What is IUGR? What happens when you have an IUGR baby? In this post, I share my experience with having a child who was IUGR while I was pregnant – and I hope to offer hope to those dealing with this diagnosis.
What to know about your IUGR baby
“Still birth. Disabilities. NICU.”
Those are the words I kept coming across as I lay in a hospital bed, waiting to hear if I was going to be induced.
I generally maintain prenatal visits. A few weeks prior, I had gone in for my 36-week appointment (even though I was just a day shy of 37 weeks.) They did a presentation scan – where they discovered Oliver was breech. I noticed that his measurements seemed a bit small for almost 37 weeks (just about 4 1/2 pounds). The doctor brushed aside my concerns and just jumped into my options for my breech baby.
While I was concerned about him being breech, I was even more concerned about his size.
The next week, I went to meet with another OBGYN in the area. While he confirmed that Oliver was no longer breech, he was very concerned about his size. He took measurements and determined that he was in the 1% – he was measuring 31-32 weeks in his femur and humerus, his abdomen was about 33 weeks, and his head was right on track. He started saying that he couldn’t believe my other doctors hadn’t paid much attention to this, and that I needed to be delivered ASAP. He noted that my placenta seemed to have infarctions and was quite small. And then he mentioned a term I’d never heard before – head-sparing growth restricted.
He called my doctor’s office and insisted that they admit me to the hospital – which they did (and apologized profusely for not sending me to a specialist earlier. Apparently I had been measuring behind for awhile, and the doctor who did the presentation scan should not have dismissed his small measurements.)
And of course, as we drove to the hospital and as I waited to meet with an maternal fetal medicine doctor, I started googling what in the world head-sparing growth restricted was. That’s when I first saw the term:
I knew babies could be born small, have a low birth weight, or have a growth problem but I always just assumed that was because they were premature – born in the 20th week or so. For whatever reason, I didn’t realize that sometimes babies stopped or slowed growth while in the womb (and if they did, that it might be a problem.)
That night in the hospital was scary. I had no idea what to think – was my baby okay? Would I be welcoming him a little earlier than expected? Would I have to have a c-section – something a few hours earlier I had thought was off the table since he was no longer breech? I became well-acquainted with the term intrauterine growth restriction.
When I met with the MFM, his cord flow was okay, so delivery wasn’t required (despite his abdomen and limbs still being below the 2%. His head was so big it brought up the rest of the percentile, haha), but I would have to go in weekly until I delivered. I delivered less than a week later on my own, so I didn’t see him again, but that was a stressful week. I was so worried about how big he would be, if he’d be able to breathe on his own, and I was scared to death that something bad was going to happen.
Fortunately, Oliver was born at exactly 39 weeks so it was not an early delivery,, weighing 5 lb 7.7 ounces. He went home at about 5 lbs. Despite having a little trouble regulating his blood sugar at first (which fortunately, frequent nursing helped with), he was sent home two days later with me. He has had different issues over the last few months (mainly in regards to jaundice, weight gain and eating, reflux, and some breathing issues – all of which are common with IUGR babies), but I’m grateful he’s here and growing.
Sunday is IUGR Awareness Day, so I thought I would write a post for it. Like I said, before Oliver, I had no idea what IUGR was. I felt scared and kind of alone! So if you are out there Googling like I was, I hope this post will bring you some hope and support!
What is IUGR?
They Grow Differently
There’s not a ton of research out there about IUGR babies, and some of it seems to be conflicting. The underlying cause is vague. Even more, I feel like a lot of the doctors we’ve talked with aren’t even sure what to say. However, IUGR can not be considered as a birth defect because it is only related to the weight and physical growth of a child. Our old pediatrician said she expected Oliver to gain over an ounce a day so he could have “catch-up growth”. However, some recent data suggests that fast catch-up growth isn’t necessarily good, and it can be linked to type 2 diabetes, obesity in adulthood, and other high risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, etc. (which IUGR babies are more at risk for anyways.). The baby who has IUGR generally has less than the estimated weight, generating some inevitable risk factors on both short-term and long-term basis. If the growth is slow, the babies can have low blood sugar and a weak body.
IUGR babies just grow differently – some of them will catch up faster, and others will just have slower weight and height gains. The important thing to watch is that they are following their own curve – some babies will need medical assistance to help them gain weight or height. But it’s important to know that they do grow differently and may always be small! And that’s okay. In general, they are expected to catch up to their genetic potential by about age two (and if they don’t, there are other options you can look into.)
Comparison Doesn’t Do Any Good
This one is hard, especially if you are around other babies that are the same age as your child. While most of the time I just focus on Oliver, and what he has accomplished, sometimes I see other babies his age doing things he isn’t or weighing a lot more, and I feel like I’ve failed him.
Remember that your baby is perfect the way they are. Even if they weren’t an IUGR baby, they might be growing at a different pace! Your baby doesn’t have to be in the 100th percentile and walking at seven months to be doing well.
Listen to your Instincts
I believe very strongly in the power of mother’s intuition. You know your baby best. While you should definitely have a medical team that you feel has your child’s best interest at mind, if you have a feeling that they aren’t taking the best approach, listen to that feeling. Be an advocate for your child and make sure they are getting the best care you can get. You are with your baby all the time – not your doctor. You understand your baby’s medical conditions and their needs more than their doctor to some point.
With Oliver, he’s had some different issues, mainly in regards to severe GERD and weight gain. Our old pediatrician just wasn’t on the same page as us, and she really tried to push switching to formula. While there’s definitely nothing wrong with formula, I felt that switching to formula would not solve the problem. I felt the real issue was his reflux, and once we got that under control, his weight gain improved. Until it was under control, I worked with an IBCLC who taught me how to skim the fat off of pumped breastmilk to feed him twice a day to help increase his caloric intake. And it worked!
Doctor’s Don’t Know Everything
Okay, I love doctors. There are some amazing ones out there. However, they aren’t all experts in every topic. And I’ve found that not all doctors understand IUGR. In a group I’m in, some people were basically told to terminate their pregnancy because their baby’s IUGR started early on, and they would likely not survive – and then they went on to deliver their babies. Our old pediatrician, as I mentioned above, just didn’t seem to have the latest information. Research the doctors in your area, and don’t be afraid to search for a specialist.
I recommend joining the MAGIC Foundation, which is a foundation dedicated to giving support to families who have children with growth disorders, including IUGR and SGA. They have a lot of great resources so you can be equipped with the best information regarding your baby!
Size Doesn’t Matter
These babies are fighters. I’m in a Facebook IUGR support group, and I am constantly amazed by the strength of these tiny babies. Some of them are born at l pound! But something I sometimes have to remind myself of is that size does not matter. I have a small baby, and that’s okay! Being in the 100th percentile doesn’t make a baby better than one in the 0 percentile. It’s just different!
A person’s a person no matter how small!
Ignore Others’ Comments
There are sometimes comments I get like, “Wow, he DOES NOT look such and such age” or “Are you feeding that baby?!” or “He is SOOOOO small!” and those comments can sting every now and then. Now that he’s getting a little bit more fat on his bones, it happens less (particularly the – is he eating enough comment). But try not to let it get to you. People just say things (and most of the time, without an mean intent), and it doesn’t change the perfect baby that you have!
Ignore people who seem to think your baby is underfed or malnourished. Or, better yet, educate them on why your baby is smaller. They might just be concerned.
Google is Not Your Friend
Okay, I have gotten some good information from Google. However, I’ve also scared myself a lot – especially before Oliver was born. I just about convinced myself that something horrible was wrong with him, and I was terrified of stillbirth. While I believe it’s important to be equipped with the best information possible, and the Internet can give you that, it can also give you some scary stories and statistics.
Remember this – the stories online are not yours. Just because something happened to another child doesn’t mean it will happen to yours! Search things cautiously.
As soon as I found out that Oliver was IUGR, I immediately tried to learn about other’s experiences. In this, I stumbled upon a BabyCenter board all about IUGR/SGA babies, and it was actually relieving to hear a lot of experiences.
For me, I didn’t know Oliver was IUGR until the end of my pregnancy was nearing, so I didn’t really join any support groups until afterward. However, I’ve found these groups to be invaluable as he’s grown. I’ve found that many other babies have had similar issues to Oliver, and it’s been so helpful to hear things that have worked for others, vented frustrations, and just connected with other moms of these tiny warriors! Here are two groups I think are really helpful:
IUGR Support Group on Facebook
IUGR Pregnancy and Beyond
Don’t Blame Yourself
While there are some things that can cause an IUGR baby, often, it is idiopathic…as in, there’s not much you could have done to prevent it. Sometimes genetic anomalies cause it, other times pre-eclampsia, and other times, it’s just bad luck.
For me, my placenta was just messed up. It was about 1/3 the size it should have been, there were multiple infarctions (dead tissue), as well as clotting, along with a very short cord. It’s important to have your placenta sent to pathology, especially if there isn’t an apparent cause for it. For me, I still need to meet with an OBGYN to go over the report, as it may impact future pregnancies (particularly the clotting.)
But don’t blame yourself for your baby being small or the issues they may have. Most of us wish we had answers, but many times, we don’t get them.
Sometimes the tiniest things take up the most room in your heart.
Clothes last longer!
Oliver still fits into his newborn pants and just wears 0-3 months clothes…and he’s almost 6 months! We really have gotten a lot of use out of those smaller clothes. Plus, I always say I don’t like my babies to grow up…In some ways, I feel like I can enjoy him being little a little bit longer.
Someone in one of my groups mentioned that dog collars make for great belts – that made me laugh a little bit!
It’s Okay to Be Sad
A lot of women I’ve interacted with seem to have feelings of sadness at one time or another – whether it’s because they didn’t have their ideal birthing experience, their baby ended up in the NICU or with other health issues, they had trouble breastfeeding, or even guilt. While it’s good to try and not dwell on sad thoughts, it’s okay to mourn a little bit and be sad. It’s hard when things don’t go as planned. I know there have been times where I think, “Well if only my placenta hadn’t been so bad, maybe x and x wouldn’t have happened.” And I start to feel sad. But I have to remind myself of all the good things that have happened, and how my baby is perfect the way he is…which brings me to my final point…
It will be okay
IUGR can mean so many things. Some babies will have to be delivered early. Others will be able to delivered at term. When your doctor catches it, they will monitor you closely. Yes, sometimes bad things happen – that’s the reality of it with ANY pregnancies. However, it’s important to realize there’s not a lot you can do – just hope for the best and let go of the things you can’t control.
Love the Child You Have
I believe our children are sent to us for a reason. Love the child you have, and not the one you thought you might have. Some IUGR babies will have no complications and will grow completely normally – others may not. And that’s okay. Try and cherish all of their milestones and enjoy the time while they are little. They eventually will grow up, and you might find yourself crying when you find an old preemie size outfit or a picture and wish for one more day with that tiny babe (especially when they make a big mess in the play room!)
FAQs about IUGR
And just in case you have some general questions, here are some commonly Google questions:
What is IUGR?
IUGR is a common problem of the general population, but many people cannot identify IUGR. IUGR stands for Intrauterine Growth Restriction, and in the most basic of terms, it means that an unborn baby has slowed growth and is not at the optimal size for its gestational age. It can happen for many reasons, and the severity varies. It is generally determined by being below the 10th percentile for estimated fetal weight (or the abdominal circumference and limb measurements are below that, it can still indicate IUGR.)
Can IUGR Recur?
Yes. If you had one IUGR baby, you have a heightened risk in another pregnancy. However, it may not happen again, and the risk depends on why IUGR happened in the first place. It is important to follow-up with your doctor after your pregnancy to discuss this.
Can IUGR babies be normal?
What’s your definition of normal? Is it all it’s hyped to be? IUGR babies are all different – just like all children are. Some of them may have more difficulties than others, but isn’t that the truth with a lot of babies? But short answer, yes, IUGR babies can be ‘normal’ (height, intelligence, appetite, etc.)
A baby’s weight does not make them abnormal. And in the case of IUGR, the baby is not a normal size at birth. It’s not a death sentence. Many babies who were IUGR at birth have no lasting consequences. An IUGR baby’s growth can change drastically over time. The good news is there is no problem with the internal organs of those babies. A systematic review and care of your baby’s health can help over time.
IUGR baby not gaining weight
Digestive disorders seem to be more common with IUGR babies. They are at a heightened risk of GERD (acid reflux) or delayed gastric emptying, which can result in slower or stalled weight gain. If this is the case for your child, it’s important to find a specialist to help come up with the best plan to help your child gain. A healthy diet will help. While fortifying milk can help some babies, it’s not an end-all solution. Some IUGR babies have to be fed through a G-tube.
For us, the key to helping Oliver gain weight was giving him extra “cream” from breastmilk a few times a day, as well as getting his reflux under control. After that, it took off (at his two-month appointment, he had gained barely two pounds since birth. After we resolved his issues, he gained two pounds in a month!)
Types of Intrauterine Growth Restriction
There are two types of IUGR – asymmetrical and symmetrical. In general, asymmetrical is typically thought to be a more “positive” diagnosis. It means that the head is growing at a normal rate for gestation, but the rest of the body is lagging behind. The doctor I saw referred to it as head sparing, as in, the placenta was sending all the nutrients it could to the baby’s head, which is one of the more vital organs to be nourished. The placenta is a pretty amazing thing. Asymmetrical IUGR is often related to placental issues, though there can be other causes. This is what Oliver was. His head was actually a little larger than his gestational age, but the rest of his body was behind quite a few weeks. It often isn’t noted until the third trimester.
Symmetrical means that the body is behind in growth proportionally. 20-25% of IUGR cases are considered symmetrical, so it is a little more rare. However, when an IUGR diagnosis is given earlier in pregnancy (like at the 20-week ultrasound), it is often symmetrical.
What causes IUGR?
There are many different things that can cause IUGR – many of them are idiopathic. That means there is no precise cause of IUGR. While any literature you read will mention things like smoking, alcohol, etc., there are many other reasons. Some women never know!
- Placental abnormalities or placental insufficiency
- Congenital defects
- Smoking during pregnancy
- Substance abuse
- Lack of growth potential of a pregnant woman
- Poor nutrition
- Pregnancy induced hypertension
- Clotting disorders
- Gestational Diabetes
- Low amniotic fluid
- Cord issues
- Small fetal size or fetal growth restriction
I am not a doctor. This information should not be taken as medical advice. Always consult with your medical team when making decisions regarding your pregnancy and baby.
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.
Mahwash jafri says
Thanks for sharing ur experience. I hv my iugr baby delivered at 37 week. Her birth wt. Is 1.7kg. In a week she is going to be 4 months old. Present wt. Is 4.3kg and ht. Is 21in.she is on EBF. I am so worried about her growth. Is this normal growth. Can’t go to dr. Bcos of covid lockdown. Plz help me out.
Hi! I just did a calculation to lbs and ounces, and it sounds like baby is gaining in the realm of normal. Definitely reach out to a health care provider to see if they can offer support over the phone <3
Hi my baby is 5 months old and has GERD, what were you given to control it?
We tried both omeprazole and zantac. Omeprazole worked the best!
I was detected with my baby under 3 percentile at 20 weeks and at 24 weeks had gone down to 1percentile.Head is normal but body is small which the doctor says is due to placenta insufficiency. The doctor said I may be lucky to get to 28 weeks and the baby is only 450 gms in weight. All my reports are normal. Is there anything I can do help baby put on some weight. Also will bed rest help with Iugr. I Really want to get close to full term. What can I do as I am bit stressed.
The best thing you can do is try not to worry and go to your doctor’s appointments. I would also suggest making sure you are eating plenty of protein. Good luck! I know this is a hard diagnose to have.
I’m so happy I found this blog! My son was born at 36 weeks 4 days and is IUGR he was born weighting 4 lbs 3oz and dropped down to 3lbs 12oz. It has been an up hill battle for him to gain weight he is currently 8 months old and weighs 13lbs 6oz and is 26.7 inches long luckily he has stayed on his growth curve and jumped up a higher percentile soon after birth. His current doctor wants him to jump on the growth curve. I’m not sure what else to do to have him gain more weight. He is already on high calorie formula and I supplement my expressed breastmilk. Any ideas on how to help weight gain would be greatly appreciated!! Not sure if I need to find another pediatrician for him maybe one that is more understanding of IUGR babies.
Thank you so much to you and to all the comments people have posted. I am 24 weeks and baby is 7 days behind and I am super scared but articles like yours really help! God bless you!!! How is Oliver doing?
I’m so glad this was helpful to you! Oliver just turned four, and he’s doing wonderful. He did have some delays which required a little bit of early intervention, but now he’s right on track developmentally and socially for his age 🙂
Thanks for such a informative post.. I have a 1 year old iugr baby.. I didn’t know before delivery.. He delivered with 3.7 pounds.. And now 12.12 pounds.. So now i am worried about him.. Will he catch height and weight in future or not.. What is the weight of ur baby and age?
Thank you for this. My baby was born at 2 lb and now is 10 months and still not on the growth curve. I struggle so much trying to make sure she is eating enough that my anxiety about it rubs off onto her and makes eating not the fun experience it should be. So I am working on that, but it is so hard. This post has helped me.
Thanks a lot for sharing such an informative post. My baby is 22 days old and he is an IUGR asymmetrical baby. I’m having difficulties in feeding my baby with breast milk. Can I feed him with formula? Will that affect his health?
Many mothers who have IUGR babies use formula – if you are okay with supplementing, it should be fine. YOu can always look into donor milk as well!
I found your post few days before my C-section, thank you for sharing such positive information on IUGR. My husband and I are grateful to you.
My story does not have an happy ending as our son born 26week, 5 days stayed in the world for only 6 days but your post was one of the things that kept us positive.
Thank you very much for this post. I am feeling much relieved now. I am exactly 33 weeks today. At my 32.5 weeks scan, baby’s tummy was measuring 2 weeks behind(8th percentile) and head is 2 weeks ahead. Another problem they found is, the doppler ultrasound was abnormal. The PI was 96% which means very high blood flow through the cord. All other measurements are within normal range.I have been googling since, looking for answers and beating myself for lacking in healthy eating at times. I also have gestational DIABETESE with diet control. Dr has suggested another ultrasound in next week now and its mentioned on the request form that the baby as assymetrical IUGR and abnormal doppler scan. I really hope i get some positive result from next week’s scan. I have been thinking about fetal death, genetic problems, birth defects since.my dr was not very reassuring when i asked questions about the abnormalities and possible outcomes. She only asked me to have a CTG done and thankfully it was satisfactory. I really hope that the baby comes out healthy even if he is small.i can feel strong movements from last 3 days though so i think baby is active and not distressed. Please provide me with some info related to high blood flow into placenta ( PI 96%) if u can as i am very stressed about what if the baby’s heart wont be able to cope with high blood flow. My dr dint give me enough answers as she constantly went to talk to senior dr and I also cant find much info about it on google.
I’m so sorry you are going through this. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about high blood flow into that placenta. I hope that the rest of your pregnancy has gone well, and that baby will arrive soon safely.
I had given birth to my son in march 2022,it was earlier delievery because my baby was suffering from severe iugr.i was 32 weeks pregnant but in ultrasound i was 26 weeks gestation age.i was lacking 6 weeks,and very low amniotic fluid,doctor said to admit in the hospital for early delievery because chances of survival is not there.baby moment was very sluggish which i cant feel and heartbeat also decreased at last ultrasound before delievery.He is no more.I miss him everyday every second.I had no information about iugr before.In my pregnancy i cane to know..I want to be pregnant again with healthy pregnancy.i want to ask if someone had their first pregnancy iugr.then 2nd will not have the same problem.2nd pregnancy will fine.??please reply
So sorry about your loss 🙁 It is very possible to have a normal pregnancy after an IUGR pregnancy but much depends on the cause of the IUGR. I would counsel with your doctor about the risks. My third pregnancy was not IUGR.
Hey Katie, thanks for writing this post. It’s super helpful. My IUGr son has severe reflux as well. He is currently taking ranitidine but that hasn’t been effective and we are switching to PPI soon. I hear Ppi has its own risk. Did it help your baby with weight gain and feeding better?
I absolutely think it made a difference for our son! It’s good to understand the risks, but for us, it made a big difference!
I m also having dis problem..my baby girl is iugr and I too hv problem of retracted nipples…..is it good to hv baby on top feed….plz reply soon….
Can you share how you dealt with the reflux? Our baby was born at 37 weeks and has severe GERD as well. feedings are absolutely horrible as he spends most of the time screaming and not wanting to eat, which is of course the first thing he needs to do. He’s not taking from the breast so were bottle feeding breast milk. the pediatrician recently recommended fortifying the breast milk with some formula.
Can you share more about your skimming technique? Did you do this buy a pumping?
Also, What medications and how did you deal with GERD? when did your baby get over it and do you have thoughts on the medications or what you learned as you research this?
Thank you so much for writing this!
I am so sorry you are going through GERD! We went through it with both our boys actually, and we were a lot more informed the second time around. My son saw a pulmonologist, who basically told us that he hates ranitidine because it’s rarely effective, and it typically has to be adjusted every 1/2 pound or so. We tried prevacid, but it made Oliver throw up. We ended up with omeprazole, which worked really well.
As far as the skimming went, I would pump once or twice a day, and I would let the creamy part rise to the top in the fridge. I would skim that off and feed it after I would nurse. Since you are pumping and bottle feeding, you could just mix it in with the rest of the bottle 🙂
I m also having dis problem..my baby girl is iugr and I too hv problem of retracted nipples…..is it good to hv baby on top feed….plz reply soon….
Priya Dhawan says
Thank you for your blog post. It is extremely informative and gives me strength to be patient and keep faith. I delivered an IUGR girl this March weighing 1.6 kgs. She will be 5 months soon, but is growing very slowly. Can you please share more about skimming breastmilk? Did you add the skimmed fat to breast milk or fed it directly? How did it help?
Looking forward to hear from you. Love to Jack and Oliver.
Hi, Priya! I’m so glad you found my site, and I hope that your little one is doing well. Because I was primarily nursing from the breast, I just fed the skimmed breast milk directly 1-2x a day. If you give bottles regularly, though, I would probably just mix it in. Best of luck! Feel free to comment again with additional questions 🙂
Priya Dhawan says
Thank you so much. I will try the skimming technique and let you know how it goes. I am hoping starting solids will help her.
Farwa haroon says
Hey kattie .. got little hope from your case .. im 27 weeks pregnant .. but due to placental insufficency .. abscent diastolic blood flow .. baby is 2 weeks aysmetrically small .. gestinational age is 25 weeks 4 days .. and rest fl is 4.5cm im extremely depressed and worried ..is this a sign of any kind of abnormality .. in my country premature babies are delivered in atleast 28 to 32 weeks what to do how can i improve my blood flow or .. if God knows baby is delivered safetly at 28 weeks or gestinational age or 32 weeks what to do next?? I have mentioned my husband’s email address .. i would really appreciate if you give a detail reply and explain take care God bless wating for your reply..
I am sorry! I am really not sure how to improve the blood flow 🙁 This is not necessarily a sign of any kind of abnormality. It may just be a placental issue. I hope it all works out!
Priya Dhawan says
Thank you so much Katie. I give expressed milk through spoon, so I ll just mix it in. Any other weight gain tips? When did you start solids? Are there any food items that you recommend?
Did you ever offer formula milk?
Thank you so much. It is so nice to find someone who has been through the same journey?
Hi! For weight gain, the best thing I did was this skimming thing, and I increased feeds to every 1.5 hours. It was a bit exhausting, but it helped. My son also had really bad reflux, so getting him on medication was crucial as well. We never gave formula -I was able to supplement with my own milk, as well as some donor milk for a little while. By about four months I was able to stop all supplements. We started solids at 6 months (per recommendations of the AAP and WHO). We did baby led weaning.
Thank you so much Katie for this article. I have found it very informative . My son is currently 10 weeks old and weigh 8.2lb .
I am exclusive pumping currently and he will take up to 2oz per feeding Could you share how much milk’s cream shall I add and how many times.
Secondly I am going through the same pain where I am not satisfied with my current ped she dismisses my question and force me to give him 1 oz per hour so that he can gain 1 oz a day. Also ask me to supplement with formula for couple of feeds to increase calories intake.
I am planning to change my current ped. What is your advice on how to find the pediatrician specialist in IUGR babies
OMG!! I can’t thank you enough for time the time to put up such a detailed blog. I am in the process of adopting my daughter who was a safe heaven baby left at the hospital. I visit my prediatrian and he thinks my daughter may be small for her age we are looking further into it. Your blog was beyond helpful this gives me a starting point.
Oh I’m so glad! Best of luck with your little one 🙂
Thank you thank you thank you. I can’t thank you enough for being the absolute voice of reason I needed so badly right now. I will remind myself to keep referring back to this post when I get all caught up in my emotions and negative thinking.
Oh, I’m so glad you found this post. Please feel free to email me if you need any further support <3
My granddaughter was just told that she is asymmetrical IUGR at justo er 34 weeks. The Dr told her she could expect a stillborn. She had issues with smoking pot early in pregnancy but quit as soon as she knew she was expecting. The dr is blaming the pot for this and basically told her it was all her fault. She is heartbroken and scared. They sent her home with no information and she has to wait 2 days to see her primary ob dr. She has other health issues not related to being pregnant. Your post gives us hope that our little Briley will be ok. Thank you!
I’m so sorry your granddaughter went through this! I hope everything turned out okay.
What a great post! My son’s name is Oliver too! I was induced the day before my due date because Ollie measured 38th percentile at 36 weeks then down to 10th percentile at 39 weeks. He weighed 5 lbs 14 oz and only 18 in long. He wasn’t diagnosed with IUGR but it was brought up several times during my hospital stay. I went through similar troubles as you. One of the post partum nurses even made a passive agressive comment to him “You need to eat since you were neglected in the womb.” Probably the worst thing you can say about a woman who just gave birth to her first child. But thankfully he is a healthy boy in the 15th percentile now at 4 months old. I really enjoyed reading your post…such great advice! Thanks again!
I love your post…. i am at a risk of assymeterical iugr….. i am 32 weeks and ac is measuring 29 weeks… so a few weeks back…. i am going crazy and am super scared as to what will happen next… i have an other ultrasound tomorrow lets hopes things look up for the better…. in my case too the head is measuring 32 weeks so seems like olivers case….this post gives me hope that everything will be fine….. i really want to know if the doctor says i would go full term is there a way to put on weight though supplement or medicine till the baby is in the womb
Thank you for sharing your situation! Try and relax. I hope things are looking better for you. But it definitely sounds like your child is like Oliver – make sure you push for answers if you aren’t getting them (like I should have pushed harder when the doctor said everything was fine just because his head was large, even though the rest of his body was so far behind!).
I have heard that sometimes extra protein can help with infant weight gain, however, it would really depend on what your child is IUGR. In my case, the placenta had an issue, and no amount of food would have helped that.
Jolaine Savoie says
At my 19th week ultrasound it was discovered that my baby is measuring small. I’m currently 31 weeks pregnant and the baby is still measuring small at a little over 2.5 lb , somedays I cry thinking the worst could happen, my husband is much stronger then me and has faith that everything will be alright. I just want to say Thank you for writing this article it deffinetly puts a better perspective into this diagnostic, and helped me to keep positive about this and is helping me to keep faith that my babygirl is most likely going to be okay.
Thanks for comment, Jolaine! I’m glad that you were able to find some comfort in this post. I hope everything will be okay. Keep me updated <3
My Cadee girl was dx. With IUGR, but not until AFTER she was delivered via c-section.
I had never head of the dx. Either, and like any new mom, I Googled and read everything I could get my hands on.(some info. Helped, some did not) although I never found out why.. she was considered asymmetrical iugr and is 14mo. And weighing a whopping 22lbs lol so I get a lot of “omg, let that baby comes to my house, I’ll fatten her up”
I cringe at that comment! (Mainly because it makes me feel like a failure) But educating people about the dx. And whyyy she is so small and whyyy “fattening her up” would only increase her risk for type 2 diabetes, usually gets them to change their tune and are more cautious about their comments.
Thank you for the blog! Everything you said I felt! ?
I totally agree with everything you said! My Oliver is about 21 months, and he is only 23 pounds – so we definitely get those comments, too. I think it’s important that people realize these kiddos are at an increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity, which is why loading them up with calories isn’t always ideal. I hope more recognition will come to this diagnosis – I certainly had no idea what was going on when I first heard it!
Kristina Newton says
So glad I found this it was was found at almost 26 weeks that my daughter is iugr waiting to find out next steps I’m scared as hell obviously and this made me feel a little better
Thank you for sharing your story – it helped me put a few things into perspective. My baby boy was born at 35 weeks +6 at 4lbs. We were diagnosed with Asymmetrical IUGR at our 19 week scan. He has had some delay with milestones (he’s 10 lbs 12 oz now at 4 months) but overall I know it could be much worse. I am so thankful we didn’t pay much attention to the doctors when they told us he was at a very high risk of being stillborn. He’s my little miracle. Glad to know I’m not the only one who has gone through this!
Thanks for sharing your story. My IUGR baby is now 5. She has stayed small but is on her own growth curve. She has been on medicine for GERD since she was 5 days old. She is now a very typical 5 year old but she was considered delayed in gross motor skills and cognitively until she was 2. And she definitely gets LOTS of wear out of all of her clothes and shoes.
Way to look for the positive! =)
Very good article. Thank you for bringing awareness to IUGR. We had our baby girl 9 months ago. I was concerned at a 21 week scan that she was measuring 8 days behind, but the doctors weren’t. I felt uneasy after that. After severe decrease in movement. They finally did another scan. My heart sank when at 27+6 she was barely the size of a 24-weeker. I am here to give moms hope!! She was diagnosed with SYMMETRICAL IUGR and NO FLUID. She was born the next day via emergency csec. 1lb. 7oz. Fast forward to last week. She just had her 6 month NICU follow up. She scored at a 6 month level on all test and was in the 18-20% for weight, heights & head. She is happy and healthy and almost crawling. Even though she was Symmetrical IUGR, her neonatologist says she is perfect and requires no therapy. We are so blessed. These babies are fighters.
Thank you so much for sharing your story and giving other moms hope – especially those in the situation you were in! I’m so glad she’s doing so well now. They truly are fighters!
Chelsea @ Life With My Littles says
So I’ve actually never heard about this! I am so glad Oliver was okay! Thanks for writing such an informative and comforting post for other moms who might be going through this!
I hadn’t either! I felt like I knew a lot about pregnancy and different complications, but it was a totally new diagnosis to me. I hope this can help others!
I’m so glad to read this post almost lost hope bt this gives me courage to press on I’m 26 weeks carrying twins also have iugr. Now after this I feel much better may the Lord bless you.
Best of luck <3
Thank you for this amazing information Katie! My son was born 2 weeks ago, at 37 weeks… Symmetrical IUGR, his head circumference, weight and height all coming in around the 1 percentile. Reading this and the comments has given me hope, and makes me feels stronger in my conviction to breast feed him.. I plan on starting to skim breastmilk as well. How is Oliver doing now? Thanks again!
Congrats on your new baby! It’s so hard to have something be wrong, but all will be well. Breastfeeding is a great option – so don’t give up! 🙂 Oliver is four now and doing wonderfully. We did have to do some early intervention last year for a few delays (primarily gross motor and some speech. He was always a few months behind on meeting physical milestones) but he’s totally caught up now and thriving. I remember during his first few months feeling like there was no end in sight with our trials – but he’s doing great. And I know your son will, too!