ballard gestational age assessment

Gestational Age Assessment: Everything You Need To Know

Prenatal doctor visits are extremely necessary to not just see your pregnancy health but also to check how well is the baby developing inside you. Your healthcare provider during this time, also takes the Gestational Age Assessment. Gestational Age Assessment is estimating the number of weeks you’ve crossed in your pregnancy. Usually, full-term pregnancy is 40 weeks. Alternately, in this assessment, your doctor would try to understand whether the baby is small or large for gestational age. Read on to find more about gestational age assessment:

What Is The Normal Gestational Age?

Well! The most accurately estimated gestational age is taken from the last day of your menstrual cycle to the present date of pregnancy. Your healthcare provider, will take you through several ultrasound scans to be sure of your gestational age till such time that you give birth to your little one. In addition to this, your baby’s age, health and size check is done while he or she is inside you by a method known as Foetal Age Calculator. This will give crown-lump length of the life you’re nurturing inside. This also shows that, how old is the foetus.

What Method Does The Doctor Use To Take The Gestational Age Assessment?

Your healthcare provider can take the gestational age assessment not just before your child’s birth, but also after childbirth. In fact, clinicians use the Ballad scoring system to assess your gestational age if there is no other reliable scoring method available. The doctor closely evaluates your baby’s appearance developing inside you, through this method. However, after you’ve given birth to your little one, to assess newborn’s physical development or maturity, the ballad scoring system is used by your healthcare provider. In fact, your doctor can take the help of this scoring system up to 4 days of your baby’s life. It could be the size of your little one’s head, abdomen and thigh bone. In fact, the ballard scoring system works in this way:

  • The newborn ballard assessment ranges from -1 to 5 and the doctor gives the score depending upon the baby’s physical, nervous and muscular development.
  • To determine the gestational age, your might add the ballad scores together. Scores may range from -10 to 50.
  • When you give birth to a full-term baby, he or she would score highly, however, premature babies get low scores.

Based upon this method and the gestational age, the newborns are divided into different stages: 

  • Premature: < 34 weeks gestation
  • Late pre-term: 34 to < 37 weeks
  • Early term: 37 weeks, 0 days to 38 weeks, 6 days
  • Full term: 39 weeks, 0 days to 40 weeks, 6 days
  • Low-birth weight
  • Late term: 41 weeks, 0 days to 41 weeks, 6 days
  • Postterm: 42 weeks, 0 days, and beyond
  • Postmature: > 42 weeks

How Is The Physical Maturity Of Your Newborn Assessed By Your Doctor?

Your doctor can check the physical characteristic of your newborn based on the newborn gestational age assessment calculator:

  • Your doctor will check whether the skin of your little one is sticky or peeling.
  • Your doctor will check soft brown hair also known as lanugo in your little one.
  • Your doctor will check whether there are creases on your little one’s feet.
  • Your doctor will check the thickness and size of the breasts as well as the darker ring around the nipple area.
  • Your doctor will properly check the eyes and ears of your little one.

Not just that! Through this assessment your doctor also checks whether your little has:

  • The right posture.
  • Whether he or she can flex his or her wrist.
  • Whether he or she can bend or straighten his or her knees.
  • Whether he or she can move his or her elbows.

That means by gestational age assessment your doctor can keep a check on your baby’s health inside you. In fact, your healthcare provider can plan the best care for your baby by identifying any problems in your little one.

Along with this, if you need some more information on pregnancy and baby care follow our blog page.

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