A fetus that does not grow or in
medical language is called intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), is a
condition that is characterized by the fetus not growing properly during
pregnancy. What causes the fetus to not develop well?
Not all fetuses can develop properly
in the womb. Not a few cases the fetus is slow to develop and even end in
miscarriage. If you have ever experienced it, it might be caused by various
conditions which are explained below.
Cause the Fetus Is Not growing
Fetus not growing in the mother’s
womb can be caused by lifestyle to a variety of certain conditions, including:
1. Bad Lifestyle Habits
Lifestyle by pregnant women has
an impact on fetal growth. The results of research reported by
beingtheparent.com show that maternal habits, such as lack of food intake,
abuse of drugs, smoking, drinking alcohol, and not taking folic acid
supplements can increase the likelihood of a fetus not growing properly.
When the fetus is exposed to
infections transmitted from the mother such as syphilis (sexually transmitted
bacterial infection), cytomegalovirus (a viral infection that has a significant
impact when the body’s immune system decreases during pregnancy), toxoplasmosis
(parasitic infection transmitted through undercooked meat that causes damage to
the fetus) and rubella, which are likely to cause the fetus to not develop.
If you like to eat meat, process
it properly because the fetus is not growing food. When cooking meat, make sure
the meat is really cook.
Do you know why blood pressure is
routinely checked during pregnancy checks? The reason is an increase in blood
pressure can be a major indication of pre-eclampsia, which is often called pregnancy-induced
Pre-eclampsia can cause blood
vessels to constrict. This condition will affect the growth of the fetus due to
obstruction of blood flow to the placenta. A fetus that lacks oxygen supply and
a lack of supplements causes the fetus will not grow.
4. Placental Insufficiency
The placenta is an important
organ in the uterus that functions to supply nutrients and oxygen so that the
fetus develops properly. If the placenta is insufficient and develops
imperfectly, the fetus cannot grow properly and there is a high likelihood of
complications. Placental insufficiency can occur because the mother has
diabetes, anemia, has used drugs, and smoked.
6. Chromosomal Abnormalities
When sperm meet the ovum,
fertilization occurs and the fusion of chromosomes takes place. If there are
too few or too many chromosomes formed in the embryo, disturbances can occu and
the risk of miscarriage is huge.
7. Lack of Amniotic Water
The optimal amount of amniotic
water is needed for fetal development. Amniotic fluid can be reduced below
normal or called oligohydramnios. This can happen for various reasons such as
drugs taken by the mother, maternal health conditions, placental abruption,
slightly broken amniotic sacs, and so on. These conditions can cause the unborn
baby will not grow.
8. Cord abnormalities
The umbilical cord is shaped like
a long tube that connects the fetus to the mother’s placenta which supplies
oxygen and nutrients from the mother’s body to the fetus. The navel line
usually contains two navel arteries and one navel vein, which supplies blood
between the placenta and the fetus. Sometimes, the umbilical cord only has one
artery and causes the baby to not develop in the fetus.
9. Blighted Ovum
Blighted ovum occurs when an egg
is fertilized in the uterus but does not develop into an embryo. This condition
is also referred to as anembryonic pregnancy (without embryos) and this
condition is the cause of the baby not growing early or even miscarriage. Often
these events are too early and don’t even know that you are pregnant.
Blighted ovum causes about one of
two miscarriages in the first trimester of pregnancy. Miscarriages occur when
pregnancy ends on its own within the first 20 weeks.
10. Other Causes
Some other factors that cause the
fetus to have difficulty growing properly are:
- Advanced diabetes
- High blood pressure or heart
- Infections such as rubella,
cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, and syphilis
- Kidney disease or lung disease
- Malnutrition or anemia
What to Do
- Although IUGR can occur even
when the mother’s condition is very healthy, there are a number of things that
can be done to reduce the risk of IUGR and increase the chance of pregnancy and
conceive a healthy baby.
- Schedule a prenatal appointment
with an obstetrician. Detecting potential problems early allows the expectant
mother to treat it early.
- Be aware of the baby’s
movements in the womb. Infants who don’t move often or stop moving may have
problems. If you notice changes in your baby’s movements, contact your doctor.
- Check the medicine that is
being consumed. Sometimes drugs taken by the mother for other health problems
can cause problems in the fetus.
- Eat healthy food. Healthy food
and enough calories help maintain baby’s nutrition. As explained earlier, you
also need to avoid foods that cause the fetus to not develop, such as cooking
- Enough rest. Rest will help you
feel better and can even help the development of the fetus. Sleep for eight or
more hours each night. Resting one or two hours during the day is also good for
you and the fetus.
- Implement healthy lifestyle
habits. If you are addicted to drinking alcohol, taking drugs, or smoking, stop
for the health of your fetus.
What will Happens If Fetal Growth
Slow fetal growth can caused
certain health problems during pregnancy, childbirth, and after birth such as:
- Babies have low birth weight.
- Difficulties in handling the
pressure of vaginal delivery.
- The amount of oxygen decreases
in the womb.
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
- Low resistance to infection.
- Low Apgar value (tests
conducted immediately after birth to evaluate the physical condition of the
newborn and determine special medical care).
- Meconium aspiration (inhalation
of passing stool while in the womb), which can cause respiratory problems.
- Difficulty maintaining body
- The number of red blood cells
is very high.
While in the most severe cases, IUGR causes the baby to be born dead. This condition can also cause long-term disruption to the baby’s growth.