Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a condition where the baby is not growing adequately while inside the uterus.
During a routine check-up, while measuring the uterus, the doctor might find that the baby is smaller than the date. The doctor tracks the growth and finds that the baby is growing slower than expected.
- Ultrasound test
- Foetal monitoring
- Physical examination (when the doctor starts measuring uterus with her hands)
- Sometimes an amniocentesis might be needed to detect chromosomal abnormalities/genetic problems.
Mothers are usually put on bed rest and on improved nutrition plans.
The babies are monitored carefully - doctors keep a close track of their growth, heart-beat, movements. If the doctor feels that the baby is growing adequately, an early delivery might not be necessary. But if the doctor feels that the baby is not growing normally, the doctor might need to induce labour and do an early delivery.
You can help by keeping all your prenatal visits and monitor the baby’s kicks and movements per the doctor. A baby who moves a lot, is usually healthy. And of course rest a lot and eat healthy and drink a lot of water.
Common causes of IUGR
- Placental problems are the most common cause. The placenta supplies the baby with nutrients, blood and oxygen.
- Preeclampsia and eclampsia or other heart disease
- Birth defects or genetic disorders
- Infections to the mother like Rubella
- Poor maternal nutrition
How does it affect the baby?
These babies usually have a low weight at birth. There is also a low risk of stillborn birth if the baby is very premature.
Though most IUGR babies grow normally, some may exhibit lesser-than-average growth and in some cases hyperactivity and lack of concentration.