Published: 2017-09-23

Changing pattern of birth weight over a decade in rural India

Vidyadhar B. Bangal, Satyajit P. Gavhane, Swati D. Gagare, Kunal H. Aher, Dhruval K. Bhavsar, Priyanka R. Verma


Background: Birth weight is one of the important determinants of neonatal wellbeing. Birth weight has many determinants that mainly include maternal nutritional status and the term of gestation. Low birth weight is associated with high neonatal and childhood mortality and morbidity. Over the years the birth weight is showing the increasing trend in developing countries like India. The study aimed at finding out the changing pattern of birth weight over a decade in rural India.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of over 45,000 births that took place in Tertiary care hospital from year 2008-2017was undertaken. The socio economic determinants of birth weight were studied.

Results: The incidence of low birth weight declined from 47 percent to 35 percent over ten years. The mean rise in birth weight in ten years was observed in both male (176 grams) and female (151grams).The incidence of very low birth and extremely low birth was found declined. There was positive co relationship between improved birth weight and improved socio economic status, delay in age at marriage, higher maternal weight gain during pregnancy, improved pre pregnancy nutritional status of women.

Conclusions: There is steady decline in incidence of low birth weight over last ten years in study area. Improved maternal health, better nutrition, improved quality of antenatal care and various efforts and actions from the government side have contributed in improving the birth weight.


Antenatal care, Birth weight, Low birth weight, Maternal health, Maternal nutrition

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