Intrauterine Growth

  • Peter Gruenwald


The third trimester of pregnancy, when an infant may be born with some chance of surviving, has been considered to be a period in which fetal growth predominates over maturation. This view is true in comparison with earlier periods when developmental changes are strikingly in the foreground, but it is at best a gross oversimplification. Maturation rather than growth accounts for the steadily improving chance of extrauterine survival during the third trimester. While everyone is familiar with the functional handicaps of the preterm infant, knowledge of the week-by-week progress of structural and functional maturation is woefully inadequate. Actually, it is quite impossible to separate growth from maturation; there is no period of life in which the former proceeds without the latter; that is, there is no period in which there is growth without changes in composition or function.


Birth Weight Fetal Growth Human Placenta Perinatal Death Maternal Factor 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Gruenwald
    • 1
  1. 1.Hahnemann Medical College and HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA

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