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What Causes Fetal Growth Restriction?

Fetal growth restriction is most often caused by a problem with transport of nutrients and oxygen from the mother’s blood to the baby, via the placenta. Inadequate blood flow to the placenta in the uterine arteries is the underlying abnormality in many cases. This is called utero-placental insufficiency.

Occasionally fetal growth restriction is caused by other problems including structural problems (the baby’s organs don’t develop properly), aneuploidy (the baby has an abnormal number of chromosomes), virus infections from the mother that cross the placenta and medical problems which the mother suffers from.

At the moment pregnancies affected by fetal growth restriction are monitored carefully by ultrasound scan if the condition is detected, but as yet there is no treatment to help the babies grow.