In some pregnancies the placenta does not give enough food to fetus. Therefore, the development of the fetus in uterus is slowed down. The placenta may be ineffective for a number of reasons, such as severe preeclampsia or eclampsia, high blood pressure, bleeding, placenta previa, heart disease or diabetes, although sometimes the cause is unknown.
There are no obvious signs that would indicate a fetal growth restriction. However, the doctor will suspect that something is wrong if you do not gain weight in late pregnancy, or if you are losing weight, or if the uterus does not grow as much as it should with regard to the stage of pregnancy. Your doctor may also suspect something is wrong is your fetus moves less frequent.
After childbirth, the baby has less fats in the body and is therefore less resistant to cold than usual and is prone to hypoglycemia.
What to do?
Pregnant women should go to every examination before childbirth. If you’ve passed the 30th week of pregnancy and you think your fetus does not move as before, count down its movements correctly. Choose two days a week when you do not leave the house and make notes of every single group of movement after 9 am every day. If the number of movements is 10 (or more) until 5 pm on both days, you do not have to worry about it. If the number of movements is less than 10 in one of these two days, contact your doctor or midwife.
Your fetus is probably perfectly good (in some normal pregnancies there are no movements of fetus at all), but it is certainly wise to play safe.
Tests can include blood and urine analysis to measure the level of one of the hormones, and ultrasound to examine the baby. If it is determined that the growth rate is slowed, the doctor will decide which time is best for delivery. It will be best to give birth in a hospital where your child will be given special care and treatment. Contractions can be artificially induced (see labor induction), and sometimes the child must be delivered with a Caesarean section.