Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)
During a normal pregnancy, the baby grows at a certain rate, with most of the final weight growth happening in the latter part of the pregnancy. During regular check-ups, the physician should monitor the relation of the mother’s weight gain to the size of the uterus to confirm the average growth of the baby. If there are any issues with determining the baby’s size, the physician should use ultrasound to assess the size and weight of the baby more accurately. The ultrasound should help determine if the growth rate is normal or abnormal. A diagnosis of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is made when the baby’s growth is abnormal. While many small babies can be delivered without long-term consequences or any other problems, smaller than average babies usually will have a smaller than normal placenta. As a result, babies that are smaller than average are often unable to withstand the pressure of the delivery. When the baby is diagnosed with IUGR, the physician should consider a cesarean section to prevent hypoxia or other injuries that will have life-long consequences for the baby and the family.
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