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What Happens if the Baby's Head is Small in the Growth Scan?

What Happens if the Baby’s Head is Small in the Growth Scan?

Author: Dr. Sandhya Mishra MBBS, DNB, MS - Fellowship in ART
Consultant:Reproductive Medicine at Motherhood Hospital Indiranagar Bangalore

During pregnancy, regular ultrasound scans are conducted to monitor the growth and development of the baby. These scans provide valuable information about the baby's overall health and well-being. One of the measurements taken during a growth scan is the head circumference, which helps assess the baby's brain development. This article will explore the potential implications for fetal growth and development if the baby's head is small in the growth scan.

Understanding the Growth Scan 

A growth scan, or ultrasound scan, is a non-invasive procedure that uses sound waves to create images of the baby in the womb. This scan is typically performed during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. It provides essential information about the baby's size, weight, and overall growth. The head circumference measurement obtained during the growth scan is an essential indicator of the baby's brain development.

Significance of Head Circumference Ultrasound baby growth scan report

The head circumference measurement reflects the size of the baby's head, which is directly related to brain growth. It is an important parameter to assess the baby's development and detect potential issues. A smaller head circumference in the growth scan may indicate fetal growth restriction, a condition where the baby is not growing at the expected rate.

Fetal Growth Restriction 

Fetal growth restriction (FGR) occurs when the baby's growth is limited and does not progress as expected. Various factors, including placental problems, maternal health conditions, or genetic factors, can cause it. When the baby's head is smaller than expected in the growth scan, it could indicate FGR.

Implications of a Small Head Circumference 

A small head circumference in the growth scan can have several implications for fetal development and well-being. It may suggest inadequate nutrition or reduced oxygen supply to the baby, potentially affecting brain development. It is essential for healthcare providers to closely monitor the baby's growth and take appropriate actions to manage the situation.

Further Evaluation and Management

Additional assessments and interventions may be necessary if the growth scan reveals a small head circumference. These may include:

  1. Close Monitoring: Healthcare providers will closely monitor the baby's growth through regular ultrasound examinations to track any further deviations from the expected growth pattern.
  2. Doppler Ultrasound: Doppler ultrasound measures blood flow in the baby's umbilical cord and other blood vessels, providing insights into the placental function and the baby's well-being.
  3. Maternal Health Evaluation: Healthcare providers will assess the mother's health, including any underlying conditions that may contribute to fetal growth restriction, and provide appropriate management and care.
  4. Nutrition and Lifestyle Recommendations: Healthcare professionals may offer guidance on maintaining a healthy diet, adequate rest, and minimising stress to optimise fetal growth and development.
  5. Timely Delivery: In severe cases of fetal growth restriction or concerns about the baby's well-being, healthcare providers may recommend an early delivery to mitigate potential risks.

A small head circumference in the growth scan can indicate fetal growth restriction and potential concerns regarding the baby's brain development. Expectant parents must work closely with their healthcare providers to monitor the baby's growth and address potential issues. Regular ultrasound examinations, additional assessments, and appropriate management strategies can help optimise outcomes for both the mother and the baby. If you have any concerns about the growth and development of your baby, consult with your healthcare provider, who can provide personalised guidance and support throughout your pregnancy journey.

Motherhood Hospitals has a team of experienced supers specialists backed by the latest infrastructure and facilities. We have the best gynaecologist in Indiranagar, Bangalore. We are experts in handling complex deliveries, gynaecological, and other surgeries, including various laparoscopic surgeries. 

Do make an appointment with the best maternity hospital in Indiranagar, Bangalore at a centre closest to you. Meet with our doctors, who will carry out the required investigations, diagnose the issue and recommend the most appropriate treatment, enabling you to lead an active life. 

If you wish to get in touch with Dr.Sandhya Mishra, please book your appointment here.

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