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Was born premature. Head side falls below the chart line. Is the growth normal?

Feb 2013
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Answered by

Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 3176 Questions
Hi , this question is about my daughter 9 months old. She was prematured 33 weeks , with low birth weight, 1.26 at birth. I get her length, weight ,head checked during every vaccination visit . As per her actual birth she is 9 months old , she weighs 6k , length 67 & head size is 39.5. What worried me most is the head size which im given to understand falls below the chart line . Also, weight ,initially in the first 4-5 months she used to grow by 650 to 800gms a month , now around 200- 300 gms( 300 being on the higher end). Pl note my daughter also has a subpulominc vsd 3mm detected a week after her birth. Is this got to do anything with her growth?

Whats your advice on the head size front & any specific diet for my daughter to improve in her food. Pl advice
Posted Mon, 14 Oct 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. E Venkata Ramana 19 hours later
Brief Answer:
Regular follow up to monitor head size, milestones

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for your query on Healthcare Magic.

Her head circumference and weight is low (below 3rd percentile) on the standard growth charts.

Her length of 67 cm is okay and it lies between 10th and 25th percentile on growth chart.

She needs regular follow up with the pediatrician to monitor her developmental milestones in all domains of motor, fine motor, social and language.

If she is attaining the age appropriate developmental mile stones reasonably as per her age nothing to worry.

The growth in weight in the first half of the first year is more in comparison to the second half. This may be the reason for less gain in her weight now.

In term babies, during the first 6 months the weight gain will be like 20 to 30 grams per day, whereas in the second half the weight gain will be 10 to 15 grams per day. This may be further low in preterm babies.

Small cardiac defects like VSD usually doesn't have an adverse effect on the child weight gain, but these defects are regularly monitored with Echocardiogram like once in 6 months to assess the size and its spontaneous closure.

My advise on her head size is to monitor her head size and developmental milestones at frequent intervals and early referral to early intervention and rehabilitation centers if there is any delay in milestones.

Coming to diet, you can give her locally available weaning food and smashed home made food. You can add ghee to her diet to increase the calorie density of foods for weight gain.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any clarifications, I will be happy to answer.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Was born premature. Head side falls below the chart line. Is the growth normal? 4 hours later
Thank you so much Doctor for your advice
Answered by Dr. E Venkata Ramana 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
You are welcome

Detailed Answer:

You are welcome and thank you for getting back.

If you have any clarification I will be happy to answer. If you don't have any clarification you can close the discussion and I request you to rate my answer.
Wish your daughter good health.

Best regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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