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Revista Paulista de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0103-0582


JALDIN, Maria da Graça M et al. Head circumference growth of exclusively breastfed infants during the first six months of life. Rev. paul. pediatr. [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.4, pp.509-514. ISSN 0103-0582.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the head circumference growth of exclusively breastfed children from birth to the sixth month of life using, as references, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS/1977) as well as the World Health Organization/2006 international standard (WHO/2006). METHODS: A longitudinal research carried out at the Mother and Child University Hospital of the Federal University of Maranhão (Northeast Brazil), from October 2007 to November 2008. A non-probabilistic sample of 328 singleton full term neonates, with birthweight >2500g and <4000g was enrolled, being all neonates exclusively breastfed from birth to the sixth month of life; 181 children (95 females and 86 males) completed the follow-up. The head circumference was estimated by average, standard deviation and percentiles 5, 50 and 95. Percentile results were compared taking as references the NCHS/1977 and the WHO/2006 standards. RESULTS: There was an average of 1.5cm in head circumference growth for males and 1.4cm for females per month during the first six months of life. Head circumference followed the 50th percentile of the WHO/2006 standard for both genders. Regarding the NCHS/1977 standard, males presented head circumference following the 50th percentile throughout the six months, except at birth, and females followed the 50th percentile from birth until six months of life. CONCLUSIONS: Exclusively breastfed children presented a satisfactory head circumference growth up to the sixth month of life, in accordance with the 50th percentile of WHO/2006 and NCHS/1977 standards. 

Keywords : breast feeding; cephalometry; growth; anthropometry.

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