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Neonatal definitions are important in relation to categorization of infants into segments that carry a certain risk of associated morbidities. Newborns can be stratified based on Birth weight (BW), Gestational age (GA) and their relationship:

Gestational age

  • preterm newborns (< 37+0)
  • term newborn (37+0 to 41+6)
  • postterm newborn (> 41+6)

Birth weight

  • macrosomia (> 4500 g)
  • normal (2500 – 4500 g)
  • low birth weight [LBW] (< 2500 g)
  • very low birth weight [VLBW] (< 1500 g)
  • extremely low birth weight [ELBW] (< 1000 g)

Gestational age <> Birth weight

  • appropriate for GA [AGA] (eutrophic)
  • small for GA [SGA] (hypotrophic; BW is < 10.percentile for given GA)
  • large for GA [LGA] (hypertrophic; BW is > 90.percentile for given GA)


Mortality rates

  • Perinatal mortality = stillbirths + live births that died during the first week of life (early neonatal mortality) for 1000 newborns
  • Neonatal mortality = newborns that died since birth up to 28 days of life for 1000 live births
  • Infant mortality = children that died since birth up 1 year of life for 1000 live births

Specific mortality = based on birth weight

Perinatal mortality = consequence of the most common perinatal complications:

  • infection / sepsis
  • congenital anomalies
  • perinatal asphyxia
  • hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
  • peri/intraventricular hemorrhage (PIVH)


Morbidity = illness, deviation from the healthy status of a newborn

Early Morbidity

Late Morbidity

  • cerebral palsy (CP)
  • blindness
  • deafness
  • mental retardation (MR)
  • epilepsy
  • failure to thrive


① Brydges CR, Landes JK, Reid CL, Campbell C, French N, Anderson M. Cognitive outcomes in children and adolescents born very preterm: a meta-analysis. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2018;60(5):452-468. doi:10.1111/dmcn.13685

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