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Newborn and Infant Care

Newborn head perimeter

08/12/2008

Question:

Hello! I am 38 weeks pregnant. In the last visit that I had with my doctor, I was told that the baby`s weight was 3.596 kg and his head perimeter was 41 cm.This is my second pregnancy. My first boy was born 3.900 kg and his head perimeter was 36. I am verry worried about this and I just want somebody to explain if there is any problem with that. My doctor said everything looks great and he did not mention it as a problem. I will appreciate your answer.

Answer:

"Normal" is a relative term, what is a "normal" weight for me may not be a "normal" weight for you. Infants, even in the womb, can (and usually are) different. There is an average birth weight, length, and head circumference, and then there is the weight, length, and head circumference for each individual newborn. Unless the newborn or fetus is vastly different from accepted norms, we wait to see what the growth pattern for each individual child will be. The weights and head sizes you are quoting for both of your children lie well within accepted "norms". In this circumstance I would fully concur with your obstetrician...nothing out of "normal" here!

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Response by:

Sarah Sauntry, RN, MS, CPNP-PC
Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati