Q&A: Baby's weight during pregnancy
I am 28 years old and 33 weeks pregnant. My previous pregnancy resulted in me giving birth at 26 weeks and my daughter weighed olnly 1.025kg. She's now 10 years old and absolutely fine. Recently, I had contractions and ended up being admitted into hospital overnight. They told me that my baby's weight is 1.600kg which ahs made me very scared. Is baby's weight fine according to how far pregnant I am, or should I be panicking? I don't want to have another preterm birth.

Tina Otte answers:

Preterm birth occurs in about 10 percent of pregnancies. One of the main risk factors for a preterm birth is a history of a previous preterm birth. The fact that you have delivered prematurely before does increase your risk.

You are considered to be at term after 37 completed weeks of pregnancy, but delivering at 34 weeks is very different to delivering at 26 weeks. From 34 weeks on, many of the problems pf prematurity become far less common.

You may have been contracting because of a bladder infection which was then treated or it may have been a run of Braxton Hicks that settled on its own. The overnight admission allowed you to rest and allowed your healthcare providers to observe what would result from the contractions. They likely gave you steriod injections to promote foetal lung maturity as a precaution, may have given you antibiotics and something to stop the contrcations.

As far as weight goes, 1.6kg at 33 weeks is on the small side, and while this wouldn't cause preterm labour, your baby's growth needs to be seriously measured over the next weeks. Your baby may be normally genetically small or may be growing slowly due to placental problems.

The amount of amniotic fluid and blood flow through the cord also reflects placental function. Your team may advise early delivery if there is concern about placental function.

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