Lim LCD, Eapen V, Crncec R and
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is associated with a negative effect on the growth and neurodevelopment of newborn babies, with substantial perinatal mortality and morbidity. Relatively less is known about the longer-term psychosocial sequelae following IUGR, especially in the years immediately preceding school entry, and this pilot study aimed to explore pregnancy and birth related factors related to this. Children born >32 weeks gestation with estimated foetal and birth weights <5th percentile for gestational age in 2007-2009 were identified. Parents completed several developmental assessment questionnaires including the Child Development Chart and Child Behaviour Checklist. Data were ultimately available for eight children with a mean age of 3.8 years. Abnormal Doppler features were found in six children. Two children had poor Apgar scores and three children had perinatal complications. With respect to behavioural and emotional outcomes, two children had Child Behaviour Checklist scores indicating externalising and internalising difficulties, and one child had a borderline fine motor skills score on the Child Development Chart. Amongst these three children (37.5%) with developmental concerns, older maternal age and lower birth weight were observed compared to children without apparent problems. These three children also had lower social skills scores than children without concerns. This pilot study supports the need for further prenatal and postnatal research that examines the psychosocial trajectory of children born following IUGR.