Maternal Health Task Force

MHTF Blog

Brand New Size at Birth Standards Will Improve Neonatal Health

By: Katie Millar, Technical Writer, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

newborn size birth growth development INTERGROWTH WHO world health organizationnewborn growth size birth global oxford intergrowth standards chart WHO world health organization girls femaleNewborn size at birth standards are now available from the INTERGROWTH-21st project. This package includes size charts, standards and z-scores for newborn length, weight and head circumference at birth for boys and girls.

These standards—based on a multicenter, multi-ethnic, population-based study—are the first global standards for newborn growth and debunk the myth that fetal and newborn growth differs by race and country of origin. In fact, results from the INTERGROWTH-21st project show that if a woman is healthy, the size and growth of her newborn should be consistent, no matter where she lives.

The newborn size at birth standards are currently in use at Oxford. In addition, these standards are being introduced and piloted at INTERGROWTH-21st study sites and medical centers in the Boston area. We encourage all clinicians to use these standards worldwide.

Next steps to implement these standards in your facility:

Forthcoming tools:

  • Interactive resources such as online calculators and mobile phone tools

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