Here I share about my experience with intrauterine growth restriction and what I have learned.Have you heard of Intrauterine Growth Restriction?

When my daughter was born, it was one of the things she was diagnosed with. Intrauterine growth restriction, referred to as IUGR, is when the growth of the baby is restricted while he or she is in utero. It may also be referred to as small for gestational age.

The information in this post is not a substitute for medical advice!  I am not a doctor or a medical professional. If you have a medical question, contact your doctor.

When I was told she had intrauterine growth restriction, I had heard of it but I didn’t know too much about it. I also had a hard time finding good information about it. Stanford Children’s Health was one of the few resources I found that explained a lot about IUGR. I like to get information about things like this from medical sources, but ones that explain things in easy to understand terms.

My daughter was born at 32 weeks and weighed 2 lbs 14 oz. Babies with intrauterine growth restriction are generally less than the tenth percentile on the growth charts. Her intrauterine growth restriction was due to me having preeclampsia, but there are other things that can cause IUGR. Some of these are preventable and others are not. What to Expect talks about things that cause IUGR and possible ways it can be prevented.

Babies with intrauterine growth restriction may face different challenges at birth, and sometimes they may need to be delivered prematurely.

I learned that my daughter would have intrauterine growth restriction during an ultrasound. I was already on bedrest for preeclampsia, so I was getting frequent monitoring. My belly had been growing and I had gained plenty of weight during pregnancy, so I wasn’t expecting that she was going to be small. I guess that weight gain isn’t necessarily a predictor of how big your baby will be.

My daughter is still very low on the growth charts, but I have read that babies with IUGR will often catch up with their growth. She’s not yet two, so there is still time for her. I have a feeling she will be on the smaller side for awhile. I guess I still don’t really know what to expect with how iUGR may impact my daughter.

Long term effects

I honestly haven’t found much information about any long term impact that intrauterine growth restriction can have aside from continued growth problems. From what I understand, it seems to be more effects from being born prematurely that can impact these babies.

The biggest thing I learned from my experience is the importance of prenatal care and also of advocating for yourself.

Prenatal appointments can help catch if a baby is falling behind in growth. I am so thankful that I trusted myself that I wasn’t feeling well and went to the doctors. This helped my doctor find that I had preeclampsia and that my baby wasn’t growing properly.

Have you had an experience with IUGR? Feel free to share in the comments below.


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If you liked this post you should check out:
Preeclampsia Awareness: What You Need To Know
Making the Best of Hospital Bed Rest
Isolation After the NICU