Why is birth weight plotted on a bell curve?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The classic bell curve helps make a vital point about how your baby's weight in the womb influences his lifelong health. Most times, kids fall in the middle of that bell curve—right in the normal range; that's why the middle of the baby-weight bell curve is bigger than a septuplets' grocery bill. But you also need to be aware of what happens when you teeter toward the extreme edges of fetal weight, because that's when your provider may need to intervene.

In pregnancy, the bell curve teaches us about what's happening to your developing baby. Your baby's optimal grade rests right in the middle of the bell curve. Why? Because Goldilocks was right about your baby's size. You don't want too big and you don't want too small. You want just about right.
YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy

More About this Book

YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy

Can I get a cavity filled while pregnant? Will avoiding spicy foods make my kid a picky eater? Can I really increase my baby's IQ while she's in utero? Whether you're pregnant for the first time,...

Continue Learning about Fetal Development Basics & Pregnancy

Mom’s Sweet Tooth Puts Babies at Risk of Asthma
Mom’s Sweet Tooth Puts Babies at Risk of Asthma
“What took you so long?” a pregnant Lucy asks Ricky on an episode of I Love Lucy. “There’s only one store in New York City that makes a papaya juice m...
Read More
Which synaptic connections are formed first in a baby's brain development?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Interestingly, synaptic connections are formed in a particular order. First come the primary sen...
More Answers
What is the earliest that is healthy for my baby to be born?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Week 37 is when your baby is considered full-term. At this point, the baby is far enough in developm...
More Answers
What are the advantages of bed rest during pregnancy?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Bed rest helps your situation by minimizing the need for your blood to provide energy to your body -...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.