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Author Notes:

Camilo E Valderrama, Email: cvalder@emory.edu


Research Funding:

CV was funded by a Fulbright Scholarship. GC acknowledges the support of the National Institutes of Health, the Fogarty International Center and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, grant number 1R21HD084114-01 (Mobile Health Intervention to Improve Perinatal Continuum of Care in Guatemala).


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Engineering, Biomedical
  • Physiology
  • Engineering
  • birth weight
  • fetal monitoring
  • neonatal weight changes
  • RISK

Estimating birth weight from observed postnatal weights in a Guatemalan highland community


Journal Title:



Volume 41, Number 2


, Pages 025008-025008

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Objective: Low birth weight is one of the leading contributors to global perinatal deaths. Detecting this problem close to birth enables the initiation of early intervention, thus reducing the long-term impact on the fetus. However, in low-and middle-income countries, sometimes newborns are weighted days or months after birth, thus challenging the identification of low birth weight. This study aims to estimate birth weight from observed postnatal weights recorded in a Guatemalan highland community. Approach: With 918 newborns recorded in postpartum visits at a Guatemalan highland community, we fitted traditional infant weight models (Count's and Reeds models). The model that fitted the observed data best was selected based on typical newborn weight patterns reported in the medical literature and previous longitudinal studies. Then, estimated birth weights were determined using the weight gain percentage derived from the fitted weight curve. Main results: The best model for both genders was the Reeds2 model, with a mean square error of 0.30 kg2 and 0.23 kg2 for male and female newborns, respectively. The fitted weight curves exhibited similar behavior to those reported in the literature, with a maximum weight loss around three to five days after birth, and birth weight recovery, on average, by day ten. Moreover, the estimated birth weight was consistent with the 2015 Guatemalan National Survey, no having a statistically significant difference between the estimated birth weight and the reported survey birth weights (two-sided Wilcoxon rank-sum test;). Significance: By estimating birth weight at an opportune time, several days after birth, it may be possible to identify low birth weight more accurately, thus providing timely treatment when is required.

Copyright information:

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/rdf).
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