640 South State StreetDover, Delaware 19901
21 West Clarke AvenueMilford, Delaware 19963
401 North Carter RoadSmyrna, DE 19977
640 S. State StreetDover DE 1990121 West Clarke AvenueMilford DE 19963
301 Jefferson AveMilford, DE 19963
1275 S. State StreetDover, Delaware 19901
Fetal growth restriction (FGR) is a condition in which an unborn baby (fetus) is smaller than expected for the number of weeks of pregnancy (gestational age). It is often described as an estimated weight less than the 10th percentile. This means that the baby weighs less than 9 out of 10 babies of the same gestational age. Newborn babies with FGR may be called “small for gestational age.”
FGR can begin at any time during pregnancy. With FGR, the baby does not grow well. FGR may affect the overall size of the baby and the growth of organs, tissues, and cells. This can cause many problems. But many newborns who are small may just be small. They may not have any problems.
Many things increase the risk for FGR. These include problems with the placenta or umbilical cord. The placenta may not attach well. Or the blood flow through the umbilical cord may be limited. Factors in both the mother and the baby may cause FGR.
Factors in the mother that can cause FGR include:
Factors in the baby that can cause FGR include:
One of the main reasons for regular prenatal exams is to make sure your baby is growing well. During pregnancy, the size of your baby is estimated in different ways, including:
If your healthcare provider suspects FGR, you will have other tests. These include:
You may have repeat ultrasound exams, Doppler studies, and other tests.
Treatment depends on how serious the FGR is. This is based on the ultrasound (estimated fetal weight) and Doppler ultrasound (blood flow to the baby), as well is risk factors and the number of weeks gestation.
Treatment may include:
FGR can cause many serious complications. Your baby may need to be delivered early and stay in the hospital. Your baby may have trouble breathing, infections, and other problems. Stillbirths and death may occur. As your child grows, he or she will be at higher risk for heart and blood vessel problems.
FGR can happen in any pregnancy. But some factors, like cigarette smoking or alcohol or medicine use, increase the risk for FGR. Regular and early prenatal care and a healthy diet and steady weight gain help to prevent FGR and other problems.
Make sure your healthcare provider knows your health history. If you are counting fetal movements and find that the number has decreased, let your healthcare provider know. And if you notice other changes or if you have concerns about your pregnancy, call your healthcare provider.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.