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Growth Parameters in Neonates

(Length, Weight, and Head Circumference)

By Eric Gibson, MD; Ursula Nawab, MD

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Growth parameters and gestational age (see Gestational Age) help identify the risk of neonatal pathology. Growth is influenced by genetic and nutritional factors as well as intrauterine conditions. Growth parameters assessed at birth help predict subsequent growth and development and risk of disease. The parameters are length, weight, and head circumference.

By plotting weight vs gestational age (see Figure: Gestational Age), each infant is classified at birth as

The Fenton growth charts (see Figure: Fenton Growth Chart for Preterm Boys and see Figure: Fenton Growth Chart for Preterm Girls) provide a more precise assessment of growth vs gestational age for all three parameters.

Fenton Growth Chart for Preterm Boys

Fenton T, Kim J: A systematic review and meta-analysis to revise the Fenton growth chart for preterm infants. BMC Pediatrics13:59, 2013; used with permission. Available at www.biomedcentral.com .

Fenton Growth Chart for Preterm Girls

Fenton T, Kim J: A systematic review and meta-analysis to revise the Fenton growth chart for preterm infants. BMC Pediatrics13:59, 2013; used with permission. Available at www.biomedcentral.com .

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