Intrauterine Growth Restriction Awareness Day Date in the current year: March 13, 2024

Intrauterine Growth Restriction Awareness Day Intrauterine Growth Restriction Awareness Day, also known as IUGR Awareness Day, is observed annually on March 13. It was created to raise awareness of a little-known medical condition which affects around 3% of pregnancies.

Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), also known as fetal growth restriction, is characterized by poor growth in unborn babies. Fetuses affected by IUGR weigh less than normal for their gestational age, as well as have abnormal ponderal index (relationship between mass and height), a lack of subcutaneous fat, and body disproportion.

There are two types of IUGR: asymmetrical and symmetrical. Asymmetrical IUGR is more common, accounting for up to 80% of all cases. It occurs during the third trimester and is caused by placental insufficiency. Symmetrical (global) growth restriction affects the fetus from an early strange of pregnancy and results in slow development throughout the pregnancy. Babies affected by asymmetrical IUGR has a thin and small body but a normal head circumference, whereas babies affected by symmetrical IUGR have a head circumference proportional to the rest of the body.

There are many various factors that can cause IUGR. They can be divided into four major groups: maternal (substance use during pregnancy, gestational diabetes, anemia, malnutrition, etc.), uteroplacental (placental insufficiency, preeclampsia, multiple pregnancy), fetal (infections, chromosomal or congenital abnormalities), and genetic. As you can see, some of these risk factors are easily preventable, while others are not.

IUGR is one of the leading causes of stillbirth and neonatal deaths. Infants that are born small for gestational age due to IUGR and do not display adequate compensatory growth within the first six months of life are at an increased risk of cognitive impairments. Long-term disorders associated with IUGR include metabolic disorders, kidney problems, and impaired bone remodeling.

There is no specific treatment for intrauterine growth restriction although medications that improve blood flow to the placenta may help in certain cases. To prevent complications and stillbirth, women whose fetus has been diagnosed with IUGR are monitored closely; sometimes the baby has to be delivered early to ensure the best outcome.

IUGR Awareness Day was created to bring intrauterine growth restriction to light for more future parents and the general public. You can observe it by learning more about IUGR and sharing the facts you’ve learned with others, donating to a children’s hospital or a charity that helps pregnant women in need, and spreading the word on social media with the hashtag #IUGRAwerenessDay. If you’ve been affected by the condition, consider sharing your story to raise awareness and show mothers whose fetuses have been diagnosed with IUGR that they are not alone.

IUGR Awareness Day should not be confused with World SIUGR Awareness Day, which is observed in December. SIUGR (selective intrauterine growth restriction) is a condition that affects one of the twins in the womb due to an unequal share of the placenta; it is a form of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS).

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