· Distress during labor
· Unable to handle the stress of a vaginal delivery
· Increase risk of being stillborn
· Birth blood sugar level low
· Lower resistance to infection
· Inability to maintaining body temperature
· Red blood cell count abnormally high
· Developmental disabilities
There may be reasons like chromosome abnormality or birth defects, which are beyond a mother’s control, that contribute to intrauterine growth retardation. There are also health issues and lifestyle choices that will put a mother at risk of her baby developing intrauterine growth retardation. These medical conditions and pregnancy complications can increase the risks of IUGR:
· Heart disease in the mother
· High altitudes
· Multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets, etc.)
· Placenta problems
· Preeclampsia or eclampsia
· High blood pressure or heart disease
· Prolonged infection
· Advanced diabetes
· Kidney disease
With proper monitoring by a health care professional, these risks can be managed.
The following lifestyle choices can put a baby at risk of developing IUGR:
· Drug addiction
· Alcohol abuse
· Poor nutrition
These risks are more difficult to manage because a mother may not be honest about her lifestyle choices due to it being illegal or harmful to the baby. She may be embarrassed that she is so worried about her weight that her dieting has adversely affected her baby’s development.
Very small women tend to have small babies and this should be factored in. If the baby’s head is within normal size, but the body is smaller than it should be proportionately it is probably not due to IUGR. These conditions should not be confused with IUGR.
Intrauterine growth retardation is diagnosed by a physical exam with measurement of the uterus, Doppler flow, monitoring of mother’s weight gain, and evaluation of an ultrasound of the baby.
Treatment of intrauterine growth retardation includes management and treatment of any health issues, treatment of substance abuse, increased nutrition, bed rest, and if the baby is at high enough risk in the uterous, premature delivery.
Proper medical care during pregnancy can help intrauterine growth retardation to be diagnosed and treated early to reduce the risks to the baby.