small baby at an ultra sound scan. or small for dates baby born full term. Today we look at how can you have a small baby and what does it mean for their future.
In the first instance a first baby scan gives the sonographer a date baby will roughly be born at. It isn’t at this scan that it goes into detail how much baby weighs. Its because the first scan is done around 12 weeks of pregnancy. A small baby will be detected at this first scan because its the confirmation how far along you are. Also called a dating scan.
Small baby at second ultra sound scan
when a mum to be goes for a second or subsequent ultra sound scans. The sonographer takes measurements. Its here that they notice a small for dates baby or what’s called growth restricted. it may be for a number of reasons. Not much water around the baby. Smoking risks which stops the placenta working properly. Cord issues etc. A small baby would be less than 5lb in weight at birth.
However other more complicated factors can determine a small for dates baby. involving infections, placenta nutrition flow problems as a fetus starts to get bigger. Plus other issues of drug effects on the mother and also substance abuse.
small baby on scan pictures what next
Next the sonographer will refer any findings of a small baby to the consultant. depending on the cause determines what the next step will be. smoking ? stop smoking. placenta not working properly you may have weekly scans and be delivered early if baby stops growing altogether. This includes delivering of a premature baby.
Do nothing, and wait. sometimes a mum will just have smaller babies. Babies can also catch up and have a growth spurt towards the end of pregnancy.
Giving birth to a small for dates baby that’s gone full term
If a small baby goes to full term in pregnancy. When a mum to be has no complications during a normal vaginal delivery. what’s next for the small baby ? During the aftercare of delivery the placenta is always examined. Its to make sure nothing as been left inside the womb that could cause an infection. It also could reveal why baby was small to dates as it can now have a closer inspection. All midwives do this as part of the midwifery practise so its nothing to worry about.
Will a small for dates baby go into special care at birth?
There are certain health conditions that will determine if a small for dates baby goes into special care. The most urgent cases are a very premature birth. an urgent c section due to baby’s health being compromised. Next a baby suffering from substance abuse withdrawal symptoms. Although the baby didn’t take drugs. What ever the mother did passes through the placenta. Therefore making a baby more prone to being addicted at birth.
long term care for a small baby
When a premature baby is born at less than 5lb they may have no serious health issues as the grow up. when they first go home the health visitor will check to make sure they are gaining weight nicely. its also common for a baby to not grow much in a month then at the end of the moth put lots of weight on on a regular basis.
If this is normal for this particular child then no other action will be needed. Sometimes babies have to swap milk formula to help them gain weight. Other babies may also have a lactose intolerance so will need an alternative prescription of milk. All this will be written down in your baby’s health record book to refer too each health visitor visit. If at all worried ask your doctor for more advice.