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Low Birth Weight

Low Birth Weight is any weight of an infant that is less than 2,499 grams. The gestation age of the baby does not matter when looking at low birth rate. Normal birth weight is 25000 grams- 42000 grams. Low Birth Weight

One cause of low birth rate is that the baby is born early. A premature birth is defined as any baby born before the age of 37 weeks of gestation. Another cause for low birth weight is that the baby is small for its gestational age. There can be no cause for this or some type of intrauterine growth restriction can cause it. Examples of this include congenital anomalies or chromosomal abnormalities. Low birth weight can also be caused by a problem with the placenta that limits the supply of key nutrients to the baby. A problem with the placenta could mean that the baby does not get enough oxygen or nutrients during development. An infection like rubella, cytomegalovirus, syphilis, and toxoplasmosis can also cause a baby to be born with a low birth weight. Other risk factors include a mother that is very young or who has had several other pregnancies. Poor nutrition, high blood pressure, heart disease, coeliac disease, drug and alcohol use, and insufficient prenatal care all are factors that can contribute to low birth weight. Continued exposure to smoke and other air pollution can also have an affect on the birth weight of a baby.

In worst-case scenarios, low birth weight can lead to death of the baby. Low birth weight make up between 60-80% of the infant mortality rate in developing countries. Babies that are fortunate enough to survive might suffer from delayed growth and cognitive development. They might also be more susceptible to other chronic disease as they age.

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