Fetal growth retardation

Delayed intrauterine development of the fetus is understood as the lag in the size of the fetus from that laid down for a given period of pregnancy. Such babies are usually called “lightweight”. In medicine, three degrees of severity of the lag in the physical development of the fetus are distinguished: I degree – weak (lagging of the fetus by 2 weeks), II degree – medium (lagging by 2-4 weeks), III degree – severe (lagging in fetal development for more than 4 weeks) … Delayed intrauterine development of the fetus in 30% of cases provokes premature birth (up to 37 weeks) and only 5% of children are born at full-term pregnancy.  

Risk factors for intrauterine growth retardation

Many factors can contribute to intrauterine growth retardation of the fetus, among which the following are distinguished:

  • social: the age of the pregnant woman is less than 17 or more than 30 years, the body weight is less than 50 kilograms, harmful working conditions, hard physical labor, emotional distress, smoking, alcoholism, drug addiction and the like;
  • fruit: constitutional, intrauterine infections, hereditary syndromes, fetal anomalies and others;
  • somatic: extragenital diseases, chronic specific and nonspecific infections;
  • factors associated with pregnancy: toxicosis, the threat of termination of pregnancy, preeclampsia, multiple pregnancy and the like; 
  • obstetric and gynecological: gynecological diseases, infantilism, uterine anomalies, menstrual dysfunctions, complicated course of previous pregnancy and childbirth, primary infertility, history of miscarriage;

Symptoms of intrauterine growth retardation

Symptoms of intrauterine growth retardation are almost impossible to determine on your own: only an obstetrician-gynecologist can timely identify this pathology and cure it, with regular observation with him.

There is an opinion that if a pregnant woman is gaining little weight, then the fetus, accordingly, does not gain in size, but this is not always the case. Of course, if a pregnant woman does not receive the required amount of calories and is on a diet, this can lead to a delay in fetal growth, but this pathology can also occur in a pregnant woman who is gaining weight well, so this statement should not be considered reliable. The only sign by which the expectant mother can determine the fetal lag in physical development is more sluggish and rare fetal movements. In such cases, you should immediately consult a doctor.

Treatment of intrauterine growth retardation

When the doctor diagnoses the intrauterine growth retardation of the fetus, he prescribes an ultrasound to the patient to check if the fetus has structural changes that can affect the developmental delay. Then, amniocentesis is prescribed to check for chromosomal abnormalities, especially if growth retardation manifests itself early in pregnancy.

The treatment itself depends on the reason for the intrauterine growth retardation. Prescribed medications should be taken carefully and regularly performed CTG, observing the condition of the fetus. For treatment, the following drugs can be used:

  • drugs to improve microcirculation and metabolism in tissues;
  • tocolytic drugs that help relax the uterus: antispasmodics and beta-adrenergic agonists;
  • vitamin complexes;
  • infusion therapy: glucose, blood substitute solutions to reduce blood viscosity.

Proper nutrition of a pregnant woman is very important in treatment: food must necessarily contain fats, proteins and carbohydrates. In addition to a balanced diet, the gynecologist strongly recommends daily walks in the fresh air, lunchtime sleep and emotional peace.

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