Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a term that describes a baby who is not growing at the normal rate inside the uterus. These babies usually have a low weight at birth. Babies who have IUGR are more likely to have certain health problems (both during pregnancy and after birth).
There are many possible causes of IUGR. The most common cause is a problem in the placenta (the tissue that carries oxygen, nutrients, and blood to the baby). Birth defects and genetic disorders can also cause IUGR. Maternal infection, high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease, or sickle cell anemia increases the risk for IUGR during pregnancy. If the mother smokes, drinks alcohol, or abuses drugs during pregnancy, IUGR is more likely. Sometimes a prescribed medicine that the mother is taking causes IUGR.
During your pregnancy, your obstetrician will do tests to find out if your baby is growing normally. The main test for checking a baby's growth in the uterus is an ultrasound. If your obstetrician suspects your baby may have IUGR, then you may be referred to see one of the specialists at RPG.
While at RPG, the doctors will measure the size of your baby's head, abdomen, and legs. These measurements will help tell if your baby is growing normally. They will also measure the amount of amniotic fluid in your uterus. Some babies who have IUGR will have a decreased amount of amniotic fluid. If your baby is small, ultrasound exams may be done more often than usual to check your baby's health.
Another test that may be recommended is a Non-Stress Test. This tests helps check the well being of your baby inside your uterus.