About Intrauterine Growth Restriction or Retardation (IUGR)
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a condition where babies in the womb have not grown properly for their age. The usual criteria are a baby who weighs less than 90% of other babies at the same age. IUGR can result in a baby that is too small overall, or a baby with a small body and a “normal” sized head.
Risk Factors for Intrauterine Growth Restriction
Women with the following conditions are at a higher risk for carrying babies with IUGR:
- Alcohol abuse/smoking
- Blood clotting disorders
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Poor nutrition
Causes of Intrauterine Growth Restriction
Intrauterine growth restriction is typically a problem of the baby not receiving enough nutrition or oxygen from the placenta. This can have several causes:
- Multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets, etc.)
- High altitude
- Placental problems
- Some sexually transmitted diseases
Obstetricians and sonographers should closely monitor all women, particularly those with risk factors for IUGR. When IUGR is suspected, ultrasounds may be required every two to three weeks to check on size and weight. It can usually be diagnosed by ultrasound. If the baby has IUGR, the baby may require genetic testing or screening for infection.
There is a significant risk to babies with IUGR. If not closely monitored, they can die in utero. Additionally, these babies are at increased risk for problems during labor, so they must be carefully monitored with electronic fetal monitoring to ensure proper oxygenation. If the monitoring is not reassuring, emergency delivery by cesarean section may be necessary to avoid developmental delays and cerebral palsy.
Our medical malpractice lawyers have extensive experience in helping parents of children with birth injuries. If your child endured a difficult birth, including complications caused by intrauterine growth restriction, call us to determine if your child is eligible for a lawsuit. We can be reached at (855) 712-7818 or online.
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