Influence of maternal region of birth on neonatal outcomes of babies born small

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Aim: To compare neonatal outcomes of small for gestational age (SGA) infants born to South Asian (SA)-born women and Australian/New Zealand (ANZ)-born women. Methods: Retrospective cohort study at a hospital network in Australia. Maternal and neonatal data were collected for infants born SGA between 2013 and 2017 to SA- or ANZ-born women. Rates of perinatal mortality and neonatal morbidities were analysed between groups. Results: A total of 1018 SA and 959 ANZ SGA infants were included. SA SGA babies were older (median [IQR] 39 [38-40] weeks) and heavier (2590 [2310-2780] grams) compared to ANZ SGA babies (38 [37-40] weeks and 2480 [2059-2740] grams; P <.001 for both). After adjustment for differences in demographics, SA SGA babies were 1.5 times more likely to develop hypothermia (CI: 1.16-1.88, P =.001), but 60% less likely to be born with a major congenital malformation (CI: 0.24-0.67, P =.001) and 36% less likely to need gavage feeding (CI: 0.43-0.93, P =.02) compared to ANZ SGA babies. Conclusion: Small for gestational age babies of SA-born women have different neonatal outcomes as compared to those born to ANZ-born women. Further research into influence of maternal region of birth on placental function, organogenesis and body composition of SGA babies is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-165
Number of pages8
JournalActa Paediatrica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • foetal growth restriction
  • hypothermia
  • intrauterine growth restriction
  • small for gestational age
  • South Asian

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