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Fetal Growth Deviations

What are Growth Deviations?

At birth, some children may be small or large in relation to what is normal. Such growth differences are assessed in relation to the expected size based on how long the pregnancy has lasted. When a child is small relative to the gestational age (SGA), it has a weight that is less than the 10th percentile at a given age. The 10th percentile means the 10% of children with the lowest weight. Another way is to indicate weight deviation in the form of standard deviations or percentages. A weight deviation of -2 SD corresponds to -22% in estimated weight compared to expected weight in relation to the length of pregnancy.

Fetal Growth Deviations

Large for gestational age (LGA) is defined as weight above the 90th percentile at a given age. This means 10% of the heaviest children. Alternatively estimated weight more than + 2 SD, which corresponds to more than + 22% at a given pregnancy length. Growth inhibition is defined as weight below the 10th percentile or weight difference more than - 22% in a fetus, where growth is inhibited due to illness. This is a subgroup for SGA. Thus, a child can be SGA for genetic reasons without being inhibited by growth.

Divergent growth will in some cases be detected by the mother herself as the stomach grows less or more than expected. The conditions are usually found on maternal care checks by the midwife / doctor discovering a deviating symphysus fundus dimension, which is an external measure of the uterus and thus the growth of the fetus. The Symphys-fundus measure is the distance from the pubic bone to the upper border of the uterus.


Poorly controlled diabetes in the mother can give birth to large children. In SGA children, sometimes the mother's own birth weight and body length are low. Often, the child may also have siblings who were small when they were born.

If the mother is ill during pregnancy, the risk of having a low birth weight increases. For more information about pregnancy and maternity fashion, please see BESTAAH.COM maternity summer dresses. Disorders in the function of the placenta, pregnancy poisoning, twins, drug abuse or eating disorders in the mother can also result in the baby being born becoming smaller than expected.

There may also be other reasons why the pregnant belly grows abnormally. Too much amniotic fluid, too little amniotic fluid and multi-child births will all give different symphysia / fundus dimensions. Ultrasound examination with weight estimation of the fetus provides a more secure diagnosis.

Too much amniotic fluid may be due to malformations in the child, such as narrowing of the esophagus, which means that the fetus does not swallow amniotic fluid, but often there is no clear cause. Too little amniotic fluid may also be due to malformations, especially of the urinary tract. It may also be due to leakage of amniotic fluid. Multiple pregnancies often lead to divergent size of the uterus, and one or both of the children may have a growth disorder.

How is the condition diagnosed?

All forms of growth anomalies are identified with the greatest certainty by ultrasound examination. The most common reasons why pregnant women are sent for an ultrasound examination is that the midwife / doctor detects a deviating SF measure.

In case of abnormal growth of the fetus, the pregnant woman is referred to the special maternity / maternity ward for further monitoring. Depending on what is found during the examinations, further control of the pregnancy and fetal growth will be a collaboration between the hospital and maternal care.

Toxoplasmosis during pregnancy

The toxoplasmic parasite is found everywhere in nature, both in humans and animals. It is more common in warm, humid climates - more common in southern than in northern Sweden and even more common in southern Europe, especially in France, Italy and Spain. The toxoplasma parasite infects from animals to humans, but not between humans. The main host for the parasite is the cat, especially young cats. Infection with this parasite often has a mild course or is not detected at all.

In a Swedish study, it was found that 14% of pregnant women in Stockholm and 25% of pregnant women in Skåne had infection with toxoplasmosis even before pregnancy. It is if the woman gets toxoplasma infection for the first time during pregnancy that there is a risk of the child being infected. A Danish study found that about 3 out of 10,000 women received toxoplasmosis during pregnancy.

With the help of a blood test you can see if you have had a toxoplasma infection. If the pregnant woman has had toxoplasmosis before, the fetus is protected against the disease. If the pregnant woman has not been infected with this parasite, it is important that she avoids sources of infection:

  • Wash your hands after contact with soil, sand and cats.
  • Avoid changing sand in the litter box.
  • Do not eat raw or pink meat; above all, not pork or lamb but also avoid beef.
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables carefully.

However, it is difficult to completely protect against toxoplasma during pregnancy. In the case of suspected infection in the mother, infection with toxoplasmosis can be detected by a blood test 2-3 weeks after the infection. Infection of the fetus can be detected by amniotic fluid test. Toxoplasma infection can be treated with drugs. Medicines can be given both to the pregnant woman and to the child during the first year of life.



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