Low Birth Weight Causes

Low Birth Weight Causes

It is not unusual for the average baby to weigh around eight pounds when born. But there is a percentage of little ones, about 8%, who will weigh less than that.

A low birth weight baby will weigh less than 5 pounds 8 ounces. (1) So let’s talk about causes of low birth weight and whether you always have to worry.




For Some, That is Natural

For some small babies, there are no worries, as they do not have a condition or problem. Some are just born small. They are not abnormal and your Doctor will probably tell you not to be concerned, if this is the case.

If you do have an underweight baby, and need to keep track of it’s milk intake, and work with your Doctor, I would suggest you read more about a baby scale.

Low Birth Weight Babies Are Caused By…

If a mother’s uterus is small, she may not be able to carry the baby to full term, so the little one would not have the last few weeks in the uterus that it usually would, to put on the weight. The same could happen if the mother was small in stature.

An additional factor is that teenage mothers, especially those below age 15 are likely to have a underweight baby.

And there is a greater risk of this happening with African American babies as well, some where around twice the risk of a white baby.

Mother’s Health

And the mother’s health also plays a major factor. If her nutrition is poor or she is battling a health condition, it may affect the fetus.

Healthy Pregnancy Diet – Your Nutrition Is Important

If nutrition is poor, the baby may be small at birth. Remember that you are “building a baby” when pregnant.

So you need a healthy pregnancy diet. Why? Babies need a full range of vitamins and minerals to grow properly.

If you do not eat a full range of healthy foods including plenty of vegetables – 5 or more servings of vegetables (1/2 cup portions) each day, along with your other foods, it is highly likely you are not getting the vitamins and minerals your unborn child needs to develop to the point of being healthy at birth.

Then in addition you need some sources of protein and a moderate amount of carbohydrates (starches). Most people eat too much carbohydrates. It is one of the leading causes of Diabetes. In addition, perhaps some fruit, perhaps not.

And then drink plenty of water throughout the day, going light on fruit juices or cut the fruit juice out completely, because of the sugars. It would be best to skip soft drinks / sodas, as these do not build good health, instead tear it down because of the chemicals and sweeteners.

Perhaps you would like recipes written for someone who is pregnant, so you know you are on track and getting good ideas for nutritious meals. I would suggest a Pregnancy Cookbook, such as found in this course.

Prenatal Vitamins

Another option in addition to eating really healthy is to take a high quality prenatal vitamin. Plus you will be sure to get important nutrients such as Folic acid, which studies have shown help prevent neural tube defects. Check out Garden of Life Mykind Organics Prenatal Multi.

How Do You Eat?

From my years of counseling my clients about nutrition I saw that many younger mothers eat on the go, reaching for quick fixes for the hunger, such as prepackaged foods, which are likely to be foods mainly containing carbohydrates and sugars.

Or perhaps they frequented fast food places, where the same types of foods are offered, but little in the way of the vegetables being offered, giving the needed minerals for the developing fetus.

Example: A meal of a burger, fries and milkshake may only have a little piece of lettuce and a tomato slice. And another downside, is most of this food will be full of chemicals, which make it hard on the health of both the mother and unborn.

To get better nutrition for you and your unborn child takes effort. I hope that you can see that now. It will pay off as the fetus develops and later, in the health of the child.

It is best to actually be building your health, making good food choices before becoming pregnant. Many women do not know they are pregnant for a couple of months and during that time you may be “building your baby” from a nutritional deficiency standpoint.

Other Causes Of Low Birth Weight

In addition, the mother’s use of alcohol, cigarettes, recreational drugs, or abuse of over the counter drugs or prescribed medicine can affect development as well, all contributing to an underweight  or low birth weight baby. Be sure to talk to your Doctor about these things when you find out you are pregnant.

Multiple Births

And lastly, Multiple Birth babies are most often born early. There is just not enough room in the uterus to hold two or more as there is just one baby. So with the larger the amount of infants, the more likely it is that some are going to be underweight.

Many Causes

I hope this article answered your question on causes of low birth weight. What causes low birth weight? There are many causes. Sometimes it is preventable, and other times more difficult to prevent.

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