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Intrauterine Growth Retardation 

A disorder which occurs while the baby is still in the mother’s womb. IUGR produces full-term babies unusually small in weight and/or length at birth.

 

They are proportionately short stature.

Delayed growth puts the baby at risk of certain health problems during pregnancy, delivery, and after birth. They include:

  • Low birth weight

  • Difficulty handling the stresses of vaginal delivery

  • Decreased oxygen levels

  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

  • Low resistance to infection

  • Low Apgar scores (a test given immediately after birth to evaluate the newborn's physical condition and determine the need for special medical care)

  • Meconium aspiration (inhalation of stools passed while in the uterus), which can lead to breathing problems

  • Trouble maintaining body temperature

  • Abnormally high red blood cell count

In the most severe cases, IUGR can lead to stillbirth. It can also cause long-term growth problems.

The main symptom of IUGR is small for gestational age baby. Specifically, the baby's estimated weight is below the 10th percentile -- or less than that of 90% of babies of the same gestational age.

Depending on the cause of IUGR, the baby may be small all over or look malnourished. They may be thin and pale and have loose, dry skin. The umbilical cord is often thin and dull instead of thick and shiny.

Not all babies that are born small have IUGR.