Treatments for intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) strive to optimize the baby’s health by slow the progress of the condition or minimize its effects as it cannot be reversed. Prior to prescribing a strategy, the doctor takes into account the woman’s overall health and medical history; the state of the pregnancy; and extent and outlook for the condition; the mother’s ability to tolerate treatment, and her preferences.
A part of the treatment options for IUGR involve managing the condition through careful, regular monitoring and testing. Some of the steps the doctor may take include:
- tracking the how many times and how often the fetus kicks and moves
- non-stress tests of the fetus’ heart rate
- regular ultrasounds to follow the fetus’ growth
- combining the results of non-stress tests and ultrasounds into a biophysical profile
- measuring blood flow with Doppler flow studies
Much of the treatments for intrauterine growth restriction focus on the mother’s diet, physical activity. In some cases, increasing the mother’s nutrition helps contribute to her weight gain leading to growth of the fetus. Bedrest may be recommended to help improve blood circulation to the fetus. If the condition threatens the fetus’ life, the only one of the treatment options for IUGR remaining is an early delivery. A premature baby will need to be treated for complications in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.
Parents should be optimistic as treatments for IUGR continue advancing. By avoiding unnecessary risk factors, getting an early diagnosis and following doctors orders, mothers can help create the best possible outcome for their baby.