Background and Aims Despite sweeping progress in the area of neonatology it is impossible to create artificial environment which would provide the same development conditions as mother’s womb. Correct subsequent development of a child is dependant on intrauterine growth. Premature delivery hampers not only the development of internal organs but also weight gain. Aim of the project is to compare birth and discharge weight of infants with ELBW in order to analyse their weight gain.
Methods Data was gathered from 81 infants of weight less than 1000 g hospitalised in Neonatology and Infant Intensive Care Centre at the Medical University of Warsaw. Employing growth charts to compare birth and discharge weight of infants with ELBW. Assessing the influence of pregnancy length and sex of the infant on its weight gain.
Results The 81 infants were divided into 3 groups. Group 1 with 22 infants (27.2%) whose weight-for-age score was the same for both birth and discharge weight. Group 2 with 53 infants (70.4%) for which weight-for-age score lowered after birth. Group 3 with 6 infants (2.4%) for which weight-for-age score increased. A statistically significant correlation was discovered between pregnancy length and weight gain rate in groups 1 and 2. No correlation was found between sex of the infant and its gain weight in any of the groups.
Conclusions For infants with ELBW postnatal weight gain does not match intrauterine growth. An important factor hampering postnatal weight gain is pregnancy length. The lower intrauterine age the slower weight gain rate.