Babies that measure small on ultrasound are not necessarily ill, but they may be and we have to take serious note if the baby is in a low weight percentile for it's age. One particular consideration for a small baby is the pace of the growth of the developing fetus. And a new study  published in Obstetrics and Gynecology shows that the position that mom sleeps is also a factor. They talk about the 'triple risk' of mom's factors, baby's factors, and a stress like the position during sleep that can compromise blood flow. The healthiest babies are not too big and not too small. Babies that are too small for how far pregnant you are is a condition called "SGA" or small for your gestational age. SGA babies can be small genetically, or small because of poor fetal growth, or "IUGR" fetal growth restriction. There is risk of stillbirth, or dying prior to birth, from being to small and growing too slowly. Small babies aren't just at risk during pregnancy, it is a concern for the first weeks of life and beyond. Babies that are born small are at higher risk of illness and death shortly after birth and have health problems as they age (depending on what occurs in the pregnancy and nursery)  There are many ways to insure that your baby will grow properly. The first important factor is the genetic health of the baby. Babies with chromosomal defects are generally smaller, but given that is unlikely the cause we look at the important and modifiable factors that can lead to better fetal health. For moms  being healthy, getting a balanced diet, proper fluid intake, rest, not smoking, not drinking alcohol, and prenatal vitamins are the most important factors to having a baby who grows to normal size. There is information regarding the overall all size of the baby and your vitamin D status. In general we think normal vitamin D levels are the best for every pregnancy, but there is new data that states those at most risk for blood pressure problems, those who are obese and those who are ethnically white are at the most risk of complications from vitamin D that is too low.As for the sleep issue, women do move in their sleep, and the studies looking at sleep in pregnancy will probably show not all pregnancy sleep positions are preventable. And it may not just be the position you are in, but the way you breathe when you are in certain positions, so it's important to treat sleep apnea during pregnancy.


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