Behavioral intervention and post-natal growth in full-term intrauterine growth retarded (IUGR) infants

Early Hum Dev. 1996 Sep 20;46(1-2):105-16. doi: 10.1016/0378-3782(96)01748-3.


The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to describe the patterns of post-natal growth in full-term infants as a function of IUGR and (2) to assess the impact of an individualized behavioral feeding intervention with the mothers on these patterns of infant growth. Eighty-eight (88) full-term infants, including 54 with IUGR, half of whom received behavioral intervention were included. Weight, length, skinfold thickness, head circumference and Ponderal Index were measured at birth and at 1, 4, 8, 12, and 18 months. Results show positive intervention effects between birth and 1 month in weight, length, skinfold thickness, and Ponderal Index. However, there were no intervention effects at subsequent ages. No evidence was found for catch-up growth in full-term IUGR infants in weight, length, and head circumference. We conclude that an individualized behavioral feeding intervention can accelerate early growth in IUGR infants, but the positive effects on growth are only seen while the intervention lasts (between birth and 1 month). On most parameters of physical growth, there is no lasting catch-up growth over the first 18 months in IUGR full-term infants.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Body Height / physiology
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / diet therapy*
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / physiopathology
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight / growth & development*
  • Infant, Newborn / growth & development*
  • Physical Examination
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • Time Factors
  • Videotape Recording