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Maternal variables affecting fetal growth

, : Maternal variables affecting fetal growth. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 34(Suppl 4): 722-726

Data on maternal variables (age, obstetrical history, weight gain, smoking, education, marital status and husband's occupation) were collected from 15,000 pregnant women participating in the Oakland, CA, Child Health and Development Studies to investigate their relationship to birthweight. Weekly weight gains during the second half of pregnancy of less than 1/2 lb. were found to double the chances of low infant birthweight, especially if prepregnant weight was low. Adolescent mothers were also more likely to have low birthweight infants, and low socioeconomic status of women had a slight influence. The data confirm previous studies linking low birthweight to smoking mothers. The weight of the preceding child was also a strong factor, with a preceding low birthweight infant increasing 4- to 5-fold the likelihood of a subsequent low birthweight infant. Since low birthweight has been associated with increased neonatal and early childhood mortality and morbidity it is important to initiate preventive measures to reduce all risk factors of low birthweight and low birthweight-for-gestational age. Current studies are also examining the influence of maternal milk consumption.


PMID: 6894350

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