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A Matter of Size: Part 2Evaluating the Large-for-Gestational-Age Neonate

Lawrence, Elizabeth J. RNC, MSN, NNP

Section Editor(s): MERRITT, LINDA MSN, RNC

doi: 10.1097/01.ANC.0000286335.06047.28
Focus on the Physical

Large for gestational age (LGA) is another designation used to assess and monitor growth throughout the pregnancy and after delivery. Large for gestational age is an abnormal growth descriptor that assists in anticipating neonatal needs pre-and postnatally.

Careful monitoring for abnormal growth trends in the fetus is imperative prenatally. The relative size of a neonate affects many aspects of prenatal and postnatal surveillance. Nursing care is guided by the maternal history and the delivery room complications that may occur. Anticipating complications in the delivery room is vital to the survival of LGA neonates.

Nursing care for LGA neonates requires knowledge based on these potential complications. A thorough physical assessment with appropriate glucose monitoring and parental education is required.

Size matters when it comes to the health and welfare of all sizes of neonates. Anticipatory guidance with prenatal monitoring and education can improve outcomes in the neonate at risk for LGA complications at birth.

From the NNP Group, Coordinator, NICU, Womack Army Medical Center, Ft. Bragg, NC.

Address correspondence to Elizabeth J. Lawrence, RNC, MSN, NNP, 7000 Mill Stone Lane, Fayetteville, NC 28306. E-mail:

Part 1 appeared in December 2006, Vol. 6, No. 6, pp. 313–322.

The author has no significant ties, financial or otherwise, to any company that might have an interest in the publication of this educational activity.

© 2007 National Association of Neonatal Nurses