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Table 1 Criteria for rapid gestational assessment at delivery

From: Low-tech, high impact: care for premature neonates in a district hospital in Burundi. A way forward to decrease neonatal mortality


36 Weeks and earlier

37–38 Weeks

39 Weeks & Beyond

Creases in soles of feet

1 or 2 transverse creases; posterior ¾ of sole smooth

Multiple creases; anterior 2/3 of heel smooth

Entire sole, including heel, covered with creases

Breast nodulea

2 mm

4 mm

7 mm

Scalp hair

Fine & woolly; fuzzy

Fine & woolly; fuzzy

Coarse & silky; each hair single-stranded

Ear lobe

No cartilage

Moderate amount of cartilage

Stiff ear lobe with thick cartilage

Testes & scrotum

Testes partially descended; scrotum small, with few rugae


Testes fully descended; scrotum normal size, with prominent rugae

  1. aThe breast nodule is not palpable before 33 weeks. Underweight full-term infants may have retarded breast development (Clinical significance of gestational age and objective measurement. Pediatr Clin North Am)