Low Birth Weight And What Causes Low Birth Weight
“Low birth weight” term is often applied to a baby that is below healthy baby weight. Low birth weight babies are less than 5 pounds and 8 ounces in weight (2500 g) (1) no matter how many weeks that they have been in the womb.
What This Can Lead To
When a baby ends up weighing 5 pounds and 8 ounces or lower, there are concerns such as the possibility of more illness or even lasting health challenges. Some infants even die because they were born too early or too small.
Low Birth Weight Causes?
What are low birth weight causes? Here are a few causes:
It is often because of premature delivery – the baby did not go through a full term pregnancy.
A Mom’s health, medical condition or the young age or older age can have it’s own set of problems as well.
Because quite a bit of the baby’s weight is gained in the last part of the pregnancy, it is deprived of this time to grow and gain weight when delivered early or have extremely low birth weight, such as when there are multiple births.
Special Care Needed
Most babies will need to be in the neonatal intensive care unit if they are in this weight category.
Early care can help your little one overcome many of their problems. Smaller babies will have difficulties eating and staying warm enough and may easily catch infections and weaken. Some will have breathing problems or neurological problems as well.
They will need such things as temperature controlled beds, perhaps a feeding tube to the stomach, or special feeding formula and care for any existing health conditions.
With this special care and if there are not complications, your baby will be able to grow and gain weight.
Your Part In Caring For Your Little One
Do it very gently. This will help with bonding, even though you can’t take your baby home right away.
Moms and Dads: talk to your little one. They heard you when in the uterus and will feel a bond with you when you speak. If you sang songs while pregnant, that your little one would find comforting or soothing, sing those songs to help them feel less stressed and more comfortable.
My brother sang to his daughter when she was in the womb. After her birth, when she was a baby she would become very still while he sang “her song”. Sometimes as a little girl, the song would still be quite soothing to her when she was upset.
Once You Take Him Or Her Home
Once you get your baby home, you will need to continue monitoring low birth weight under a Doctor’s care and with a baby scale.
Take a look at Tanita BD-585 Baby Scale, which can be used at home between Doctor visits, to keep track of weight gain.
The goal is that your low birth weight babies will come within the normal weight range, in time, if care is taken.