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Common causes of IUGR

Most physicians will look for these common causes of IUGR in your baby



There are many causes of IUGR. Causes of IUGR can be sorted into categories. There are several different ways to categorize the causes of IUGR. One category system is maternal, placental, and fetal. Another is genetic, infectious, or environmental.


In developed countries such as the United States, the most common cause of IUGR is preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a condition of the mother that causes high blood pressure and high levels of protein in the urine. There are other symptoms of preeclampsia including headache and pain in the upper right part of the abdomen. If severe, preeclampsia can lead to seizures. A great resource for women with preeclampsia is www.preeclampsia.org.

In developed countries, preeclampsia is the most common cause of IUGR.

Other causes of IUGR are infections, maternal health problems such as chronic kidney disease or diabetes, maternal drug use, and genetic problems with the baby. While there are no treatments for IUGR, taking good care of yourself will still help your baby. This means eating a healthy diet, getting enough rest, and following your doctor's advice about how to maintain a healthy pregnancy. This also means that if you are using illegal drugs, try to stop using drugs and seek help.


Sometimes doctors don't know what the cause of IUGR is. Your baby's doctor might run some tests on your baby after birth to determine the cause of IUGR. The results of these tests can tell you what to expect as your baby grows into childhood. If you do not know what is causing your baby's slow growth, talk to your baby's doctor about sending specific testing for a virus called CMV (cytomegalovirus) or a genetic test. Your baby's doctor will be able to tell you what testing is the most appropriate for your baby.

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