Babies are sometimes called small for gestational age (SGA) or small for dates (SFD). Most babies that are smaller than expected will be healthy. But up to 10% of pregnancies will be affected by FGR and will need close monitoring during pregnancy. In some cases, you may need to give birth earlier than expected.
What causes FGR?
FGR can happen when the placenta is not working well enough to provide the baby with the nutrients they need to grow normally. However, we don’t always know why FGR happens.
Is there anything that increases the risk of FGR?
There are several things that can increase the risk of FGR. The most common risks are:
- if you have previously had a small baby, pre-eclampsia or stillbirth
- if you have had complications earlier in this pregnancy, particularly heavy bleeding
- having a pre-existing medical problem such as high blood pressure, kidney problems, diabetes or heart disease
- smoking, drinking alcohol or using illegal or recreational drugs
- being over 35 years of age.
If you have any bleeding during your pregnancy, with or without pain, it’s very important to get it checked out.
What does FGR mean for my baby?
If your baby has FGR, there is an increased risk of complications in pregnancy. Sadly, this can include stillbirth. But your healthcare team will monitor the baby’s growth and wellbeing closely to reduce the risk of this happening. They will also talk to you about the best time for you to give birth. This is likely to be earlier than your due date.
Being born early and small can also lead to complications after birth. This includes a higher risk of high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes and thyroid disease in later life. Some babies may need to spend time on a specialist baby unit (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU).
However, after your baby is born, their growth will not be typically different from other children. Having FGR does not mean they will be smaller than other children when they are school age.
Can I do anything to reduce the risk?
We don’t know why some pregnancies are affected by FGR and some are not. But it is unlikely to be related to anything you have done before or during pregnancy. It is important not to blame yourself.
“I was told by well-intentioned but not medically trained friends to eat more calories, sleep as much as I could and stop worrying, because the worry would be having an impact on my baby’s personality and growth! To my knowledge these comments offer no real help to anyone experiencing this. The best thing to do is to listen to the medical professionals in charge of your care.”
Some things that increase your risk of having a small baby can’t be changed. But there are some things you can do to reduce the risk, including:
- stopping smoking
- taking vitamin D
- eating a healthy, balanced diet
- not drinking alcohol
- not using illegal/recreational drugs, especially cocaine.
If you are overweight, you are more likely to develop high blood pressure, which can cause complications leading to problems with the baby’s growth. It can help to maintain a healthy weight before and during pregnancy.
High levels of caffeine in pregnancy has been linked to low birthweight, as well as miscarriage. Try to limit your caffeine to 200 milligrams (mg) a day. This is about the same as 2 mugs of instant coffee. Use our caffeine calculator to check your caffeine intake.
If you are considered at risk of FGR
How will I know if my baby isn’t growing well?
If you have no risk factors for FGR identified in early pregnancy, your midwife will start to measure your bump from 24 weeks, during your routine antenatal appointments, to check that your baby is growing well. This is a simple test using a tape measure. They will measure your bump from the top of the uterus (womb) to your pubic bone. The measurement should then be plotted on a growth chart in your personal maternity record. If your midwife has any concerns about the baby’s growth from this measurement, you will be referred for an ultrasound scan within 72 hours. This does not necessarily mean something is wrong. The scan is just a more accurate way of assessing the baby's growth.
If you have any risk factors for FGR, the growth of your baby will be monitored by ultrasound scans instead of using a tape measure.
Depending on your medical and pregnancy history, you may also be referred for an ultrasound scan to measure the blood flow to your placenta (this is known as the uterine artery Doppler). This measurement is done at 20–24 weeks of pregnancy. It will determine how often you will need to have ultrasound scans during your pregnancy.
What do I do if I’m worried that my bump isn’t getting bigger?
Baby bumps come in all different shapes and sizes. Although it can be difficult, try not to compare your baby bump to anyone else’s. No two women or two pregnancies are the same. If you are concerned, you can call your midwife at any time.
What happens if my baby is small or not growing?
If your midwife or doctor thinks your baby might have FGR, you will be referred for an ultrasound scan to assess the growth of your baby. During this scan, there will be other tests to check the wellbeing of your baby. These include an assessment of the blood flow through the umbilical cord between the placenta and the baby (umbilical artery Doppler) and an assessment of the fluid around the baby (liquor volume).
Following this assessment, you will be advised how your baby is growing. If it is confirmed that your baby has FGR, you will need further scans to monitor the pregnancy more closely until your baby is born. The frequency of these scans will depend on the size of your baby and blood flow measurements in the umbilical artery. You may also be asked to have a tracing of your baby’s heart rate, known as a cardiotocograph (CTG). Your healthcare team may also discuss the benefit of delivering your baby before your estimated due date (EDD).
Monitoring your baby’s movements
It’s very important to monitor your baby’s movements during pregnancy. Most women usually begin to feel their baby move between 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. A baby’s movement can be described as anything from a kick, flutter, swish or roll. There is no set number of normal movements. If you think that your baby’s movements have slowed down or stopped, it is important that you contact your maternity unit immediately. There is always a midwife available 24 hours a day. Do not wait until the next day to seek advice. This is particularly important if there are concerns about your baby’s growth during pregnancy.
Find out more about your baby’s movements in pregnancy.
The majority of women who want one will be able to try for a vaginal birth, if there are no other complications. But it is likely that you will be advised to give birth early. This may just be a week earlier than your expected date of delivery or it may be several weeks before, depending on how your baby is. Some babies may be too small to go through labour and a vaginal delivery, so you may be advised to have a caesarean section. Your healthcare professional will talk to you about what they think is best.
You may be advised to have your baby in a hospital where there is a specialist baby unit (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU). This is because your baby may need extra care, especially if they are very small and born early (prematurely). Not all small babies will need to go to NICU.
Depending on when and how you are going to have your baby, you may be offered steroids to help your baby’s lung development and reduce the chance of breathing problems after birth. You may also be offered magnesium sulphate, which is a medicine given before delivery to reduce the risk of cerebral palsy.
Will FGR affect my next pregnancy?
If you get pregnant again, the risk of having a small baby again is slightly higher. But you may be able to reduce your risk by trying to live a healthy lifestyle.[SS28] It can help to:
- not smoke
- eat a healthy, balanced diet
- not drink alcohol
- not use illegal drugs or recreational drugs, especially cocaine
- work with your healthcare professional to make sure any long-term conditions, such as diabetes, are managed well.
In your next pregnancy, your doctor may recommend that you take low-dose aspirin (150mg) at night from 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Try not to worry too much if you want to get pregnant again. Your care will likely depend on what risk factors you have, but if you’ve had a small baby before, your healthcare team will monitor you closely during your next pregnancy.
If you need someone to talk to, call our midwives pregnancy line on 0800 014 7800 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm), or email [email protected].
'Our baby was too small. Our baby would need to be born early. Our baby was not coping inside of me.'
Ghostwritermummy blogger and mum Susanne has shared her story of IUGR (Intrauterine growth restriction) to raise awareness following the launch of Maternity Matters #12weeksofIUGR campaign.
Every time I look at my tiny daughter, I can’t believe she’s really here. Casey has been a fighter since before she was born, we’re just incredibly grateful that she had the Tommy's team in her corner.
Nardozza, L.M.M., Caetano, A.C.R., Zamarian, A.C.P. et al. Fetal growth restriction: current knowledge. Arch Gynecology and Obstetrics 295, 1061–1077 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00404-017-4341-9 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00404-017-4341-9
Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (2013) The Investigation and Management of the Small-For-Gestational-Age Fetus https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/gtg_31.pdf
The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust. If your baby is not growing as well as expected. (Last reviewed December 2014 Next review due December 2017)
NHS Choices. Should I limit caffeine in pregnancy? https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/should-i-limit-caffeine-during-pregnancy/ (Last reviewed 02/05/2018 Next review due 02/05/2021)
NICE (2015). Antenatal care for uncomplicated pregnancy. National Institute for health and care excellence https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg62
Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Small baby and intrauterine growth restriction (Last reviewed October 2015 Next review due October 2017)Hide details
ℹLast reviewed on May 29th, 2020. Next review date May 29th, 2023.
By Amander (not verified) on 8 Jan 2020 - 06:32
Hi,my doctor tells me that I have multifibros and the baby doesn't grow well.i have strong cramps it's been three days now and the doctor said the heartbeats it's fine but in other side am dying I can't cope and I feel baby moves.help please
By Anonymous (not verified) on 15 Nov 2019 - 07:22
Hi there, i am desparately needing some advice or insight into yesterdays scan findings. I am 36 weeks. The ultrasound scan findings showed that the baby's head circumference hadn't grown since 32 weeks. The abdomen and thighs have grown but not head circumference.i have been referred to Fetal medicine on Monday. I just can't stop stressing before that. What could this finding mean? Please shed some light. Baby is active.
By Midwife @Tommys on 19 Nov 2019 - 12:28
Hi there. I hope you got the answers you were looking for at your appt last Monday. The sonographer should have been able to answer most of your questions, you should have then been seen by a fetal medicine midwife or an obstetric consultant to discuss a plan of care for the rest of your pregnancy. Please take care, Tommy's Midwife
By Mrs Zubair (not verified) on 21 Oct 2019 - 15:09
I am 9 week pregnant according to my LMP but my Gynae said that baby is showing 7 week of gestational age and she asked me to get an abortion as my baby doesn't have heartbeat... I am really distressed what should I do
By ruhana (not verified) on 24 Oct 2019 - 09:43
Please don't panic.its early to decide. moniter few more weeks with ensuring adequate level of nutrients. vitamin d3 , b12 , folic acid may be vital. hormonal supplementation like hcg, progesterone(oral/vaginal) can assist to great extent. low dose aspirin can help if IUGR suspected. take plenty of rest with posture supporting good blood circulation to uterus. i share this with my personal experience and m not doctor or related to medicine field. talk to your docter and follow advice.
By Sarah (not verified) on 23 Sep 2019 - 18:40
Hi, I have had a very healthy pregnancy. At 30 weeks I was just under 90 per cent and now I am 10 per cent. Had growth scan today and they said for my height its actually 5 per cent. No problem with placenta and will have doppler scan in a week and growth scan in 2. Can I go full term if the baby stays at 5 per cent or will they induce me?
By Vanessa Angban (not verified) on 21 Aug 2019 - 09:50
Am currently 20wks 3 days pregnant. Went for my anomaly scan on monday only to discover that the baby's age was still reading 16wks 2days, no fetal heart beat and no amniotic fluid. I must say the baby's movement was quite inconsistent but felt it hasn't grown to a stage I should get worried. Now am confused, this is my 3rd baby, and He was greatly desired. I feel really sad. But I desire to know whatever happened, because no one is telling me. Am 37 years old
By Sasa (not verified) on 30 Jul 2019 - 04:32
I went to my 28 week appt a little early, 27.3 along my boy was estimated to be 2lbs and height was good. His head was 1 week being and belly 2 weeks behind. I did have a low lying placenta but at that scan it was found to be 1.7 cm from cervix. How concerned do I need to be?
By Bella (not verified) on 4 Jun 2019 - 00:51
Hello , I saw your replies and appreciate that you are giving time to people in need.
I went for scan at 28th week and got to know that my baby's growth is lagging behind by 3 weeks. AC was at 25th week. That time i wasnt feeling movements more than twice in 24 hours but my doctor wasnt worried. When this happened , she asked me to take insulin to control my high sugar levels as i have gestational diabtese. I dont have hypertension. I went for doppler 10 days after the 28th week scan. Out of 10 days , only 2-3 days my sugar levels were in control but i took good diet in those 10 days , loprin and rest at left lateral position. In doppler everything was normal , weight is a lilttle less than 50th percentile but is close to it and doctor said it is normal. But iam not getting the point that how come growth laggs and again started without i had cotrolled my levels? Scan was appropiate or not. I have doubts on it. As i have heared that IUGR cant be reversed. Please help me out. It is getting on my nerves. Baby's movements are good now. It is first one and i concieved with difficulty as iam a pcos patient.
By Israa (not verified) on 28 May 2019 - 17:07
I am seeking an advice regarding the IUGR case?
By Kriti (not verified) on 23 Mar 2019 - 06:57
Hi I am 6 weeks pregnant and conceive with the help of FSH injection. I was scanned at week 5 where only the sac was visible measuring5mm. At 6 week and 4 days doctor said there is abnormal growth and no heartbeat yet and she asked me come back after a week and if there is no improvement and also mentioned this may end in miscarriage . I am so depressed. Is it too early to do a scan or is there any chance that the baby would pick up the normal growth . Please kindly help me
By Sujaselva (not verified) on 30 May 2019 - 08:29
Ts same happened for me Saturday again scan what happened to u
By Elsa (not verified) on 3 Jul 2019 - 06:55
I was 9 weeks when the doctor told me that he couldn’t hear the heart beating! It was very normal and said that was nothing to worry about because it depends on the baby and the fluid you have that they can not hear that early! When i was 12 weeks we could hear for the first time the heart beating!
By Glenn (not verified) on 19 Mar 2019 - 16:50
Hi my son is at 36/4 gestation and is weighing in at only 5lbs 1ozs and is small so its been decided my partner will have a blood test and go back for a scan in two weeks to see if he as grown and make a decision to be induced early... My question is what am i looking at as far as care for him afterwards? How long of a nicu stay? What determines how long he stays in the NICU? These sort of things. Also what is normal afterwards as in how fast he puts on weight etc.very worried perents please help!!!
By Chris (not verified) on 26 Apr 2019 - 18:59
A low birth rate does not mean NICU. My grandson was born last year, induced early due to failure to thrive. He was born 2 wks early, weigh 4lb 10oz. All the tests at the hospital came back good, he never went to NICU, he was released from the hospital healthy after a normal stay. He will be 1 yo in June and is very healthy. His baby sister is due end of July, she is already showing a slow down in her growth and has already been labeled failure to thrive, so I'm expecting she will be induced early as well and she only has one functioning kidney at this point so we are praying, my daughter in law is now under a high risk specialist care. The most important things to remember - You must trust in your Dr's and care team, you must hold strong in knowing that God provides what we need and he does not give us more than we can handle. Prayers and Best wishes to you, your little and your family.
By Lou (not verified) on 10 May 2019 - 12:02
My son was 4 10 at 37 weeks he didn’t go to NICU, he stayed with me in hospital for 5 days while they checked on his blood sugars and ensured we’d learnt how to breastfeed together. He gained weight pretty quickly but he’s still a little small for his age but he’s absolutely fine he needed no extra care other than the blood sugar tests which were just 3 little her prick tests. Good luck and enjoy it! It is worrying but it is extremely exciting times! X
By Joanne (not verified) on 1 Sep 2019 - 03:14
I was told my daughter was over 5lb at 35 weeks pregnant and was induced at 38 weeks, she was 4lb 15 born. She grew rapidly out of the womb and is now 5 nearly 6. She’s absolutely fine and a perfect weight now!
By Katie (not verified) on 27 Sep 2019 - 20:17
At that gestation it's highly unlikely baby will need to stay at hospital longer than any term baby. I've had a 32 weeker who was 3lb and she was in NICU for 4 weeks. He a 38 weeker at 5lb and she was in 1 night. Good luck xx
By Mpume (not verified) on 19 Jan 2019 - 14:20
Hi discovered blood spoting for 22 days and minor back pains then i went to my GP for checkup. I was done scan that showed 5wks 3 days and also done urine test that confirmed pregnancy. Doc says the dropping in blood count shows that baby is not growing well so i must be cleaned due to the blood spoting even now. Very worried and stessed, please help
By Sarah Soothoane (not verified) on 15 Jan 2019 - 12:02
I went to the sonographer and was told that my baby is not growing, I am supposed to be 24 weeks but he is reading around 20 weeks, I am really shuttered and asking if there is anything I can do? the baby was growing well, until week 22 when I started taking the prenatal vitamins from the gynea, and now, my gynea did not take this as emergency on the 3rd, and it was only picked up by the sonargrapher, I have been referred to the specialist but on the waiting list, is this curable? I am really shuttered
By Midwife @Tommys on 16 Jan 2019 - 16:15
If you fee like your questions have not been answered and are worried about fetal movements and growth, then I would advise you to go to your local maternity assessment unit/triage for urgent review and to discuss the sonographers findings with a midwife and obstetric doctor. They are best place to answer your questions as they will have full access to your medical and obstetric history and notes. All the best, Tommy's Midwife
By Mampho (not verified) on 16 May 2019 - 07:02
Same thing happened to me bt I'm not terminating my babies no
By Olu (not verified) on 13 Dec 2018 - 18:34
What can I do ? Though she spotted before but now, her stomach is swelling but no evidence of pregnancy after scanned several times.
By Midwife @Tommys on 14 Dec 2018 - 16:01
If they have scanned her several times then the only other thing they can do it do a blood test to check if she is pregnant. If this shows she is not pregnant then it could be a medical reason why her stomach is swelling so she would need to see a doctor.
By Susan (not verified) on 13 Dec 2018 - 16:56
I went for a routine scan on Tuesday and was told that my baby is small for gestational age. I am being sent for a more in depth scan on the 21st December.
I have high blood pressure (outside of pregnancy) and am taking medication for this, which has been very stable during this pregnancy (averaging around 125/75).
Could the blood pressure issue be the cause of it being small? Thankfully i get extra scans anyway due to the high BP and this was picked up.
I am trying not to worry but we had a miscarriage last year at 12 weeks and I just keep thinking about that.
I know its not long till the 21st, but is there anything I can do in the meanwhile?
I have an anterior placenta but the baby (we decided not to know the gender) has been very active of late, (i know that's a good sign) and is currently in a complete breach position.
Sorry, that's a lot of information.....
By Midwife @Tommys on 14 Dec 2018 - 15:59
Sorry you are experiencing such an anxious time at the moment. It could be due to high blood pressure, however this seems to be well managed so unlikely this would affect your baby's growth. Otherwise it is often difficult to know a reason as to why your baby is small. It is important to look at the pattern of growth rather than an isolated measurement. It is reassuring that they are bringing you back for another scan, it would not be a good idea to scan sooner than this as this would not leave enough time to measure any change in growth. They can also measure the blood flow through the cord to make sure this is sufficient for your baby.
It is great that your baby is moving well, do keep monitoring these movements.
By Carin (not verified) on 16 Jan 2019 - 20:47
Hi Susan - I'm doing research and came across this post. I would love to get some feedback on how you are doing. I am 27 weeks as of today 1/16/19. On December 20th, I was told my baby is small and I need to eat more. I have been eating a lot this entire pregnancy so I had a hard time believing that. We went back for an ultrasound yesterday and am now being told the baby is in the 3rd percentile. The intestines also showed highlighted on the ultrasound and we are being told it could be numerous things. My blood pressure has been up a bit at each appt. We go back tomorrow for another ultrasound to make sure the blood is flowing from the placenta to the baby as it should be. I feel lots of movement too. Can you give me some advice since you went through this a month before me? Thank you! I sure hope everything is good for you now. :)
By Midwife @Tommys on 17 Jan 2019 - 15:00
Hi Carin - Thank you for your message. If you would still like some advice and support regarding your pregnancy please email us at [email protected] or call our pregnancy information line on 08000147800
By Nanu (not verified) on 20 Dec 2019 - 08:09
I also have same situation. 17 week pregnant and my doctor is saying baby growth is less also I have less amniotic fluid. I have already lost one baby and don’t want to loose again. I don’t know what to do. Just praying.
By Taylor (not verified) on 13 Nov 2018 - 07:21
I'm currently 25 weeks I had another ultrasound and baby is still in the 3%ile. Doctor says shes only 3oz. We just got our amniotic fluid test results back and it came back shes missing chromosome 16. She also has cysts on her left kidney. We have never had problems with our other two kids. I go monthly to an ultrasound specialist to watch her kidneys and growth. My doctor says if she doesnt grow I'll probably have her at about 35 weeks.
By Midwife @Tommys on 13 Nov 2018 - 16:23
Hi - Thank you for your message. I'm so sorry to hear you've been having a worrying time with this pregnancy. If we can help or you would like any advice/information/support please contact us 08000147800 or email us on [email protected]
By Fatima (not verified) on 5 Nov 2018 - 17:49
Hi I'm 34+2 days pregnant. When my midwife measured my belly at 31+2 it was 29cm but now even after two weeks it's just 30cm. Midwife recommended a growth scan. What is it for? I'm so scared and stressed it's my first baby. What are the possible reasons y it's nt growing?Baby movements are fine.im suffering from severe pain in my groin area is it a pelvic girdle pain?
By Midwife @Tommys on 8 Nov 2018 - 15:15
Hi Fatima, Thank you for your comment.
It is normal practice that a midwife will refer you for a growth scan if you are measuring small for the gestation of your pregnancy. Try not to be alarmed as you may find that once you have had your scan your baby is growing well. The midwife refers for a scan just so that growth can be accurately checked. There are a number of reasons why a baby's growth can reduce but again this will only be investigated if you are found to have a small baby on scan. Try not to worry unnecessarily until you have your scan. It is very reassuring that your baby is moving well. With regards to the pain in your groin, we would suggest that you call your GP or midwife who will be able to assess you and if this pelvic girdle pain then they can refer you to a women's physiotherapist who will give you exercises so that you can feel more comfortable in your pregnancy. Hope this helps, Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x
By Zaynab (not verified) on 30 Oct 2018 - 21:09
Hi I'm 34+3 and my baby was measured 32cm. Is it normal?
By Midwife @Tommys on 2 Nov 2018 - 13:14
It will depend on the previous measurements and the pattern of the baby's growth. When your midwife measures your bump, it should be plotted on a chart with the other measurements, if sufficient growth is seen then this is fine. If the growth is shown to be slowing then your midwife should refer you for a growth scan. In the meantime if you notice a reduction in baby's movements or have any other concerns then do contact your midwife or maternity unit for a review.
By Julie (not verified) on 5 Sep 2019 - 11:42
Hi am 10 weeks but went for scan was told by by stop growing at 6 weeks and my doctor ask me to come back after one week and have been seeing some blood stain since 5days now should am very worried about my baby
By Scarlett (not verified) on 19 Oct 2018 - 09:39
I'm currently 22 weeks pregnant with baby no 3 and was told yesterday by the consultant at a follow up scan that baby measurements are under the 5th and confirmed growth restriction due to high resistance flow. In addition to this my blood pressure run on average just under 150/100 whilst on medication. Baby no 2 was born at 34 weeks due to pre eclampsia and only weighed 3lbs 15 and wasn't diagnosed as growth restricted until after she was born. I'm really worried this baby doesn't have a very good chance of survival... the doctors have just said "all we can do for now is watch baby"
I'm so scared for her... they've already said she will be early but I'm just wondering if it's likely she will even make it being diagnosed so early?
By Midwife @Tommys on 22 Oct 2018 - 16:30
Dear Scarlett, So sorry to hear this. It must be really worrying. I am afraid I can't tell you if your baby will make it far enough in the pregnancy to survive. However, please rest up as much as you can and if you have any increase in headaches, swelling, or pain please seek urgent medical care. The doctors are correct. If you get past 24 weeks the baby has a higher chance of survival and the further you get the better the chance. But, if you become acutely unwell the baby will have to be delivered to protect you both. Take good care of yourself and best wishes from Tommy's midwives x
By millie (not verified) on 10 Sep 2018 - 21:27
am supposed to be 8weeks pregnant today but my scan report has shown me that am 6weeks 3days pregnant. why is this difference??? is there any hopes of developing this pregnancy?? please advice, so much stressed.
By Midwife @Tommys on 12 Sep 2018 - 14:58
There could be several reasons why your baby's growth is less than your dates. One common reason is that calculating weeks of pregnancy by the 1st day of your last period may not reflect the true length of the pregnancy especially if you have a longer than average menstrual cycle.
The most accurate way to date a pregnancy is by the dating scan which is usually done between 11 & 14 weeks. Scans earlier than this may not be so accurate which may also explain the difference between weeks -the following link has more information for you:-
If the baby is still smaller than expected at the dating scan you may be referred for assessment by a fetal medicine specialist.
I hope that you have been referred to your maternity unit by now and have an booking appointment with your midwife so that you can start your antenatal care
By Rebecca R (not verified) on 7 Sep 2018 - 08:10
Hi I’m now 37+4 and have had 6 episodes of RFM. When I visited the hospital for the 5th episode they done the CTG which showed baby was fine but I had only felt 4 tiny flutters whilst being monitored (I normally have a very active girl). They booked me in for an urgent scan which ended up being booked for 5 days after. However the following day (this was yesterday) I still had RFM and so attended again. They done the scan straight away which showed her growth has now slowed down and she has dropped away from her line and only gained 200g in 2 weeks. I was also feeling poorly (nausea, headache, vision disturbance, sore tummy and lower back ache). They monitored my blood pressure and only once was it high, urine fine and temp fine. The dr mentioned I had fluid on my ankles and basically said I wasn’t feeling well as I’m doing too much but for the last few weeks I have done very little and accepted as much help as has been offered (I also have a 5 yr old and am a single Mam). The mw mentioned they may want to induce early due to slowed growth, continued reduced movements and my symptoms but the dr seemed to brush it all off and just booked me a scan for 39 weeks and said they would decide then. I’m trying not to worry but I am extremely worried about the baby now. Surely reduced growth and RFM are a sign that she isn’t happy even if the blood flow etc are all showing to be fine? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
By Midwife @Tommys on 11 Sep 2018 - 16:31
I'm sorry to hear that you are having such a worrying time-it is understandable given that the baby's growth has slowed and the movements are less. Unfortunately without access to your maternity notes I'm not able to comment on the care you have been given. Perhaps you can discuss with your midwives if you can have the baby monitored with regular CTG's on the maternity Day Assessment unit or similar. You can also ask to see the doctor again before 39 weeks to discuss how worried you are.
Please contact your unit straight away if there are any further episodes of reduced movements or any other concerning symptoms such as headache,blurred vision, bleeding,the waters break, severe abdominal pain , itching or other concerns
By Mel (not verified) on 28 Aug 2018 - 17:51
Hi, I'm 34 weeks pregnant and saw the midwife today and she said the baby is measuring small for his gestational age at 31cm. Measurement was 33cm two weeks ago.
Movements are normal. But I am very worried as I have Relapsing Remitting M.S. and lost my first baby at 12 weeks. My growth scan was due for 11/09/18 but I have had it moved to 03/09/18 but couldn't get an appointment with the obstratrician any sooner than 11/09/18.
Any advice would be appreciated as my midwife said not to worry as the scan was so close but if something is wrong I would rather it be looked at and treated sooner rather than later!?
By Midwife @Tommys on 30 Aug 2018 - 14:53
Hi Mel, Thank you for your comment.
It is understandable that you are concerned after seeing the midwife but please feel reassured, if she was overly concerned then she would of referred you straight up to the maternity unit. Every midwife measuring a pregnant abdomen will slightly vary in length, but if your midwife is suspecting a slight decrease in your baby's growth then she has done the right thing and sent you for a growth scan. If there is anything that needs reviewing on the day of the scan then you will be referred straight away when you are in the hospital.
It is reassuring that your movements are normal so keep an eye on them and if you are worried at all then please call your maternity unit to be checked over. If you don't feel reassured by seeing your midwife then please call your maternity unit for more reassurance. Hope this has helped, take care, Tommy's Midwives x
By Laura (not verified) on 26 Aug 2018 - 16:29
Hi. I had a follow up growth scan at 39 w 4 d, i was initially referred for a growth scan due to increased fundal height. The previous growth scan was normal and estimated fetal weight was around 50th centile, the follow up was just routine. We went for our follow up growth scan on Friday and they obtained measurements for head and femur but couldn’t get an accurate measurement for abdominal circumference due to the way the baby was laid. The midwife sonographer ended up getting a second opinion and they decided on a measurements which ‘looked the best fit’ ... once these measurements were input into the system it brought my estimated fetal weight down to the 12th percentile and the abdominal circumference plotted as tailing off. Due to this the dr was suspecting fetal growth restriction but not enough concern to induce now but to induce at 40 + 7. The umbilical flow test was excellent and fluid measurement normal. Baby movements are normal. Our question/concern is what benefit would induction have when it’s based on a measurement that isn’t accurate and surely the doctor if concerned would monitor me closely or suggest an induction now ? What do you suggest I really don’t want to be induced and Would like to labour spontaneously if I can ... thank you
By Midwife @Tommys on 29 Aug 2018 - 15:43
It would be useful if you could call us (on 0800 0147800) to chat this through with you as there is a lot to this answer and i want you to have as much information as is possible. Also, these web pages are not monitored as frequently as the direct midwife email inbox and phone line are, hence the delay in getting a reply (our apologies). We are here Mon to Fri , 9 am to 5pm and we look forward to hearing from you.
All the best
By Nyasha Ham (not verified) on 24 Aug 2018 - 11:06
Hi. I am desperately looking for information on how to help a 23 week fetus diagnosed of IUGR and excess fluid in the brain. BPD is that of 30 weeks, Abdominal Circumference is 23 weeks and Femur Length is 17 weeks. Please help, even to link me to speiclaists
By Midwife @Tommys on 24 Aug 2018 - 13:16
I am so sorry to hear about this incredibly difficult time, I think this is better discussed via email so we can have a few more details as to where you are based and what care you are receiving at the moment. If you email us [email protected], we are here Monday to Friday 9-5pm and we can speak in more detail.
By Lisa (not verified) on 31 Aug 2018 - 01:25
When I was pregnant with my first my son had a fluid pocket in his brain they found it around the 25th week. I was also induced due to IUGR at 38 weeks. He's now super healthy and no growth problems whatsoever. The fluid pocket issue resolved itself.
By Krystal (not verified) on 8 Aug 2018 - 17:59
Hi, my baby measured spot on at 13 weeks. However during the 16+ 3 I was told I had low papa. Anyway to make matters more scary they said I was a 1/42 for downs etc. We cried and accepted we needed to know what was to expect. We got the all clear and told we have a son. . Every two weeks we’ve been in for a scan he’s wavered from his last line of means. They’ve grown the amino and have found no Chromosomal problems. You just might have a small baby.
Now at 25+ 5 I’ve been told I got to wait till Monday for a future scan as my son has a an inflamed bowel and is diverting his blood to his head and heart in order to survive. His plancenta is not working as well as it could. He’s on the 3rd centile now. I’m worried. He is struggling but they won’t get me in till Monday. Monday I get another scan and get to meet the nicu team so they can discuss what it’s like to care for such a small baby. . Hopefully I get admitted and they think about giving him a chance to live and get out. He’s told me Friday next week when I’m 27 weeks. I don’t want to take the chance. I wish it was my choice. He needs help now. I’m hoping he makes it. I’ve been told to prepare that he might have passed by the time I see them on Monday. My son is a fighter. He’s still kicking away. He is very small all round. He’s our rainbow baby as we lost our last at 12 weeks in jan. Any advise.