Fetal growth may at any time during gestational period be affected by several factors that may cause diseases to fetuses or neonates, and interfere with neonatal morbidity and mortality. Among these factors are racial, genetic, socioeconomic factors and maternal malnutrition and illnesses like diabetes, preeclampsia and anemia.
Our aim is to study the effect of maternal height, age, and illnesses on the anthropometric measurements of full term singleton newborns.
Two hundred full term singleton newborns were studied cross-sectionally in the maternity wards of 2 hospitals in the medical city /Baghdad .They were assessed by measuring the newborn weight, length and occipitofrontal circumference using standard methods of measurements. The gestational age was assessed by simplified Ballard-Dubowitz method. Mother's height was also measured. The maternal illnesses during pregnancy were listed in special questionnaire form. Statistical analysis was done by statistician.
Of 200 full term singleton newborns, 109 (54.5%) were females and 91 (45.5%) were males. Mean body weight of males was 2850 grams, while that of females was 2600 grams. Mean length of males was 48.75 cms, while that of females was 48 cms. Mean OFC of males was 34.5 cms, while that of females was 33.5 cms. The weight of males was more than that of females at maternal height of 140-150 cms, 161-170 cms and 171-180 cms. Males were longer at maternal height of 161-180 cms. Males had higher OFC than females at maternal height of 161-180 cms. Males were lighter in weight than females of preeclamptic mothers, but no such effect on length and OFC. Maternal anemia also affect mainly newborn s` weight. There is no effect of other maternal diseases on weight, length, and OFC. The largest number and heaviest weight of newborns were at maternal age of 26-35 years, while male newborns of extreme maternal ages being longer than females. No effect of maternal age on OFC.
In this study, we found more female newborns than males, and the mean weight, length and OFC of males were greater than that of females, and the heaviest newborns were at maternal height of 170-180 cms .Maternal preeclampsia and anemia affecting newborns weight mainly. Maternal age of 26-35 years gave heavier newborns. We recommend improving the maternal antenatal care, nutrition, and controlling maternal illnesses to improve the neonatal anthropometric measurements, and also recommend making wide national study to construct and apply local intrauterine growth curves specific to our country