Emily was born at 28 weeks, weighing one pound eight ounces. Today, Emily is 10 months old (seven months adjusted), and weighs 14 pounds, 9.7 ounces.
Emily fought for her life during her 67-day stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Today, she fights to reach developmental milestones and feeding thresholds. I am proud of her each and every day, and am blessed to be her mom.
Emily was born very early. She was also diagnosed with Intrauterine Growth Restriction, more commonly referred to as IUGR, and Small for Gestational Age, or SGA. In honor of World Prematurity Day, I would like to share a few key facts about IUGR.
KEY FACTS ABOUT IUGR
- IUGR occurs when there is reduced fetal physical growth during gestation.
- The most common definition used for IUGR is fetal weight below the 10th percentile for gestational age, meaning that the fetus weighs less than 90 percent of all fetuses that age.
- Many IUGR babies are also considered to be SGA.
- It has been cited that IUGR has a prevalence of 10 percent for all pregnancies.
- IUGR pregnancies are often complicated by a high rate of antepartum and intrapartum fetal distress and the need for cesarean delivery.
- Most IUGR babies are born prematurely and require extended NICU stays.
- The majority of IUGR babies have underdeveloped lungs or poor pulmonary function.
- IUGR babies often require supplemental oxygen dependency, or other breathing assistance, and enteral and parenteral nutrition.
- Many IUGR babies endure long-term complications, including gastrointestinal reflux, feeding disorders, developmental delays, neurological impairments, learning disabilities, and eye problems, such as Retinopathy of Prematurity;
- IUGR may be caused by insufficiency of the placenta, chromosomal or other congenital abnormalities, high blood pressure, infections of the mother and the fetus, malnutrition, smoking, drugs, or alcohol.
- Oftentimes, the cause of IUGR is unknown.
- Having multiples may increase the chance that a mother will develop IUGR.
CALL FOR ACTION
In order to promote awareness of World Prematurity Day, I encourage you to comment on this blog post. Who are you honoring today? Are you doing anything special to observe World Prematurity Day?