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Pregnancy is a time of joy and happiness for a mother. Everyone including the mother looks forward to the time when she will have her baby in her arms and she will be able to shower all the love on him/her. So, from the pregnancy itself, the mother starts doing the best for her baby and takes care of everything. But sometimes, even after all the care, some issues might occur in the development of the baby which is out of the control of the mother and need the doctor’s attention. One of these issues that might occur is called IntraUterine Growth Restriction or IUGR.

What is IUGR?

Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) refers to a condition in which a fetus is unable to achieve its genetically determined potential size. Basically, it is a condition in which an unborn baby is smaller than it should be because it is not growing at a normal rate inside the womb. This delayed growth puts the baby at risk of health issues during pregnancy, delivery and after birth.

What are the causes of IUGR?

There are a number of factors that tend to affect the baby’s growth in the uterus. These causes are mentioned below-

- Abnormalities in the placenta. It might be small or improperly formed and thus is not functioning properly.

- Some medical condition that you might be suffering from like preeclampsia, hypertension, advanced diabetes, blood clotting disorders, heart disease etc.

- Carrying twins or higher multiples of babies.

- Drinking, smoking or drug abuse

- Severe cases of malnutrition

- Side-effects of medications like anticonvulsants

Treatment and Prevention

There is no as such treatment for IUGR and once it happens, it is more like incurable. Though, there are certain ways through which this condition can be prevented from ever happening.

- Keeping all the doctor’s appointments. It is important that if there is any problem of any sort by any chance then it should be detected as early as possible.

- Keep a track of your baby’s movements and be aware of its frequency and intensity. If at any point in time you feel that that the movement has decreased then immediately get yourself and the baby checked.

- Eat healthy and nutrient-rich food. It’s not just for your own health you are eating but for your little ones too. So, it is important that you have a proper diet.

- Rest up properly throughout your pregnancy. Even though you have a lot of work try to delegate it to other people. Your baby’s health depends on you resting properly.

- Do not consume alcohol or smoke during pregnancy. These things are a major cause of abnormalities in babies.

Though there are sometimes when the health of your unborn and their condition will not be in your control, there are other times when it is you who will determine whether your little one will be a healthy baby or an unhealthy one. 

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