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Intrauterine Growth Restriction

What is Intrauterine Growth Restriction?

Intrauterine Growth Restriction, also commonly known as fetal growth restriction, is a medical condition characterized by poor growth of the baby in the mother's womb during pregnancy. The weight of the baby is usually less than 90% of other babies of the same gestational age, which is determined through ultrasound. There are two main types of intrauterine growth restriction: Symmetric or Primary Growth Restriction and Asymmetric or Secondary Growth Restriction. Symmetric growth restriction is characterized by the reduction in the size of all internal organs of the baby whereas asymmetric growth restriction is characterized by the baby having a normal sized head and brain but a smaller abdomen. The second type of intrauterine growth restriction is not evident until after the 28th week (the third trimester) of pregnancy. Intrauterine growth restriction can be caused by many factors, such as poor nutrition during pregnancy, smoking, alcohol, chronic health conditions in the mother and placental abnormalities. These factors result in a reduction of oxygen and nutrients to the baby, hindering its growth and development. Induced labor may be required if the gestational weight is more than 34 weeks. However, when the baby is less than 34 weeks, close monitoring of the mother and baby's condition is done.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Intrauterine Growth Restriction?

Signs and symptoms of Intrauterine Growth Restriction may include:

  • Distance between the top of the uterus and the pubic bone (uterine fundal height) is shorter than normal

What Causes Intrauterine Growth Restriction?

Possible causes of Intrauterine Growth Restriction are:

  • Congenital birth defect
  • Lack of blood flow from the uterus to the placenta, resulting in decreased nutrients and oxygen to the fetus

What Increases the Risk of Intrauterine Growth Restriction?

The risk of Intrauterine Growth Restriction increases when you/your:

What Complications Can Intrauterine Growth Restriction Cause?

Intrauterine Growth Restriction may result in the following complications:

  • Fetal development of the baby might be affected due to restricted blood flow that cause the baby to have lack of oxygen and nutrients
  • May have a higher risk of Stillbirth
  • May require Cesarean Section
  • Your baby may be diagnosed with Hypoglycemia when born
  • Your baby may be diagnosed with Polycythemia Vera when born
  • Your baby may experience Meconium Aspiration Syndrome

How Can You Prevent Intrauterine Growth Restriction?

Intrauterine Growth Restriction can be prevented if you/your:

  • Abstain from alcohol
  • Avoid the use of recreational drugs, such as cocaine, heroin and marijuana
  • Expectant mothers should get regular prenatal care
  • Maintain a balanced diet
  • Manage Diabetes Mellitus
  • Manage Hypertension
  • Quit smoking

What Treatments are Available for Intrauterine Growth Restriction?

No known treatment is available for Intrauterine Growth Restriction at this moment.

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