What is it?

Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), or fetal growth restriction, refers to poor growth of a fetus while in the womb during pregnancy. IUGR is defined by clinical features of malnutrition and evidence of reduced growth regardless of an infant's birth weight percentile.The causes of IUGR are broad and may involve maternal, fetal, or placental complications.

4 Alikes with Fetal growth restriction

Learn from others
who are experiencing
Fetal growth restriction.

Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Intrauterine Growth Restriction

Signs & symptoms

A baby with IUGR may show the following symptoms at birth:
* appears malnourished
* thin or pale skin
* breathing difficulties
* feeding issues
* low blood sugar
* body temperature issues
* appears yellow (jaundice)
* infection (sepsis)


Before babies are born, doctors check their growth by measuring the mother's belly from the top of the pubic bone to the top of the uterus. This is called the uterine fundal height.
They also can do a prenatal ultrasound, which is how IUGR often is diagnosed. A technician coats the woman's belly with a gel and then moves a probe (wand-like instrument) over it. High-frequency sound waves create pictures of the baby on a computer screen. These pictures help doctors estimate the baby's size and weight. These estimates aren't exact, but they do help health care providers track the baby's growth and see if there's a problem. Ultrasounds also can help find other issues, such as problems with the placenta or a low level of amniotic fluid (the fluid surrounding the fetus). Doctors will also use ultrasounds to check the blood flow to the placenta and through the umbilical cord.

If they think a baby has IUGR, doctors also might do such tests as:
* fetal monitoring to track the baby's heart rate and movements
* screening the mother for infections that could affect the baby
* amniocentesis to look for genetic causes of IUGR (and sometimes to help them see how mature the baby's lungs are)


Treatment for intrauterine growth restriction depends on how far along the pregnancy is and how the baby is doing. Doctors will watch a baby with IUGR closely during prenatal visits. They'll do ultrasounds, keep track of growth, and watch for other problems.
If the baby's mother has a condition, doctors will help her manage it. This might include making sure she eats a healthy and nutritious diet and gains the right amount of weight during her pregnancy. Some women might go on bed rest to try to improve blood flow to the baby.
Sometimes, doctors will recommend inducing labor and delivery early. They might do this if the baby seems to have stopped growing, or if there's a problem with the placenta or the blood flow in the umbilical cord.
A woman might have a cesarean section (C-section) if the stress of a vaginal delivery is considered too risky for the baby.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

Learn more about our editorial process for content accuracy.

Alike Wisdom

Instantly get answers to medical questions with our AI, built from the collective wisdom of our community facing similar experiences

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Find people who are
experiencing a similar
medical reality

100% Free