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What is SGA?

Globally, an estimated 20 million infants are born annually with low birthweight (<2500 g). The classification of small for gestational age was defined by a 1995 WHO expert committee as infants below the 10th percentile of birth-weight-for-gestational-age  (Small for Gestational Age/SGA). It is a condition in which a baby’s growth slows or stops during pregnancy. SGA can be caused by any aberration in the normal biological processes occurring during pregnancy and have adverse effects on the growth of the fetus. Preterm and preeclamptic infants are at higher risk of SGA compared to full-term and healthy infants. More importantly, SGA infants are 7 times more likely to die prematurely.

The current diagnosis of SGA is based on discrepancies between actual and expected sonographic biometric measurements for a given gestational age.  In many Western countries, primary care for suspected SGA are serial fundal height assessments to monitor the fetuses. 

If SGA is suspected, patients are asked to have;

  • Fetal ultrasound to estimate the fetal weight


  • Dopplar ultrasound to check the blood flow to the placenta and through the umbilical cord to the baby. A fetus with SGA will have decreased blood flow.​

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