Correlation of neonatal gestational age with foot length and right nipple to umbilicus distance


  • Ajay K. Keshwani Department of Pediatrics, Shri V.N.G.M.C, Yavatmal, Maharashtra, India
  • Swati S. Suroshe Department of Pediatrics, Shri V.N.G.M.C, Yavatmal, Maharashtra, India



Foot length, Gestational age, New ballard score, Right nipple to umbilicus distance


Background: India contributes to one fifth of global live births and more than a quarter of neonatal deaths. A systematic analysis of global, regional and national causes of child mortality in 2013 identified preterm birth complications and infections to be the two major causes of neonatal deaths in India. So, there is need of a simple, easy to use and reliable screening tool for assessment of gestational age at peripheral level for early referral of a neonate to a tertiary care hospital, thereby reducing neonatal mortality.

Methods: A hospital based observational cross-sectional study included 350 live new-borns within 48 hours of birth, from September 2018 to February 2019. Gestational age assessed by new ballard score, birth weight, foot length and right nipple to umbilicus distance were noted. Babies categorised as per the gestational age profile as small, appropriate and large for gestational age using fenton charts. Data analysis done, correlation coefficient, and p value calculated to obtain results.

Results: Out of 350 babies, males (185) outnumbered females (165); 154 were LBW, 89 VLBW and 76 were ELBW. AGA neonates were 193, and 157 belonged to SGA. There were no post-term and large for gestational age newborns. Both foot length and right nipple to umbilicus distance correlated well with gestational age in all age groups (p<0.001).

Conclusions: Foot length as well as right nipple to umbilicus distance can be used as a reliable tool for assessment of gestational age and birth weight of newborns by any health care professional to identify and refer high risk neonate.


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