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Child born with small head but acts fine. During pregnancy mother had small, calcified placenta. Cocerned?

DOCTOR OF THE MONTH - Feb 2013
Feb 2013
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I have a brand newborn granddaughter and she has a small head, but looks very normal and acts fine. Her mom was induced at 40 weeks due to small for dates. The baby was 5lb 13 oz, 20" long, and her head circumference was 12" which is way low on the growth charts. Her Apgar scores were normal. When reading in the internet the 12" head circumference can scare you. The only problem from my daughter's pregnancy was a small, calcified placenta, which is why I think her weight and head circumference were small. Please tell me if the small head circumference is anything to be concerned about.
Posted Thu, 5 Sep 2013 in Child Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. E Venkata Ramana 43 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Regular follow up for all milestones

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for your query on Healthcare Magic.

Because of small and calcified placenta, your grand daughter born with small for the gestational age.

It is known as intrauterine growth restriction.

In intrauterine growth restriction, almost every organ is deprived of nutrients leading to restricted growth.

The small head circumference is suggestive of small brain inside which is due to the effect of intrauterine growth restriction.

These children are prone for later cognitive, behavioral, language, and intelligence problems later in the life.

They need close follow up to look for these problems and to intervene as early as possible if any abnormality is found.

Close monitoring of head size by measuring head circumference at regular intervals, developmental milestones, and the child behavior to be done to find out any aberrations at the earliest.

Therefore I advise you to be in regular follow up with the pediatrician.

Hope I have answered your query, if you have any clarification please let me know.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Child born with small head but acts fine. During pregnancy mother had small, calcified placenta. Cocerned? 5 minutes later
Is this the same as microcephaly? I sure hope she does not have that problem. Her head looks small but she does not have a real small forehead. Her daddy has an egged shape head and hers is very similar to his. Thank you for the answer. She has a great pediatrician and I am sure he will keep an eye on the growth of her brain.
 
 
Answered by Dr. E Venkata Ramana 11 hours later
Brief Answer:
Needs plotting on special growth chart

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for getting back.

The head circumference of 12 inches (30.48 cm) is below the third percentile on the standard growth charts which were made with the data of term babies with normal birth weight and technically.

But her head circumference has to be compared with the growth charts which are specifically designed for low birth weight and intrauterine growth restricted (IUGR) babies with the local standards. If the head circumference is below the normal range, then it can be called microcephaly.

Yes, there are chances to get a similar head shape by the baby, if one parent is having a abnormal shaped head.

Hence I advise to monitor the progress of her head circumference by using the local growth charts designed for IUGR babies.

Be in regular follow up and hope for the best.

Hope I have answered your query, if you have any clarification please let me know.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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