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Children's Health

Bit Worried about My Son’s Growth

11/04/2010

Question:

Hi,

My wife gave birth to a premature baby before 8 weeks (17th August 2010) of EDD (17th October 2010)[due to severe heamatoma] and his weight was 950gm only. He has no congenital defects. He was taken into NICU for about 41 days, and feeded with breast milk (expressed) from 4th day onwards. He was discharged from NICU at 1.1 kg and from hospital at 1.4 kg and HC of 31.5cm. We had checkup after 10 days of discharge and his weight gains to 1.65 kg and HC with 32.5 cm. And the doctor says he is doing well as expected. Still he is given expressed breast milk.

I am bit worried about his growth and related activities. Is he gaining weight and other health patterns in normal manner? Is he a 2.5 month old baby or just half month old one? Is there any problems with the HC range? Will there be any health issues for my son in future? What are all things we need to concentrate more during his development? When can we start direct breast feeding? Will direct breast feeding cause reduce of weight gain?

Answer:

You ask some very complicated questions. We look at the development of a premature child with consideration to how early the child was born. We look for "catch up" growth over the first year of life and most infants who were cared for in NICU's solely for growth do generally have a lag in developmental milestones but do achieve appropriate development.

It is VERY important to keep in touch with your pediatric health care professional who will assist you in monitoring for appropriate weight gain, head growth, and development. It is not expected that your child at 2 1/2 months should have the same development as an infant born at full term who is 2 1/2 months. With any premature child we have to monitor them for developmental lags, some that may not be apparent until the first few years of school. Again, keeping up with your regular, recommended well child visits to your pediatric health care provider cannot be over emphasized.

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Response by:

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