What Causes Low Birth Weight During Pregnancy?
Low birth weight during pregnancy can be the result of a variety of factors, including:
Genetic factors can play a role in a baby’s birth weight. Certain genetic conditions may make it more likely for a baby to be born with a low birth weight.
The health of the expectant mother can also contribute to a low birth weight. Conditions such as hypertension, diabetes or anemia can increase the risk of a baby having a low birth weight. Ingesting drugs or alcohol during pregnancy can also increase the risk.
Uterine restrictions can cause a fetus to have a low birth weight. This can occur when the uterus is too small or the baby is in a breech position.
Low Maternal Weight
Maternal weight can also be a factor in low birth weight. Women who are underweight or overweight can be at a higher risk of having a low birth weight baby.
Babies born prematurely often have a low birth weight. This is due to their underdeveloped organs and other medical complications associated with prematurity.
The placenta is responsible for providing the fetus with nutrients and oxygen. Abnormalities of the placenta can cause a decreased supply of both, leading to a baby having a low birth weight.
Some infections, such as rubella and syphilis, can pass from the mother to the fetus and increase the risk of a baby having a low birth weight.
Having multiple pregnancies, such as with twins or triplets, can cause a fetus to have a lower birth weight. This is due to the limited space and resources available in the uterus.
Although low birth weight can be the result of any of these factors, it is important to consult a medical professional should you have any questions or concerns.
What are the risks associated with low birth weight during pregnancy?
1. Higher Risk of Physical and Cognitive Disabilities: Low birth weight babies have an increased risk of physical and cognitive disabilities. These disabilities can range from mild to severe, depending on the severity of the baby’s birth weight.
2. Greater Risk of Infections: Low birth weight infants are more prone to infections, such as jaundice, sepsis, and pneumonia, due to their weakened immune system.
3. Higher Risk of Respiratory Complications: Babies with lower birth weights have a higher risk of having difficulty breathing and developing respiratory problems, such as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn.
4. Increased Risk of SIDS: Low birth weight babies are more likely to die suddenly from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome than those with normal weights.
5. Higher Risk of Necrotizing Enterocolitis: Low birth weight can increase the risk of a bowel infection called necrotizing enterocolitis, which can cause severe abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, and severe health complications.
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