Every mom wishes to give birth to a healthy baby and one of the first things that point to good health among babies is the birth weight. Anything below 2.5 kgs is considered low birth weight and below 1.5 kg is extremely low birth weight. Babies that weigh this low have increased chances of infections, breathing problems, neurological problems and gastrointestinal problems.
A few things that cause low birth weight are:
1. Preterm birth
Any baby born before 37 weeks of gestation period is considered a premature baby. Since the baby didn’t stay in the womb long enough to gain weight over the last few weeks, she weighs lower than average.
If the mom is carrying twins, triplets or more, the chances of the babies being underweight increases significantly. Multiple pregnancies can lead to excess stress on the uterus because of the babies trying to share the nutrition, this ultimately results in low birth weight.
3. Alcohol consumption
Intake of alcohol and drugs during pregnancy is extremely dangerous because this releases chemicals into the placenta that can decrease the amount of oxygen that is supplied to the baby. This can cause growth inhibition among babies.
Babies who are born full term could also have low birth weight because of intrauterine growth restriction. Asymmetrical IUGR is a result of high Blood pressure or nutrition deficiency during pregnancy. Symmetrical IUGR occurs due to urinary infections, certain abnormalities in chromosomes and lifestyle factors.
Gestational diabetes is often linked with babies being born preterm which in turn results in low birth weight. Diabetes during pregnancy can be easily managed with proper diet, exercise and medication. So, adjusting your lifestyle according to your pregnancy needs is very important.
It is a condition during pregnancy that occurs due to high blood pressure and results in kidney damage. Pre-eclampsia or any other condition that affects the placenta due to improper supply of blood and nutrition to the baby could cause low weight during the birth of the baby.
Because of a compromised immune system, pregnant women are more susceptible to contracting infections. When these infections are left untreated, they could cause certain complication during birth among which low birth weight is one.