What is intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)?

Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) means the baby is growing more slowly than is normal. The most common cause is a problem with the placenta -- the tissue that carries food and blood to the baby. It can also be caused by:
  • Birth defects
  • Genetic disorders
  • Infection in the mother
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Use of certain prescription medicines
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) doesn't just mean a small baby. If your family has a history of small babies, it might be perfectly normal for your baby to be small. IUGR is slower-than-normal growth in a baby that should be larger, and it is diagnosed by careful measurements of the baby and the amniotic sac using ultrasound. Often the doctor will order fetal monitoring or amniocentesis to evaluate the cause of IUGR.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.