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:
- Unregulated fertility, which are often due to poor socio-economic and environmental conditions.
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:
- Pulmonary haemorrhage,
- Intracranial bleeding, secondary to anoxia or birth trauma,
- Pneumonia and
- Other infections.
Treatment Principles of Low Birth Weight (LBW):
- 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.
- 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,
- Congestive cardiac failure,
- Xerophthalmia & blindness,
- Sudden infant death syndrome.
Importance of Low Birth Weight (LBW) Baby:
- 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?
Maria Khatun Mona is a Founder and Editor of Nursing Exercise Blog. She is a Nursing and Midwifery Expert. Currently she is working as a Registered Nurse at Evercare Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has great passion in writing different articles on Nursing and Midwifery. Mail her at “[email protected]”