Do you see many cases of women with a previous small baby?
Babies whose birth-weight is in the lowest 10% of the population are called “small”. However, most of these babies are absolutely healthy: they grew appropriately during the pregnancy but were always destined to weigh 6 pounds rather than 10 pounds. However, a minority of small babies are “growth-restricted” which means their growth is being affected by an abnormal placenta or some other problem – this is a more serious problem. Therefore, approximately 1-in-10 couples will have had a “small” baby in an earlier pregnancy but the rate of previous “fetal growth restriction” is thankfully much less.
Am I at increased risk in my current pregnancy?
Yes. For the majority of babies who are small and healthy (called “constitutionally-small”) this often recurs in siblings. The main risk is for couples whose previous baby was “growth-restricted”, especially if the growth problem was severe enough to necessitate early delivery. The most common cause for this is a placenta which is not 100% effective and this condition can recur in future pregnancies.
What additional treatment do you recommend in this pregnancy?
The most important aspect in caring for women whose previous baby was small is regular ultrasound assessments of fetal growth. Aspirin therapy may also be beneficial for some women. The team at SHORE FOR WOMEN is extremely experienced in fetal growth ultrasounds and the management of fetal growth problems.