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Newborn and Infant Care

International adoption-Guatemala

06/22/2007

Question:

We are planning to adopt a little girl born on April 23, 2007. Her birth weight was Weight 4.14 lbs Length: 45 cms. Head Circumference: 32 cms. All labs. negative.- HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, Toxoplasmosis, Rubeola, Cytomeglavirus, Herpes Her measurements at 7 weeks are:

Weight: 7 lbs Length: 48cm Head Circumference: 34cm

Can you please advise us about normal measurments for Guatemalan children/girls. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

Answer:

More than what is normal for any specific ethnic group what we look at is consistency in the growth parameters. This child was born (if full term) at less than the 5th percentile for weight (CDC 2001 growth chart, available at www.cdc.gov/growthcharts). There can be many reasons for this, poor maternal nutrition being high on the list. Her other growth parameters (head circumference and weight) were also less than the 5th percentile, but not as drastically. In her seven weeks, her weight has improved dramatically, with a little lag in head and length growth. This type of growth can be reasonable in this circumstance.

Of possibly more (or at least equal) importance is her developmental growth. Is she reaching appropriate developmental milestones? I would recommend a meeting with your pediatric health care provider or, if available in your area, a foreign adoption clinic to review all the information you have on this child prior to adoption.

For more information:

Go to the Newborn and Infant Care health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Sarah Sauntry, RN, MS, CPNP-PC
Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati