Fetal Growth Restriction
What is fetal growth restriction?
It is a condition when the baby does not grow to its normal weight during the pregnancy. It is defined in percentiles. When the baby’s estimated weight is less than the 10th percentile, it is considered small.
What are the causes of fetal growth restriction?
Some babies are small because they are destined to be small, that is they are normal babies. On the other hand, some babies are small because there is either a problem with the baby, placenta or the mother.
The common causes of fetal growth restriction are:
- High blood pressure in mother
- Type II Diabetes
- Long term kidney problems
- Autoimmune conditions such as lupus
- Maternal smoking
- Infections in the baby inside the womb
- Congenital anomalies in the baby
- Chromosomal/genetic problems in the baby
How is fetal growth restriction identified?
This is identified if the fundal height measurement lags behind the weeks of pregnancy and confirmed by ultrasound measurement of fetal weight less than the 10th centile. The measurement of baby’s abdomen(tummy) is an accurate estimate of baby’s growth. Measurement of baby’s abdominal circumference below the 10th centile also identifies growth restriction.
How will my pregnancy be managed if the baby shows growth restriction?
- You will need ore frequent check up’s
- You may be offered further blood tests to look for reasons as to why the baby is measuring small
- Your baby will be closely monitored with ultrasounds
- You may need earlier planned delivery depending on how small the baby is measuring, blood flows to the baby and the fluid around the baby.