Delivering a low birth weight baby is quite a common occurrence. You will observe this situation in one out of 13 births.
If your baby is born with a low birth weight, there are increased chances for the occurrence of serious health problems during infancy and also long-term disabilities during adulthood.
When is the baby considered as having a low birth weight?
Newborn babies weighing less than 5lbs, 8oz or 2500 grams are considered as low birth weight babies.
Usually, babies born with a low birth weight fall into two groups: a) babies have low birth weight as they were born before the term; b) babies are small for their gestational age.
What are the conditions that lead to a baby born with low birth weight?
- Alcohol consumption
- Chronic illnesses during pregnancy
- Drug usage, particularly illegal drugs
- Excessive stress and anxiety
- Genetic disorders
- Inadequate prenatal care
- Inadequate placenta
- Low weight of the mother
- Premature labor
- Poor diet and nutrition
- Short period between successive pregnancies
- Tobacco consumption
What can you do to reduce the chances of a baby born with low birth weight?
If you are careful about your medical tests and your own health, you can significantly reduce the chances of a baby born with a low birth weight.
If you think that you are experiencing circumstances that can lead to giving birth to a baby with low birth weight, you should consult a doctor.
Ultrasound examination helps to reassure that your baby is growing normally and healthily.
Some other factors than can help a baby born with healthy weight include:
- Consumption of best prenatal vitamins during your pregnancy along with folic acid. Folic acid supplement can reduce the chances of preterm labor;
- Stop drinking alcohol, quit smoking and avoid usage of narcotics;
- Get regular prenatal care during your pregnancy;
- Follow a healthy and well-balanced diet during your entire pregnancy period;
- Properly manage chronic problems like diabetes, hypertension, etc.
If, after following all these precautionary measures, you find that your baby is of low weight, your doctor will put you through several tests to improve your baby’s condition.