While caring for a one-day-old newborn, the nurse performs her morning assessment. When assessing the chest comparatively to the head, she would expect:


•The chest circumference in a term newborn is usually about 2 cm less than the head circumference.

•Chest circumference is measured at the level of the nipples. If edema of the breasts is present, this measurement will not be accurate until the edema has subsided.

•In a mature newborn, the head circumference is usually 34 to 35 cm, 2 cm greater than the chest circumference. A mature newborn with a head circumference greater than 37 cm or less than 33 cm should be carefully investigated for neurologic involvement.

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