Fetal Growth Restriction/Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IGUR)

What is Intrauterine Growth Restriction?

Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), sometimes called fetal growth restriction, refers to a fetal weight below the 10th percentile for gestational age. A doctor can diagnose the condition with an ultrasound.

There are two types of IUGR: asymmetrical and symmetrical. Asymmetrical is generally not detected until the third trimester and occurs when the child’s head and brain, but the abdomen is smaller. Symmetrical is less common, occurring in about 20 to 25 percent of IUGR cases, and involves all internal organs being reduced in size.

What causes IUGR?

There is no direct cause for intrauterine growth restriction,  but a number of factors can increase a baby’s risk, including:

  • Mother weighs less than 100 pounds.
  • Mother has poor nutrition during pregnancy.
  • Mother has gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease.
  • Mother uses drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes.
  • Mother is carrying multiple fetuses.
  • Abnormalities are present in the placenta or umbilical cord.
  • Amniotic fluid levels are low.

While a woman might not notice any symptoms of IUGR, she may feel that her baby is not as large as it should be. A doctor will perform an ultrasound and measure the fundal height (the distance between the pubic bone and the top of the uterus) to determine if the child is in fact small for its gestational age.

Can IUGR be treated?

Nothing can make a baby grow at an increased rate. If your doctor detects IUGR, he or she will need to monitor you closely and perform more frequent ultrasounds. These ultrasounds will measure the baby’s growth, movement, and blood flow, as well as the fluid surrounding the baby. If the gestational age is at 34 weeks or more, the doctor may recommend inducing labor for early delivery.

What complications can IUGR cause?

IUGR can contribute to various complications, including:

  • need for a C-section delivery
  • lack of oxygen (hypoxia)
  • hypoglycemia
  • increased red blood cells (polycythemia)
  • motor or neurological disabilities

What if my child was born with IUGR?

Because fetal growth restriction puts a baby at increased risk for complications, medical personnel should closely monitor and treat your baby to prevent injury and serious health problems. If your baby was born with an injury or health condition because a physician failed to monitor appropriately, you may be entitled to monetary compensation.

The birth injury attorneys at Thurswell Law have helped hundreds of families over the last 48 years with their birth injury claims. Call Thurswell Law today to schedule a free consultation at (248)-354-2222. No fee unless we collect.

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