IntaUterine Growth Retardation

Updated on March 22, 2010
M.A. asks from Red Oak, TX
9 answers


My full term baby, 38 and 1/2 weeks, weighed 4.4 lbs. I did have pregnancy induced hypertension at 36 weeks and blood work was bad on my first trimester screening, but amnio ruled out nothing but a healthy baby. Sonos and ultrasounds shows no issues or problems early on and at 37 weeks, sono showed no problems and baby 5.5 lbs. So, baby diagnosed with symmetrical IUGR. Only issue after brth was low blood sugar, and that lasted one day. We are so confused.

Anyone with this experience? How many weeks were you and your babys weight, and any problems with your child developmentally?


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So What Happened?

Well, Shawn has just turned 2!! It did fly by. He is 28 pounds and tall (forgot height). Weight is 50 percentile and height is 70 percentile. So he has definatley caught up and then some. He has met all his milestones and doing more than the milestones state. All my worrying was for nothing, but i did let it all go at the beginning and enjoyed the new baby. He is doing great and so smart and never stops talking. :) I think my 6 year old helped him with that. We will soon be trying for baby #3 and i will be high risk and begin daily aspirin therapy, which is suppose to diminish IUGR. Dr states the benefits outweigh the risk. Guess we will see. Thanks for all the comments and advice!

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

I remember my mom telling me that the doctor said I might have IUGR when she was pregnant with me. I was only 5 lbs 11 oz when I was born and have always been petite. I'm now 28, healthy with 3 kids, and was valedictorian of my highschool class.

I don't mean to minimize your concerns, but just want to encourage you that things often turn out better than we expect.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My baby and I had it too. My BP was really high and I had really low amniotic fluid. I also had a positive triple screen for Down's. I declined the amnio.

I had a c-section at 37 weeks. He weighed 5 lb 13 oz and was 18 in. The only problems we had out of him was acid reflux and jaundice. He will be 4 in one month and is so smart! He is a tad smaller than other kids his age but is just as smart as they are and honestly may be smarter. Hey, it's not bragging if it's true, right? LOL.

Good luck. I am sure everything will be fine.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My 11 month old was born at 41 weeks gestation. He weighed 5 pounds 5 ounces. I never had any complications with diabetes or high blood pressure. I did have some fluctuations with my thyroid levels throughout pregnancy that were monitored. I went back & forth from hypothyroid to hyperthyroid. Post partum, I had hyperthyroidism for about 4 months, then hypothyroidism (now everything has balanced out). I think this may have attributed to the small size of my baby. This was my 2nd pregnancy after delivering a 7 pound 6 ounce boy in Sept 2007. (My boys are 19 months apart) I wonder if having 2 pregnancies within 2 years could have lead to the small size with my youngest, but I've been told by the doctor that it probably didn't. I was consistent with taking my vitamins & eating balanced and mostly organically grown food. I did everything the books say to do.

Developmentally, my 11 month old is ahead or right on track with the milestones. He's happy & healthy. At his 9 month check up he was 19 pounds (15th percentile for weight) but he is in the 85th percentile for heighth. From what I've read, usually, they develop normally & eventually catch up after they are born. It could have been result from a problem with the placenta or the bloodflow of nutrients that just happens sometimes. Enjoy your baby and those tiny preemie little clothes & diapers. You will get a lot of attention the first couple months. I had people ask if he was just a couple days old when he was 6 weeks old or if he was preemie.



answers from Dallas on

M., you could practically be reciting my situation. My daughter was born at 38 1/2 weeks at 4lbs 6 oz. I had borderline gestational diabetes which I controlled extreemly well. But for some reason my daughter had IUGR. I was already high risk becuase of a birth defect that my husband has (but my daughter does not) so I had a zillion ultrasounds. Everything was completely fine up until about 32 weeks. After that everything went downhill. She just stopped growing and at 38 1/2 weeks she wasn't moving or responding at my sono appt. I went for an emergency c-section that day after weighing all my options - my ob said after the surgery that my uterus was small, the placenta was small and the baby was small. Other than being small and having low blood sugar after birth she was completely developed and fine. They tested my placenta and couldn't determing what caused her growth restriction - they said there was no abnormal decay or problems with the placenta. I am pregnant with my second child so I will be treated as high risk again -- but I am only 12 weeks now and everything looks good so far (not all that reassuring since my problems didn't start until week 32 last time).

Anyway, to answer your probably bigger question -- what does this mean long term? My daughter is 2 1/2 now. Other than still being small she is completely fine. She has been her entire life been very small - even now she is still only 22 lbs and wears 18 month clothes. For most of her first 2 years she was in the less than 3% range for height, weight and head circ. At her 2 yr appt she was still in the less than 3% for weight and head but had moved to 25% for height! Here pedi isn't concerned becuase she has grown parallel to the normal line. I nursed her for 15 months and at about 9 months they dr was concerned that my breastmilk may not be fatty enough so we added the enfamil gentalease formula to pumped milk to give her more calories. Anyway, she is just small - my pedi seems to think that she is just genetically small and this is not a byproduct of what happened while I was pregnant.

As far as developmentally -- she is fine. She rolled over and crawled early. She was a late walker but I think that was stubborness more than anything. She is very smart. She has been able to say her abc's and count to 20 since she was 2, very verbal, almost potty trained, etc.

So don't worry -- we always said -- our daughter was small but mighty!

I was scared too, especially after delivery when she still wouldn't gain weight. But everything is fine now. I have a happy healthy toddler -- and I bet you will too ;-)



answers from Dallas on

My son had IUGR. He was born at 37 weeks weighing 4 pounds, 2 ounces. He just turned one. He seems fine developmentally at this point.

There is a yahoo group for IUGR parents that has been helpful to us ( The Magic Foundation also has a lot of information about babies who were small for gestational age (

Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

My daughter had my grandson at 34 weeks, he was diagnosed with IUGR also, he weighed 3 pounds 3 oz. An average 34 week baby is 4.5 pounds. He was in NICU for a month, but has been very healthy. He is now 13 months old, and is totally caught up developmentally, except for size. He is only 18 pounds, which isn't too bad. But all babies in my family are delicate and turn out to be thin.



answers from Dallas on

It's weird that you call it Retardation -- I was told Restriction, and all the medical stuff I've found after 1998 call it that. They must have changed the word so moms like us wouldn't freak out! :-)

My 1 year old was IUGR, and was born via c-section at 37 weeks at 5 pounds 9 ounces. Doc thinks that it was due to a stressful and traumatic pregnancy (my father passed away when I was 6 months preggers). My daughter had better apgars than I did when I was born, and once she was out of me, started eating like a horse and growing like crazy. She's now a year old and has been healthy the whole time with the exception of needing iron supplements a few months ago. But in her defense, I've always had trouble with iron, and we're all pale-skinned redheads. She's in her 50th percentile on both height and weight, which is normal since she comes from two skinny, medium height parents. Development is fine.

Your pediatrician will watch the baby, but unless the doc tells you something is wrong, don't worry about it. You can do some research, but sometimes IUGR just happens. Don't beat yourself up about it - just love on your baby! Now get some sleep!



answers from Dallas on

I had the exact same thing happen with my now 14 mo old daughter. I had an irresponsible OB who did not monitor my blood pressure appropriately (amongst other things) so I left her practice. I was finally able to find another OB who would take me so late in my pregnancy who did a sono and said they were concerned regarding IUGR. This was after they took my BP and it was high, despite the meds I was on. The sono showed a gestationally small fetus so they decided it would be best to induce the following week at 38 weeks. The estimated her weight by sono to be 5 1/2 pounds and they were pretty close. When she was born she weighed 5lbs 14 oz. and was very healthy. Her apgars were great! They did take to be evaluated by the NICU nurses because I had Stadol during labor (which was absolutely unecessary in my opinion) but she was great. She did develop jaundice and had to go home with a bili blanket but she recovered from that in just a few days. Piper is now 14 months and has NO problems. In fact, she is just the opposite. She is developmentally ahead for her age. The only thing that can be attributed to the IUGR is the fact that she is very petite. She's only in the 10th percentile for height and 50th for weight. (There is a strong possibility that this is genetics, also.) Thank goodness there were no lasting effects but I know there could have been. The OB said if hadn't induced when we did and I went to 40 weeks then she would have most likely lost a pound by delivery. I am still furious with the original OB but there is nothing that can be done about it. I tried to let my insurance company know but they didn't care. I've just had to let it go and be thankful that she is a beautiful, healthy toddler! I am sure your little one will be just fine, too. Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

First - sonograms are not always accurate. I had one child that the sonographer said was almost 11 pounds - she came out at 7lb 2 oz. That's more than a little bit off - I was scared to death for no reason.

Make sure you have a pediatrician that you can trust. Ask that pediatrician if you should be worried. If they say no, then make peace with everything that happened and move on. Don't waste these very important first months worrying. The first year goes by so quickly - you don't want to miss it!

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