Aims: To develop postnatal percentile growth charts for Indian very low birth weight (VLBW) appropriate for gestational age (AGA) babies till 37 weeks post conceptional age (PCA).
Methods: Prospective, mixed longitudinal study in 105 VLBW AGA (male 73 and female 32) babies weighing <1500 g and <34 weeks gestation born over 1 year. All were weighed daily until discharge and then weekly till 37 weeks of PCA. The percentile weight curves were computed in four categories : ≤28 weeks, 29–30, 31–32 and 33 weeks, and a total of seven percentile distributions (3rd, 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 90th& 97th) were generated. Entire data were subjected to Tanner’s 1951 method to compute mean and standard deviation for body weight. The arithmetic mean served the 50th percentile.
Results: All babies at birth were <50th centile as per Lubchenco’s intrauterine growth chart. This pattern was more evident in higher gestation (31–32 and 33 weeks) than lower gestation (≤28 and 29–30 weeks). At 37 weeks PCA, all were <10th centile and the lowest was in ≤28 weeks gestation.
Conclusions: Our babies are born smaller, and growth rate is slower than their western counterparts. Babies at lowest gestation had slowest postnatal growth. Hence, we need a separate growth chart for our babies.