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Really small for his age, low blood flow from cord?

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Feb 26, 2009, 6:07pm   #1
stylefly's Avatar
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stylefly
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Anyone have any experience with this situation? I'm at 28 weeks on Saturday and LO is in the 15th percentile for size, plus there is apparently lower than normal blood flow from the cord and around the brain which they think is part of the reason. I've had a totally easy and uncomplicated pregnancy so far so now I'm a bit shocked, and they want to see me for ultrasounds every week now. Has this happened to anyone else and what was the outcome?
BTW I was only 5.3 pounds at birth and am normal size now, but when my mom was pregnant with me they didn't have the equipment to be so detailed, so I don't know...
Feb 26, 2009, 6:29pm   #2
ms.fashionista's Avatar
ms.fashionista
H-Happy!
I don't know about the normal blood flow situation but at 36 weeks, my LO was only measuring 34 weeks (about 20th percentile). My OB was also a little concerned about her small size but after a couple of ultrasounds, they did not find anything wrong with her. Her vital organs were fully developed and is just on the small size. I am 5' 4", 110lbs pre-prego and my OB said that because I am petite, I just make petite babies. She was born at 39 weeks weighing at 5lbs 14ozs. She's small but boy does she have some strong lungs...when she cries, she is LOUD. Even the nurses were making fun of her saying she will be the next American Idol in 16 yrs. So my point is, don't worry about small babies, I too was made to worry but everything came out fine! Hope that gives you some reassurance!
Feb 26, 2009, 6:45pm   #3
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stylefly
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Originally Posted by ms.fashionista
I don't know about the normal blood flow situation but at 36 weeks, my LO was only measuring 34 weeks (about 20th percentile). My OB was also a little concerned about her small size but after a couple of ultrasounds, they did not find anything wrong with her. Her vital organs were fully developed and is just on the small size. I am 5' 4", 110lbs pre-prego and my OB said that because I am petite, I just make petite babies. She was born at 39 weeks weighing at 5lbs 14ozs. She's small but boy does she have some strong lungs...when she cries, she is LOUD. Even the nurses were making fun of her saying she will be the next American Idol in 16 yrs. So my point is, don't worry about small babies, I too was made to worry but everything came out fine! Hope that gives you some reassurance!
You ROCK- thanks for responding so quickly and with such a reassuring story! And Isabelle is gorgeous so I am hopeful. Can I ask where she was measuring in your earlier ultrasounds?
Feb 26, 2009, 7:01pm   #4
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ive_flipped
No more snow!
I am not sure about the blood flow either but with DS they said he was intra uterine growth retardation (not growing according to what they would expect) and sent me for a few u/s as well. What got them concerned was my fundal height measurements were 2-3 weeks behind or more. They had his birth set-up for a very small 4 lb baby and he was 7lbs 2 oz 21 inches long and perfectly healthy! Sometimes I think they get all weird and scare parents.

Good Luck and keep us posted
Feb 26, 2009, 7:31pm   #5
S
StageMum
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It could be that you just grow small babies. Keep eating well and try not to worry (easier said than done, right?) and I hope after a few ultrasounds, they'll say everything is fine. Keep us posted.
Feb 27, 2009, 8:54am   #6
M
MrsL
Member
Originally Posted by stylefly
Anyone have any experience with this situation? I'm at 28 weeks on Saturday and LO is in the 15th percentile for size, plus there is apparently lower than normal blood flow from the cord and around the brain which they think is part of the reason. I've had a totally easy and uncomplicated pregnancy so far so now I'm a bit shocked, and they want to see me for ultrasounds every week now. Has this happened to anyone else and what was the outcome?
BTW I was only 5.3 pounds at birth and am normal size now, but when my mom was pregnant with me they didn't have the equipment to be so detailed, so I don't know...
I had this happen to me at 30 weeks. I was told the same thing! Dont be alarmed, my doppler(blood flow) went down when I decided to stop working till the end of my pregnancy and I ended up going for u/s weekly. I had my son on 3/11 and he was a healthy 5 pds 8 oz. I was a small baby, as were my siblings and my mother. Its very frustrating how a "small" baby is no longer considered average, they are comparing to the "typical" baby now born which is around 8 pds..Hang in there I know its tough, relax, drink water, and everything will be fine
Feb 27, 2009, 4:59pm   #7
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ms.fashionista
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Originally Posted by stylefly
You ROCK- thanks for responding so quickly and with such a reassuring story! And Isabelle is gorgeous so I am hopeful. Can I ask where she was measuring in your earlier ultrasounds?
My earlier ultrasounds at 12 weeks (for the 1st trimester testing) and at 18 weeks were measuring a few days behind i.e. Isabelle was measuring a few days behind her gestational age...they didn't think it was anything to be alarmed at at that stage...but at week 36 when they saw she was measuring 2 weeks behind, then they decided to do more investigation...turns out that all her vitals were developing normally, she's just a little peanut!
Feb 27, 2009, 6:40pm   #8
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I also had a baby who didn't grow well. He went from 50th percentile at 28 weeks, to 35th at 32 weeks, to 17th at 36 weeks. In my case, it was due to placental insufficiency, which we knew I was at risk for.

I was induced right after I was 37 weeks, since the doctor thought he would grow better outside than in. My son was 5lbs. 2oz. and a little over 17 inches long, which put him under the 10th percentile for both height/weight. With the weight he lost at the hospital, he was about 4 1/2 lbs. when we brought him home.

It was a little scary at first having a smaller baby. He got cold really easily because he didn't have any fat on him and couldn't suck well to breastfeed.

However, he gained weight really quickly, and by his 2 or 4 month checkup was up to about the 25th percentile, and has just kept creeping up in the percentiles. He was at about the 40th percentile for everything at 9 mo. He had actually been higher at one point for weight, but has thinned out a little being more active. He's hitting his milestones on time and is a healthy, happy little boy, so there's been no lasting impact at all. Hope that helps.
Feb 27, 2009, 6:50pm   #9
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I wouldn't worry about the size...they do their own thing there. But what you say about the blood flow is concerning. Did they do an u/s? How much lower is the blood flow? Is it a two or three vessell cord, is it constricted in any way? Did the doc check your placenta to be sure it's doing what it should be?

All of these things can be tracked and checked. If you would feel better, ask for additional monitoring. I had a ton of monitoring with my youngest. I would check into the blood flow report and get a second opinion on different equipment.
Feb 27, 2009, 7:14pm   #10
v
vhdos
Member
Okay, when I was pregnant with my first, they told me she was weighing in at 7 pounds at about 37 weeks. I delivered at 38 weeks and she was only 5 pounds 2 ounces! The equipment may not be so detailed after all. They said that it can be plus or minus a pound or two. I hope it works out for you. I know how stressful it can be. Sending you hugs!
Feb 27, 2009, 8:26pm   #11
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stylefly
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Originally Posted by No Cute
I wouldn't worry about the size...they do their own thing there. But what you say about the blood flow is concerning. Did they do an u/s? How much lower is the blood flow? Is it a two or three vessell cord, is it constricted in any way? Did the doc check your placenta to be sure it's doing what it should be?

All of these things can be tracked and checked. If you would feel better, ask for additional monitoring. I had a ton of monitoring with my youngest. I would check into the blood flow report and get a second opinion on different equipment.
My doctor said that the size was related to the cord blood flow being lower. The numbers I remember are 1.5 being normal and mine being 1.2 but I don't recall what that refers to. The cord has been checked at my anatomy scan and now and it is a 3-vessel cord that looks normal. I don't know if they checked the placenta, my doc wasn't very forthcoming and just said they'd monitor via weekly ultrasounds for a few weeks. According to Google, low cord blood flow is usually caused by maternal disease such as syphilis or rubella, or abusing drugs or alcohol- clearly none of which apply! I am quite healthy and active and my circulation is good, so I don't understand why it's not getting to the little guy as well. I am mostly concerned about the possibility of brain damage if there is not enough oxygen being delivered- but from my educational memories, that usually occurs when there is a complete absence of oxygen at one time. I wish I knew whether all small sizes are related to the blood flow or not but my doc wouldn't even answer that. I think I might ask to switch to a different doctor.
She did say that she "assumed" that they would check blood flow through the brain and its chambers to see whether there was any problem during the US and that the report said "normal' for everything other than the size and the blood flow issue...
Feb 27, 2009, 8:38pm   #12
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Originally Posted by stylefly
My doctor said that the size was related to the cord blood flow being lower. The numbers I remember are 1.5 being normal and mine being 1.2 but I don't recall what that refers to. The cord has been checked at my anatomy scan and now and it is a 3-vessel cord that looks normal. I don't know if they checked the placenta, my doc wasn't very forthcoming and just said they'd monitor via weekly ultrasounds for a few weeks. According to Google, low cord blood flow is usually caused by maternal disease such as syphilis or rubella, or abusing drugs or alcohol- clearly none of which apply! I am quite healthy and active and my circulation is good, so I don't understand why it's not getting to the little guy as well. I am mostly concerned about the possibility of brain damage if there is not enough oxygen being delivered- but from my educational memories, that usually occurs when there is a complete absence of oxygen at one time. I wish I knew whether all small sizes are related to the blood flow or not but my doc wouldn't even answer that. I think I might ask to switch to a different doctor.
She did say that she "assumed" that they would check blood flow through the brain and its chambers to see whether there was any problem during the US and that the report said "normal' for everything other than the size and the blood flow issue...
It's a good idea to get a second opinion whenever you're worried or anything isn't within the norm. Did they indicate that flow was slow in any area? Torsion? Maybe constriction of the cord due to baby's position at that moment? There is a Dr. Jason Collins that specializes in cord issues that your doctor should read up on, in case it is related to the cord and not some random awkward position the baby was in that day. (My youngest used to "disappear" in there...settle in the very back of my pelvis and no one could find him )
Mar 1, 2009, 10:10am   #13
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addisonshopper
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I developed this at 33-36weeks..didnt find out until I went to have u/s at 36 weeks and the baby hadnt grown since lase u/s visit at 33 weeks.. the whole time my DS was measuring 3 weeks ahead... so that day I was sent to the hospital to deliver..36 1/2 weeks is what I was...my son was born at 7lbs 1oz 19 inches long... the u/s was showing he was only 6lbs 4oz--- this happend to a lady at my church that was using the same peri... the baby wasnt as small as she appeared on the sonogram..
in the end I had to have a c-section, because of the poor/low blood flow the baby's heart rate kept dropping and he was having fetal distress... he is fine and has developed into a big healthy happy baby- he is weighing in atg 14lbs 9 oz and he wont be 3 months for a couple of days now...
Mar 1, 2009, 5:01pm   #14
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kimberf
Loves the Lindy!
That's good that they're going to do weekly ultrasounds to keep an eye on it. As No Cute says, maybe the baby was in a position that was constricting the cord or something like that. It could be better next time.

Did your doctor tell you to try to rest more and to spend as much of that time as possible lying on your side? That was what I kept getting told. When his growth started to slow down, they wanted me to restrict my activity - only go to work and then come home and lie on the couch. No exercise. Supposedly this would help keep everything flowing to the baby rather than to my other muscles, etc. I think it's the same principle as bed rest. Maybe try it out a little bit, as much as you can handle without being super-bored. I figured it couldn't hurt...
Mar 1, 2009, 5:29pm   #15
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No Cute
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Originally Posted by kimberf
That's good that they're going to do weekly ultrasounds to keep an eye on it. As No Cute says, maybe the baby was in a position that was constricting the cord or something like that. It could be better next time.

Did your doctor tell you to try to rest more and to spend as much of that time as possible lying on your side? That was what I kept getting told. When his growth started to slow down, they wanted me to restrict my activity - only go to work and then come home and lie on the couch. No exercise. Supposedly this would help keep everything flowing to the baby rather than to my other muscles, etc. I think it's the same principle as bed rest. Maybe try it out a little bit, as much as you can handle without being super-bored. I figured it couldn't hurt...
Left side, right? And bed rest. Good ideas.

Will you update us when you can?
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