Several different hormones carefully regulate the growth of the fetus during pregnancy. Some hormones promote growth, while others have the opposite effect. It is vital the balance of these hormones is correct. So that Fetal weight nomograms occur at a suitable pace throughout pregnancy. Hormones act to prevent fetal overgrowth and undergrowth by carefully controlling the supply of nutrients that pass across the placenta. The placenta acts as an interface between the mother and baby allowing. Regulated passage of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. In addition, the placenta produces and responds to hormones that regulate fetal growth and development.
If a baby is born either too large (macrosomic) or too small (growth restricted). It can put you and your baby at greater risk of certain complications. Macrosomic babies often cause obstetric problems such as shoulder dystocia. Difficult labor in which significant medical intervention (possibly emergency Caesarean section) is needed for the baby’s shoulders. And body to be delivered. Macrosomic babies have been shown to be more likely to develop later glucose intolerance. A condition often leading to diabetes mellitus and obesity as adolescents and adults. Growth-restricted babies are more at risk of health problems than normal-sized babies. And are also more prone to developing diseases such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, and diabetes mellitus as adults.
Insulin promotes Fetal weight nomograms
Other hormones, such as the steroid hormones corticosterone and cortisol, are important for fetal development during pregnancy. These steroids belong to a family of hormones, called glucocorticoids, which are known to be associated with the regulation of stress. Unlike insulin and IGFs, glucocorticoids limit fetal growth and coordinate the development of fetal tissues and organs. As pregnancy nears term, a surge in glucocorticoids produced by the fetus can be detected.
This naturally slows fetal growth, in favor of maturing and developing fetal tissues and organs. It is vital that the fetal tissues and organs go through this process at this time, in order for them to function properly outside of the womb. Women in Europe and the USA are given the glucocorticoid dexamethasone if labor begins before 37 weeks of pregnancy - this stimulates maturation of the baby’s tissues and organs (especially the lungs), so even if the baby arrives earlier than expected, the baby should be able to breathe and function outside of the womb. This medical intervention significantly decreases the mortality and morbidity rates of premature babies.
Fetal Tissue Development
This is why pregnant women should avoid stress wherever possible. Studies have also shown that in very stressful situations, such as natural disasters, pregnant women are more likely to have growth-restricted babies that are born prematurely due to the large amounts of cortisol made by the mother. Babies that are born before term, especially if they have a low birth weight, are often less likely to survive after birth and may experience long-term health consequences, such as developmental problems and learning disabilities. Glucocorticoids are therefore vitally important to normal fetal growth and health; however, they must be present at the correct levels and at the correct time to ensure they do not have adverse effects on either the mother or the baby.
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