The influence of maternal anthropometric characteristics on the birth size of term singleton South-East Nigerian newborn infants
Objective: This study examined the usefulness of maternal anthropometry in predicting the birth size of term singleton newborn infants at NAUTH, Nnewi, Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 301 mother/newborn infant pairs.
Results: The mean birth weight was 3.27 ± 0.60kg whereas the incidence of low birth weight and fetal macrosomia were 8.0% and 11.3%, respectively. The anthropometric indices varied in their ability to detect newborn babies who experienced abnormal intrauterine growth. The rate of subnormal intrauterine growth was 9.0%, 11.6%m and 18.6% using weight-forgestational age (GA), ponderal index (PI), and mid-arm circumference (MAC)/ occipito-frontal circumference (OFC) criteria, respectively. On the other hand, the rate of excessive intrauterine growth was 16.6% and 12.0% using weight-for-GA and PI criteria, respectively. Apart from maternal height, all the assessed maternal anthropometric parameters had a significant relationship with size at birth. Mothers of newborn infants who experienced subnormal intrauterine growth were more likely to have MAC < 25 cm, intrapartum weight < 65 kg, intrapartum BMI < 25 kg/m2, and rate of third trimester weight gain < 250 g/week. On the other hand, mothers of newborn infants who experienced excessive intrauterine growth were more likely to have MAC > 30 cm, intrapartum BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2, and rate of third trimester weight gain ≥ 500 g/week.
Conclusion/Recommendation: Maternal anthropometry is a very useful tool in identifying mothers at risk of having newborn infants who experienced abnormal intrauterine growth. Therefore, its routine application is recommended to enable such mothers benefit from interventions targeted at ensuring optimal intrauterine growth and improved pregnancy outcomes.
Keywords: Anthropometry, intrauterine growth, newborn infants