetus is not able to grow normally in the womb, as other babies can. This condition is largely a genetic one and can be detected in the course of the pregnancy. Babies with IUGR are smaller than normal babies, are prone to sickness through their lives and have a weakened immune system. These babies usually are not strong enough to handle a vaginal birth and are at the risk of being stillborn. Fetal growth restriction can take place for many different reasons. The main reason is the placenta not providing complete nutrition. If the mother...

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...suffers from certain disease, or has been on antibiotics or has been smoking and drinking, it could be the reason for IUGR in the baby. Birth defects and genetic issues can also affect the baby. Different tests are used to diagnose and monitor IUGR. Ultrasounds are the first procedure that helps determine whether the baby is growing at a normal rate. Fetal heartbeat monitoring and Amniocentesis can further confirm. In amniocentesis, some amniotic fluid is extracted and tested for infections and chromosomal defects. More on fetal development week by week

Fetal growth restriction in twins can take place when twins are in the same amniotic sac. Often, while having twins, the babies are tested for IUGR. One baby gets more nutrition and grows large while the other twin stays small. Ultrasounds can usually detect twins and this condition can be monitored. This condition is called selective fetal growth restriction and can be harmful to the twins. The babies, in such cases, are usually born through Caesareans. An acute form of this is severe fetal growth restriction. It can be identified early in the pregnancy and it is very difficult for the fetus to survive it.

Management of fetal growth restriction is done with careful and constant monitoring. The best way to ensure that your baby stays healthy is not to miss your doctor appointments. You should always be attentive towards your baby movements. Another important way to help your baby grow is to eat correct and eat adequately, especially if you are carrying twins. As a mother-to-be, you should rest enough, certainly not smoke or drink and take care of your health, which will ensure that your baby’s health is also taken care of.

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