We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.
Conditions

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What is a Prenatal Growth Chart?

By Amanda Dean
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

Obstetricians and expecting parents can use a prenatal growth chart to help track infant development during pregnancy. Although babies grow at different rates, a doctor can refer to a fetal growth chart to determine if there is something alarmingly abnormal happening with the baby. Some of these charts include pictures of what the fetus should look like at each stage of development. Expectant parents can download prenatal growth chart software to know what to expect in fetal and pregnancy development.

Many pregnancy and parenting websites have charts that show average fetal length and weight for each week of gestation. Full-term newborns can vary greatly in length and weight. The further along in pregnancy, the more likely it is to see deviations in the growth of the fetus. A prenatal growth chart usually includes an average length and weight for the baby or a range that normal babies should fall into.

Early growth charts of up to 20 weeks of gestation measure from the top of the head to the bottom of the fetus's rump. After 10 weeks, a prenatal growth chart should switch to head-to-toe measurements. The prenatal growth chart may also include a list of identifiable organs and body structures that should be present as gestation progresses.

The prenatal growth chart can also be helpful in planning for the baby's arrival. In some cases, mothers may have difficulty pinpointing the date of conception, which makes it difficult for her obstetrician to ascertain a due date. The doctor may use a prenatal growth chart to help determine an expected time frame for delivery.

Most expecting parents are anxious to know how well their babies are developing. They may be given a prenatal growth chart that includes fetal milestones including development of body structures and senses. This helps parents bond with their unborn children. Most parents see only a small number of ultrasonic images of the fetus, so graphical growth charts help parents to visualize their new baby as it grows and develop in the womb.

A prenatal growth chart may also help expectant mothers to understand how their bodies are changing during pregnancy. This tool can help them plan for some of the symptoms of pregnancy and understand if what they are experiencing is normal. These charts may include expected weight gain and abdominal measurements during pregnancy.

A doctor may also use a prenatal growth chart to help determine if there is a problem with fetal development. A developing baby that is excessively larger than the normal range may be at risk for gestational diabetes or another problem. Although many fetal growth charts are available, most Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) use the Babson and Benda Fetal-infant Growth Graph to determine the development of preterm babies. Babies that are much smaller than their developing peers may suffer from genetic abnormalities and may need extra care during development and delivery.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
Share
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.