Treatment of Mirena (Hormonal Iud)
Pap Smear Procedure
Dilatation And Curettage (D C) Procedure
Proton Therapy Treatment
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (Pgd)
Pregnant Women Counseling
Prenatal And Birth Care
Musculoskeletal Pain Management
Ovarian Ablation Procedure
Treatment Of Female Sexual Problems
Egg Donation Procedure
Treatment Of Menstrual Problems
Treatment Of Menopause Related Issues
Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome In Adolesce
Pre And Post Delivery Care
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Intrauterine growth restriction is a condition where the foetus is smaller than it should be according to its age because it is not growing at a normal rate inside the uterus. This puts the baby at risk for several dangerous conditions during pregnancy, delivery and post-birth. Some of these are low weight at birth, caesarian delivery, decreased oxygen levels, low blood sugar, low resistance power, breathing problems and low body temperature. IUGR can lead to stillbirth in extreme conditions and to long-term growth problems too. This is the main reason why prenatal birth monitoring is very important.
IUGR can occur in expecting mothers who have a problem with the placenta. We already know that placenta is the cord of life that joins the mother with the foetus. It provides oxygen and food to the developing baby inside the womb. Apart from this, IUGR can occur if the mother has:
- Heart disease
- Rubella or syphilis infections
- Kidney or lung disease
- Malnutrition or anaemia
- Twins and triplets also increase the risk for IUGR
The main symptom of IUGR is a small baby for its age in the womb. It may look small and sickly and the placenta is dry and shrivelled.
Dealing with IUGR depends on many factors. Usually, doctors go for a slew of tests to see how the infant is doing. A detailed sonogram is usually performed to look for foetal anomalies. Tests like a urine sample, ultrasound, platelet count and liver function test are also administered to the mother. The mother is put on bed rest to improve blood flow to the foetus and antenatal steroids are prescribed to promote foetal lung maturity. General management also includes treatment of maternal disease like high BP and cessation of substance abuse or alcohol.
For management of IUGR, daily blood pressure measurements, foetal movement profiles, serial ultrasound examinations are important to determine the severity and progression of IUGR. If the situation becomes critical, labour is induced and the baby is delivered by caesarian section.
IUGR can’t be cured and can only be managed so it’s best to prevent it in the first place by keeping all of your prenatal appointments. You must be aware of your baby's movements. If your baby is not moving much or stops suddenly, you should rush to your doctor. You must also not take any medicine without consulting your doctor during pregnancy. Eat healthy and rest fully to have a risk free birth and last, but not the least, stay away from drugs, alcohol and smoke, even second hand, for the health of your baby.
The placenta is a link between you and your baby during pregnancy. It helps your baby to grow normally by providing it with food and oxygen. When the placenta is not able to do its work properly, the condition is called placental insufficiency or dysfunction.
Placental insufficiency is a serious complication of pregnancy and can happen when the placenta does not develop properly or is damaged. If this condition develops, the baby doesn’t get the nutrition and oxygen it needs to grow and can develop complications like low birth weight, premature birth, and birth defects. The mother can also develop dangerous complications if it’s left undiagnosed. Thus placental insufficiency must be diagnosed as early into the pregnancy to avoid these complications.
Causes of placental insufficiency
Actually, placental insufficiency is a blood flow disorder which happens due to a reduction in the mother’s blood supply. It can be triggered by vascular disorders, medications, lifestyle and the following:
- Chronic hypertension
- Blood clotting disorders
- Serious anemia
- Blood thinners
- Drug abuse
Other causes of placental insufficiency are cases where the placenta doesn’t attach properly to the uterine wall or if the placenta breaks away from it.
Unfortunately, there are no symptoms of this dangerous condition in the mother except that she may notice that the size of her uterus is smaller than in previous pregnancies. She may also notice that the fetus is moving less than before. As far as symptoms of placental abruption or disruption go, there may be vaginal bleeding or pre-term labour contractions. In case placental insufficiency is not diagnosed, the mother can experience a serious fatal condition called Preeclampsia, which means high BP and protein in the urine as well as disruption of the placenta and pre-term birth. The picture for the baby is pretty dim too. The earlier placental insufficiency happens, the more grave the risk for the baby. The baby can suffer from:
- Cerebral palsy and learning disabilities
- Low body temperature
- Low blood sugar
- Premature birth
- Cesarean delivery
Placental insufficiency can’t be cured, but it can be managed. Once diagnosed, it can be managed through proper prenatal care like treating maternal high blood pressure or diabetes, education on preeclampsia and ways to self-monitor for the disease, frequent doctor visits, bed rest to conserve energy for the baby and consultation with a specialist. These can improve the baby’s chances of normal growth.
Proper prenatal care of pregnant women is thus, very important as it can diagnose placental insufficiency early. A simple ultrasound can diagnose this dangerous condition by measuring the baby's size and growth, and assessing the size and placement of the placenta. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist and ask a free question.