How Much do Premature Babies Weigh?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Sep 12, 2011

New born babyPreterm birth is a major challenge for the doctors as most neonatal and infant deaths occur in preterm infants. According to researchers, birth weight and prematurity are important risk factors for various complications such as bleeding in the brain, development of hydrocephalus (dilatation of the fluid-filled cavities or ventricles in the brain), cerebral palsy, mental retardation, learning disorders, vision, speech and hearing problems.

Weight at different gestational ages: The weight of a premature baby depends on the gestational age.  The following table gives an approximate of how much premature babies weigh at various gestational age (a premature baby may weigh less or more than the weight given in the table).

Weight at different gestational ages

24 weeks    600 grams
25 weeks    660 grams
26 weeks    760 grams
27 weeks    875 grams
28 weeks    1005 grams
29 weeks    1153 grams
30 weeks    1319 grams
31 weeks    1502 grams
32 weeks    1702 grams
33 weeks    1918 grams
34 weeks    2146 grams
35 weeks    2383 grams
36 weeks    2622 grams

Outcomes for gestational age

Based on the gestational age preterm babies can be categorised as:

  • Preterm baby—Delivered before the 37 weeks of gestation are over.
  • Very preterm infant―Delivered before 32 weeks of gestation.
  • Extremely preterm infant―Delivered before 28 weeks of gestation.

The outcome of preterm babies depends on the gestational age, the complications that might develop and how much the premature babies weigh. Most complications and death occur in extremely preterm babies who weigh much less than a normal term infant.

Due to advances in medical care, the survival of premature babies has improved considerably. More than 90% of premature babies who weigh more than 800 grams survive and more than 60% of preterm babies who weigh more than 500 grams survive. Continued research and advances will probably further improve the survival rate of premature babies.


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