Intrauterine Influences Related to the 2–5 Postnatal Years’ Growth Period

  • Frank Falkner
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 161)


Human life begins at conception and not at birth. Hence the need for an increase in research and observation concerning intrauterine growth. The factors influencing fetal growth are clearly interrelated and complex. In particular the factor of materno-fetal nutrition is in need of much study together with an unravelling of the many puzzles involved. The all important theme in fetal growth is postnatal outcome for the fetus. In normal fetal and postnatal growth there is a confounding genetic factor that needs addressing and that can make interpretation of early growth data difficult. This factor is responsible for individual infants, in the first 18 months to 2 years of postnatal life, to seek their own genetic target curve of growth while throwing off perinatal influences on growth. Lessons may be learned by following the growth of infants of low birthweight, divided into those who are preterm, or smallfor-gestational age. Longitudinal fetal growth curves can be created with ultra-sonography appropriate for fullterm infants and the above infants of low birthweight. With concomitant studies of early factors involved before and after birth, a contribution can be made, and solutions to the many problems associated with early growth would lead to a remarkable betterment of child health worldwide.


Fetal Growth Head Circumference Fullterm Infant Postnatal Outcome Small Twin 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Falkner
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Maternal and Child Health ProgramUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA

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