Experienced Intrauterine Growth Restriction Injury Attorneys in St. Louis, Missouri
At The Gogel Law Firm, our St. Louis birth injury attorneys know that parents take their physician visits very seriously, so they can identify and monitor any potential health problems in the mother or child as the pregnancy progresses.
One such problem is fetal growth restriction, also called intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). IUGR 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.
There are two types of IUGR:
- Symmetrical IUGR, where all the baby’s body parts are similarly small.
- Asymmetrical IUGR, where the baby’s head and brain are the expected sizes, but the rest of the baby’s body is small.
When physicians fail to measure the baby’s growth properly, IUGR can result in significant injuries, long-term health problems, or worse, stillbirths.
Here is what pregnant women throughout Missouri need to about their risk for intrauterine growth restriction.
What Causes Intrauterine Growth Restriction?
IUGR occurs when the fetus does not get enough nutrients and nourishment.
This is typically the result of issues involving the blood flow from the umbilical cord to the placenta, which delivers the oxygen and nutrients necessary for the baby’s development.
IUGR may cause:
- Abnormal blood cell counts.
- Decreased oxygen levels.
- Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.
- Low Apgar scores.
- Low resistance to infection.
- Neurological problems
- Premature birth and low birth weight.
- Problems with breathing and feeding.
- Trouble controlling body temperature.
How is Intrauterine Growth Restriction Diagnosed?
While the baby is developing in the womb, physicians check their growth by measuring the mother’s belly from the top of the pubic bone to the top of the uterus, which is called the uterine fundal height, through prenatal ultrasounds, or both.
Ultrasounds also help identify other issues, like problems with the placenta, blood flow through the umbilical cord, or a low level of amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus.
How is Intrauterine Growth Restriction Treated?
Treatment for intrauterine growth restriction depends on how far along the pregnancy is, the development of the baby, and the mother and baby’s overall health.
If a physician believes a patient has IUGR, they can monitor the baby’s status through ultrasounds, keep track of growth, and watch for other problems.
Physicians may place the mother on a healthy and nutritious diet, monitor her weight so she gains successfully, and require her to go on bed rest to improve blood flow to the baby.
In certain cases, the physician may recommend inducing labor and delivery early, especially if there is a problem with the placenta, the blood flow in the umbilical cord, or when the baby has stopped growing.
If the stress of delivery will exacerbate the risks to the mother or child, the physician may recommend a cesarean section (C-section).
If your OBGYN failed to recognize the signs of intrauterine growth restriction, and your baby suffered short- or long-term medical problems, or tragically did not make it through the delivery, we want to help you pursue the medical professionals who are liable.