Causes ,symptoms & prevention of fetal growth restriction


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Fetal growth restriction (FGR) is a medical condition used in describing fetus that has an estimated weight not up to 10th percentile. Put simply, FGR occurs when the unborn baby is smaller than expected for the number of weeks of pregnancy (gestational age). FGR can begin at any time during pregnancy. The will be abnormal growth of babies with FGR which may affect the overall size of the babies as well growth of organs, cells and tissues.


However, it is not all small size babies that have fetal growth restriction. Causes Several factors are responsible for the risk of developing fetal growth restriction ranging from placenta disorder to umbilical cord problems. The factors could emanate from both the mother and the baby. Related factors in the mother that causes FGR include diabetes, anemia, blood vessel disease, high blood pressure, obesity, unhealthy life styles like cigarette and alcohol as well as malnutrition. On the part of the fetus, birth defects, multiple gestations, chromosomes disorder and infections are some of the cause.


The symptoms appear on the fetus rather than the mother and these include weak immune system, low birth weight, low blood sugar levels, high presence of red blood cells among others.


The fetal ultrasound, fundal height and the weight of the mother as well as the doppler ultrasound (how blood flow to the baby) are useful tools in diagnosing fetal growth restriction during pregnancy. Treatment This is highly dependent on the severity of the condition and other associated risk factors, the management options include regular monitoring and tracking of the fetal movements, hospital admission, early fetal delivery as well as caesarean section.

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Some of the possible complications associated with fetal restriction growth are difficulty in breathing, infections, stillbirths and loss of life as well possibility of heart and blood vessels disorders as the child grows.


The chance of developing fetal growth restriction is very rare but can happen in any pregnancy. However, unhealthy life styles such as cigarette smoking or alcohol intake or drug use are predisposing factors that increase the risk for FGR. Preventive measures include frequent and early prenatal care, healthy diet and steady weight gain.

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