Birth weight recovery among very low birth weight infants surviving to discharge from Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital

  • J C Mudahemuka
  • D E Ballot


Background. The recommended growth velocity (GV) of very low birth weight (VLBW) infants is 15 g/kg/day. Several factors have been associated with poor postnatal weight gain.
Objective. To provide current information on the postnatal growth of VLBW infants at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH).
Methods. This was a longitudinal study of VLBW infants surviving to discharge from CMJAH neonatal unit from August to October 2013.
Results. Sixty-nine infants were included in the study. The mean GV was 13.2 g/kg/day, the median weight loss was 7.69% and the median time for regaining birth weight was 16 days. Fifty-one infants (73.9%) regained their birth weight at or before 21 days. There was a decrease in mean z-scores for weight (ZSWs) from –0.32 (standard deviation 1.25) at birth to –1.94 (1.35) at discharge. A multiple linear regression showed a negative association between ZSW at discharge and number of days nil per os without parenteral nutrition (PN). Antenatal steroids were associated with poor GV. There were no factors associated with regaining birth weight after 21 days on multiple logistic regression.
Conclusion. This study showed a GV in VLBW infants approaching recommended standards. Number of days without PN and use of antenatal steroids were associated with poor postnatal growth.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1999-7671
print ISSN: 1994-3032