Babies born at or after 40 completed weeks of gestation (280 or more days after the first day of the last menstrual period) with a birthweight less than 2,750 grams are considered small for gestational age and are likely to have been affected by intrauterine growth restriction (AIHW 2022). Poor fetal growth is associated with increased risks of fetal death and compromise in labour. Late fetal growth restriction may predispose the baby to hypertension and diabetes in adulthood (Draper et al. 2017; Flenady et al. 2018; Sharma et al. 2016).
Some babies whose intrauterine growth is normal are small, and female babies are normally smaller than male babies of the same gestational age. Use of sex-specific birthweight cut-off points would align this indicator more closely with growth restriction.
For this indicator, small babies at or after 40 weeks gestation is defined as a birthweight less than 2,750 grams; the definition of low birthweight (grams) may be different in other national or international reporting indicators.