Fetal birth weight, a challenge to the mother and simplest marker for fetal maturity: a study in new rural hospital setup


  • Rajashree Dattatreya Nagarashi Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gayatri Vidya Parishad Institute of Health Care and Medical Technologies, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • Lakshmi Swapna Durvasula Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gayatri Vidya Parishad Institute of Health Care and Medical Technologies, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India




Fetal birth weight, Gestational age, Maternal age, Maternal weight, Parity


Background: The birth weight is an important factor which the obstetricians have to give due importance when contemplating elective induction of labor before 40 completed weeks. It is a single most important determinant for survival, growth and development of infant. It reflects the health status of the mother during adolescence and pregnancy and also the quality of antenatal care. It is well known that there is a co-relation between weight of the fetus and the length of the gestation and other various factors. This study looks into the various factors influencing the fetal birth weight and length of gestation and what is its relative importance to the viability of developmental chances of premature infants and also infants born at term. Objective was to study the effect of various maternal factors like maternal age, parity, maternal weight, gestational age on fetal birth weight.

Methods: 176 participants with term pregnancies were studied under three independent variables viz gestational age, maternal age and maternal weight that had effect on the fetal birth weight in two groups - primipara and multipara and reported by statistical analysis.

Results: The independent variables gestational age and maternal weight showed a statistically significant correlation (p <0.05) with fetal birth weight in both the groups. Whereas the variable maternal age didn’t have any statistically significant effect (p >0.05) on the fetal birth weight in the study.

Conclusions: Primipara had more pronounced correlation with fetal birth weight than multipara in the variable gestational age. The maternal weight affected fetal birth weight equally in both the groups. And maternal age had no effect on fetal birth weight in either groups.


K Park. Preventive medicine in obstetrics, paediatrics and geriatrics, textbook of social and preventive medicine. 18th Edition, Banarsi Das Bhanot, India. 2005:383-420.

Njokanma OTF, Goswami K. The effect of sex, parity and maternal age on birth weight in a specialist hospital setting in Nigeria. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2004;24(6):657-61.

Agarwal N, Reddaiah VP. Factors affecting birth weight in a sub urban community a study in secondary level hospital in Delhi, Health and Population. Perspectives Issues. 2005;28(4):189-96.

Salas A, Carlo WA, Ambavalanan N, Nolen TL, Stoll BJ, Das A. Gestational age and birth weight for risk assessment of neurodevelopmental impairment or death in extremely preterm infants. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2016;101(6):494-501.

Das K, Ganguly SS, Saha R, Ghosh BN. Inter relationship of birth weight with certain biological and socio economic factors. Indian J Public Health. 1981;2:11-9.

Hota BM, Mova N. New born birth weight in normal pregnancy in rural Telangana. Journal NTR Uni Health Sci. 2017;6(4):232-5.

Moore G. Father’s genetic code influences weight of baby: New study by UCL Institute of child health. PLOS One, 2014.

Catov JM, Lee M, Roberts JM, Xu J, Narsimhan H. Race disparities and decreasing birth weight: are all babies getting smaller? Am J Epidemiol. 2016;183(1):15-23.

Voo E, Hurst FJ. Maternal characteristics and expected birth weight. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 1993;50(2):115-22.

Ounsted M, Scorp A, Mour V.A. Constrained and unconstrained fetal growth association with some biological and pathological factors. Am Bum Biol. 1988;15:33-7.

Moore VM, Daries MJ. Dietary composition of pregnant women in relation to the size of the baby at birth. J Nutr. 2004;134:13-6.

Mathews F, Yudkin P, Neil A. Influence of maternal nutrition on outcome of pregnancy. Prospective Cohort study. 1999;319(7206):339-43.

Roland MC. Fetal growth versus birth weight: the role of placenta versus other determinants. PLoS One. 2012;7(6):39324.

Mohanty C, Prasad R, Reddy SA, Ghosh JK, Singh TB, Das BK. Maternal anthropometry as predictors of low birth weight. J Trop Pediatr. 2006;52(1):24-9.

Jananthan R, Wijesinghe DGNG, Sivananthawerl T. Maternal anthropometry as a predictor of birth weight. Tropical Agricul Res. 2009;21(1):89-98.

Macleod S, Kiely JL. The effects of maternal age and parity on birth weight a population based study in New York City. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1988;26(1):11-9.

Sen J, Mondal N. Association of maternal nutrition status, body composition and socio-economic variables with low birth weight in India. J Trop Pediatr. 2010;56(4):254-9.






Original Research Articles