Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) due to placental dysfunction is a risk factor for an impaired neurodevelopmental outcome. This is the case particularly in growth-retarded foetuses whose conditions in utero are so compromised that they have to be delivered before term. In recent years, neonatal treatment and care have improved markedly, and this has led to increased chances of survival of very immature and extremely low-birthweight infants. The optimal time to deliver IUGR infants remains difficult to assess. There is an obvious need for methods that accurately monitor foetal and neonatal condition, and it is important that the implications of these methods are evaluated for the neurodevelopmental outcomes of these infants. It is vitally important to be able to predict the outcome, whether it is normal or abnormal. A method that covers both aspects is the qualitative assessment of spontaneous motility of foetuses and newborn infants.