Some babies with low birthweight are healthy, even though they’re small. But having a low weight at birth can cause serious health problems for some babies. A baby who is very small at birth may have trouble eating, gaining weight and fighting off infections. Some may have long-term health problems, too.
What causes a baby to be born underweight?
What causes low birthweight? The primary cause is premature birth, being born before 37 weeks gestation; a baby born early has less time in the mother’s uterus to grow and gain weight, and much of a fetus’s weight is gained during the latter part of the mother’s pregnancy.
What happens if baby is born with low birth weight?
A baby with low birthweight may be at increased risk for complications. The baby’s tiny body is not as strong and he or she may have a harder time eating, gaining weight, and fighting infection. Because they have so little body fat, low birthweight babies often have difficulty staying warm in normal temperatures.
What is underweight for a newborn baby?
If your baby weighs less than 2,500 grams (5 pounds, 8 ounces), they have a low birth weight. Babies weighing less than 1,500 grams (3 pounds, 5 ounces) at birth are considered very low birth weight. Babies who weigh less than 1,000 grams (2 pounds, 3 ounces) are extremely low birth weight.
How do you treat low birth weight babies?
How is very low birth weight treated?
- Care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
- Temperature-controlled beds.
- Special feedings, sometimes with a tube into the stomach if the baby can’t suck.
- Other treatments for complications.
Is a 5lb baby small?
These babies have birth weight below the 10th percentile. This means they are smaller than many other babies of the same gestational age. Many babies normally weigh more than 5 pounds, 13 ounces by the 37th week of pregnancy. Babies born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces are considered low birth weight.
Can stress cause a low birth weight baby?
High levels of stress that continue for a long time may cause health problems, like high blood pressure and heart disease. During pregnancy, stress can increase the chances of having a premature baby (born before 37 weeks of pregnancy) or a low-birthweight baby (weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces).
What does birth weight indicate?
A baby’s weight at birth is strongly associated with mortality risk during the first year and, to a lesser degree, with developmental problems in childhood and the risk of various diseases in adulthood.
What is the minimum weight of a new born baby?
The average birth weight for babies is around 7.5 lb (3.5 kg), although between 5.5 lb (2.5 kg) and 10 lb (4.5 kg) is considered normal. In general: Boys are usually a little heavier than girls. First babies are usually lighter than later siblings.
How small can a newborn be?
Low birth weight is a term used to describe babies who are born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces (2,500 grams). Babies weighing less than 3 pounds, 5 ounces (1,500 grams) at birth are considered very low birth weight.
What should I eat to increase my baby weight in third trimester?
Consider trying these diet changes to gain weight within appropriate ranges:
- Eat more frequently. …
- Choose nutrient and calorically dense foods such as dried fruit, nuts, crackers with peanut butter, and ice cream.
- Add a little extra cheese, honey, margarine, or sugar to the foods you are eating.