Maternal and Child Health Bureau ~ 5
TERMS USED TO DESCRIBE PREMATURITY AND BIRTHWEIGHT
Used to describe
Infants born before 38 weeks gestation
Low birth weight (LBW)
Infants weighing fewer than 2500 g at birth
Very low birth weight (VLBW)
Infants weighing fewer than 1500 g at birth
Extremely low birth weight (ELBW)
Infants weighing fewer than 1000 g at birth
Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR)
Growth of the fetus that is delayed related to gestational age
Small for gestational age (SGA)
Infants whose birthweights are less than expected for their gestational age; <10th percentile is often used
The age of a fetus or newborn, usually stated in weeks from the first day of the mother's last menstrual period
The age of an infant stated as the amount of time since birth
The age of an infant from birth, minus the number of weeks premature
Appropriate for gestational age (AGA)
Infants whose birthweights are as expected for their gestational age; 10th - 90th percentile is often used
Large for gestational age (LGA)
Infants whose birthweights are greater expected for their gestational age; above the 90th percentile is often used
(Anderson, 1999; Scott, Artman, Hill, 1997)
Problems with feeding that interfere with an adequate nutrient intake have obvious effects on a child's growth.
Children with neurodevelopmental problems, such as cerebral palsy, often have feeding problems due to structural abnormalities of the oral area (teeth, gums, jaw) or oral-motor dysfunction due to abnormal tone or reflexes affecting their ability to close their lips, suck, swallow or chew (Cloud, 1997; Stevenson, 1995).
Children with neural tube defects such as spina bifida often have the Arnold Chiari malformation of the brain, which makes swallowing difficult (Ekvall, 1993).
Problems with gastroesophageal reflux (GER) can contribute to problems with feeding as well. Many children with neurodevelopmental problems have GER (Cloud, 1997; Stevenson, 1995).
Tactile sensitivity or sensory defensiveness, common among children with cerebral palsy, autism, and spina bifida may cause a child to avoid putting things in his/her mouth (Cloud, 1997; Stevenson, 1995).
Without intervention, these difficulties can lead to inadequate food intake and slowed growth.