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How does a baby stop growing in the womb?

By Andrea Rodrigo B.Sc., M.Sc. (embryologist).
Last Update: 11/02/2017

When a baby stops growing inside the womb before birth, we refer to this situation as intrauterine growth restriction or IUGR. However, not all small fetuses have IUGR—they are just smaller than normal.

In this situation, the baby is smaller than normal during pregnancy. In other words, he or she is not growing at the normal rate and subsequently will have low birth at birth.

The causes behind IUGR are varied, but most commonly it is due to a problem in the placenta. Also, genetic disorders, birth defects, infections in the mother, high blood pressure, smoking or drinking too much, drug abuse, certain prescribed medicines, etc. can lead to IUGR.

 Andrea Rodrigo
Andrea Rodrigo
B.Sc., M.Sc.
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia along with the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Postgraduate course in Medical Genetics.
Embryologist. Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia along with the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Postgraduate course in Medical Genetics.