Estimation of average birth weight in term newborns: a hospital-based study in coastal Karnataka

K. Divya Krishnan, K. Shreedhara Avabratha, Amita Jane D’Souza


Introduction: Average birth weight (BW) of Indian babies is believed to be 2.8-3 kg. BW is a key predictor of newborn outcome and indicator of health trend of a child. This study gives an insight into BW in coastal Karnataka. The objective of the present study was to estimate the average BW in term newborns and to study its correlation with sex of the newborn and maternal conditions.

Methods: The retrospective study of data from medical records of births during May 2012-April 2014 in the Medical College Hospital. Multiple pregnancy, preterm and post-term were excluded. Parameters such as BW, gender, maternal age, parity, history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) were noted. Data were analyzed using Chi-square test.

Results: A data of 3882 babies was included. BW ranged from 1.92 kg to 4.45 kg. The mean BW was 3.07 ± 0.455 kg. Mean BW of male babies was 3.09 ± 0.41 and female babies was 3.03 ± 0.4 kg. Average BW in primi mothers was 3.02 kg, multipara was 3.08 kg and grand multipara was 3.18 kg. In babies of PIH and GDM mothers, BW was 2.87 and 3.48 kg respectively. BW was not related to age of the mother or gender of the baby. Anomalous babies were found more in small for gestational age and large for gestational age rather than appropriate for gestational age.

Conclusions: Average BW of term newborns is estimated as 3.07 kg. BW increased with parity of the mother and not with age of the mother or sex of the baby.


Birth weight, Term newborns, Coastal Karnataka

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