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Low Birth-Weight Infant : Overview

What Does Low Birth Weight Mean?

Low birth weight contributes to 60 to 80 percent of neonatal deaths worldwide. Approximately 20 million low birth weight babies are born per annum 
, most of them in developing countries. Preterm births, those occurring before the 37th week of pregnancy, also are on the increase. They account for over 10 percent of births globally. Most premature infants even have low birth weights.

Complications from prematurity and low birth weight are the leading explanation for 
death for youngsters under age five round the world. Many survivors of preterm birth and low birth weight may suffer from disabilities like learning problems, hearing disorder and vision issues.

The normal range of birth weight is from 5.5 to 8.75 pounds. Delivery after the 37th week of pregnancy is taken into account “at term.” Any baby born weighing but 5.5 pounds is low birth weight, and a baby born before 37 weeks is premature.


What causes low birthweight?

The primary cause is premature birth, being born before 37 weeks gestation; a baby born early has less time within the 
mother's uterus to grow and gain weight, and far of a fetus's weight is gained during the latter a part of the mother's pregnancy.

Another explanation for 
low birthweight is intrauterine growth restriction. this happens when a baby doesn't grow well in utero due to problems with the placenta, the mother's health or birth defects. Babies with Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) could also be born early or full-term; premature babies with IUGR could also be very small and physically immature, and full-term babies with IUGR could also be physically mature but weak.

Any baby born prematurely is more likely to be small. However, there are other factors which will also contribute to the danger of low birthweight.


These include:


Ø     Race - African-American babies are twice as likely as Caucasian babies to possess low birthweight.

Ø     Mother's age - Teen mothers (especially those younger than 15) have a way higher risk of getting a baby with low birthweight.

Ø     Multiple birth - Multiple birth babies are at increased risk of low birthweight because they often are premature.

Ø     Mother's health - Babies of mothers who are exposed to illicit drugs, alcohol and cigarettes are more likely to possess low birthweight. Mothers of lower socioeconomic status also are more likely to possess poorer pregnancy nutrition, inadequate prenatal care, and pregnancy complications — all factors which will contribute to low birthweight.

Nearly all low birthweight babies need specialized care within the 
Neonatal medical care Unit (NICU) until they gain weight and are tolerably to travel home. Fortunately, there's a 95 percent chance of survival for babies weighing between 3 pounds, 5 ounces and 5 pounds, 8 ounces.


Can low birthweight be prevented?

Prevention of preterm births is one among 
the simplest ways to stop babies born with low birthweight. Prenatal care may be a key think about preventing preterm births and low birthweight babies.

At prenatal visits, the health of both mother and fetus are often 
checked. Because maternal nutrition and weight gain are linked with fetal weight gain and birthweight, eating a healthy diet and gaining the right amount of weight in pregnancy are essential. Mothers should avoid alcohol, cigarettes and illicit drugs, which may contribute to poor fetal growth, among other complications.

What health conditions may affect a low-birthweight baby later in life?
Babies born with low birthweight could also be 
more likely than babies born at a traditional weight to possess certain health conditions later in life, including:


Ø     Diabetes

Ø     Heart disease

Ø     High vital sign

Ø     Metabolic syndrome. this is often caused once you have high vital sign , diabetes and heart condition all at once.

Talk to your baby’s health care provider about what you'll 
do to assist your baby be healthy. As your child grows, confirm she eats healthy food, stays active and goes to all or any her health care checkups. Getting regular checkups throughout childhood can help your baby’s provider spot health conditions which will cause problems as your baby grows older. These checkups also help confirm that your child gets all the vaccinations she must stay shielded from certain harmful diseases.



Notice: Please consult your doctor before following any instruction of


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