Defining disorders of growth requires relating a given achieved growth to an expected growth. In the case of fetal growth, three further levels of complexity arise. First, growth is determined in part by gestational age and an apparentgrowth disorder may reflectan inaccurate assessment of gestational age. Second, even if gestational age is known accurately, the size of the fetus can only be assessed indirectly by ultrasound. Third, even accepting these limitations, fetal measurements are typically related to a population-based norm. Deviation from normal may arise from parental determinants of growth, such as race and stature. The primary interest in assessing fetal growth is to avoid the complications associated with a fetus that is poorly grown due to uteroplacental insufficiency. The most important consequence of fetal compromise is perinatal death, principally antepartum stillbirth.
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Once your pregnancy is over and done with, your baby is happily in your arms, and youre headed back home from the hospital, youll begin to realize that things have only just begun. Over the next few days, weeks, and months, youre going to increasingly notice that your entire life has changed in more ways than you could ever imagine.