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Foetal Slow Growth

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am 8 months pregnant. My baby’s weight is low. I had to take amino drips to increase it to 1.4 kg. Would this be a problem?? Or is my baby’s weight fine now?
Sony (India)

A: This is due to growth retardation. If the baby’s weight is okay now, then you need not worry. If the baby is unable to gain weight inside your womb then consider C-section as soon as possible so that baby can thrive after birth.

Q: I am 23 years old and this is my first pregnancy. I am 34 weeks pregnant but my baby weighs only 1550 gm. The doctor termed this as ‘retarded growth’ and says that it is quite common. She has recommended rest and a few medicines. She says that nothing else can be done. Is this the right diagnosis? Will my baby have some mental or physical deficiencies after birth? Another problem is that the placenta is also maturing earlier.
Lopa (India)

A: The condition that your doctor has diagnosed is probably Inter-Uterine Growth Retardation (IUGR) or Small for Gestation Age (low baby weight). Low birth weight is not the only criterion for the diagnosis of IUGR. It has to be confirmed by clinical per abdominal assessments and by serial ultrasounds which will determine femural length, head circumference and abdominal circumference. IUGR can be symmetric or asymmetric and in your case since it has manifested itself at this late stage it is likely to be asymmetric as in the case of symmetric IUGR it manifests itself at a much earlier stage. Low birth babies may not necessarily be growth retarded. Growth retarded babies may suffer metabolical and nutritional deprivation whereas babies who are only SGA are usually only nutritionally deprived. There is some chance that growth retarded babies may suffer from delayed mental and physical development. I would advise you to mail me your ultrasound reports to enable me to comment further. Premature ageing of the placenta may be associated with interuterine growth retardation and the treatment of bed rest and medication is generally recommended. Further, the process of amnio infusion in the case of IUGR is currently under investigation and is considered controversial.

Q: The growth of the baby is lagging behind by 2 weeks from the period of gestation. Will this effect overall development of our child?
Daksha (Ahmedabad, India)

A: To classify a baby as growth restricted, the difference between the clinical fundal height examination and period of gestation should be 4 weeks. Serial ultrasounds can also help pick up growth restriction. We would be in a better position to help you if you could give us your ultrasound reports. You must take adequate rest. Lie down in the left lateral position. Eat a healthy complete diet rich in proteins and calcium. Hormonal supplementations are given empirically, for which you would need to consult your gynaecologist.

Q: I am in my 8th month of pregnancy and have a ‘Fetal Growth Restriction’. What does this mean and how did I get it?
Lisa Menon(Pictou, Canada )

A: This means that baby 's growth is slowing down. There could be various causes such as increased blood pressure, protein deficiency or kidney problems.

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