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What could cause small baby, small placenta, intrauterine growth retardation?

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
What could cause a low birth weight baby, small placenta, and intrauterine growth retardation?

My baby was unexpectedly low birth weight (5 lbs), the placenta was quite small (half the normal weight) and showed other abnormalities (abnormal shape, color, sheen), and the doctors later said there was intrauterine growth retardation.

Interestingly enough, we had mutliple ultrasounds because we had some soft markers for other problems that turned out to be false. None of the ultrasound measurements or manual abdominal measurements (other than one that was on the low side) were off or abnormal. I measured small but always within the normal range.

In addition to the small size and small placenta, the baby had a lot of heavy meconium, low Apgars, a heart murmur, and had trouble regulating body temperature and blood sugar.

It was a planned pregnancy, I had good pre-natal care, I ate well, I've never smoked. I was not on birth control of any kind for years before pregnancy. I did not take any medications. I did not drink any alcohol. I took prenatal vitamins.

We have no known genetic conditions in either family. Cousins of my baby have all been above 6 lbs, most are in the 7 to 9 lb range.

My baby was not early (was full term) but did show signs of post-term (wrinkled skin, etc).

Any ideas for causes? Anyone else been through something similar?

Also, I want to add that my child now as a toddler has hypotonia (low muscle tone), significant speech delay, mild motor delay, and has had poor growth overall (low on the growth charts, less than 5th percentile), as well as multiple food allergies and sensory issues. I have always had terrible periods, lots of intense cramping, pain, and heavy bleeding.

Any ideas?
post #2 of 40
I have no clue. What has the pedi said?

I just want to offer hugs I am so sorry your going through this, and I pray for you and your family!
post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovemy3babies View Post
I have no clue. What has the pedi said?

I just want to offer hugs I am so sorry your going through this, and I pray for you and your family!
Thanks.

We've been working with the pediatrician, and have been referred to several specialists...geneticists, developmental pediatricians, allergists, genetic counselors, etc. So far lots of info and a few ideas, but nothing conclusive.
post #4 of 40
No ideas, but just wanted to send support your way. It sounds like you have a lot to deal with right now! It may sound nuts, but I've always tried to meditate on issues with my babes. Almost sit and be quiet and peaceful and ask them to help you understand. I truly believe that even the littlest souls can communicate quite clearly if we find a way to hear them. Trust your gut, and continue to seek information from professionals until you are completely confident that you have the answers you need/want.

Ds had issues with rapid breathing after he was born (also had an IUGR dx late in preg). It was so incredibly taxing, but all along I just knew that he was fine and he did grow out of it. However, I went all over consulting with specialists to leave no stone unturned.

Good luck with your journey, and I hope you are enjoying your little bundle!
post #5 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by leafwood View Post
However, I went all over consulting with specialists to leave no stone unturned.

Good luck with your journey, and I hope you are enjoying your little bundle!
Thank you so much. That is how I feel...leave no stone unturned. I don't want the answer to out there, but unfound because I didn't look hard enough.
post #6 of 40
We've been through something similar.

My pregnancy was considered normal and my measurements were fine. I ate well and avoided everything including tylenol. I remember that ds's movements didn't feel as frequent or as strong as with my first, but when I mentioned it to the OB's they said I was just busy with a toddler this time around and everything looked great.

My ds was full term but was 5 pounds at birth and did appear post term. I don't know about the placenta. He had aspirated meconium, he came out unexpectedly breech, he was jaundiced and he wasn't breathing on his own for the first few hours. Someone has mentioned a benign heart murmur in the past, but most people don't pick it up (and I have one myself). He wasn't regulating his body functions for the first few days after birth and was in the NICU for a week. It was only because his bloodwork was off that an ultrasound was done to check for bleeding on his brain which he had (thanks, I will always believe, to the OB spazzing out in the delivery room and trying to manually dislodge ds's head), but we also found through the ultrasound that ds has a congenital birth defect in which a white matter section of his brain (the corpus callosum) did not form. Two MRI's have confirmed this as well.

He's three now, he's holding pretty steady on the 3th-5th percentile for height and weight. He usually has except for when he was about seven months old and had RSV and dropped off the chart completely. He has global delays however he's making progress in a typical developmental pattern, just on his own timeline. He has a few other physical quirks that are not expected to give him any trouble or require correction. He has hypotonia and also has strabismus and we treat him as though he has sensory issues...however the only food issue we've dealt with is trouble digesting milk (like my Dh and my oldest ds).

All this to say, many of the things we've both experienced with our ds's have been experienced with other kids and there are a wide variety of causes, both known and unknown. Even though we have a dx, we still don't know why it happened.

My prayers to you and your family as you look for answers. I think a dev ped is a good place to start, and I would consider a neurologist as well.
post #7 of 40
There are so so many genetic abnormalities, it's hard to know where to even start but I can say that ime, lots of kids with different syndromes start out with IUGR and placental issues. Start out meaning, that's just something observed early on before other delays become apparent.

Good luck finding what you're looking for.
post #8 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by popsicle sticks View Post
We've been through something similar.

My pregnancy was considered normal and my measurements were fine. I ate well and avoided everything including tylenol. I remember that ds's movements didn't feel as frequent or as strong as with my first, but when I mentioned it to the OB's they said I was just busy with a toddler this time around and everything looked great.

My ds was full term but was 5 pounds at birth and did appear post term. I don't know about the placenta. He had aspirated meconium, he came out unexpectedly breech, he was jaundiced and he wasn't breathing on his own for the first few hours. Someone has mentioned a benign heart murmur in the past, but most people don't pick it up (and I have one myself). He wasn't regulating his body functions for the first few days after birth and was in the NICU for a week. It was only because his bloodwork was off that an ultrasound was done to check for bleeding on his brain which he had (thanks, I will always believe, to the OB spazzing out in the delivery room and trying to manually dislodge ds's head), but we also found through the ultrasound that ds has a congenital birth defect in which a white matter section of his brain (the corpus callosum) did not form. Two MRI's have confirmed this as well.

He's three now, he's holding pretty steady on the 3th-5th percentile for height and weight. He usually has except for when he was about seven months old and had RSV and dropped off the chart completely. He has global delays however he's making progress in a typical developmental pattern, just on his own timeline. He has a few other physical quirks that are not expected to give him any trouble or require correction. He has hypotonia and also has strabismus and we treat him as though he has sensory issues...however the only food issue we've dealt with is trouble digesting milk (like my Dh and my oldest ds).

All this to say, many of the things we've both experienced with our ds's have been experienced with other kids and there are a wide variety of causes, both known and unknown. Even though we have a dx, we still don't know why it happened.

My prayers to you and your family as you look for answers. I think a dev ped is a good place to start, and I would consider a neurologist as well.
Wow. Whoa. This all sounds so familar, on multiple (nearly all) accounts. We've been through almost all of this, too.
post #9 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Changed View Post
There are so so many genetic abnormalities, it's hard to know where to even start but I can say that ime, lots of kids with different syndromes start out with IUGR and placental issues. Start out meaning, that's just something observed early on before other delays become apparent.

Good luck finding what you're looking for.
Thanks.

I agree...my gut instinct tells me it is something genetic, not necessarily something from our genese, but a mutation of the genes. My LO has at least one genetic anomaly, but genetic testing ruled out the major genetic issues.
post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by popsicle sticks View Post
My pregnancy was considered normal and my measurements were fine. I ate well and avoided everything including tylenol. I remember that ds's movements didn't feel as frequent or as strong as with my first.
Me, too.
post #11 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by popsicle sticks View Post
My ds was full term but was 5 pounds at birth and did appear post term.
Yes! Us, too. My baby was full term, weighed 5 lbs, and also had post term signs...skin sloughing, I believe, some wrinking, and some other signs.

Did anyone ever explain why a baby could be so small and term, but appear post term? I don't think we got an explanation on that. I wonder if it's because the placenta wasn't doing it's job?
post #12 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by popsicle sticks View Post
He had aspirated meconium, he came out unexpectedly breech, he was jaundiced and he wasn't breathing on his own for the first few hours. Someone has mentioned a benign heart murmur in the past, but most people don't pick it up (and I have one myself). He wasn't regulating his body functions for the first few days after birth and was in the NICU for a week.
Yes, again. This all happened to us, as well, except my baby didn't aspirate the meconium. Meconium was present...it was heavy, dark, and thick.

There was a heart murmur (later confirmed to be benign). My baby had trouble regulating body functions (temperature and blood sugars mostly). Feeding was difficult.

We were in the NICU for about a week, as well. We had slight jaundice on...let's see...the second or third day, but it went away.

My baby was also malpositioned. Not breech but op...head down, face up, and turned to the side. We ended up with an emergency c-section after hours of agonizing back labor that did not progress.
post #13 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by popsicle sticks View Post
he's holding pretty steady on the 3th-5th percentile for height and weight. He usually has except for when he was about seven months old and had RSV and dropped off the chart completely. He has global delays however he's making progress in a typical developmental pattern, just on his own timeline. He has a few other physical quirks that are not expected to give him any trouble or require correction. He has hypotonia and also has strabismus and we treat him as though he has sensory issues...however the only food issue we've dealt with is trouble digesting milk (like my Dh and my oldest ds).
Wow. This is uncanny. My LO (now a toddler) has also always been below the 5th percentile, a few times off the charts completely.

We also have global delays, atypical development. Progress has been made...all milestones have been met eventually...just delayed...like you said on their own timeline.

My LO also has hypotonia (which contributes to the motor delays and speech delay).

And my LO also has major sensory issues and trouble digesting milk products. (other food allergies, as well).
post #14 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by popsicle sticks View Post
I think a dev ped is a good place to start, and I would consider a neurologist as well.
Thank you. We've seen a dev ped, and that was helpful (also a geneticist). Next I think we'll look into a neurologist.



Good luck to you.
post #15 of 40
as a mama of 2 kiddos with "syndromes" (ectodermal displaysia and familial adenopous polyposis) one of whom also has cerebral palsy...I understand. It's scary and hard, and you just don't know what to expect.

There are a couple things I've learned out of this...special kids are more empathetic and caring than many other kids, they've been through the gamit and understand, also they are all perfect regardless of their physical circumstances.

Things will work out in the end, don't forget to let your kiddo be a kid. The "experts" often try to push us into too much "therapy" and kids dont' have time for fun.
post #16 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post

My LO also has hypotonia (which contributes to the motor delays and speech delay).

And my LO also has major sensory issues and trouble digesting milk products. (other food allergies, as well).
For us, ds's hypotonia is all over and that includes his digestive tract. Milk constipates him very badly...however milk issues definately run in the family so it's hard to say one way or the other. Rice used to have a similar effect on ds.

My ds does a few interesting self stim or sensory processing behaviors too which make him appear to have sensory issues, but it would be more accurate to say it's a byproduct of his dx in our case. We do a sensory diet with him and that has meant a ton as far as his development!
post #17 of 40
"There are so so many genetic abnormalities, it's hard to know where to even start but I can say that ime, lots of kids with different syndromes start out with IUGR and placental issues. Start out meaning, that's just something observed early on before other delays become apparent."

I'd have to agree that this is most likely. Also, obviously, if the placenta is not functioning correctly, you're more likely to see signs of IUGR and a baby who might look post-dates but isn't really (low fluid can influence that, too, and a poorly functioning placenta can cause low fluid). It goes both ways--a baby who isn't developing properly won't send the proper signs to the placenta and a placenta that isn't developing properly won't be able to properly nourish the growing baby. It can be very difficult even for specialists to know which came first sometimes.

mrsfru
post #18 of 40
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much for sharing all your experiences. It's been very helpful.
post #19 of 40
nak

There is the possibility that ultrasounds are to blame.

Here are some links:
http://www.sarahjbuckley.com/article...ound-scans.htm
Quote:
Studies on humans exposed to ultrasound have shown that possible adverse effects include premature ovulation,24 preterm labour or miscarriage,15 25 low birth weight,26 27 poorer condition at birth,28 29 perinatal death,28-30 dyslexia,31 delayed speech development,32 and less right-handedness.33-36 Non right-handedness is, in other circumstances, seen as a marker of damage to the developing brain.35 37 One Australian study showed that babies exposed to 5 or more doppler ultrasounds were 30% more likely to develop intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR)- a condition that ultrasound is often used to detect.26
http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articl...p?q=ultrasound

http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articl...oundwagner.asp
Quote:
The second landmark paper, also a randomized controlled trial, looked at the safety of repeated prenatal ultrasound imaging. While the original purpose of the trial was hopefully to demonstrate the safety of repeated scanning, the results were the opposite. From 2,834 pregnant women, 1,415 received ultrasound imaging at 18, 24, 28, 34 and 38 weeks gestation (intensive group) while the other 1,419 received single ultrasound imaging at 18 weeks (regular group). The only difference between the two groups was significantly higher (one-third more) intrauterine growth retardation in the intensive group. This important and serious finding prompted the authors to state: "It would seem prudent to limit ultrasound examinations of the fetus to those cases in which the information is likely to be of clinical importance." Ironically, it is now likely that ultrasound may lead to the very condition, IUGR, that it has for so long claimed to be effective in detecting.
post #20 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MotherDuck View Post
Thank you. I am familar with this topic. I had read up on ultrasounds before I decided to have the first ultrasound. I read a lot of articles and asked a lot of questions of my doctor, midwife, doula, the geneticist, and the perinatologist. I don't ultrasounds were the cause or contributed, in my case, to the intrauterine growth retardation, mainly because there were other issues present at birth that pointed to something else.

But it is good to be aware of the issues involved with ultrasounds. For what it's worth (I know it's anecdotal) I know several mothers who had more ultrasounds than I did and their babies were healthy, term, and good sizes. And I believe of all the women I know (many) who had a baby, they all had on average 1 to 2 ultrasounds and they didn't experience any of the problems that we did.
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