Her Placenta Was Not Sufficient to Provide the Nutrients to the Baby and Here’s What Happened
For a long time, Stephanie Banman and her husband, Tyler, tried to get pregnant. Having suffered two miscarriages along the way, they were beyond thrilled after finding out they were expecting a girl. About eighteen weeks into the pregnancy, doctors informed Stephanie that their baby girl’s rate of growth was not as expected. She was diagnosed with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).
The development of her placenta was not sufficient to provide the nutrients her daughter Hailey needed to grow. The diagnosis made Stephanie feel like she was not good enough and had failed as a mother to her unborn daughter. For her, it was a very stressful and trying time.
Stephanie and Tyler had to travel four hours from their home for the mandatory weekly ultrasounds after that. And the doctor concluded every single appointment with sobering words of caution on their daughter’s slim chances of survival. As painful as hearing the disheartening news over and over again was, this expectant mother kept her hopes alive. And because she could feel Hailey moving in her, Stephanie somehow knew her daughter would be okay.
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Stephanie was admitted to the hospital for observation twenty-seven weeks into the pregnancy. In addition to lacking the fluid that usually surrounds the baby, her blood pressure was also high.
Unfortunately, Stephanie’s considerably high blood pressure negatively affected the well-being of her daughter Hailey. Because she had lost a lot of fluid in her uterus, Hailey had to come out. As such, Stephanie had an emergency C-section, albeit only after a weekend of close monitoring.
While no one expected her to survive, Little Hailey was delivered successfully, albeit prematurely, which was a miracle in its own right. Hailey’s birthday came thirteen weeks before her due date, as a result of which she weighed one pound, two ounces. Doctors then took this little miracle to the NICU where she is under close observation.
Hailey’s lungs were yet to develop fully by the time she was born. As such, her oxygen requirements are slightly higher when compared to a normal thirty-eight-week baby. Even though progress is slow, this little girl continues to improve and grow. From her first 524 grams (1 lb. 2 oz.) at birth, Hailey now weighs 1505 grams (3.3 lbs.). Stephanie says they are currently working on oral feeding seeing as Hailey is tube fed at the moment.
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) occurs in approximately 2.5-3 percent of all pregnancies. IUGR is when a fetus weighs below the 10th percentile for that particular gestational age. Smaller than normal babies during the second half of pregnancies are usually diagnosed with this condition.
Genetic factors determine about 40% of a baby’s weight at birth, meaning some can be constitutionally small. Conditions such as chromosomal abnormalities and heart defects can limit the growth of a fetus. Unhealthy placenta or its impaired blood supply can also cause IUGR. Smoking and abuse of alcohol or drugs by expectant mothers can sometimes result in unhealthy fetal development, hence IUGR.
Contrary to widespread belief, carrying small is not a sign or symptom of IUGR. As a matter of fact, visible signs of unhealthy fetal development rarely exist. Measuring your fundal height is the only way to ascertain whether or not your child has IUGR.
The best mode of prevention is eliminating or controlling risk factors that can potentially inhibit your baby’s chances of healthy growth. Such measures include the management of pregnancy complications and chronic conditions under the guidance of a qualified practitioner. Refrain from smoking and taking alcohol or recreational drugs, all of which often contribute to poor fetal growth. Balanced diets and prenatal care can also help to prevent IUGR.
According to Stephanie, as difficult as it might be, holding on to the good days makes the bad ones easier to handle. Hailey is expected to remain in the NICU until her October 12th due date at the earliest. Evidently, taking extra care during pregnancy is important not only for the expectant mother but also for the unborn baby.