Prof. Dr. Ali EKİZ

Prof. Dr. Ali EKİZ

Gynecology and Perinatology (Risky Pregnancy) Specialist

With over 15 years of professional experience, dozens of national and international research articles, and most importantly, his smiling face, Gynecology and Perinatology Specialist Prof. Dr. Ali EKİZ is with you.

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Developmental Delay in Infant

What is Developmental Retardation in Infants? Why does it happen?

Fetal growth retardation is also known as fetal growth retardation. It refers to the situation where the fetus in the mother’s womb cannot reach the expected size according to the week. In this article, we have compiled for you what you need to know about growth retardation in the baby.

What are the Types of Developmental Retardation?

How are the types of growth retardation in the baby classified?

1. According to body proportions

• Symmetrical Developmental Retardation: Babies with this developmental delay have a proportional body. All internal organs are small.

• Asymmetrical Developmental Retardation: Babies with this developmental delay have normal sized heads, and their bodies are smaller than they should be. This is why their heads appear larger than their bodies during ultrasound.

2. By time of emergence

• Early: Developmental delays before 32 weeks

• Late: Developmental delays occurring at 32 weeks or later

What are the Symptoms of Developmental Retardation?

When the fetus has growth retardation, it does not cause any symptoms in the expectant mother. Many expectant mothers are unaware of the condition until they are told during the ultrasound. Sometimes expectant mothers may notice that their tummy is small. Sometimes, a decrease in the baby’s movements may be the first complaint.

What Causes Developmental Retardation?

Growth retardation can occur at any time during pregnancy for different reasons. There are many factors that increase the risk of developmental delay. For example; Conditions such as genetic anomaly in the fetus, nutritional deficiency of the baby or a systemic disease of the expectant mother may cause developmental delay in the baby. We can list various other factors that can cause developmental delay in the baby as follows:

• The mother-to-be has kidney disease

• The mother-to-be has chronic diseases such as heart, diabetes, high blood pressure.

• Malnutrition of the expectant mother

• Substance abuse

• The cigarette-alcohol addiction of the expectant mother

• Various infections

• Cell abnormalities

•Multiple pregnancy

• Birth defects

• Placental development defects

How Is Developmental Retardation Diagnosed?

Examination is done for pregnancy follow-up. The main purpose of these examinations is to make sure that the fetus grows in a healthy way. If the fetus has a growth retardation, this can usually be detected during a standard ultrasound scan. If developmental delay is suspected in the early stages of pregnancy, the causes are first investigated by the perinatologist.

In some cases of growth retardation, genetic disease may be the cause and amniocentesis test may also be applied.

What Complications Can Cause Developmental Retardation?

Growth retardation can affect the fetus in many ways. We can list some of the complications that growth retardation can cause as follows:

• It can affect the cells, tissues and organs of the fetus. This can cause many problems.

• Premature delivery may be required, and in this case, the baby may have difficulty breathing.

• Children with developmental delay are at higher risk for heart and blood vessel problems as they get older.

• A low oxygen level may occur.

• There may be conditions such as low blood sugar, excess red blood cells in the blood.

• Babies born with developmental delay may not be able to maintain their normal body temperature.

• Nutritional problems may occur.

• Experiencing neurological problems can be seen more frequently in babies born with developmental delay.

How is Developmental Retardation Treated?

In the developmental delay, no treatment is applied in the womb. The most important point is the optimal timing of delivery. The important thing at this point is to find out what the cause is. For example, if the expectant mother experiences a developmental delay due to malnutrition, adequate nutrition is provided to the expectant mother. In addition, stress factor can be reduced by taking leave of mothers who work hard physically or mentally in order to help the growth of the fetus.

In cases where growth retardation is severe, preterm delivery can be applied. Premature birth ensures that the doctor’s intervention takes place before the damage caused by growth retardation. Premature birth is resorted to when the growth of the fetus has completely stopped or there are situations that seriously threaten health. The priority is to ensure that the fetus grows in the womb as much as possible.

How to Prevent Developmental Retardation?

There is no known way to definitively prevent developmental delay. However, bad habits such as cigarettes, alcohol and drugs, or drugs that the person uses, increase the possibility of developmental delay. For this reason, regular pregnancy follow-up, healthy nutrition and constant weight gain help prevent growth retardation and other problems during pregnancy. 

MAKE YOUR APPOINTMENT WITH PROF. DR. ALİ EKİZ!

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