Types, Causes, Prevention and Complication of Low Birth Weight (LBW) Baby

Definition of Low Birth Weight (LBW) Baby:

According to WHO, a low birth weight LBW) baby is one with a birth weight of less than 2500 8, within the first hour of life, before significant postnatal weight loss.

Risk Factors for Low Birth Weight (LBW) Baby:

All the risk factors for low birth weight (LBW) have listed in the below:

  • Malnutrition,
  • Infection,
  • Unregulated fertility, which are often due to poor socio-economic and environmental conditions.
Low birth weight baby
Fig: Low birth weight baby

Types of Low Birth Weight (LBW) Baby:

It may be of two types:

1. Pre-term babies:

When the baby born before completed 37 weeks (259 day) of gestation. Their intrauterine growth may be normal.

2. Small-for-date babies (SFD):

Birth weight less than l0 percentile for the gestational age.

Important Cause of Death Due to Low Birth Weight:

All the leading causes of death due to low birth weight have listed in the following:

  • Atelectasis,
  • Malformation,
  • Pulmonary haemorrhage,
  • Intracranial bleeding, secondary to anoxia or birth trauma,
  • Pneumonia and
  • Other infections.

Treatment Principles of Low Birth Weight (LBW):

It includes-

  • Treat/ prevent hypoglycemia,
  • Treat / prevent hypothermia,
  • Treat/prevent dehydration,
  • Correct electrolyte imbalance,
  • Treat / prevent infection,
  • Correct micronutrient deficiencies,
  • Achieve catch-up growth,
  • Provide sensory stimulation and emotional support,
  • Prepare for discharge and follow-up after recovery.

Prevention of Low Birth Weight (LBW) Baby:

Direct intervention measures:

  • Increasing food intake,
  • Supplementary feeding,
  • Distribution of iron and folic acid tablet,
  • Fortification and enrichment of food,
  • Controlling infection: Many maternal infections should be diagnosed and treated such as malaria, urinary tract infection, rubella and syphilitic infection.

Indirect intervention:

  • Family planning,
  • Avoiding of excessive smoking,
  • Improved sanitation,
  • Improving the health and nutrition of young girls,
  • Improvement in the socio-economic and environmental conditions.

Complications of Low Birth Weight (LBW) Baby:

It includes the following:

  • Infection (both overt & hidden),
  • Dehydration & dyselectrolytaemia,
  • Hypoglycemia,
  • Anemia,
  • Congestive cardiac failure,
  • Bleeding,
  • Xerophthalmia & blindness,
  • Sudden infant death syndrome.

Importance of Low Birth Weight (LBW) Baby:

It includes-

  • Its high incidence is related to a high risk of perinatal & infant mortality and morbidity.
  • It is the single most important factor determining the survival changes of the child.
  • The infant mortality rate is about 20 times greater for all LBW babies than for other babies.
  • Low birth weight is an important guide to the level of care needed by individual babies.
  • Low birth weight reflects inadequate nutrition & ill health of the mother.
  • A high percentage of low birth weight points to deficient health status of pregnant woman inadequate, prenatal care &, the need for improved care of the newborn.

More questions related to this article:

  • What do you mean by low birth weight?
  • What is low birth weight?
  • What are the different types of low birth weight?
  • What is the classification of low birth weight?
  • Write down the important causes of death due to low birth weight?
  • What are the principles of treatment of low birth weight?
  • How to prevent low birth weight of babies?
  • How will you prevent low birth weight of babies?
  • What are the complications of low birth weight for the babies?

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