New Ballard Score Maturational Assessment of Gestational Age

Often the most important tool in medicine is the skilled examiner. Over the course of gestation, babies develop a wide range of characteristics that can be measured through simple examination. As the baby develops muscle tone, distinct posture ensues, as well as measurable angles of resistance in key muscle groups.

Physical characteristics are also key in determining gestational age. The eyes transform from being fused in very premature infants, to wide open in full-term babies. The skin and hair also give away important information in determining gestational age, as well as a host of other characteristics described in this site.

Definition of The New Ballard Score:

The New Ballard Score is a set of procedures developed by Dr. Jeanne L Ballard, MD to determine Gestational Age through neuromuscular and physical assessment of a newborn infant. This site is intended to provide detailed information on gestational age assessment, specifically focused on the New Ballard Score. In the Monograph section each maneuver and examination is described and illustrated in full detail. Use the score sheet to record the results of each examination.

References :
Ballard JL, Khoury JC, Wedig K, et al: New Ballard Score, expanded to include extremely premature
infants. J Pediatrics 1991; 119:417-423.

Neuromuscular Maturity

Physical Maturity