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Why is my fetus underweight?

Answered by: Dr. B.S. Baliga
Senior Consultant, Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics
Sagar Apollo Hospital
Bangalore

Q. I had a miscarriage just after the first month of my pregnancy and the reason cited by my doctor was genetic abnormality in the fetus. Now I am 33 weeks pregnant. The recent sonography report during the 32nd week says that the baby is underweight and corresponds to 30 weeks of pregnancy. The baby's weight is 1.5 kg instead of 2 kg. Everything is alright with me. The doctor couldn't detect any problems with my health. I am 5.4 tall and 70.5 kgs at present (I weighed 58 kgs before getting pregnant). I have been taking Triplecal, Hb FastZ and Pro PL. Now I have been prescribed one sachet of Arginine Granules and one capsule of Megamost every day in addition. My first concern is to know why the baby is underweight? Could it be possible due to mother's poor mental frame of mind? Would the baby make up for it in the remaining period of pregnancy? Secondly, I am quite apprehensive about consuming so many medicines. What should I do? I have milk, fruits, salads - in short, a nutritious diet.

A.  Your doctor would have gone through your dietary history in detail, before prescribing any tablets or protein supplements. There are numerous causes for baby being underweight. However, under proper supervision, and if the cause is treated (like poor diet due to mental strain), the fetus can pick up weight. Common causes for baby being underweight is poor nutrition of mother, pregnancy induced hypertension, and other causes resulting in placental insufficiency. Fetal causes usually result in a small baby detected at an earlier period. Most important is to have frequent fetal monitoring of its well being, and to have a detailed anomaly scan done by an experienced sonologist to rule out any anomalies in the baby.

A.  Your doctor would have gone through your dietary history in detail, before prescribing any tablets or protein supplements. There are numerous causes for baby being underweight. However, under proper supervision, and if the cause is treated (like poor diet due to mental strain), the fetus can pick up weight. Common causes for baby being underweight is poor nutrition of mother, pregnancy induced hypertension, and other causes resulting in placental insufficiency. Fetal causes usually result in a small baby detected at an earlier period. Most important is to have frequent fetal monitoring of its well being, and to have a detailed anomaly scan done by an experienced sonologist to rule out any anomalies in the baby.

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